With the coronavirus pandemic forcing us all inside this past year, I know many of us have turned to binging TV series as a way to pass time and distract us from reality. I myself have made a point of watching several new series per month, and I will be sharing my favorites with you in this post. Enjoy and let me know your own thoughts on these series if you have watched them!
Recap: I had watched the first season of Sex Education back in 2019 when it first came out and loved it, so I had very high expectations for Season 2. The series revolves around a British teenager, Otis, and his sex therapist mother. It follows Otis in his relationship endeavors, both with romantic partners and through his friendships, as he navigates the awkwardness of beginning his sexual experiences as a high school student. A comedy-drama, the show is both witty and heartwarming, providing plenty of laughs but also tear-jerking moments. I believe the series strike a perfect balance in this regard, as no one character is used for comedic relief- Otis’ best friend, Eric, often delivers the laughable lines, but his character also has many layers of depth we see as we follow him through his own complex relationships. I found myself thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout the entire series, and can’t wait to see what happens in Season 3.
Recap: I was a little late to watch The Crown, only beginning the series once quarantine started in late March. I had heard much about it, but was not prepared for just how much it would teach me about the British monarchy and the Queen of England’s early life. The series begins following The Queen shortly before her father’s death, showcasing her rise to power as she takes the throne in 1953. The series focuses both on her professional and personal life, oftentimes highlighting how inevitably interwoven the two are. We as viewers are able to see all of the conversations that have taken place behind closed doors throughout The Queen’s reign, from her complicated relationship with Winston Churchill to her oftentimes troubled relationship with her husband, Prince Phillip. The series was captivating to me personally because of how it emphasized the historical impact of each scene depicted. There are so many remarkable things that have happened to The Queen in her long lifetime, and to learn about her historical reign while she is still alive and serving her country made the series increasingly interesting. However, I had a hard time adjusting to the third season after the actors depicting Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip changed- I found Claire Foy and Matt Smith to be impeccable at depicting their respectable characters, and think the series suffered from their loss.
Recap: One of my close friends recommended I watch Indian Matchmaking because they were familiar with my love for reality TV dating shows- I religiously watch The Bachlor and The Bachelorette, also dabbling in 90 Day Fiance and Bachelor in Paradise. Although more refined, Indian Matchmaking provided me with my fix of a dating TV series during quarantine. As the title of the show suggests, the series follows an Indian matchmaker as she visits clients both in the US and India. Seven singles are highlighted, as we see their meetings with the matchmaker along with the dates they go on. I enjoyed this series not only because it was entertaining, but because it provided me with a new perspective on what matchmaking is really like. Before binging it on Netflix, I was under the impression that matchmaking was forced upon someone, not something they willingly agreed to. Indian Matchmaking explained very clearly that the decision to hire a matchmaker is a completely optional choice by the bachelor or bachelorette, and also included clips of each single explaining why they decided to try out matchmaking. It was very interesting for me to see what each individual’s experience was like, and I have a newfound appreciation for matchmakers myself! However, I do still prefer The Bachelor- although less realistic and largely outrageous, the drama of this series is what makes it entertaining in my opinion.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Recap: As quarantine forced me apart from many of my friends, I opted to use Netflix Party with many of them- an extension added to your desktop that allows a chat feature while you watch Netflix simultaneously with other users. One of the series I began to watch through Netflix Party was Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, another show that aired several years ago but I just caught up with recently. This series follows the life of Kimmy, a young adult recently rescued from a cult, as she begins navigating her new life in New York City. Largely oblivious to social cues but eager to be experiencing the world after 15 years underground, Kimmy provides many laughable moments in the self proclaimed sitcom. We also meet her roommate, aspiring performer Titus Andromedon, who brings to the series an over-the-top personality that is extremely loveable and hilarious. The duo both navigate love and work in the city, and we see Kimmy and Titus in many vulnerable moments that help them grow beyond the surface level humor of their characters. Therefore, it is easy as viewers to root for both characters as the series progresses. This makes Kimmy Schmidt enjoyable to watch, along with the often outrageous plot written by Tina Fey.
Recap: Outer Banks, as hyped up as it was, presented itself as a series I was very skeptical about watching. Most of the content I had seen of the show was from teenagers on Tik Tok, so I worried it would be cringey and cliche. However, I was very wrong. When I finally gave in and watched Outer Banks in June, I was so hooked that I finished the entire series in one day. Characterized as an action-adventure teen drama, the show follows a group of four teenagers living in the Outer Banks as they try to solve the mystery of what happened to the main character, John B’s, father. Filled with both horror and suspense, this series kept me on the edge of my seat and left each episode end on a cliff hanger. Even the end of the series leaves you wanting more, so I can’t wait to watch all of the mystery and drama that will inevitably unfold in season 2.
Although these are all new series I watched over the past few months, I did turn to some of my old favorite shows during the pandemic, including The Office (I loved Parmi's post about Kelly Kapoor, she's one of my favorite characters), Friends, and Community. Let me know if I missed any must-watch series!