Well, it’s 2021— and contrary to Twitter theories and despite our own collective optimism, we’re still in quarantine, and I hate to be pessimistic; it doesn’t look like we’re coming out anytime soon.
But do not fear. Quarantine isn’t necessarily ALL bad. It’s given me a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend more waking hours consuming media than doing anything even remotely similar to being productive. With that said, here are five shows you should know about to help move you through quarantine.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Netflix’s smash hit, Bridgerton. If you’re anything like me, you might be a bit apprehensive about watching the show just because of its premise. It seems too similar to things we’ve already seen before— but on its face. There’s a very good reason it’s a hit. Somehow, the series borrows many tropes from English period dramas, but spins them and makes them consumable for a wide audience. The show has quickly become a favorite and it was just renewed this week for a second season. The show follows the esteemed Bridgerton family and their social becomings as Daphne Bridgerton has become an eligible bride for England's most noble suitors to wed. That’s about the only summary I’ll give. It’s a great show with modern twists that make it a refreshing new program to watch. You can catch Bridgerton on Netflix.
- Lovecraft Country
Alright, this one’s a far stretch from the primp and posh scenes of Bridgerton. Lovecraft Country is a genre bending thriller set between 1954 and 1955, derived from Matt Ruff’s book under the same name. The show follows Atticus on his journey to understand the dangerous mysteries of his heritage. I’ll tell you this: even though the story revolves around Atticus and his family, Jurnee Smollet’s character Leticia steals the show and adds another wonderful layer of enjoyment onto an already amazing show. Coming away from the often racist and problematic pieces of Matt Ruff’s book, Lovecraft Country does an amazing job of reclaiming a story full of issues and creates a mind bending trip full of surprises, twists, and downright bone chilling revelations. The show also does a wonderful job of adding in commentary on racial tensions of the time and even provides some implicit commentary on the issues of today. This show is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish and I would heavily advise against watching without the comfort of someone next to you. You can watch the entire first season of Lovecraft Country on HBO or HBO Max.
After word made its rounds through the news that Issa Rae’s smash hit series Insecure would be coming to an end after it’s fifth season, I made it my business to rewatch the show from season one… again. Even though the show came out in 2016, time has never deteriorated the essence of it’s comedic presence, nor the freshness it brings no matter what the subject matter of the episode may be. The show follows Issa Dee in her journey of self discovery, and finds Issa at the end of season four, questioning the essence of one of her strongest relationships: the one with her best friend Molly. There is never a dull moment in Insecure and there aren’t any imperfections that I can think of about the show. From the show’s pristine writing, to it’s phenomenal cast, all the way to it’s wonderful cinematography and music, Insecure is an all around amazing show. I have to say this year alone, I have watched the series back and forth at least twice, and it’s still January. You can catch all four seasons of Insecure in all it’s Black and beautiful glory on HBO or HBO Max. (P.S (No spoilers): There’s an amazing scene in season four with Issa Molly with Nothing Without You by Tanerelle as it’s backdrop. I mean this with everything that I am: chef’s kiss).
What’s a list like this without a little throwback. I have to say I was way too young to appreciate Moesha at its height, but my sister and mother never failed to let me know how amazing the show was, and when it hit Netflix I didn’t waste any time jumping at the chance to watch it. Moesha is set in the late 90’s and follows the character navigating her way through countless issues, while remaining in the year’s hottest fashions no matter the circumstance. Moesha delivers quick witted quips and jokes about as fast and efficiently as they can. Moesha was a pillar of Black representation on screen and still shines as one all these years later. It’s only a plus that the show featured countless celebrity cameos like Usher and Kobe Bryant, and seemed to have no shortage of beautiful men for Brandy’s character to choose from. The show also created a space for serious issues to be discussed in a manner that allowed for massive audiences to discuss later on. If you want to catch Moesha, you can find all of its seasons on Netflix.
Though it burst on the scene two weeks ago, WandaVision has already proven to be a smash hit among critics and viewers alike, hiding its disturbing premise beneath the guise of a sitcom. WandaVision follows two of Earth’s mightiest heroes as they navigate through the strange world they have come to call home. In episodes one and two, Wanda Maximoff a.k.a Scarlet Witch and Tony Stark’s creation Vision begin to see that their world is fragile and that something sinister is lurking beneath the glamor of which they have accepted as reality. WandaVision is unlike any Marvel project today and almost acts as a slow burning mystery while still managing to (on its surface) act like an innocent sitcom. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany do a wonderful job of bringing the charm of old sitcoms to the modern audience and both actors give wonderful performances every episode. You can catch the first three episodes of WandaVision on Disney+, with new episodes every Friday.
I hope you enjoy these shows and use them as ways to pass time, because these days there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of it.