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It has been 7 months since the announcement of a national lockdown and although it has officially ended, it’s looking like we’re on the brink of a second one soon– hopefully for a shorter period of time though!

Personally, I have found the increased time on our hands quite frustrating to deal with due to there not being much to do. Now that I’m back into my studying routine, I’m feeling a lot more productive and better within myself. Of course, I don’t work for the entire day and I still have a lot of time in the evenings to fill. Binge-watching TV series has really helped me get through these trying times and I’d like to share my top five shows with you. I’ve included a combination of old and new material, so I hope there is at least one show that appeals to you– that’s assuming you haven’t already watched them all!


5. Afterlife (2 seasons)

First up is the Netflix tragic-comedy series, Afterlife directed, written and starring Ricky Gervais. It features Tony, a journalist, whose life is turned on its head after he loses his wife to breast cancer. He contemplates suicide but instead decides that his purpose is to live and punish the world for his wife’s death and his brutal honesty and dark humour is what makes it a must-watch show. 

I had my reservations about it because I hadn’t previously taken a liking to Ricky Gervais’ humour due to it being very dry and sarcastic. However, he definitely deserves recognition for this. One minute you’re balling your eyes out seeing how much pain Tony is in and then in another, you’re in a fit of laughter and disbelief because he has just threatened a child with a hammer without thinking, to try and protect his nephew from being bullied. Plus, his relationship with his dog is just heart-wrenching so it’s definitely worth a watch, for that reason alone!


4. The Boys (2 seasons)

If you’re into an American-based, action-packed superhero versus villain scenario then you will definitely love The Boys on Amazon Prime. However, it very cleverly and uniquely inverts the idea of the ‘superhero’ in which the goodies are in fact the baddies and it is down to the ‘villains’ or criminals to bring the superheroes and Vought, a corrupt organisation that created these ‘superheroes’ through the use of a mutation drug called Compound V, to justice. 

One thing I will say about it though is that The Boys isn’t for people who get squeamish because most of the scenes are extremely violent and bloody, like EXTREMELY. Violence aside, it’s a very good watch, especially the first season. Plus, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, it stars the actor who played Eomer, Karl Urban and he excellently plays the main character and vigilante, Billy Butcher. I highly recommend it!


3. Umbrella Academy (2 seasons)

Now I’d be surprised if you haven’t watched or at least seen this show being advertised on Netflix. If you haven’t then seriously, where have you been in the last few months? During this pandemic, there are no excuses!

It’s based on the lives of seven children who are inexplicably born by random women who show signs of being pregnant only a day before and are adopted by a billionaire industrialist, Sir Reginald Hargreeves. They all have their own special power, apart from ‘Seven’ or Vanya or so she is led to believe, and they each make up the ‘Umbrella Academy’ in an attempt to save the world. However, it fast forwards to when they are all adults and reunite after the team disbanded years ago in order to solve the mystery of their father’s death, for their focus to suddenly shift to preventing a global apocalypse. As shown by my summary, there is a lot for you to get your teeth into due to the plot being so intricate and dramatic. That’s what makes the Umbrella Academy so enjoyable; with its constant twists and turns, there is no chance of you getting bored watching it!


  1. Vikings (6 seasons)

Next up, Vikings on Amazon Prime. It features the legendary hero of Ragnar Lothbrok, who rises up from being a mere farmer to a fearless warrior and commander of the Viking tribes with the support of his equally fearless family. 

I limited myself to one episode a night during lockdown to make it last and I can safely say that without it I would have been lost. From the first episode I was gripped due to the standards of acting being very high in comparison to the Netflix series, Last Kingdom, which contained some of the same legendary figures but with only one or two real stars in the entire show. Although there are a lot of episodes to get through due to some of the seasons being split into two parts, each with ten episodes, I never felt like the plot was lacklustre or dull. I also feel like the show achieved a good balance between battles and character development too. I would definitely go and give it a watch!


  1. The Office (USA version – 9 seasons)

So, the winner for me is, The Office on Amazon Prime. To tell you the truth, my boyfriend was the one to get me into it due to it being his favourite sitcom and although it first aired in 2005, I’m so glad I hadn’t seen it before so that I could spend the entire time in lockdown watching it.

Set in the office of Dunder Mufflin Paper Company, Scranton Branch, it depicts the everyday lives and dramas of the employees. One of my favourite characters has to be the first Regional Manager at the branch, Michael Scott played by Steve Carrell because of his sheer disregard for actually doing any work. Ultimately, I love the whole cast and it is a BIG cast! I tried to watch some of the episodes from the British version of The Office but it just falls short when you compare it to the hilarity of the American version. Unlike a lot of series, it gets better in the later seasons; I’m currently on the final season and I can’t remember the last time I haven’t laughed out loud in a single episode. You’re missing out if you haven’t watched it!

So, there you have it! These are my top 5 TV shows that I’ve been watching during the lockdown period and I hope I have given you some new shows to binge. Enjoy!

Amy McClelland

Nottingham '22

I’m a second year English student at the University of Nottingham. In my spare time, I enjoy watching films and TV shows as much as I do reading books. Staying fit and healthy is very important to me but my love of chocolate is greater ;-) I love travelling and I would love to visit Italy because I’ve never been! I am a feature writer for HerCampus Nottingham magazine.
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