Are you trying to figure out what shows you should watch during quarantine? I made that eek emoji face when I saw my phone’s screen time notification pop up this morning. And then I swiftly swiped it away because we’re ending the seventh week of stay at home orders and I’m hanging by a thread.
Before you get all judgy, let it be known that I read books too. In fact, I’m currently reading Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. But, I can’t cook dinner, fold laundry or blow dry my hair while reading at the same time. I can, however, read subtitles while I take a shower.
So what is it I’m watching? Here’s my list of shows you should watch during quarantine.
- Tiger King – I don’t get the hype. I love true crime but this seven episode documentary was far too long. The reunion episode hosted by Joel McHale was a highlight though and surprisingly, I found Joe Exotic’s singing voice quite enjoyable.
- WACO – this six-episode limited series featuring Tim Riggins (Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!) as David Koresh was incredibly interesting and super heartbreaking. It also features Julia Garner (Ruth Langmore from Ozark) in a pretty small role for an Emmy Award winning actor. This is one to watch regardless if you are or are not familiar with the siege on the Branch Davidians in 1993.
- Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker – this four-episode limited series isn’t getting enough hype. It’s a very compelling story about Madam C.J. Walker and how she used her brains and savvy to become America’s first self-made millionaire. Octavia Spencer is brilliant in it.
- Ozark – the third season of this series is probably its best. If you haven’t watched seasons one and two yet, start now, and come back and tell me how incredible the women are in season 3. Julia Garner and Laura Linney will likely see Emmy nominations. So damn good.
- Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story – this is a 90-minute doc about the arrest of 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown and the fight to overturn her life in prison conviction. It’s definitely interesting but not as gripping as The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, The Staircase or Abducted in Plain Sight.
- In an about face, All American is what my husband calls the 2020 equivalent to Beverly Hills, 90210. He’s not wrong. This CW series is about a high school football star who is recruited by Beverly High School but has a lot of family baggage to take with him. It scratches that teen drama itch for me.
Hulu Originals and Network TV Streaming
Hulu is probably my favorite streaming service. Mostly for the next day airings of many network TV shows. Here’s an $13/month offer for Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+.
- Little Fires Everywhere – this 8-episode series didn’t fully interest me when Hulu was only dropping one episode a week. Once fully released, I revisited and finished the series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. I didn’t love it. The two main characters are so unlikable and they have zero redeeming qualities.
I am really looking forward to the 12-episode series of Normal People which I’ll probably start this weekend.
- Melrose Place – I started MP pre-quarantine but seven seasons with 30+ episodes is a lot to get through. This is not must-see-TV but I do find it enjoyable while folding laundry.
- Vanderpump Rules – I’m a VPR stan. I love this ridiculous reality drama about servers at West Hollywood’s SUR so much that I’m sad when it’s over. My husband and I watch the current season airing now on Tuesday nights on Bravo together but he’s never watched before this season so he doesn’t know anything Crazy Kristen, Miami Girl, Jax and Faith or how Rob can put a TV on a wall in under eight minutes. So, we’re watching from season one together.
- Party of Five – Do not sleep on this reboot. It’s really good, completely heartbreaking and totally different but still a nod to the original.
- The Bold Type – this series just wrapped its third season on Freeform and it makes me wish I was in my late twenties living in New York city. It’s part Devil Wears Prada and part Sex and the City. It’s heavy on millennial subjects and sometimes makes me grab my pearls but I love it.
- Good Girls – Admittedly, I had a hard time getting into Good Girls during season one. I’m glad I stuck with it because I love the writing and the banter between the three main characters. However, it’s hit its slump in season 3 but Rio is still fun to look at.
- Songland – this show just makes me feel good.
- McMillions – this six-episode series originally aired on HBO and it’s compelling to watch how the McDonald’s Monopoly game was rigged. But, it’s incredibly slow. Six episodes felt like 100.
I prefer to stream most of the shows I watch mostly for portability but there are just a few that are appointment TV for me. And by appointment I mean I DVR them and fast forward through commercials.
- The Challenge: Total Madness – this is the 35th season of The Challenge and it never gets old. I love watching the old guys like CT, Wes and Bananas but also appreciate the addition of Survivor and Big Brother alums. For the record, Jay from Survivor was done so dirty.
- Speaking of Survivor – I never miss an episode. I must really love reality competition shows and this season of all-stars is really great. FYI – there are 34 previous seasons of Survivor on Hulu.
- We’re a hardcore sports family so in its absence we tune in weekly for The Last Dance on ESPN. It’s a documentary chronicling the last season Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls.
- It pains me to say it but Making the Cut on Amazon Prime is not worth your time. It’s a higher budget version of Project Runway starring its original players but it’s not the same, not even close. I hated it so much.
Can you now see why I’m average 8 hours of screen time per day on my phone? What are you watching during this time of quarantine? All suggestions are welcome!