Originally published 03/14/2020
With the new paradigm of working from home and isolation due to the Coronavirus you might be looking for some ideas of what to do. One of the ideas to get your mind away from the stress and fears of the time is to binge watch a new show. Here are 15 ideas to binge and what streaming service you can find them on.
- This is Us
Available on HULU this series is currently on its 4th season NBC. This heartwarming and emotional story about a unique set of triplets their struggles and their wonderful parents will make you laugh, cry and appreciate the loved ones in your life. As a bonus the family is from Pittsburgh and their love a Steelers plays a big role.
- The Office
Available on Netflix (until 2021), this sitcom that was adopted from a British comedy is a mockumentary of a make-believe paper company, Dunder-Miffilin in Scranton PA. The show takes an over the top look at office life and the personalities that fill it. This might a great watch to make you remember times before working from home. It aired on NBC for nine seasons.
- Mad Men
Available on Netflix, this an American period drama that follows the fictitious Sterling Cooper ad agency from Madison Avenue in New York City from 1960 to 1970. The show highlights the major cultures change in American including women empowerment in the workplace, change in work culture, the breakdown of the tobacco industry, the rise the jet age in travel, the rise of consumerism, the political changes and more. This critically acclaimed series has outstanding acting anchored by Jon Hamm as the iconic lead character Don Draper. It aired on AMC network for 7 seasons.
- Modern Family
Available on Hulu, this mockumentary style family sitcom the series is presented in mockumentary style, with the characters frequently breaking the fourth wall. It revolves around three different types of families (nuclear, step- and same-sex) living in the Los Angeles area, who are interrelated through Jay Pritchett. As the name suggests, this family represents a modern-day family and episodes are comically based on situations that many families encounter in real life. The eleventh and final season will finish in April 2020 on ABC.
- Life in Pieces
Available on Hulu, this family sitcom follows the close nit short family and their antics. Each episode is broken into 4 short stories. It provides comedy based on family relationships. It lasted 4 season on CBS.
- The Americans
Available on Amazon Prime, this American Period spy thriller is set during the cold war. It follows this story of follows the story of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American married couple living in Falls Church, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. with their children. The show also explores the conflict between Washington's FBI office and the KGB Rezidentura by following the perspectives of agents on both sides. It not only explores political differences of both sides but the challenges of marriage and raising children from different perspectives. It aired on the FX network for six seasons
Available on Netflix this American psychological thriller made for Netflix is about a New York bookstore manager and serial killer who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck and quickly develops an extreme, toxic, and delusional obsession. This show keeps you on the edge of your seat with unpredictable twist and turns in the plot. Originally made by Lifetime since Netflix has taken the show, they have renewed it for a third season coming out in 2021.
Available on Hulu, this American legal drama television is set at a fictional New York City law firm and follows talented college dropout Mike Ross, who starts working as a law associate for Harvey Specter despite never having attended law school due to Mikes photographic memory and brilliance. The show focuses on Harvey and Mike closing cases, while maintaining Mike's secret. The show ran for 10 seasons on USA Network.
- New Girl
Available on Netflix, this sitcom revolves around a kooky teacher, Jess, after she moves into a Los Angeles loft with three men, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. The show combines comedy and drama elements as the characters, who are in their early thirties, deal with maturing relationships and career choices. The show was on Fox for 7 seasons.
Available on Netflix (past seasons), this comedy-drama television series is an adaptation of a British series of the same name and features an ensemble cast led by William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. The show is set in the South Side of Chicago and filmed throughout the city, as well as Los Angeles. The series depicts the poor, dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father raising six children. He spends his days drunk or in search of misadventures, and his children learn to take care of themselves. The show's producers sought to distinguish this production from previous American working-class shows by highlighting how Frank's alcoholism affects his family. The eleventh and final season will be on Showtime in mid-2020.
Available on Hulu, this sitcom began as a YouTube web series titled Letterkenny Problems, and it was commissioned as a television series by Crave in Canada. Due to its success it was picked up by Hulu. Letterkenny revolves around a small rural Canadian community of the same name, and most episodes open with the text: "There are 5000 people in Letterkenny. These are their problems." The series focuses on siblings Wayne and Katy, who run a small farm and produce stand with help from Wayne's friends Daryl and Squirrely Dan. Episodes deal with small-town life amongst different types of people: the farmers (the "hicks"), the out-of-towners who make up the local ice hockey team, the town's closeted minister, the drug addicts (the "skids"), members of the nearby First Nation reserve (the "natives"), and the local Mennonites. Plots often revolve around Wayne defending his reputation as "the toughest guy in Letterkenny", the exploits of the town's hockey team who rarely win, Wayne's attempts to break up Katy's relationships with various men he dislikes, the skids' schemes to rip off the residents of both Letterkenny and the natives, and Wayne's dating life after dumping his high school sweetheart who cheated on him. In an effort to subvert the usual trope of small-town residents having lower intelligence levels, one of the show's running jokes is that almost every character possesses the ability to think quickly and come up with a near-constant barrage of wordplay and puns. I would call this show a modern take on Seinfeld while replacing city life with rural life situations. There are currently 8 seasons with no announcement yet as to when the 9th season will be out.
- How I Met Your mother
Available on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix, this sitcom follows the adventures of Ted Mosby, who narrates the story of how he met the mother of his children. The story goes into a flashback and starts in 2005 with the 27-year-old Ted Mosby living in New York City and working as an architect. The narrative deals primarily with his best friends, including the long-lasting couple Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin womanizing playboy Barney Stinson, and Canadian news reporter Robin Scherbatsky; all of the characters' lives are entwined. The series explores many storylines, including a "will they or won't they" relationship between Robin and each of the two single male friends, Marshall and Lily's relationship, and the ups and downs of the characters' careers. The show's frame story depicts Ted verbally retelling the story to his son and daughter Penny as they sit on the couch in the year 2030. This future-set frame is officially the show's "present day", and How I Met Your Mother exploits this framing device in numerous ways: to depict and re-depict events from multiple points of view; to set up jokes using quick and sometimes multiple flashbacks nested within the oral retelling; to substitute visual, verbal, or aural euphemisms for activities Ted does not want to talk about with his children; and even to add some elements of humor: in the episode "How I Met Everyone Else", Ted describes his dates with a girlfriend whose name he has forgotten, leading all characters to act as though her given name were "Blah-Blah"; later in the series, Ted remembers her name is Carol. While the traditional love story structure begins when the romantic leads first encounter each other, How I Met Your Mother does not introduce Ted's wife until the eighth-season finale and only announces her name during the series finale. The show instead focuses on Ted's prior relationships and his dissatisfaction with those women, thus setting the stage for his eventual happiness with Tracy. Finally, in present 2030, six years after Tracy's death, Ted gets back with Robin, which viewers may have assumed at the series finale when Ted is standing outside Robin's window. Ted's children were the ones to realize first that Ted was still in love with Robin, through the stories he told. The show was on for 9 seasons on CBS.
- Parks and Recreation
Available on Hulu Parks, this political satire sitcom television series stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks Department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana as she strives to serve her town even when the community, her team and others do not care. It explores the humor of bureaucracies and small-town politics as well as working in an office environment. The show is loaded with comedic talent that give the show its unique brand of humor. It aired for 7 seasons on NBC.
- Game of thrones
Available on Hulu, this fantasy drama television series is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, Game of Thrones has several plots and a large ensemble cast and follows several story arcs. The series chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the realm's noble families for the Iron Throne, while other families fight for independence from it. One arc is about the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the noble dynasties either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from it. Another focuses on the last descendant of the realm's deposed ruling dynasty, who has been exiled and is plotting a return to the throne, while another story arc follows the Night's Watch, a brotherhood defending the realm against the fierce peoples and legendary creatures of the North. Game of Thrones attracted a record viewership on HBO and has a broad, active, and international fan base. The series was acclaimed by critics for its acting, complex characters, story, scope, and production values, although its frequent use of nudity and violence (including sexual violence) was criticized; the final season received further criticism for its condensed story and creative decisions, with many considering it a disappointing conclusion. The series received 58 Primetime Emmy Awards, the most by a drama series, including Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019. Its other awards and nominations include three Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation (2012–2014), a 2011 Peabody Award, and five nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama (2012 and 2015–2018). In 2019, the show's final season established a new record for most Emmy nominations received in the same year by any regular series with 32, breaking the 25 years long record of 26 nominations established by NYPD Blue in 1994; it also established Game of Thrones as the drama series with the most overall Emmy nominations, with a total of. The show ran for 8 seasons on HBO.
- Boardwalk Empire
Available on Amazon Prime and Hulu, this series is an American period crime drama focusing on Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (based on the historical Enoch L. Johnson), a political figure who rises to prominence and controls Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and 1930s. Nucky interacts with historical characters in both his personal and political life, including mobsters, politicians, government agents, and the common folk who look up to him. The federal government also takes an interest in the bootlegging and other illegal activities in the area, sending agents to investigate possible mob connections as well as Nucky's lifestyle—expensive and lavish for a county political figure. The final season jumps ahead seven years, to 1931, as Prohibition nears its end. The show is inspired by Nelson Johnson's non-fiction book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, about the historical criminal kingpin Enoch L. Johnson. It ran for 5 seasons on HBO
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