The Great Quarantine Binge-Watch, Part Two

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 time 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 Sony Picture Television/FX Productions
Photo credit: Larry Riley / FX

Damages – Glenn Close and Rose Byrne’s gripping legal thriller is one of the first shows I’ve ever binge-watched. Structured in a way that makes it impossible to turn off, Damages studies its characters sharply and while not always easy viewing, is compulsively captivating and intense.

Complete series streaming on Hulu. 


Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank - © NBC - Image courtesy gettyimages.com
Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank – © NBC – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

The Good Place – Michael Schur’s brilliant NBC comedy about a mismatched group of weirdos, ethical dilemmas and the afterlife is full of dazzling ideas that are explored in constantly ingenious ways. A show that was never hesitant to turn its concept upside down and start from scratch, The Good Place was always hilarious and insanely smart and made its reputation on constantly challenging audience expectations. Having wrapped its final season earlier this year, I’m ready for all who binge-watched to see the tender and brilliant conclusion.

Seasons 1-3 streaming on Netflix, final season to come.


Courtesy of Amazon Studios
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Amazon Prime’s tentpole award-winning comedy is steeped in gorgeous period detail and a lush visual style. But Amy Sherman-Palladino’s sharp writing and Rachel Brosnahan’s Emmy-winning performance carry it to places you don’t expect it to go. This is a series I didn’t watch immediately when the new season was released. I saved it for when I was going through a rough time and needed something to brighten my mood. And it totally worked.

Complete series (so far) streaming on Amazon Prime.


© Pop
© Pop

Schitt’s Creek – Several friends told me to watch this Canadian sitcom for the last few years, and when I finally did, it didn’t take long for me to become hooked. Created and written by the father-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek initially seems like a spiritual successor to Arrested Development, but never falls into the narrative traps that show did in its later years. Now that it’s coming to a close, I’m shocked by just how invested I am in these characters, who in the beginning all seemed like despicable people. I have faith it will end on a high note, but I’m nowhere near ready to say goodbye to these characters.

Seasons 1-5 streaming on Netflix, final season streaming on the PopTV app, and available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.


Photo by Jennifer Clasen - HBO
Photo by Jennifer Clasen – HBO

Big Little Lies – The Emmy-winning miniseries adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s best-selling novel was expanded into a second season last year, going beyond the material of the novel, and somehow remained just as engrossing as it was the first time. Led by an A-list cast including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and in season two, the great Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies is an impeccably gorgeous prestige television soap opera with a lot on its mind. And it’s insanely easy to watch all 14 hours over a weekend.

Complete series streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.


Courtesy of JAX Media/TV Land
Courtesy of JAX Media/TV Land

YoungerSex and the City creator Darren Star’s long-running dramedy about a 40-year-old divorcee who can’t find a job, and resorts to lying about her age to get back into the publishing field is elevated by the constantly singular work of Sutton Foster. Equal parts biting social commentary and soap opera binginess breathe life into this shaky concept and even after six seasons, there are so many more places this story could go, and I’m still on the edge of my seat.

Complete series (so far) streaming on Hulu.


Photo by Adam Larkey - © 2012 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. - Image courtesy gettyimages.com
Photo by Adam Larkey – © 2012 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 – ABC’s regrettably short-lived sitcom about a nice Midwestern girl who moves in with the worst person who ever lived should have been a long-running sitcom that would be remembered by all. Instead, it’s one of those little-seen sitcoms that the ten right people still quote eight years later. Krysten Ritter’s Chloe remains one of my favorite sitcom characters of all time.

Complete series streaming on Hulu.


Courtesy of HBO
Courtesy of HBO

Veep – The acidic and hilarious HBO political comedy from Armando Iannucci remained just as sharp a political satire in the world of American politics that, throughout its run, became more and more difficult to satirize. Recently having wrapped its seven-season-long run, Veep ended just as sharp and nasty as it began, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus has the Emmys to prove it.

Complete series streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.


Episode 602
Photo by David M. Russell – © Copyright: 2013 Showtime

Nurse Jackie – Showtime’s long-running Edie Falco dramedy about a New York City nurse struggling with raising her family, her high-pressure job and her drug addiction that constantly threatens to destroy her life. Falco’s performance is consistently brilliant, and the terrific supporting cast headlined by Eve Best and Merritt Wever were constantly on her level. It may not always be an easy watch, but it was always consistently gripping television.

Complete series streaming on Netflix and Showtime.


enlightened1
Photo by LACEY TERRELL – © LACEY TERRELL

Enlightened – Laura Dern’s short-lived HBO comedic drama about Amy Jellicoe, a woman on the verge of a breakthrough. Enlightened was a marvel of a series that nobody watched when it aired initially. Since everybody is in love with Laura Dern again (why were you ever not in love with her?) this would be the perfect chance to catch up on a series where she was actually involved in the creation of her character. Amy is a challenging, somewhat unlikeable and complex antihero who in the end, was always simply trying to make the world a better place for those around her. And that’s what we need right now.

Complete series streaming on Amazon Prime and HBO Go.

One comment

  1. Loved Schitt’s Creek! Watching the show has definitely saved our self-isolation period so far. Alexis’s character arch has our heart!

    Like

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