The Great Quarantine Binge-Watch, Part One

In the age of Peak TV, there’s so much for any of us to catch up on that we now have the time to get around to. I’ve compiled a list of recommendations that suit the times we’re living through. And yes, I know there are a lot of comedies because I think we all need to laugh right now. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section below! Just as long as they’re not Tiger King.

Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Difficult People – Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner’s masterful streaming sitcom that challenges the ideas of what the audience wants from its protagonists. The show is called Difficult People, but through the mean-spiritedness of it all and the near-constant laughs, there’s so much here to relate to and identify with here, and this show spoke to me on a deep level. I only wish it would have gone on ten seasons.

Complete series streaming on Hulu.


© Copyright 2017, FX Networks. All rights reserved.
© Copyright 2017, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Feud: Bette and Joan – Ryan Murphy’s deliciously campy miniseries chronicling the decades-long feud between two of cinema’s greatest actresses, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Between the costumes, the period detail and Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon’s masterclass performances, there is so much here to enjoy. Feud is gripping television from beginning to end.

Complete series available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.


Photo by Colleen Hayes - © Amazon Studios
Photo by Colleen Hayes – © Amazon Studios

Forever – The eight half-hour episodes in this surprising and harrowing tragicomedy are full of fascinating ideas about love, gender roles and what it means to spend the rest of your life with another person. Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph are incredibly well-matched leads that completely understand the understated and gloomy tone of this miniseries that somehow never loses the comedy.

Complete series streaming on Amazon Prime.


Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Russian Doll – Natasha Lyonne’s terrific performance as a woman going through a personal crisis who finds herself in a time loop is a perfect commentary for the isolation we’re all feeling right now. Russian Doll is contemplative, dark, hilarious and very well-executed. A second season is coming, but you’ll wish it weren’t. This would have worked as a great miniseries because it says everything it aims to and fully explores its themes in the short time it’s given.

First season streaming on Netflix.


Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution

30 Rock – The last great network sitcom, as far as I’m concerned. I lived through the time where people my age were ‘discovering’ sitcoms like Friends and The Office and The Big Bang Theory on streaming services, and I’ve always stood by my opinion that 30 Rock blows these shows out of the water. Tina Fey’s ingenious sitcom gets weirder and more hilarious as it goes on, and when it reaches its conclusion, it gives its characters a truly satisfying send-off.

Complete series streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu.


Photo by Eric Liebowitz/Netflix
Photo by Eric Liebowitz/Netflix

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Tina Fey’s sophomore series originally designed for NBC, later sent to Netflix. Starring The Office alum Ellie Kemper as a woman kidnapped at age 15 by an underground doomsday cult, the show follows the naïve 30-year-old Kimmy as she struggles to start her life anew in New York City. If 30 Rock was weird, Kimmy is downright bizarre, and it’s stuffed with the same wall-to-wall zingers and equally memorable supporting characters.

Complete series streaming on Netflix.


Courtesy of 20th Television
Courtesy of 20th Television

Fosse/Verdon – The Emmy-winning Sam Rockwell/Michelle Williams miniseries exploring the tumultuous life and marriage of director/choreographer Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon is incredibly well-crafted, engrossing and like Feud, gives any viewer who’s unfamiliar with these people a reason to understand why their lives were important and what they contributed to culture.

Complete series streaming on Hulu.


© Netflix
© Netflix

The Politician – Ryan Murphy’s first series for Netflix is messy. It’s a flawlessly designed and terrifically acted spectacle with a tone that’s all over the place, but I’ve watched it from beginning to end three times now and I feel like I might be ready to watch it again. Led by a masterful performance by Ben Platt, against a terrific supporting cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoey Deutch, and a delightfully nutty Jessica Lange, there is so much about The Politician that’s superb and irresistible, you’ll have no idea how you just blew through eight hour-long episodes so fast, and you’ll demand more.

Season one streaming on Netflix.


Courtesy of HBO
Courtesy of HBO

Curb Your EnthusiasmSeinfeld creator Larry David’s follow-up sitcom that surpasses the heights of Seinfeld, itself, Curb has run for 10 seasons over 20 years and hasn’t missed a beat the entire time. The joy of watching a slightly fictionalized version of Larry David go from situation to situation infuriating those around him is one similar series have tried and failed to replicate. You’ll never be so happy you’re stuck inside.

Seasons 1-8 streaming on Amazon Prime, complete series streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.


Courtesy of CBS Television/Warner Bros. Television
Courtesy of CBS Television/Warner Bros. Television

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Rachel Bloom’s bizarre, bleak and totally delightful musical deconstruction of the romantic comedy is one of my favorite shows on this list. It never reached a wide audience but was luckily given the room to grow into the profound character study it is. Bloom’s Rebecca Bunch is described as a ‘bubbly Walter White’, an antihero with sketchy motivations who is truly just looking for happiness, and learns along the way truly what that means. And there’s plenty of insanely catchy musical numbers along the way.

Complete series streaming on Netflix.

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