Recharge: ALL the TV

Finding time to watch as much TV (or episodic programming now that we are in the age of streaming) is hard to do in normal circumstances but, with driving my children to 100,000 sporting events taken off of my list of daily to-dos, I have had a little more time for indulging. Here are my top 5 favorite shows from Shelter in Place.

Killing Eve (Streaming on BBC America and Hulu)

This is my absolute favorite streaming show that is FOR ADULTS – the violence can be gruesome and surprising, so if you get easily affected, this is not for you. But, if really messed up people navigating messed up situations involving international intrigue and assassins, this is your show. Created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge from a novel series by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve is smart, fierce and surprising. Sandra Oh plays Eve to make her both surreal and relatable, which pulls you deeper into the complicated relationship built with her counterpart/nemesis/mirror Villanelle. Jodie Comer is fantastic as the multi-faceted assassin, and after you watch a season or so you have to watch her be interviewed so you can see how much she changes her accent and affect for the role. A-MA-ZING!!! This was appointment TV for the newest season’s release and it did not disappoint – it has been so long since I waited a whole week to see where things went next!

Monk (Streaming on Amazon Prime)

Cannot get better than this throwback favorite during Shelter in Place. My 11 year-old (currently binge watching Phineas and Ferb) and 13 year-old (currently binge watching both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gossip Girl) both enjoyed the show, which is saying something. I love mysteries and police procedurals as a category, and Monk does not disappoint. I also love the way that they show the real battles of living with a severe anxiety order. The characters never lose love for Monk even as he unwillingly sends himself into spirals of his own making. I think my kids also like that they can recognize some of the San Francisco backdrops. The content is fairly light but presented in an engaging fashion by skilled actors, so you stay tuned in throughout.

Marcella (Streaming on Netflix)

Another in the ABSOLUTELY only for ADULTS category, Marcella is one extraordinarily messed up individual. I don’t know why BBC goes to the absolutely darkest places IMMEDIATELY, but I love that they do. This is a show that my husband (who watched Game of Thrones religiously) balks at. He often says “Oh! So glad you decided to end the day on something light!” when we sees me wide-eyed and loving the horrible situations that these characters with their incredibly broken moral compasses create. Marcella is a detective who experienced a trauma and has blackouts, but she tells no one. She often wakes up covered in blood. Awesome. The first season also features her navigating her imploded marriage with two teenaged children who have zero time for their mom’s distorted world view. This show will stress you out in a good way.

Alias (Streaming on Amazon Prime)

Alias, Season one

It is a huge challenge is finding things that are suitable for the audiences in my house. My youngest is an age where she tends to want to watch shows that make my head want to explode (Why is Sam and Cat a thing? Why does Ariana Grande talk like that? Why did someone say “Yes! This dumpster fire is perfect for an eternal life in streaming!!!”?), but she’s not quite old enough to watch what my teenager willingly consumes. So, this journey took us to rediscovering Alias. I forgot how much I loved this show. Do not place the plot or character decisions under much scrutiny – you will ruin the illusion. But, Jennifer Garner is fierce in this show and I adore Gina Torres in most things. This show was ahead of its time in terms of female characters really driving the action. My girls now both want to learn martial arts and be spies.

Veronica Mars (Streaming on Hulu)

I loved Kristen Bell as a teen detective when this show originally came out – I read so much Nancy Drew as a kid, I was squarely in the demographic for the show’s release in the early 2000s. What I have come to appreciate in re-watching it with my 13 year old is the range of issues that the show tackled that were far before their time. In the first season especially, the dialogue is sharp and the character arcs engaging. Some of the characters seem to begin as caricatures of teens from various backgrounds, but over the course of the stories, the audience discovers that there is much more than surface and they persevere beyond the stereotypical realms where they are relegated in other shows.

Clearly, my tastes tend toward investigative procedurals with strong female characters… I might have a type of indulgence TV. I probably need to branch out – so if you think there is something else I should be watching, drop me a line!

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