Shows to Binge While Staying Home

Netflix Show Haunting Hill House

Have you ever been lathering your hair in the shower and remembered an argument from YEARS ago and are STILL bothered by it ?

I was thinking about a snooty Spanish guy I met in 2008 who was an acquaintance of a friend. I was excited about a new TV show and he responded in a pretentious tone “I don’t have time to watch TV. I read. Try it sometime.” What an ignorant butthead.  

While I appreciate a great page turner, we are now in the GOLDEN RENAISSANCE of tv shows.  Unlike a quick movie, there is more of an investment from us dedicated to falling in love and getting to know the characters and all their ups, downs and development through each season.  TV shows touch on an abundance of relevant issues and bring out so many emotions.  They have NEVER been better and so much thought goes into the scripts, the acting and cinematography.  Since we are all staying at home this week in self isolation, heres five shows that I absolutely love – something for everyone. 

 

The Handmaid’s Tale

This dystopian show is set in the future in the Republic of Gilead – a totalitarian state that has replaced the United States of America. Because of dangerously low infertility, handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. Among other things, there’s no freedom of speech ,women aren’t allowed to read and homosexuals are sentenced to death for being “gender traitors.” Elizabeth Moss plays Offred – a handmaid who is fighting the rigid system and trying to break free.

This one is SO harrowing because it’s a glimpse of what COULD happen if freedom of speech, equality and feminism were stripped from society and replaced with an authoritarian right-wing regime (which is currently a reality in SO many countries right now).  

Although it’s a feminist show, I would recommend it to ANYONE because it’s so interesting to see the  ripple effect misogyny has on a modern civilization.  The eeriness of their intolerant,rigid lifestyle will draw you in and have you addicted from the first episode. By the end, it will really make you wanna stick it to the man. My husband and I were at the edge of our seats throughout the series. The acting is amazing and characters are so complex and you don’t even know who to root for.   

 

 

This Is Us

This is Us is the “Game of Thrones” for emotions.  Starring Mandy Moore, this series follows the lives and families of two parents and their three children in several different time frames. Yes, it can be super duper sappy but in a really non cheesy, tasteful way – I promise!!!!  I love how the show really DIGS into complicated family dynamics and insecurities. 

It’s filmed beautifully and I love how the timelines are incorporated so seamlessly.  What’s nice is how it documents one family’s life – it’s not doom and gloom nor is it unrealistically giddy happy. Instead, it highlights the realness and the grey areas – the messiness, the good times, the not so good times. It demonstrates how even though people can be well meaning with the greatest intentions, they still have flaws and inconsistencies and it’s part of human nature. If you see me sitting on the sofa bawling one second and then laughing uncontrollably the next like some crazy schizophrenic, it’s probably because I’m watching this show.  This show is the soul food of TV.  

 

 

The Haunting of Hill House

In this ten-episode horror series, a family grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country. Now adults, they are forced back together in the face of tragedy and must finally confront the (literal and metaphorical) ghosts of their past.

You know how normally scary movies are just churned out mindlessly with a really basic plot and serves no real purpose other than a few spooks? This show isn’t that.  It’s not as passe as predictable jump starts, gore and cheap thrills. It has much more to offer than that.  It’s stylishly and eerily shot and reminds me a little of The Shining.   It can be slow at times but trust me, this slow development is deliberate and important in the story later.  It’s shot in such a way that is so clever and it’s the kind of show you can watch repeatedly because the episodes are peppered with subtle, frighteningly eerie details every time you re-watch it – like a ghost in the far corner just minding his business.    I like how the story comes into a full complete circle at the end and the scary bits are both subtle and extremely dramatic. I remember screaming at one point as one of the scenes was so random and gave me the fright of my life.  

 

 

Elite

This Spanish show is about a group of teenage students in a posh school in Spain and a murder mystery thrown into the mix. It highlights the stark contrast amongst classes between the bourgeois and the elite.   This show is SUPER SUPER juicy.  Gossip Girl is absolutely rubbish compared to this show – this is what Gossip Girl SHOULD have been.  In fact, Gossip girl WISHES it was Elite. Instead of teenagers just being reckless and promiscuous, whining about their dumb life choices, this show takes those ideas but adds way more depth.  Particularly, the muslim characters as they’re at the forefront of all the drama and juicyness instead of just in the background being pious and praying.  A lot of what one character faces in her school I could relate to, growing up raised as a muslim in a Scottish school. I like how both the muslim characters are flawed and go through scandalous phases because – newsflash – that is REAL life and muslim teenagers aren’t always paragons of virtue.  Duh. Did I mention how JUICY this show is?  The storylines are so wild and just when you think it CANNOT get any juicier – it DOES.  Regarding the mystery element, it’s got amazing twists that are hard to guess.  Give it a try!!!! 

 

 

Dexter 

What if a serial killer ONLY targeted and killed “bad” people like rapists, murders and pedophiles? That’s exactly what Dexter is about – a serial killer with a strong moral compass. By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he kills baddies. I love that complex theme of morality.Just like Walter White, here’s another vigilante you aren’t SUPPOSED to root for but you find yourself doing it anyway.  I have to warn you, it is extremely gory, but honestly – if you just get past the first episode – you become immune to the gore (lol) or you could do what I do and just close your eyes at the icky bits.  Don’t let the gore deter you, though.  It’s worth going through to watch the story.  It’s exciting in a nail biting way.  It’s consistently good through all the seasons, and SO much goes on in the first season alone.  If only killers could use their powers for good!  

I could go ON and ON about shows but here are some other honorable mentions –

The Morning Show,Black Mirror, Big Little Lies, Breaking Bad, The Following, Tyrant and How to Get Away with Murder off the top of my head! What are your absolute favorites? Let me know if I missed any! 

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