Did anyone else think quarantine was going to be right up their alley for the first few weeks, but now they’ve finished all of Netflix* and there’s nothing to do except alternate between staring hopelessly at the ceiling for hours on end and watching TikTok compilations? No one else? Just me?
Well, fear not either way, because even as you reach your final episode on your final show on Netflix, there are still half a dozen other streaming platforms out there waiting for you to give them a whirl. And why not! There are so many hours in the day in quarantine. You are never required to wear pants. You can be on Slack and watch TV in the background. The only rule of quarantine is to never leave your house. The real world has become a place of madness and fiction, and the only solace we can now find is going to be in the fabricated stress of television.
So, without further ado, here are the best shows available on Amazon Prime during this quarantine. Disclaimer: I haven’t spent as many hours on Amazon Prime as Netflix, mostly because it makes me weirdly uneasy to see my recent orders for lamps and cleaning supplies while I also browse for shows, so it goes without saying that I have probably missed a few of them.
*By all of Netflix, I mean the shows worth watching.
The first season of Hunters recently started airing on Prime, and because I’m trying to avoid high-stress situations, I haven’t started it. However, executive producer Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) is an absolute genius storyteller, so it’s gotta be super good. It also stars Al Pacino and Logan Lerman from the Percy Jackson movies, whom I completely forgot about, and now I need to watch. The show is set in New York City in 1977 and follows a group of Nazi hunters as they try to dismantle a secret group of Nazi officers that are trying to implement a fourth Reich in America.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
If you’ve ever thought to yourself that maybe you were meant to live a different life and that life is specifically to be a Jewish mother living on the Upper West Side in the 1950s with an undiscovered talent for stand-up comedy, then this show is for you. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows Midge Maisel’s journey through the New York stand-up scene after her husband leaves her for his secretary (schmuck). Would Midge have worked for Betches if it was around back then? Almost certainly, and that’s all you need to know.
Didn’t we all already watch Girls? Personally, I stopped around Season 5 because every character became as annoying as humanly possible and I couldn’t watch Hannah make another terrible decision or listen to Marnie try to launch her singing career for another second. That being said, I did like some of the characters and the incredibly dysfunctional family they created. At least Girls is a really easy binge because the episodes are short and the storylines are engaging and easy to follow. Just don’t watch too much in a row, or you will go through what I did and never finish (but that’s okay, too).
I haven’t watched Fleabag yet, but it won like, all the awards, and I see it everywhere on TL so I think I might just have to start. Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes the show and stars as the titular character, Fleabag. From the season 1 trailer, it seems kind of like a British and more updated version of Girls? As in, the main character kind of self-sabotages everything for herself but you still keep watching to see if maybe she’ll turn it around one day. What seems more unique and interesting about it, though, is that Fleabag breaks the fourth wall often to explain to her viewers what’s going through her brain, so maybe we have some more perspective and empathy for her questionable choices.
Modern Love is a miniseries that brings the New York Times essay column of the same name to life. Whoever was the casting agent really knew what they were doing. They’ve got Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, and Dev Patel in their own 30-minute episodes, appearing casually as if they were normal people. The first episode made me cry, and the rest were definitely worth watching. With only eight episodes, this is a great show to watch if you don’t want to commit to a whole series. And then you will become addicted to the stories and read 20 essays in one night and convince yourself you can write your own about the guy that has been delivering your groceries for the last week, if only you could come up with a catchy title.
‘Sex and the City’
Since we have nothing else to do in quarantine, let’s all sit around the kitchen table and discuss with our fellow quarantine inmates which character every person in our friend group most identifies with. Luckily, Sex and the City is on Prime to help you out. The one who is still making you do her Ship matches, just to f*ck with the guys? Samantha. The one who began planning a Zoom wedding immediately and already had a stockpile of hand sanitizer? Charlotte. The one who actually knows the facts of what’s going on, but is over talking about it? Miranda. The one who thinks the pandemic is the just the thing to spice up her forthcoming-but-still-unwritten memoir? Carrie.
Psych is a detective sitcom that is the exact show to watch if you want to get really invested in/binge something for like, a minute, but don’t want to be thinking about 24/7. Shawn Spencer is a police crime consultant who has convinced the police that he solves cases using psychic abilities, but was really just trained as a child by his dad to have heightened awareness and photographic memory, which is shown in flashbacks. Shawn works with his friend and partner Gus, at his psychic detective agency, Psych.
The world will never get enough American-Italian mobster drama (@The Irishman), and that’s all there is to say about that. The Sopranos is regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time, and luckily it’s on Prime for you to decide for yourself (although I’m sure everyone has seen at least one episode at some point or another). Tony Soprano is the show’s protagonist (if you will), who must balance his family life and role as crime boss of his New Jersey-based crime family—he delves into this narrative through talking to his therapist, Dr. Melfi.
Some of us think we are quirky and talented enough to be writing for Saturday Night Live, but just haven’t had our big break yet. While we wait for that dream to manifest itself, we can watch 30 Rock. The popular sitcom, created by and starring Tina Fey, is available on Prime, and is based loosely her days as a head writer at SNL (although the live-sketch show depicted in 30 Rock is fictional). 30 Rock is right up there with The Office and Parks and Rec; it’s just a super easy sitcom that you can throw on at any time of day and for whatever mood you’re in.
Downton Abbey is one of my favorite shows ever, and I’m so glad it’s on Prime. Downton Abbey takes place in England and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants from 1912-1926. There is so much drama both upstairs and downstairs, and while there are some people that try to cause tension, mostly everyone gets along and has adorable British accents. It’s so easy to watch and get obsessed with, and I promise it’s worth it.
Honestly, who let Dance Moms air in the first place? Every Tuesday night in middle school for me featured a Dance Moms and Pretty Little Liars marathon, and looking back, that lineup feels like a bizarre fever dream. The antics of Miss Abby Lee Miller honestly haunt me, and the fact that she went to jail for a minute really doesn’t help the whole situation. How did she choreograph those dances every single week? What is the rival studio, the inglorious Candy Apples, up to now? Will Maddie ever not be at the top of the pyramid?
Mostly just putting this on the list because I think it might be fun to watch Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (wait do we still call her that, or no?) during her life before Harry. Suits is set at a New York City law firm, opening when Harvey Specter hires Mike Ross, a genius college dropout, to help him solve and close cases, despite Mike never attending or graduating from law school at all.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld and hilarious Bernie impersonator on SNL, plays a version of himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm. The 10th season just started, and luckily Prime has all the prior seasons so you can catch up. In the show, David faces the many annoyances of daily life, and basically just calls everyone out on their bullsh*t. TBH the show stresses me out because I am not a confrontational person at all, but it’s really funny. I would love to see an episode of David coughing on someone and/or being coughed on during this pandemic. Maybe they’re already working on it.
‘Law & Order: SVU’
Over the last 20 years, Law & Order: SVU has seemingly gotten away with any and every plotline they could ever think up. My jaw immediately hits the floor every time I watch this show, and it stays there the whole episode. I love how they only seem to get the perp like half the time and then the rest of the time it’s a therapy session. I love how they make up mid-season storylines for the main characters, and when you question them, diehard fans comment, “oh yeah, they mentioned that offhandedly 10 seasons ago,” as if you should’ve remembered. I love how Finn seems to improvise all of his lines and no one ever reacts to them. This show is a great watch because you really don’t need to watch it any particular order, and after one episode you’ll be done with TV for a while.
‘American Horror Story’
Eight seasons of AHS are on Prime, and I know everyone has a personal favorite. I only tried to watch this show once, when I was in ninth grade. I remember it so clearly, sitting in my friend’s basement in the dark. It was season four: Freak Show. She didn’t warn me at all. Enter: the scariest clown I have ever seen. Cue: me not sleeping for a week. That was the last time I ever even thought about watching this show. However, I’m older now, and wiser, and the world is as scary as it’s going to get, so I’m considering giving it another try. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Let me be the first to say I would GLADLY elect Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President and/or President of the United States right now, which is her role as the protagonist in Veep. Veep is about the personal and political careers of Selina Meyer, the Vice President, and her wacky but reliable staff as they try to make their mark and advance themselves politically. Does it seem like something like this will ever be allowed to happen in our country? Maybe not, but it’s still fun to watch nonetheless.
Hopefully, by this point, you have found some sort of routine for your quarantine, and are not just watching TV for 9 hours a day as you maybe did at the beginning. (And if you are doing that, literally no shame at all.) However, we’re in it for the long haul, and we’ll need some entertainment to help us through it. If you can’t stand staring at the screen any longer, try an audiobook. One show at a time, this quarantine is going to get a little more bearable.
Images: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images, Amazon (16)
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The first of the month is a tricky time, because on the one hand, I’m getting paid, but on the other, my rent is due. Luckily, my rent check doesn’t manage to find its way to my landlord until around 9am, which is four hours after my direct deposit hits, so I’m rich for approximately four hours. It’s the little things. Anyway, let’s be real, we all love the start of a new month because it means new Netflix content, and by content, I mean the ninth season of Shameless and about 100 other shows/movies. An updated Netflix homepage is always exciting, but it’s especially so in September, because it will give you something to do when your friends ask if you want to go apple picking and you realize you’d actually rather rip your eyelashes out one by one. Seriously, if Instagram didn’t exist, would anyone over the age of seven go apple picking?? I digress.
Because Netflix is adding more content to their platform than my sister-in-law to her Instagram story during her bachelorette weekend, I’m going to save you some time and let y’all know which shows/movies are actually worth watching. Full disclosure, after admitting that I thought Tower Heist was a quality film back in the day, I’ve since been accused of having bad taste, so take this list with a grain of salt. Here we go!
Honestly, I blame my test in men on this movie. Like, why couldn’t Patrick Bateman be ugly? If you haven’t seen this movie, now is your moment, because it’s early 2000s amazing. To sum it up, American Psycho is a documentary about mental health. Jokes! It’s a thriller that, tbh, is pretty funny because it’s basically Bruce Wayne’s life if he didn’t become Batman. Does that makes sense? All in all, this is a great movie for any occasion and if any of your friends protest, they should not be a part of your life. That’s all I have to say.
‘The Walking Dead: Season 9’
Look, zombies just aren’t my thing. Sorry if that offends anyone. Obviously this show is good, though, since it has almost as many seasons as Friends! If this also doesn’t sound like your jam, maybe this helpful description from IMDB can change your mind: The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by former police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. Well? Are you sold?
I mean, is there a movie better than Superbad? Anyone? Bueller? What I love most about it, aside from the period pants scene, is the fact that none of the stars were that famous when it was made. Like, Bill Hader had played very minor parts in a bunch of sh*t I’ve never heard of, Jonah Hill’s only claim to fame (kind of) was the teen version of Adam Sandler’s creepy son in Click, and two roles before her stint on Superbad, Emma Stone guest starred in an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & f*cking Cody. My mind is truly blown. Anyway, the fact that this movie is so amazing even though it stars Michael “Whiney Boy” Cera essentially playing himself is a tribute to quality films everywhere. If the whole McLovin storyline was taken out, this movie would be like a more realistic version of Project X. My point is that Superbad is a great example of a perfect movie. Watch it.
‘Shameless: Season 9′
Emmy Rossum in Shameless is legit my spirit animal. She’s obv the definition of a hot mess, but I love her for it. Remember that time she left her cocaine out and her toddler brother subsequently had a bad trip and she ended up in jail for approximately one week? Same. This show is very complicated and has as many layers as it does members of the Gallagher family, so explaining what it’s about is kind of hard, but I’ll try. There are six kids and one deadbeat dad, Frank Gallagher, living the good life in the South Side. You know how when you rewatch Game of Thrones, you temporarily lose your mind when you realize that Arya, Bran, and Joffrey (ew, bye) were all legit children when the show started? Shameless is like that. And that is the only thing that Game of Thrones and Shameless have in common! It’s a great show because it’s funny and dramatic, so if you want to laugh and cry a the same thing, Shameless is for you.
‘Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea.’
There is only one person who can get away with a title like this, and her name is Chelsea Handler. There isn’t much info on this, so I will say what Wikipedia, my most quoted source in college essays, said about it: “Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea is an upcoming 2019 documentary directed by Alex Stapleton and starring Chelsea Handler. The premise revolves around examining the concept of ‘White privilege,’ the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people.” A little racy for the times in which we live? Seems that way, but knowing my girl Chelsea, she’s going to make it funny.
‘Surviving R. Kelly: Season 1’
Like “Trapped in the Closet”, the R. Kelly documentary has a few parts. The similarities end there, aside from their involvement with R. Kelly. The documentary is a very vivid detailing of the sexual abuse allegations against the rapper/singer/alleged sex cult leader, so watch at your own risk. It’s obviously a very timely documentary considering the #MeToo movement is still very relevant, and it got amazing reviews. This is a must-watch.
‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’
Truth be told, I cannot handle anything even remotely scary. Don’t believe me? I couldn’t make it through Pirates of the Caribbean three years ago when I was 23. So you can imagine just how many times I sh*t myself when a friend forced me to watch the Asylum season of this show over Memorial Day weekend. It was f*cking terrifying, and I can’t picture just how gut-wrenching the other seasons are. I refuse to watch them, but here’s what I know about Apocalypse: It revolves around some sort of nuclear explosion and is a crossover between seasons one and three of this godforsaken show. I started to read the Wikipedia episode summaries, but got too freaked out after the third one, so all I can tell you is that the apocalypse happens and the prettiest members of society are chosen to be saved…for now. K.
‘My Sister’s Keeper’
If you want to cry and never stop, watch this movie. It’s based on the Jodi Picoult book about a teenage girl, Kate, with a fatal cancer diagnosis. Not to worry, her parents try to save her by designing their third child, Anna, to be medically compatible with her dying sister so that doctors can take her blood, bone marrow, organs, happiness and give them to Kate. Just fun sister things! As you can imagine, this movie is sad af and Cameron Diaz deserves an award for it. I haven’t seen it since it came out 10 years ago (f*ck, I feel old), but the two things I remember about it are the fact that the movie ending is the complete opposite of the book ending, and that Kate had a v promising future as a professional scrapbooker. Did I just ruin the whole movie? My b.
‘Eat, Pray, Love’
I’m just going to say it: this was no one’s favorite movie, because we expect Pretty Woman energy from Julia Roberts at all times. She’s kind of whiney in this “watch me find myself while I blow all my money on exotic journeys” story. It’s the kind of movie you’d watch if you’ve already seen all you’ve wanted to see on Netflix, but it’s only 9pm and you need to watch something. I respect her food choices and the blond hair, but that’s about it.
‘The Great British Baking Show’
I better speak for all of us when I say HELL F*CKING YEA, FINALLY! If you are not watching The Great British Baking Show, I literally don’t know what you are doing with your life. Here’s how I describe this show to literally everyone: it’s the opposite of every American cooking competition show. Everyone is nice to each other, there is no sabotage (in fact, the contestants know ahead of time what the challenges will be so they can practice at home), and the format of every episode is exactly the same. It’s incredibly wholesome content, and a 10/10. Starting August 30, new episodes will drop on Netflix every Friday.
To end on a sad note, there are a few gems leaving Netflix this September. Batman Begins will bid us adieu, which I guess is okay since we get another prime Christian Bale movie? The best disney cartoon, Hercules, will also be peacing out in September and I am genuinely bummed about it. After just a few months, Magic Mike will be body rolling off Netflix and hopefully onto Amazon Prime or Hulu because I am not ready to say goodbye to him yet. Music & Lyrics, Mulan, the opposite of Titanic AKA Revolutionary Road, and The Hangover are also leaving Netflix to go apple-picking this September. It’s been real, but I’m very much down for the new shows/movies to stream!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (6)
Halloween is legit days away, and this is not a drill. On top of trying to find a costume that makes me look both slutty and punny (but mostly slutty) and simultaneously dieting to fit into said costume while I also shoving as many Butterfinger minis in my mouth as I possibly can, I’m, like, v busy. I’m so busy, I haven’t even found time to properly set the mood with a Pumpkin Spice candle get into the Halloween spirit. And what better way to find the holiday spirit than by speaking to no one and doing nothing for hours on end? Yes, I’m talking about Halloween TV rn. Because if there’s one thing I know in this life, it’s how to waste my time television. I’m not saying that I don’t live a full and fulfilling life watch 4-6 hours of television a night, but I’m also not not saying that. I’m emotionally dependent on my Netflix account and I’m going to end up alone so fine with that. Whatever. My waste of time is your fortunate gain, because I know everything about every show and that’s why my hair is so big—because it’s full of useless information about fictional teen dramas. So here’s all the shit you should binge watch to help you set the fucking mood for Halloween.
1. ‘American Horror Story: Coven’
A lot of people would argue with me that there are other, better seasons of American Horror Story, but those people would be so fucking wrong. First of all, the savage one-liners in this season are actual works of art. That alone is worth giving it a watch. Second of all, it’s a show about a bunch of badass witches who aren’t afraid to throw acid on each other, murder innocent civilians, or blow up a bus full of disgusting frat boys in order to get what they want in life. AND they only dress in black-on-black ensembles. Honestly, they’re all inspirations, and I’m not just saying that because I dressed up as Madison Montgomery two Halloweens in a row. *whispers to self “who’s the baddest witch in town”*
2. ‘Stranger Things’
First of all, if there’s someone out there who’s reading this and they haven’t heard of this show/watched this show/read the spoilers about this show, then I applaud you and your ability to live a full and happy life. Must be nice to not be a slave to Netflix. That said, you should watch this show, like, immediately. It’s about more than just a bunch of kids who love Eggos and wearing retro sweaters, which is literally what I thought before I watched it. Also, if you watch it you can stop being the only virgin who can’t drive person on social media who doesn’t know wtf is going down in the Upside Down.
^^Literally things my friends scream about me as I vomit in public wearing cat ears during Halloween bar crawls
3. ‘Teen Wolf’
I’m not gonna lie, when MTV tried to tell me that they were going to reboot a shitty ‘80s movie and cast J.Lo’s son from Maid in Manhattan as the lead, I was v skeptical. I mean, have I binge watched worse shit on this channel because of some dynamic branding strategies? Of course. *cough* Are You The One? *cough* But unlike a show that promotes the spread of STDs singles trying to find love, Teen Wolf is actually some quality television. First of all, seasons 1-3 were pure fucking gold. It’s funny AF with just the right amount of paranormal nonsense going on. Plus, I want to bang Dylan O’Brien appreciate the talented actors on this show. I mean, anyone who can turn the pasty side-kick best friend into someone I regularly stalk on Instagram a heartthrob is really winning here.
4. ‘Hemlock Grove’
I’m pretty sure the only reason anyone even knows about this show is because this is where the hot clown from It got his start, but tbh I’ve watched Netflix Original shows for less. This show is like Riverdale meets AHS but weirder. The show is all about Roman Godfrey, aka hot AF town rich kid, and his BFF Peter Rumancek, aka hot AF town hipster person who is poor but can afford better skinny jeans than me, as they try to figure out all the weird shit happening in the small fictional PA town, Hemlock Grove. They start looking into a bunch of recent murders that happen in the town, because apparently all teenagers in the greater Pennsylvania area are amateur detectives who are smarter than 90 percent of the adults. *cough* PLL *cough* I’m warning you rn though, this show is weird AF and there’s definitely some cousin-love incest vibes happening, but if you can set your morals that aside, then this show is actually really fucking good.
5. ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’
First of all, this show iconic and should be the only thing anyone watches ever. Buffy is the best thing to happen to television since live streaming became a thing, and I’m not just saying that because I’m its number one hype girl. Not only has the show given me some fire dialogue to use in my every day life, but it’s also the reason why I am into vampires who can’t be with you because their eternal souls are at stake emotionally unavailable men. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s set in the 90s, so you really have to look past all the gelled hair and leather, but aside from that this show is fucking amazing.
This show is little like watching an episode of Law & Order, but with less crimes that are especially heinous and more supernatural beings. And if you’re thinking “isn’t this the show that’s been on the air for-fucking-ever but I have no idea why?” I have a solid reason why right here:
I mean, does the show have other good shit going for it, like killer plot lines, heavy amounts of sarcasm, and one beautiful bromance? Yes. But do I give a shit about anything other than Jared Padalecki’s abs? No, I sure don’t.
If your idea of a good time is watching Lady Gaga play herself with a bad accent and/or listening to people murder each other creatively while you cover your eyes, you’re in luck. American Horror Story was renewed for two more seasons, which is surprising to exactly no one because as fucked up as AHS always winds up being, it’s also the shit. Plus, the ratings are through the roof every season so it’s not like it was in danger of getting cancelled.
ICYMI, everyone lost their shit last year when the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, dangled the possibility of a Murder House/Coven crossover season. Well, it turns out he’s a fucking tease (and actors’ schedules are apparently hard to work around). There aren’t any plans for the crossover to happen in 2017, so we still have to wait to watch Jessica Lange and Connie Britton try to out-weird each other on the same screen again.
On the other hand, we’re still getting two new seasons of bizarre shit. Also, more shirtless Evan Peters. I guess we can deal.