In the early days of the pandemic, Le Mai Weakley got into season 2 of What We Do in the Shadows. “It was something that consistently made me laugh (because it was ha-ha funny) at that time,” she said. Johnathan Grant is working his way through We Got This, a half-subtitled Swedish series about an American immigrant investigating the unsolved murder of a former Swedish prime minister. “It’s a comedic take on the Nordic crime drama,” he said. If you liked Flight of the Conchords, Gwendolyn Sams thinks you’ll love Aunty Donna’s House of Fun. “It’s not for kids,” she warned, “but very funny for adults—we died laughing.” There was overwhelming support for Schitt’s Creek (stick with it, Bob Flynn!), and Erin Tock gave a shout-out to her 2020 favorite: “Ted Lasso is the unexpectedly charming tonic to the last year. It should be prescribed.”
Also mentioned: Derry Girls, The Good Place, Cobra Kai, Shrill, Barry, Veep, Community
Star Trek and other sci-fi
No surprise that sci-fi shows are popular with the UITS crowd, with the Star Trek universe (the STU?) far and away the favorite. Star Trek: Discovery got the most love, along with plugs for The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Picard, and Lower Decks. Star Wars fans are less abundant (or at least less vocal), but Ellyn Pruitt, Travis Walden, and Adam Wolf were among those singing the praises of The Mandalorian. In other entertainment without “Star” in the title, Beth Nolen said, “My housemates and I are currently working our way through Babylon 5 since I hadn't seen it before, and I absolutely love it!” Julie Songer recommended “some crazy sci-fi” in Lovecraft Country, seconded by Le Mai Weakley, who said, “Its central themes were deeply felt during the social unrest of the pandemic.”
Also mentioned: Farscape, Westworld, The Boys, Devs, The Expanse
If you’re ready to get a little more serious with your binges, David Orr wants you to check out his favorite show, The Americans. “It’s this amazing story of Russian spies posing as a married American couple in the ‘80s,” he said. “It the most consistently great series I’ve ever seen, and the music is so perfect.” Travis Walden is watching Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel for the first time, and Rachel Frend took on two long-running shows, binging Supernatural last year and digging into ER this year. Gwendolyn Sams said if you’re a political junkie and don’t mind subtitles, you will love Borgen. Having only seen season one, Dan Calarco returned to the final two seasons of The Leftovers. “It got me doing a lot of introspection about grief, loss, PTSD, and community,” he said. Amy Burns’ family has made Little House on the Prairie part of their evening routine. “They tackle big issues, prairie style—sometimes a bit dippy, but we enjoy it,” she said. And the show getting the most love in this category was The Queen’s Gambit, with at least five people picking it (seriously, check it out!).
Also mentioned: Arrow, WandaVision, Once Upon a Time, Dickinson, The Sopranos, The Wire, Twin Peaks, Ozark, Stranger Things, Succession, Madam Secretary, The Magicians, All Creatures Great and Small, The Flight Attendant
British and British-adjacent
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s the cozy comfort of The Great British Baking Show—across the board, it is beloved. If you’re a fan of British and/or Australian shows, apparently you need to check out Acorn TV. Julie Songer said she’s made her way through several series there, and is currently watching Gentry, about a detective in northeast England. Another Acorn fan, Lynn Ward, recommended the Australian period drama A Place to Call Home and Rake, a bawdy Australian legal dramedy. For more Australian content, Jennifer Turrentine said, “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is one of my all-time favorites!”
Also mentioned: Sherlock
Hey, remember going to the movies? Since that’s not an option right now, many of you are making movies into a binge-watching experience at home. Myriam Young embarked on a Wes Anderson marathon, and Ken Dunn said he and his family have been watching the Avengers movies in chronological order, rather than by release date. “It’s been fun to catch little hints and tidbits,” he said. More than a few people said they’re revisiting Marvel movies (or watching for the first time), both from the current Marvel cinematic universe or the legacy Marvel movies.
Also mentioned: The Two Popes, Midnight Sky, Tenet, Palm Springs
Thanks to everyone for sharing your favorites! We’re thinking we might need a new Slack channel where all of us can share our picks—between the winter weather and the pandemic, it looks like we'll be spending evenings on the couch for a while longer. We’ll leave you with a few recs that didn’t fit into the other categories: The Simpsons, Homestar Runner, Disenchantment, Adventure Time, My Hero Academia, Guy’s Grocery Games, Forensic Files.