I am definitely not the first one to say that this year has been…odd. When I was first sent home in March, I was on the hunt to find shows that emulate the same energy that this year has delivered: chaos. Looking back, nearly all of the series I discovered had this type of energy and I wanted to share these finds with you in case you are in need of a new escape from reality. Here are seven series across different services that have made a mark on my year thus far, ranked from least to most chaotic.
- Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
Watch this if you like: Sex Education
This show is the least chaotic on this list, but is still filled with the unexpected twists on a classic teen comedy that make it a very fun watch. Never Have I Ever follows the complicated life of Devi, a first-generation Indian-American girl, as she navigates sophomore year. Devi attempts to overcome the trauma from her first year of high school with her two best friends by setting them all up with “attainable yet status-enhancing” boyfriends, but it does not go quite to plan. Inspired by Mindy Kaling’s childhood, this series is full of great comedic moments and should be praised for its portrayal of a coming-of-age story that is not told enough. Season 1 is available to stream on Netflix and a second season has been announced.
- Money Heist/La Casa de Papel (Netflix)
Watch this if you like: Elite
This Spanish-language crime drama will keep you guessing for seasons with its gripping story and never-ending twists and turns. A mysterious man called “The Professor” recruits a group of notorious criminals and trains them in his master plan to take over the Royal Mint of Spain and steal over two billion euros. Unlike other heist stories you may have seen, Money Heist tells a gritty story from the perspectives of the criminals taking the civilians hostage, "The Professor" watching over everything from the outside and a negotiator working with the police to get the civilians to safety. Seasons 1-4 are available to stream on Netflix.
- Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Watch this if you like: Big Little Lies
Based on the bestseller written by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere tells the story of a mother and daughter who move to Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1997 and become intertwined with the Richardson’s, a seemingly perfect family. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington star as the two mothers who clash on all fronts including parenting, culture and morals. Although the common theme is motherhood and what makes a good parent, this show is enjoyable for anyone, with several storylines to get invested in as they all go up in flames (literally). The limited series is available to stream on Hulu.
- Waco (Netflix)
Watch this if you like: Wild Wild Country
Waco was originally a limited series on the Paramount Network that I was excited to watch and was recently added to Netflix. This series follows the true story of the Branch Davidians group whose compound was seized by the FBI and ATF near Waco, Texas in 1993. This is perfect for anyone who enjoys true crime and extreme belief/cult-related content. Based on books written by witnesses of the event, Waco is a reenacted portrayal with a talented cast including Michael Shannon as the FBI negotiator and Taylor Kitsch as the charismatic and confident group leader, David Koresh. The limited series is available to stream on Netflix.
- Watchmen (HBO)
Watch this if you like: Watchmen (2009)
We are really entering chaotic territory here! Watchmen is a mini-series based on the graphic novel of the same name. I did not know anything about the graphic novel before watching the series and it was a bit confusing. If you are interested in the show, I suggest you watch this brief video for a bit of background on the world. Watchmen is set in an alternate history where Detective Angela Abar (Regina King) must investigate a reemerging white supremacist terrorist group while also dealing with the consequences of decades of events caused by groups of masked vigilantes. Once I was halfway through the series, I was able to understand most of the events and became very invested in the story. Give this show time and embrace some of the unique points to uncover a show that comments on race relations within the police force, government and society as a whole. The mini-series is available to stream on HBO.
- Hannibal (Netflix)
Watch this if you like: The Silence of the Lambs
From 2013, Hannibal tells the story of the infamous psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter before the events in The Silence of the Lambs. This gruesome show explores Dr. Lecter’s (Mads Mikkelsen) relationship with a criminal profiler (Hugh Dancy) who is gifted (or cursed) with the ability to understand and empathize with serial killers. A great watch for fans of crime shows, but a fair warning of the gore and intense imagery throughout the series. This show is uniquely gripping, forcing you to confront what may be some of your worst fears. Another warning is that this show was canceled in 2015 but there is a lot of recent interest for Netflix to reboot this series. Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.
- Kid Nation (YouTube)
Watch this if you like: Anything (please just watch this show)
I may or may not have written this article just to tell you to watch this reality show from 2007. Over the past few months, some commentary channels on YouTube have been talking about this absurd show and I had to give it a try. Here is the concept: forty kids ages 8-15 are brought to an abandoned town to create a new society in forty days without the help of adults. It was promptly canceled after its first season mainly because of how chaotic of a concept this is. This is the show that we need this year! Watch these kids create class systems, overthrow their leaders, fight for common necessities and say some of the most unforgettable lines I have heard in a long time. Just search “Kid Nation” and fall down the same rabbit hole that I did.
I hope that now you have found some new series to become obsessed with this year. Send me your favorite quotes from Kid Nation! Happy watching!