The COVID-19 pandemic has all affected our lives in some way or another. It's closed restaurants, parks, gyms, libraries, coffee shops, churches, stores, schools, office buildings and practically everything in between. As a result, we are living in unprecedented times in which we are all probably cooped up in our homes to the point we are going insane. While our cabin fever may be running high, it is important to realize the importance of not only practicing this, but also social distancing when we have to go out for groceries or maybe for a run.
With all the time in the world now in our hands, one way to cope with stir craziness is to do my favorite art of downtime: binge-watching. Here are eight of my favorite shows recently that I've either caught up on or finished altogether.
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Maddie Buckley in Fox's "9-1-1."Giphy
"9-1-1" is heartwarming just as it is tragic. It follows a group of first-responders in Los Angeles as they navigate both their personal lives and professional lives as Los Angeles's finest and bravest. Come for the show's realistic scenarios, from absurd ones like getting impaled by a steel girder to the most insane like a tsunami hitting LA, and stay for the ensemble of characters that are likable and relatable in one form or another.
2. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
A scene in Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."Giphy
"Mrs. Maisel" is probably that one show that you keep seeing on your Amazon Prime menu and you keep ignoring because it sounds and looks lame. Indeed that may be the case, but don't judge a book by its cover. Rachel Brosnahan is brilliantly as she is slaying the fashion game in this 60s-era drama of a New York housewife looking to make a name for herself as a comedienne. The plot unfolds with humor so stale that it's funny, but allows enough room to give some drama with how dysfunctional Mrs. Maisel's family truly is.
3. "This Is Us"
Eris Baker and Justin Hartley as Tess & Kevin Pearson in NBC's "This Is Us."Giphy
"This Is Us" just wrapped up its fourth season, and holy cow this NBC drama just knows how to keep its audience on the edge of its seat. The series focuses on the lives of a set of triplets, Kate, Kevin and Randall Pearson, and the strong role that family means to them in their lives. The show swings back and forth between the past, present and future, further unlocking each puzzle piece to the intrinsic lives of the Pearson family that fans of the show have come to love.
Karrie Martin as Ana Morales in Netflix's "Gentefied."Giphy
This new Netflix drama focuses on a Mexican family clinging onto their livelihood as their neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles continues to be in the crosshairs of gentrification. One aspect of this series is its robust representation of people of color and queer people. It gives "Gentefied" not only a humorous side but also an all-too-real reminder of how gentrification threatens the livelihood of longtime residents that have lived in cities across the country for many years.
5. "The Good Place"
Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop in NBC's "The Good Place."Giphy
If you haven't watched or added "The Good Place" to your long list of must-watch sitcoms, then that needs to change. This NBC sitcom, which just wrapped up earlier this year, follows a group of people who died and went to the afterlife which is divided into the Good, Medium and Bad Place. I love this show not only for its ability to make me laugh but also its ability to give audiences really deep lessons in ethics. As boring as that may sound, once you start watching "The Good Place," you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Al Pacino in Amazon's "Hunters."Giphy
If I could reduce this Amazon series to one sentence, it would be "Percy Jackson kills Nazis." Because after all, this is what it is. Logan Lerman and Al Pacino star in this show that chronicles the adventures of a vigilante group in New York that hunts down former Nazis that have changed their identities and assimilated into American society. If you love a good action-packed show with some really graphic scenes sprinkled in every now and then, consider giving "Hunters" a try.
The character Alucard battles enemies in Netflix's "Castlevania."Giphy
Horror isn't really in season this time of year, which is a shame because we're seeing new forms of the genre take shape especially in recent years. Netflix's animated series "Castlevania" is one of them. Inspired by the video game of the same name, the series follows vampire hunter Trevor Belmont as he hunts down and defeats Dracula. This isn't your everyday vampire series. It's one that ups the gore, storyline and likable characters that its video game counterpart masters.
Colton Dunn as Garrett in NBC's "Superstore."Giphy
Grocery stores are chaos in this age of COVID-19. It seems as if we've forgotten the time when grocery stores did not look like Black Friday for days in a row. I'm putting NBC's "Superstore" on this list because of that. A show with an ensemble of memorable characters and misadventures that happen in a parodied Walmart provides us with some sort of nostalgia especially in this day and age. And, well, we should cherish America Ferrera being on the show before she leaves it in the next season.