By Corine Hwang
Many individuals have turned to online television for entertainment while stuck in quarantine. For some, quarantine is not over and for others, boredom is killing the extra time. Regardless, watching movies and shows have dominated our waking moments for the past couple months. In fact, in the beginning of March, streaming services viewership collectively increased by 34 percent in a matter of two weeks. Among the most popular services are: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, and Prime Video. With these services releasing new shows every month, it seems like there is an infinite number of them and that the possibilities are endless. There is no need to get overwhelmed, these are some of the possible shows that anyone can binge on next.
“Parks and Recreation” – This mockumentary style sitcom follows the activities of a parks department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie Knope, as well as her other government working friends, help improve their dysfunctional town and meet with some comical encounters along the way. Each character is funny in their own way, possessing unique personalities, making them all together the perfect feel-good sitcom. Starring major stars like Amy Poehler and Chris Pratt, this show is filled with goofy humor, political satire, and heartfelt moments. If you enjoy shows like “The Office” or “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation” should definitely be the thing you are watching next. Available on Netflix and Prime Video.
“Fleabag” – This British show follows the life of a woman, who is known as Fleabag, as she goes through the tragic yet amusing tale of adulthood in London. Fleabag narrates her experiences by consistently breaking through the fourth wall. Her life entails failed sexual encounters, a crazy godmother in love with her widowed father, an unnerving sister and her hopes of managing her own successful cafe business. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who created and wrote the series, got the idea from her own one-woman show she did back in 2013. Although only having two seasons, “Fleabag” keeps you wanting for more. There are points where it can get immensely funny, ridiculously dramatic, and painfully cringey. Its offbeat humor may not be for everyone, but if that is your thing or you are looking for strange odd comedies, give this show a shot. It did not win six Emmy awards for nothing. Available on Prime Video.
“Westworld” – Compelling science fiction series can really be a hit or miss. Westworld is most definitely a hit. Based off of Michael Crichton’s (writer of Jurassic Park) 1973 film, “Westworld” is set in a futuristic period in which a highly advanced park has been created. People can visit and explore interactively, doing whatever they please to do. However such human indulgences and advancements in technology do not come without errors and consequences. The show reveals an ugly and dangerous aspect of artificial intelligence and with it is provoking drama, each episode will leave you at the edge of your seat. The acting is phenomenal and they just released their third season this past spring and has already been renewed for a fourth. Available on HBO Max.
“Broad City” – Probably one of the most underrated comedies out there. This eccentric show follows a pair of young girls, Abbi and Ilana, and their misadventures while living in New York City. Abbi is a hardworking janitorial cleaner with the hopes of becoming a successful artist while Ilana is an unconcerned free spirited woman who likes to live life carelessly. They are polar opposite best friends, making them the most hilarious duo. Written and created by the two female leads, who took their real first names in the show, “Broad City” can be super cringey yet super relatable at the same time, it is perfect. There are only five seasons with each episode only being about 30 minutes, but once you finish, you will wish every day Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson could have written more. Available on Hulu.
“Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba” – For anime lovers, this manga based series depicts the story of a boy who has become a demon slayer after his family is slaughtered by them. His sister has turned into a demon and together they try to find a way to turn her back to a human. “Demon Slayer” has been praised for having a captivating story line and terrific animation. It does portray some gory violence and frightening scenes, but also does have an emotional touch to it. Available on Hulu.
“Insecure” – Created and written by Issa Rae, this comedy-drama follows the everyday life of two best friends living in Los Angeles. From relationship troubles to racial ordeals, “Insecure” focuses on the experiences of being young African American women living in the 21st century. Nominated for multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, this show, with the strong female leads, is a refreshing comedy that will always give you a laugh with every episode. Available on HBO Max.
“The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” – Nostalgia is real for some of us. Disney+ definitely allowed us to take trips down memory lane for months with the amount of childhood content that is on there. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody was one that gives vivid memories for most of us. This show follows Zack and Cody Martin, living in the Tipton hotel with their mother, and the antics and misbehaviors with their friends and other hotel staff. It is a cool funny show to watch even if you did not grow up with it. Available on Disney+.
“The Great British Baking Show” – Reality TV shows are not for everyone, but even for those who don’t enjoy them, this show is not like any other. While most reality shows put emphasis on dramatizing to the viewers, “The Great British Baking Show” is on the calm side. It is actually quite relaxing and low-key. The show consists of judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, who replaced Mary Berry, and hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, who replaced Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. Each season has a new series of contestants in which each week they have to complete different challenges. It can be quite educational too in the different baking techniques and dishes that they talk about. It is great for if you just want to just sit back and watch a simple show without anything too crazy. It is even pretty funny at times too. Available on Netflix.
“Unorthodox” – This miniseries drama is about a young Jewish woman who runs away from New York to Berlin after being in a forced arranged marriage. She starts a new life in Berlin, however her past may cause a problem with her leading a secular life. The show is based off of a memoir by Deborah Feldman, “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.” The acting and storyline is so beautiful and powerful, tears will inevitably be shed. If you are looking for more serious heart wrenching dramas, “Unorthodox” is definitely worth a shot. Available on Netflix.
“Derry Girls” – Another highly underrated comedy out there. This show follows five friends living in Northern Ireland in a town called Derry during the 1990s. The creator and writer, Lisa McGee, based her own experiences of teenage life during the end of The Troubles. It is packed with quirky dark comedy while also being heartfelt in some moments. There are not a lot of episodes so it is perfect if you are not wanting to watch anything too time consuming. Available on Netflix.