In quarantine, it’s no question that we have had a lot of time to watch a lot of content. One tiny highlight of the pivot to remote classes at Lafayette is a chance to keep binging. I’ve prepared a list of my favorite quarantine-era shows and movies, divided into what kind of watch you’re looking for: to lighten your spirits or get you in your feels.
1. Palm Springs - Hulu
This Andy Samberg movie is nothing if not entertaining. A new take on the Groundhog Day-esque time loop, it’s delightfully funny and surprisingly heartwarming.
2. Community - Netflix
If you miss NBC sitcoms like Parks & Rec, you will find solace watching (or re-watching) this show from the same era. I had never seen it before, and it’s six seasons offered lots of shenanigans to distract me from boredom.
3. American Vandal - Netflix
This series came out a few years ago, but I feel that it’s been crazily overlooked. It utilized a mockumentary style and is hysterically funny, presenting ridiculous content in a super-serious tone. American Vandal’s two seasons both offer mystery, wit, and lots of laughs.
4. Skin Decision - Netflix
A reality show about plastic surgery; this one is unique from the rest in that it follows two real medical professionals as they treat patients. Something about this show is so addictive. I especially love before and after comparisons, plus it’s super interesting if you have an interest in aesthetic medicine.
5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Hulu
An incredible time-filler. Written by an early HIMYM-era Jason Segal, this showcases Kristen Bell at her sassiest, Mila Kunis at her coolest, and Paul Rudd at his funniest. All set on the backdrop of Hawaii, it’s an escape from daily life.
Selections for when you want to Think/Feel
1. When They See Us - Netflix
The recent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of the national conversation has made a lot of us reflect on the history of oppression in this country. When They See Us is based on the true (and horrifying) story of the Central Park Five’s wrongful convictions in New York City. This is a really emotional and thought-provoking watch, stunningly directed by Ava Duvernay.
2. Normal People - Hulu
This is probably my favorite of the whole list. Based on a novel by Sally Rooney, this Irish miniseries is quiet and beautiful. You’ll get so attached to Marianne and Connell and think about your relationships differently when it is over.
3. Filthy Rich: Jeffrey Epstein - Netflix
A documentary detailing the horrific circle abuse Epstein entrapped countless young girls in, this one is a must-watch to confront massive corruption in our justice system. It’s almost shocking to follow the story and understand just how much he was able to utilize his money and power to manipulate the law and escape prosecution for years.
4. Outlander - Netflix
Steamy romance in 1700s Scotland? Yes, please. It’s occasionally slow at times but the big moments are worth the wait.
5. Unbelievable - Netflix.
This miniseries follows a true story of a serial rapist and highlights the inefficacies of our justice system, especially when it comes to serving and believing women. It’s an extremely moving and powerful watch, with Toni Collette giving an Emmy-nominated performance as one of the detectives working the case.
A Couple Bonuses That Toe the Line Between Moods
1. BoJack Horseman - Netflix
As funny as this animated show is, I had to make it a bonus because it’s inherently...sad? It has a lot to say about topics like mental health and grappling with shame. Deep but hilarious--a wonderful combo in a binge.
2. Hollywood - Netflix
This Ryan Murphy gives us all the glamour of early Hollywood with his typical nonsensical but entertaining plots. Murphy has a lot to say about race and social justice in this show, and much of it is taken extremely seriously, but it’s a little too optimistic and unrealistic for me to have been truly gripped by his narrative. However, if you’re looking for some feisty fashion and a show with a lot of heart and sparkle, this is a great choice.
Snuggle up in bed with your laptop and flick on any of these choices. Happy watching!