Binging while social distancing

Three TV series and one comedy special to kill the time

Bored in quarantine? These shows will brighten your day.
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As I sit at home in pyjamas and no makeup, sad and annoyed because coronavirus has stolen the best thing about being home—seeing my high school friends—I've found that the only things there are to do include reading books, going on walks, and binging an endless stream of TV shows.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve spent most of my time binging my old favourite shows. I do this a lot in times of uncertainty when I need to feel a sense of familiarity and comfort, because these shows are nothing if not consistent.

Rewatching my favourites makes me feel like myself again.

So, without further ado, here are three TV shows—and one set of comedy specials—that I’ve been rewatching recently. If you’re social distancing like I am and looking for something to watch, I  recommend giving these a try.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Netflix and Citytv)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is without a doubt one of the best modern sitcoms. It stars Andy Samberg over seven seasons as Jake Peralta, a lighthearted, doesn’t-play-by-the-rules detective in the New York Police Department’s 99th Precinct. The show documents Peralta and his fellow detectives’ workplace antics and their evolving relationships with the precinct’s new, very serious captain (Andre Braugher).

This show is absolutely golden. Not only is it incredibly funny, but it features great characters. Each one is artfully crafted and comprehensively developed, and they all have delightfully nuanced relationships with one another. Each episode puts a big smile on my face, no matter how many times I’ve watched it.

The first six seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are on Netflix for your binging pleasure, plus its seventh season is currently airing on Citytv every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST.

Gilmore Girls (Netflix)

The next show on my list is my favourite of all time: Gilmore Girls. I’ve watched this show from start to finish so many times that I’ve lost count. It truly never gets old.

In short, Gilmore Girls is about the mother-daughter relationship between Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore. The show’s seven seasons document their lives over seven years, starting with Rory’s sophomore year of high school and ending with her college graduation.

This show is good in so many ways. It’s famous for featuring dense scripts and quick line delivery, it has the perfect balance of drama and comedy, and the characters feel extremely real. Most of all, it’s a feel-good show that never fails to lift my spirits. I couldn’t recommend it enough; it’s the best salve for coronavirus confusion while you’re stuck at home. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a dramedy that documents the life of Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), a Jewish housewife living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the late 1950s. The show largely documents her transition to independence as she turns to stand-up comedy when her husband (Michael Zegen) leaves her.

It’s unsurprising that I adore this show, considering it’s created, produced, directed, and written by the woman who was behind Gilmore Girls: Amy Sherman-Palladino. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is so well-made: it’s well-written, well-acted, and features incredible costume design. I don’t think it gets nearly enough the attention.

The first three seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are currently streaming on Amazon Prime—in case you didn’t know, students get a six-month free trial—and the fourth season is set to premiere late this year. 

John Mulaney’s comedy specials (Netflix)

The perhaps most comforting watch on my list isn’t a TV show, but a set of Netflix stand-up comedy specials. John Mulaney, a former SNL writer, has three of them: New in Town, The Comeback Kid, and Kid Gorgeous at Radio City. He also has a fourth special that, while not stand-up, is still an instant classic: John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch.

Mulaney gets his source material mostly from his own life, and it makes for accessible, feel-good, and very funny comedy. I have yet to meet a person who’s disliked his comedy specials because anyone can relate to them. Mulaney’s comedy is the kind you can watch with your family, your friends, or all by yourself. It’s just that good.

I chose to include these comedy specials in a list dominated by TV shows because it achieves the same effect: it plasters a smile on my face from beginning to end.

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In this very odd, unfamiliar period of time we find ourselves in, it’s always wise to seek comfort in something certain. I hope you can find that in this list of feel-good, cheer-up TV series and specials.

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