Everything is super weird right now—there’s no way around that. We’re at home (either alone or with our families) trying to maintain some semblance of our usual routines, unclear about when exactly things might get back to some variation of “normal”.
But one thing we’ve got on our side is technology, unless you’re spending every waking hour on Twitter or Facebook, something I’d suggest not doing. Instead, you could find some distractions by way of the many, many shows and movies currently streaming on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. From old favorites to new obsessions (hello, Tiger King!), now is the perfect time to dive into a binge-watch.
I previously put together a couple of round-ups, so be sure to check those out here and here. Now, without further ado, what to watch in the time of corona. (If you want more of these types of musings, sign up for my other newsletter—We Have Notes—where I mull over all things culture every week, including every ridiculous show I watch…and there are many.)
Stay safe out there and…just keep streaming.
EMMA, THE HUNT, THE WAY BACK, THE INVISIBLE MAN & MORE THEATRICAL RELEASES
With Hollywood productions shut down and movie theaters closed, the powers-that-be at the studios have decided to release films like the new Emma remake, Elisabeth Moss’s The Invisible Man, and Ben Affleck’s The Way Back that were just in theaters (or were about to be) online. You can find them on Amazon Prime Videos Cinema hub or other streaming outlets like iTunes. Rentals are typically $19.99 for these new releases.
LOVE IS BLIND (NETFLIX)
Perhaps you heard everyone buzzing about this Netflix reality show, but didn’t have the time to watch it. I cannot think of a better time to start. Here’s the (insane) premise: A group of men and women live in separate quarters in a house and meet in “pods” to go on what are basically speed dates. The twist is that they can’t see what the other person looks like. As time passes they spend more time getting to know each other in these mini living rooms and can only meet face to face if they decide to get engaged. (Yes, you read that correctly!) Once betrothed, they are whisked away to a vacation in Mexico and then head back to Atlanta to try to merge their lives. Who will actually say “I do” isn’t revealed until the finale—but it’s a wild ride up to that point. You’re gonna love it.
TIGER KING: MURDER, MAYHEM AND MADNESS (NETFLIX)
Listen, I don’t want to give too much away about this docu-series because the less you know about its absolutely bonkers twists and turns, the better your viewing experience will be. But it centers on a man who goes by the name Joe Exotic, runs a big cat “zoo” in Oklahoma, and is accused of hiring someone to murder his nemesis—hence the title Tiger King. He is one of the most unique characters to ever grace my television screen and every time you think this show has gotten as weird as it’s going to get, there’s another layer of WTF about the world of big cats and the people who profit from them. Be forewarned: There are a few graphic moments you can easily fast forward through.
the bravo cinematic universe (bravo & hulu)
As far as I’m concerned, Bravo’s entire library was built for this moment. What could be more distracting than watching a bunch of people (of all ages!) get drunk, make terrible decisions, and scream at each other? Personally, I find it all very soothing—but maybe that’s just me. Hulu has the entire back catalog and if you’re new to this world, I suggest starting at the beginning with Vanderpump Rules, The Real Housewives of New York, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta. But also add Below Deck and Summer House to your watchlist, too.
GREY’S ANATOMY (NETFLIX)
Whether you used to watch Grey’s back in the day and fell off, never started, or have seen every single episode, it’s a great binge option. The show is like a pop culture blankie, soothing all that ails me. You can immerse yourself in the drama at Grey Sloan and forget about your own for a while—and it so holds up on rewatch. Promise.
the outsider (HBO)
If you like to lean into the dark side of things, The Outsider is the perfect show for you. Based on the Stephen King novel, the small screen adaptation is written by famed crime writer Richard Price. The combination is pretty brilliant and the product is something of a supernatural procedural with amazing performances from the ensemble cast including Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo,
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
Curb’s Larry David (as played by Larry David) has been low-key social distancing himself for years, mostly because everyone he comes into contact with annoys the you-know-what out him. The awkward encounters (along with the observational humor) and celebs poking fun at versions of themselves is oddly comforting in this moment.
GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
I say, go all in with your pandemic binge. Was Peak TV a little overwhelming and you just felt like you were too far behind to ever catch up on the biggest shows of the monoculture? Now’s your chance. See also: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire, or The Sopranos.
Abby Gardner is Indy Maven’s executive editor and she’s here to discuss Joe Exotic’s gubernatorial campaign and singing career whenever you’re ready.