Between working from home, helping the kids with their assigned work, and slowly cleaning and fixing issues around the house, post-dinner activities are still mostly spent in front of the television as we get caught up on our favorite shows and finally knock some movies off of our list. I am getting suggestions from family, friends, and even students that I’ve mentally added to an already long list. And while I have several shows that I want to get started over the coming weeks, here are my favorite suggestions if you are looking for something both new and current to add to your nightly (or weekend) binge list.
This Is Us: This became one of my all time favorite shows when I watched the series premiere in fall of 2016. Over four seasons, the character development, emotionally driven storylines, and honest treatment of issues such as racism, sex, addiction, infertility, and mental health have kept me hooked as I learn more about the Pearson family. When we finally sat down to watch the season finale this week, my husband made the tears spill out when he said, at the end, “See you in eighteen months.” It’s stupid with lives hanging in the balance, but the reminder that this global disaster is affecting big and small parts of our lives hit when I realized that teaching in my classroom isn’t the only thing that has been put on hold.
The Good Place: Spiritually irreverent, wickedly funny, and brutally honest, this brilliantly acted ensemble show kept us guessing for four seasons. Just when we thought everything was settled, the writers would throw in another wrench which changed the direction of the story and the motivations for the characters. The show doesn’t pretend to give religious answers (an important fact to remember), but it humorously challenges us to look at morality and the way we interact with our fellow humans.
The Handmaid’s Tale: Dystopias are one of my favorite literary genres and I read the book the show is based on several years ago. For fans of the book, the first season follows the book pretty closely. My husband and I binged the show before Christmas and we were left hanging by the most recent season finale. For some, the show might hit too close to home right now, but that’s what dystopias do. While it doesn’t help us escape with humor, it does challenge us to look at the world we are living in and work to make it better.
A Million Little Things: While the first episode deals with suicide, and mental illness is a recurring theme, this brilliantly written drama looks at a lot of the issues that face us every day while drawing us into the lives of complex human beings. The two seasons of the show have kept us guessing with mystery, humor, and the constant hint that there is more to each character’s story.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: While the show premiered less than two months ago, we are already hooked. Zoey discovers a superpower that allows her to hear people’s thoughts through song. The show is funny, heartfelt, and full of fun musical numbers, which makes my musical-loving self happy.
I’m sure there are plenty of other shows I could recommend, but if you’re looking for something to start binging this weekend, these are my current top choices which will leave you begging for more.