What to watch if…
What to watch if you feel tired or low? That’s the dilemma, right? Or maybe you are often wondering what to watch to give your head a rest? Disconnect from work, from thinking about deadlines and tasks? Perhaps you want to watch something that will make you laugh. No matter what you decide – there are plenty of shows out there. And I am here to give you a run-down of series for every mood and life circumstances.
I’m trying very hard NOT TO connect with people right now.
I don’t know about you Lot, but lately I’ve been extremely exhausted. Work, life, vaccination. Or should I just say work, that interfered with my life and got a bit hard due to vaccination? I think we all have that kind of moment in life, when everything is falling apart. Truth being said – nothing is falling apart, but it seems that way. But we all fall for that trap, no?
I think this is the perfect moment to binge-watch… Literally anything. For me, it was Star Trek (and here are the results). For my mum it’s Chicago Fire, Med and PD. This franchise deserves a separate entry. It really is its own universe but what you should know now is that each show was renewed for 3 seasons (Fire finished S9, Med S6 and PD S8).
Long time ago, during the first Wonder-Movie podcast at work, we talked about why we watch… Well, movies, but it goes for series as well. Why? What for? Most common answers were distractions and entertainment. These days I crave both.
You know, being approachable isn’t that important, anyway. The Queen hasn’t smiled since the ’70s, and her birthdays are still very well attended.
There are some series, that deserve #twinpeaksSunday for themselves: The Office, Schitt’s Creek… One day – promise. But as you know, I watch plenty and write separate entries about every single one of them, would take care of my writing schedule till the end of 2021. So, since the run-down concept is pretty writer- and user-friendly, why not give it a shot? Maybe you will find something to watch.
As for the distraction part, just remember: locking yourself up with new series is not a solution. Sure, the main purpose of binge-watch is to relax your brain, but going for a walk with your friends works even better. Having a home-cooked meal with your gang is the biggest treat! Alternatively, you can still take their dog for a walk, but that’s just you know. A pro tip from yours truly 😉
What to watch if… You need a “cheer-me-up”
1. What we do in the shadows (FX, 2019-)
Based on the film from 2014 of the same title – and the same concept. And to be clear, I recommend both!!! Absolutely hilarious, packed with absurdity and joy; it’s a great “pre-work” show. Starting your day with a group of vampire-roommates is everything you need and more.
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement proved once more that their sense of humor and ability to turn everyday situation into comical experiences. Not to mention the star-studded episodes with Mark Hamill, Tilda Swinton, Danny Trjeo and others? It is a spring must watch!
Two seasons are available online, the third is in the making.
2. Brooklyn 99 (FOX, NBC 2013-2021)
Wonderful and heartwarming series, that will make you laugh ALWAYS and every single time. It’s sweet but also touches on important subjects: leadership, feminism, friendship… I am two seasons behind, so I have to catch up while this show is still on Netflix.
It’s a show for everyone, really. Even my mum, the toughest critic, is very fond of it.
3. Space Force (Netflix, 2020-)
Steve Carell. John Malkovic. Space Force. What more could you ask for? I wrote a piece about it last year, because it was surprisingly good. I am really curious what season 2 will bring, considering that the first installment ended on a high note, with suspense.
Other shows to watch, but they will get separate entries on Twin Peaks Café: The Office, FRIEDNS, Schitt’s Creek.
What to watch if… You feel like staying up all night
4. Prodigal son (FOX, 2019-2021)
News of cancellation hit me like a goddamn bus. What the hell is wrong with FOX?! This show kept me and Marta ALL NIGHT, we literally watched it from 7pm till 4 am. You know me, Lot – I don’t usually do that with series, I love to enjoy them, cherish them over some time.
It is so edgy, so gripping, so hypnotizing!!! The psychotic plot, family secrets, police work, cryptic murder cases… Hands down, best show of 2020 for me.
5. Peaky Blinders (BBC 2013-2021)
Now, my story with the Shelby family is quite foggy – Kate and I tried to figure out if it was me recommending this show to her, or the other way around. Anyway, I started watching it one time on sick leave and it took me 3 days to catch up with 4 seasons.
These days, I often look for leadership lessons in things I watch – whether it’s a movie or series. And Peaky Blinders is full of subtle things that I would like to tell you about one day.
The show itself is absolutely mesmerizing. And I am not talking only about Cillian Murphy and his eyes, no. That is a separate thing to enjoy. But the visuals: the smoke from cigarettes, the spilled liquor, the sweaty and crowded bar… And of course, the plot – rise and fall, only to rise again.
6. Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015-2019)
One of the best shows I have ever seen in my life – for many reasons. It made TOP 10 of the decade, so it says something, right? Living in a corrupted world, full of evil, full of stigma… Sounds familiar, right? It is a tough watch, really brain-blowing. But so damn worth it and trust me – you won’t stop after the first episode.
7. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime, 2018-)
Oh Lord, this is goodness in pure form. It is the best spy series I’ve seen in a long time – and I think it’s time to watch it again, like soon. Did I mention that I LOVE TOM CLANCY’S BOOKS? Oh, no? Well, there you go. But I think that this series is just based on the characters, not a particular story – which is completely fine with me.
Story of Jack Ryan, the analyst, might seem like nothing new but trust me – John Krasinski is the best Jack out there. Most authentic, most down to Earth, most relatable.
I must say that Amazon is pretty damn good with series these days.
What to watch if… You feel like going out with a bang!
8. The Boys (Amazon Prime, 2019-)
I had some fears about the concept, but the very first episode cleared all my doubts. We see so many idolized heroes, we never think “what if… they are just as evil as the villains they fight”? And The Boys provides all the answers to questions we fear to ask. Karl Urban is amazing in his role of Billy Butcher – what struck me most about his performance is that he is from New Zealand, I just watched him being Bones in Star Trek with flawless American accent and here he surprises with just as flawless British.
Plot is great and there is plenty of bang. Season 3 is coming soon and I can’t wait. I said that I wouldn’t give it a re-watch, but you know what? I just might one day…
9. Invincible (Amazon Prime, 2021-)
I don’t want to say it too soon, but this might be the best show of 2021. I LOVE THE CLASSIC CARTOON-ANIMATION, I absolutely love it. And it starts with a bang, with no prisoners whatsoever. Let me tell you – when you decide to put on the first episode, you are not prepared. There is no way, you know what’s coming. And good! This is something the contemporary TV/streaming services need.
10. Lupin (Netflix, 2020-)
Not the bang one would expect, but damn! I watched the first 5 episodes in one night, which again – very unusual for me. And it’s not the typical Arsene Lupin kind of show, oh no. It will keep you in the dark for 40 minutes, to unravel and show the right cards by the end.
I was never a fan of Lupin as a character, but Omar Sy gave him something new, something unexpected, something… Cheeky and edgy. And I loved it! Part two is coming to Netflix on June 11th and I am anxious to see what’s cooking.
11. La casa de Papel (Netflix, 2017-)
I was really in love with this show, but I think the hype settled down a bit with the final season coming. I don’t know, I just think they should have ended it after season 2. But that’s just me being grumpy about Netflix making money. But the initial season was great and oh boy, was I on the edge.
Now, the plot itself was/is really something. Mastermind behind THE crime. Something fresh from Netflix. I like it!
What to watch if… You want a (guilty) pleasure
Now, before I list some shows here – mind that if something brings you pleasure, you should not feel guilty. Of course, I will talk about movies. If you do bad things or cross a line that you shouldn’t have AND you like it… Well, that’s on you, Honey.
12. Teen Wolf (MTV, 2011-2017)
Oh boy, how I love that show!!! I watch my favorite episodes from time to time, but I never really finished it (season 6, I am coming for ya!). Maybe that’s my thing – I don’t want to finish some things, because then I will suffer from a pop-cultural hangover? I don’t know. Maybe that’s what I am these days.
Teen Wolf is great – don’t be fooled by the first word. Sure, it happens in high school, but it is very mature in its nature. With some sweet exceptions, but come one. It can’t be all serious all the time.
13. Cobra Kai (Netflix, 2018-)
COBRA KAI NEVER DIES! Oh boy, do I have a series for you. Karate Kid is a classic with a capital “C”. This series is really good and it’s a pretty fast watch. It’s so great to see the characters we love from way back – Johnny, Dan… But also, it is a great insight on the new generation, taking over the mantle.
Make me want to go back to karate, after all those years.
14. Once upon a time (ABC, 2011-2018)
Stories we know so well – about Snow White and Prince Charming, about the Evil Witch, Belle, Red Riding Hood, the 7 dwarfs… In the modern world, with fantastically-rooted problems. Curses, spells, magic that comes with a price and heroine that tries to navigate amid the mess. I was sold on episode one.
Okay, the last season was pretty stretched, but hey – can’t complain. Very satisfying watch. Much pleasure!
15. Lucifer (FOX, Netflix, 2017-)
I used to be a big, big fan but now… It feels kind of meh to me. Season 5B is now available on Netflix, but I don’t feel like catching up. Sure, I was devastated to hear about the potential cancelation, but… Netflix kind of did their thing.
Show with potential but stretched to its limits. Lots of eye pleasure for everyone I would say and great choice of songs.
16. Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 2010-2020)
It’s a remake of an 80s classic, but let’s be real – A LOVELY ONE. I am somewhere on season 5 I think, out of 10, but hey. It is a pleasure to watch, kind of like all the CSI shows, but with better views. It’s corny and sweet and everything I need from a cop/detective show.
What to watch if… You feel like something more than your average series
A word from yours truly about this one: thought-provoking. Escapism and distractions are good, but do you ever feel like getting more from stuff you watch? Kind of like Nolan vibes? Here are some that clean up pretty well!
17. Twin Peaks (1990-1991; 2017-)
You did not see that one coming? Come one, Lot. This is the most mind-bending and brain-tiring show out there and I. Love. It. The weight of living with Twin Peaks in your head? The black coffee flavor in your mouth, the taste of donuts? My favorite show to watch when I am sick.
Word of advice? Don’t watch it if you are tired. It’s just too much to handle.
18. Fleabag (BBC Three, 2016-2019)
I’ve never seen a show quite like this one before. Smart, uncanny, diabolically (pun intended) intelligent and funny. Brilliant, really. If you would ask me about the plot, I would answer: it’s complicated. There is a tragedy hovering over the main character, there is forbidden fruit, there is family struggle. Two seasons only and a play that one day I hope to see live.
19. Atlanta (FX, 2016-)
Donald Glover has earnt a permanent spot in Twin Peaks Café Gallery of Marvelous People a long time ago, but I still need to gather my thoughts on him. Multi-talented individual, that works well in a group. Writer, director, actor, rapper, producer – a man with a vision. Atlanta is a “complete show” which is rare these days. It has wit, toughness and struggle.
And it’s weird!!!! Makes you think A LOT, and that is exactly what we need, right?
20. Queen’s Gambit (Netflix, 2020)
I did not expect something like this, and… Wow, I was not disappointed at all. My love for chess is blooming and I am proud of it! It’s different but the female lead is simply magnificent. Anya Taylor-Joy is pure starlight! You can find my thoughts on this series here.
What is on my “to-watch” list?
Plenty, let me just use that word. All of the Star Trek shows are in the queue, but I will start with Discovery (thank you Kate!!!). Up next is The Expanse which is sci-fi and I can’t wait (thank you Andrew!). Battlestar Galactica; Walker, Texas Ranger (the original one); The X files; Sailor Moon; Love, Death & Robots; Ozark; The Wire, The Sopranos.
And probably some more, but I just forgot. Give me a break, it took me all day to come up with that list!