Hopefully over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to take some time off to spend with friends and family. As lovely as that can be, sometimes you just need to retreat to your room and binge-watch some shows—that’s not just me, right? Or maybe you’re looking for something for the whole fam to watch together.
As Indy Maven’s resident pop culture aficionado, I’ve pulled together my favorite streaming options for the year to keep you occupied during these cold, winter days. (If you want more of these types of musings, sign up for my other newsletter—We Have Notes—where I muse on all things culture every week, including every ridiculous show I watch…and there are many.)
IF YOU JUST NEED TO SERIOUSLY LAUGH
Iliza: Unveiled (NETFLIX)
Every single one of Iliza Shlesinger’s standup specials is pee-your-pants funny and her latest is no exception. Bonus: She’s coming to Indy on March 7 and tickets are still available.
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah (NETFLIX)
At this point, I really don’t need to explain to you why Tiffany’s the best, right? And yes, she actually did become a bat mitzvah.
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (NETFLIX)
Come for the story of how Seth’s second child, the titular lobby baby, was born—and stay for his take on his wife’s relationship with her sister and how she would talk about him if she were the comedian.
A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)
It’s about time we got a sketch comedy show with a core cast of black women.
Schitt’s Creek (NETFLIX)
I’m going to miss the Rose family so much after the final season airs in 2020. Luckily, it’s highly rewatchable and we’ll have Moira’s wigs, “A Little Bit Alexis”, and David’s sweaters and rings forever.
IF YOU WANT TO KEEP UP ON AWARDS SHOW CHATTER
Marriage Story (NETFLIX)
There should be a bevy of Oscar noms coming for Noah Baumbach’s latest that tells the story of a marriage’s end—including leads Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, and a supporting nod for Laura Dern’s brilliant turn as a divorce attorney. Is the movie always easy to watch? Nope. But at least you can do it from the privacy of your couch.
The Irishman (NETFLIX)
Scorsese. De Niro. Pesci. Pacino. Just make sure to carve out three-and-a-half hours for the film and another three to catch up on the Film Twitter conversation around it.
If YOU LOVE COMIC BOOKS—AND EVEN IF YOU'VE NEVER READ ONE OR SEEN A MARVEL MOVIE
Damon Lindelof has called his new version of the Watchmen comics a remix, not a reboot—but whatever you call it, it’s masterful. I knew less than zero about the plot and characters in this story set in an alternative vision of America and I was riveted by the reflections on race, power, and love. Oh, and Regina King is incredible.
Marvel’s The Runaways (HULU)
A group of L.A. teens discover that their parents are actually super villains—and they have some superpowers themselves. It’s a great twist on teen tropes and there are three seasons streaming now.
IF YOU LOVED GILMORE GIRLS
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino bring their quick-AF dialogue to the story of Midge Maisel, a pampered Upper West Sider in the late ’50s who becomes a standup comic. Plus, the set designs and costumes are sublime.
IF YOU'RE OBSESSED WITH THE KIND OF NONSENSE MEGHAN MARKLE MARRIED INTO IRL—OR HER INFLUENCE ON THE HOLIDAY MOVIE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
The Crown (NETFLIX)
Get cozy with the House of Windsor and all their dysfunction. The most recent third season brought a new crop of actors playing the British royal family, but no less draaaaaaaama.
The A Christmas Prince Trilogy (NETFLIX)
In case you missed it, Netflix has totally gotten into the cheesy (in the best way) holiday movie game once occupied solely by Hallmark and Lifetime. Perhaps the most talked about are the tales of Amber, an American journalist and blogger, who falls in love the Prince of Aldovia in the first film and has her very own royal baby by the third. Make it fun by taking a drink every time you spot a nod to Duchess Meghan or Prince Harry.
IF YOU LOVE JOHN GREEN
Looking for Alaska (HULU)
As much as I love The Fault in Our Stars (translation: A LOT), I think Looking for Alaska is my favorite Green novel. The eight-episode Hulu adaptation, set at an Alabama boarding school in 2005 and produced by the people behind The O.C. and Gossip Girl, is fantastic—and so is the soundtrack, natch.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE THE TWO BEST SHOWS ON TELEVISION THIS YEAR
Every time I talk about Succession, I basically overheat because it’s that good and I get so excited for someone new to start watching. The Roy family, billionaires loosely based on the Murdochs, are garbage people for the most part—but fascinating ones. The show is dark and funny and layered thanks to some of the best writing of the year.
Fleabag (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the show’s creator and star, is so talented it makes me want to punch things. And I always love a story about a complicated, smart, funny, messy woman trying to figure out life. Every single side character, from Hot Priest (Andrew Scott) to Stepmother (Olivia Colman), is equally well drawn. Just stop what you’re doing now and watch, STAT.
IF YOU ALWAYS THOUGHT DAN HUMPHREY WAS CREEPY ON GOSSIP GIRL
This show is patently bonkers, but in a fun way. Based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes, Penn Badgley plays Joe, a creepy stalker who comes off like a very nice guy who works in a book store. I won’t give too much away, but let’s just say it’s a ride. The second season starts streaming on December 26.
IF EVERY AIDY BRYANT SKETCH ON SNL LEAVES YOU WANTING MORE
In a series based on Lindy West’s memoir, Aidy Bryant plays Annie, a woman who is coming into her own with her writing, her body, and her relationships. It’s fresh, funny, and emotional and season two is coming in January.
If you're a Lord of the Flies fan
The Society (NETFLIX)
A group of teens sets out on a school camping trip, but a storm forces them to return to their idyllic town of West Ham. When they get home, everyone has quite literally mysteriously disappeared and they have to figure out how to make, well, a society work. As you can imagine, there are some issues.