Like most people in these dark and dreary days, I have spent a lot more time this year watching TV than I usually do. I’m actually not a big TV person – I just feel like there are so many things I want to do with my time and watching TV takes away from that, but sometimes this year, there hasn’t been a lot of motivation and productivity because… it’s been a year?
And this is the time of year where everyone likes to talk about everything they accomplished and…it’s okay to not have accomplished anything, okay? This year has been big on surviving. So what if we didn’t read as much as we did last year? It’s okay. So for a moment, instead of talking about reading and productivity and all that stressful stuff… here’s some TV shows we’ve been watching and liking in our household, in case you’re looking for something new!
Amazon Originals (2020 – ?)
This was a completely unexpected find, as we don’t typically watch Amazon Originals. This show hits on one of my favorite sci-fi tropes, exploring the role of technology in life after death. The characters were wonderful to follow and there was an intense cliffhanger right there at the end, so I’m really grateful it’s been renewed for a season 2. There are some characters I’d like to see more of and after that last episode, I have some QUESTIONS.
The Umbrella Academy
Netflix (2019 – ?)
We got a little behind on The Umbrella Academy pre-pandemic, feeling like we knew where it was going, and that it was getting a little darker than we liked. After seeing a panel at Comic Con 2019 and hearing good things about season two, we dived back in again, and I’m so glad we did. Season 2 had some really good moments and the characters continue to be wonderful and I look forward to the next season of this as well!
The Babysitter’s Club
Netflix (2020 – ?)
I hesitated before jumping into this show because I figured it was intended for a younger audience. Loves, The Babysitter’s Club works for everyone. I read these growing up and I was excited to see how it went and I could not be happier with the casting and the direction of this show. The nostalgia is very real, and they managed to marry the original books really well with a more modern setting. I really liked this, it was such a heartwarming show and just lovely. Really, really recommend this one!
NBC (2005 – 2013)
Yes, I know I am SO LATE to this game. We watched the first episode and felt pretty “meh” about it, but after mentioning it to a couple friends, they strongly recommended we power through Season 1 and that it got SO MUCH BETTER in Season 2. I’m so glad we took their advice! I’m totally shipping Jim and Pam’s (as I should) and Dwight being Dwight and we’ve had a lot of laughs and even more cringes with this show. It’s a bit dated at this point, but I’m glad we watched it… better late than never!
What We Do In the Shadows
Hulu (2019 – ?)
If I hadn’t fallen for What We Do In the Shadows, I would never even have tried The Office because I’m not crazy about the mockumentary format otherwise. But this show is so much fun and Season 2 dropped over the summer exactly when we needed a pick-me-up. Where Season 1 of this modern day vampire story was hilarious and fabulous, Season 2 positively outshined it. My personal favorite episode was “On the Run”, which had a wonderful cameo and some pretty great jokes. All in all, this continues to be a favorite and if you like tongue-in-cheek comedy and are open minded to the vampire element, I definitely recommend it, it’s delightful.
Amazon Originals (2020 – ?)
This is a newer one we’ve started watching, but it’s a quirky and interesting take on a popular TV trope (ghost hunters). I tend to like Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, together or separate, so I was on board for anything with either of them and luckily enough, Truth Seekers has both. The humor is smart and there are definitely jump scares and misdirection. All the best from this kind of genre with the quality I’ve come to expect from Frost and Pegg.
Hulu (2020 – ?)
This show started out light and funny on the edge of purposely ridiculous, and then it got dark. While this isn’t an accurate representation of the Russian Court during the reign of Peter III and Catherine the Great, it does run with historical events and includes accessible dialogue. The casting is fabulous, the tone shifts well, the sets are marvelous. All in all, this show completely engrossed me. The first season was far too short for my liking and the last episode was intense and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for more. It was also super refreshing to have a period show with a lighter tone, one that does not take itself seriously all the time.
ABC (2019 – ?)
Unlike Grown-ish, the other spinoff of the highly successful Black-ish, I felt like Mixed-ish brought in the story a little better and upped the human (as opposed to the “drama”) elements I liked best in Black-ish, while continuing to bring issues to light. Every single character in the show is solid and well-performed, and Tracee Ellis Ross’s voiceovers are perfect. The show is sweet and smart and takes note from its predecessor period family sitcoms while bringing a fresh perspective to the table. It’s not perfect, but it’s absolutely worth watching, and I love each and every one of the performances.
HBO (2016 – ?)
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m woefully behind on this one. I loved the first season, but the episodes were so long that on busy nights after work, we weren’t always keen on an hour-long show. Well, we’ve caught up with Season 2 and are into Season 3 and while 3 is meh I still think the idea and the dystopia is fascinating and I’d like to be back in the parks where the more original elements the story lie (rather than just another tech-dystopia) for Season 4.
Also Maeve (Thandie Newton) is the best character and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
NBC (2020 – ?)
Zoey wins the “favorite TV show” award from me this year. I’ve been slowly, slowly, slowly savoring each episode this heart-wrenching, musical show. The format is different and original and the characters are flawed and while, yes, there are triangles and common dramatic issues – there are also real conversations about real things in this show. And Mo! Is just! !!! I cried watching every. single. episode. Because there was always something beautifully inspirational or absolutely heartbreaking or better yet, both. The musical numbers are stellar. I’m so glad this show got picked up for Season 2 because it feels a bit niche…. but I absolutely loved it. There are so many feelings.
Those have been some of the big ones for me this year. I’ve been watching other things too like Solar Opposites and Grown-ish… rewatched Psych… but they didn’t quite make the list as favorites or comforting shows this year. I’m really heavy on comedic shows because life is heavy and hard sometimes, especially during a global crisis, so I don’t want to sit on my couch and be saddened by fictional things that are unnecessarily dramatic and unproductive… but everyone has their personal preferences!
I still don’t watch LOADS of TV, but this year’s shows have brought a little joy to gloomy days, and I am grateful. Let me know if you’re watching any of the same ones!
What shows have you been watching and loving this year? Are we watching any of the same ones? Which ones would you recommend to me? Let me know in the comments!