With school starting again, I think we are all going to be looking for various ways to procrastinate instead of doing our assignments. Well what’s a better procrastination method than watching quality television? Today, I am back with another list of Fresh TV Show Recommendations, and (since I’m feeling generous) I decided to gift my readers with one additional recommendation as opposed to the usual five. You can find all of these shows on Netflix. Happy binge watching and have a great semester!
Drama| Thriller| 1 Season| 41-49 minutes
Developed By: Greg Berlanti, Sera Gamble
Starring: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, Shay Mitchell
If you haven’t heard of this series yet, then that will definitely change in the upcoming days. You was recommended to me by my current roommate and he really knocked it out of the park. I binged this whole thing within hours of him telling me about it and I am positive that it is about to be one of Netflix’s biggest hits (even though it originally aired on Lifetime.)
You stars Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl fame as a slightly creepier version of the character he played in that campy teen drama. However, this series is far from the scandal filled streets of the Upper East Side. Badgely plays Joe, a murderous “nice guy” who stalks and pursues Beck (Elizabeth Lail) after having a very short conversation with her at his book store. Over the course of ten episodes, you will be squirming and screaming as Joe takes being sprung to a whole new level.
You feels like a perfect critique of dating in the social media age. Considering that anyone can access information about us at all times of the day, you never really know who is watching or what their intentions may be. This series works as both a smartly written thriller and a trashy romance drama that makes you immediately want to put all of your social media accounts on private. Although I wish the creators had just left You as a miniseries, because I feel like the story was all wrapped up in a tidy bow, I am still looking forward to the inevitable second season. I highly recommend this show.
2. Good Girls
Comedy| Crime| Drama| 1 Season| 41-44m
Created By: Jenna Bans
Starring: Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman, Reno Wilson, Manny Montana, Lidya Jewett, Isaiah Stannard, Matthew Lillard
What a fun show. Good Girls feels like the writers put all of my favorite crime shows and television tropes in a blender and made a deliciously refreshing tv smoothie. Before I had even gotten to the second episode, I was already texting all my friends and family, telling them to check it out. Not only is this series highly entertaining, but it has a great message about feminism and female empowerment.
Good Girls follows three Detroit mothers (Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman) who willingly jump into a life of crime in order to provide for their families. However, they soon discover that they’re in well over their heads once the stakes become higher and higher. Want to know how crazy this show is? It opens with our three leads robbing a grocery store and then proceeds to get more insane.
During this viewing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Weeds, Breaking Bad and Mad Money (2008) (a cheesy caper movie that I find extremely charming). Although most of the things that happen in Good Girls feel much more far fetched than the works previously mentioned, it still makes for a great binge that you will be thinking about for weeks. The second season of this hit NBC series will return in March of this year, but until then, you can watch the first season right now on Netflix.
3. The Kominsky Method
Comedy| Drama| 1 Season| 22-33m
Created By: Chuck Lorre
Starring: Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, Sarah Baker, Nancy Travis
I didn’t even know this show existed until it beat Barry for Best Comedy Series at The Golden Globes, which is quite surprising considering its cast is stacked with living legends. The Kominsky Method stars Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky, a successful acting coach who has worked with some of the biggest named celebrities in the business. After the wife of his oldest, closest friend, Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin), dies of cancer, Sandy attempts to help his friend heal while trying to secure a new relationship of his own.
Chuck Lorre has succeeded in crafting a series that discusses our fears of getting older and finds the humor in it. Although some of the comedy often feels like something that should be followed by a laugh track, I still find its writing to be very strong. It also helps that the cast is immensely talented. The Kominsky Method definitely couldn’t work without all these names.
This Netflix Original series will have you wondering how Chuck Lorre managed to get all of these people in the same room at one time. From Michael Douglas to Patti LaBelle, the cast and guest stars of The Kominsky Method will have you screaming out “Seriously?! They’re in this too?!” That’s honestly half the fun. Although I don’t think it deserved to beat Barry for the award, I do think The Kominsky Method is a brilliant example of how our elders still have a lot to say.
4. Sex Education
Comedy| Drama| 1 Season| 46-52m
Created By: Laurie Nunn
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Alistair Petrie, Mimi Keene, Aimee Lou Wood
When it comes to shows set in the United Kingdom, Netflix tends to release nothing but surefire hits. Sex Education is the latest British comedy series that has struck a cord with me due to its premise and outstanding cast. In spite of its high school setting, this series will connect with a variety of people from all walks of life because of its subject matter.
Sex Education follows Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), a sexually repressed virgin who knows everything there is to know about sex and its relation to the human condition due to his oversharing mother, who just so happens to be a sex therapist. After meeting the designated “bad girl,” Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey, who looks like a younger version of Margot Robbie), they decide to open a sex clinic where Otis offers sex consultations to his fellow students in exchange for money. Naturally, hilarity and teenage angst ensues.
Sex Education is must watch television. Not only is the premise ridiculously inventive, the series itself is also very progressive. With an abundance of well-defined and diverse characters, this series feels like the answer to all SJW grievances. I don’t want to give too much away, because I feel like this show (much like sex) is best enjoyed if you go into it as clear headed as possible.
5. I’m Sorry
Sitcom| 2 Seasons| 25m
Created By: Andrea Savage
Starring: Andrea Savage, Tom Everett Scott, Olive Petrucci
I started this series after unsuccessfully scouring Netflix for about an hour and a half before I could find something interesting. I didn’t even intend on paying attention to it. It was just supposed to be background noise as I sent funny memes to my mutuals. But from the very first episode, I was hooked by Andrea Savage’s comedic genius.
I’m Sorry is written by and stars Andrea Savage as Andrea Warren, a hilariously immature writer, wife and mother living in California with her husband and daughter. Her familiar brand of comedy and outward confidence gets her into a variety of situations reminiscent of much better shows (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Better Things), but still manages to hold its own.
Featuring a charming cast and strong episodes that fit perfectly into our current state of politically correct comedy, I’m Sorry makes for a strong binge that has the potential to stick around for a long time. If we know each other personally, I have probably been sending you snaps of scenes from this series all week. I’m a big fan of I’m Sorry and could not recommend it more. You can catch up with the first season on Netflix and tune in for the second season Wednesdays at 9pm on TruTV.
6. Friends from College
Comedy| Drama| 2 Seasons| 26–34m
Created By: Francesca Delbanco, Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Fred Savage, Jae Suh Park
“Feels like you’re always stuck in second gear when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.” Friends from College is far from that classic American sitcom that we’ve all come to know and love. In fact, it actually feels like it was designed to be the polar opposite of that heartwarming series. Never in my life have I seen a dramedy so rife with painfully unlikable characters. Literally everyone in this series is problematic in their own way, however (to my surprise) I just could not stop watching.
Although I tried to watch this series a couple of years ago, I just couldn’t get into it. I’m not sure why, but I randomly started it yesterday and wound up finishing two whole seasons within the course of 10 hours. And with a stacked cast and interesting premise, who could blame me? Friends from College revolves around a group of Harvard alumni (and long time friends) who have been carrying a multitude of secrets for over twenty years (most of those secrets involve sleeping with each other). When those secrets finally reveal themselves, they all must decide whether they want to end twenty years of friendship or reconcile.
I’m not going to lie, this Netflix Original series is an acquired taste and worked more as a guilty pleasure than genuinely good viewing. Originally, I wasn’t going to include it on this list of recommendations. However, I have always loathed the lack of comedy revolving around college students and college graduates (as opposed to the copious shows set in high school). It was refreshing and often very amusing.