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)
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
I’ve been around the block on this website a few times, and I’ve noticed that if there are two things you bitches love, it’s horoscopes and Law & Order: SVU. I count myself firmly in this camp, BTW. I’m not going to act like I’m above either of those things. So I thought to myself, “Why not combine the two things betches hold most dear, into one completely
nonsensical accurate horoscope?” And that’s exactly what I did. Through some very careful plotting of the movement of the stars and calling upon my own photographic memory of every episode of Law & Order: SVU, I bring you: What SVU detective are you based on your horoscope? If you’ve ever tried to convince your friends that you’re such an Olivia, I’m going to need you to take every single seat. Everyone thinks they’re an Olivia, okay? In reality, only one sign can be Benson. And Benson isn’t even the best SVU detective (now sergeant). So which of these dedicated detectives who make up this elite squad are you? Read ’em and weep.
Aries – Amanda Rollins
Yeah, I bet you all thought I’d start this list off with Benson because Aries are natural born leaders, didn’t you? Surprise, bitch. Y’all get Rollins. Rollins came into the SVU squad hot by catching that identical twin serial rapist who followed his innocent twin brother across state lines to commit assault after assault, so we all thought she was a good one. Just like you, Aries, Rollins has some promising qualities. But you know what Aries’ worst quality is? They’re impulsive, impatient, and moody. Rollins has a fucking gambling addiction (impulsive), won’t be put on desk duty even though she’s pregnant (impatient), and won’t stop enabling her piece of shit sister who TRIED TO SEND HER TO PRISON (too fucking sentimental aka moody)—so yeah, I think that all describes Rollins impeccably. Sorry not sorry, you secretly suck.
Taurus – Mike Dodds
Taurus (Taurans? Tauri?) are reliable and responsible, but they can also be stubborn and uncompromising. Likewise, Dodds was a professional through and through, unlike the rest of these bozos that make up this so-called “elite squad”. Dodds did his work. He even helmed the SVU for a while. But he also refused to leave SVU for a cushy job at the joint terrorism task force that his dad had set up for him. It was a stubborn move that ultimately led to his death—and if there’s one thing Taurus is known for, it’s bullheadedness. Not even a pun, just actual factual. Taurus, your ability to stick to your guns is admirable, just make sure it doesn’t get you shot in the line of duty. (Ok, that pun was unintentional at first, but then I decided to just go with it.)
Gemini – Ed Tucker
That’s fucking right, Gemini, you’re not even a real SVU detective because your ass can’t be trusted. Geminis are literally known for being two-faced, and there’s nobody the SVU distrusts more than Tucker over at IAB. He supposedly works for the NYPD, and yet that guy seems to have a personal vendetta against the Special Victims Unit. Why? (*Thinks back to every illegal maneuver Stabler, Amaro, etc. have ever gotten away with* Oh. Ok.) One minute, you’re convinced he’s shutting down the SVU for good, the next, he’s like, “Gotcha!! You all THOUGHT I would make you face the consequences for your actions… psych!” I just cannot figure this guy out, just like I cannot figure out what my dad will get angry about and what he’ll be cool with, and my dad is also a Gemini. Coincidence? IDK, I’ll bring it up in my next therapy session. That said, it’s not completely fair to paint Geminis as unpredictable freaks—you can be very thoughtful and affectionate, which is I assume how Tucker managed to win over Benson. And, I’ll admit, Ed wasn’t a bad guy and was probably the most stable and caring male figure in Benson’s life thus far. Retirement suited him well. Not saying the same goes for you, Gemini, but you might want to take that 401K seriously just in case. (Not horoscope-related advice, just general life advice.)
Cancer – Dani Beck
Cancers are the pussies of the zodiac in the sense that they are highly emotional. Hey, don’t cry at me; I’m just the messenger. This bleeding heart Dani tries to take in a child because she feels bad for her, only she doesn’t bother to do it the proper way, like, through the authorities or New York State foster care system (whatever that is). She’s just all, “Oh you’re so cute and emotionally disturbed, come sleep on my couch.” That plan went up in flames—literally. Hope she had renter’s insurance. Later on, once again too emotional to make a decision on whether to stay in the SVU or leave, Dani tries to put the decision onto Elliot, who’s like “nah fam, I’m not doing this.” Cancer, it’s great that you care about people, but try thinking with your brain sometime. It might get you into less trouble and life-threatening situations. There is a limit to empathy. You know what they say: Don’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. Okay, enough fire metaphors.
^Honestly, Munch, a valid question.
Leo – Nick Amaro
Everyone thinks Aries are the leader of the zodiac, but anyone who actually bothers to read horoscopes other than their own knows Leos are always shadily killing it. Y’all are warm, action-oriented, and driven by the desire to be loved. That last bit reminded me a lot of Michael Scott, but we can save The Office horoscopes for another day. Anyway, you Leos are Amaro, you lucky bitches. You’re a sun sign so you’re hot (I know it’s a huge stretch but please, let me have my thirst), but you’re also loyal and trustworthy. Tbh, Nick was loyal to Olivia almost to a fault (kind of like another certain partner of hers…what perfume does she wear?). However, Leos are also stubborn af and inflexible, kinda like how Nick refused to see that his marriage was crumbling right before his very eyes. Andddd kinda like how Nick was told not to hunt down pedophile David Rosen on his own accord like some state-funded vigilante, but he beat him to a bloody pulp anyway and almost lost his job and actually compromised his entire career for it. Fam. I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you!
Virgo – John Munch
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and it also makes up one of Virgo’s major flaws, according to the random horoscope website off of which I based most of this list. As a Virgo, you’re hardworking, practical, and loyal, but you can also be a worrywart who’s overly critical. Sound familiar? It should, because while Munch is the ultimate ride-or-die for the SVU squad, the dude is also kind of a nutcase. Like, he probably doesn’t have a smartphone because he thinks the government has bugged it (and he’s probably not wrong tbh given that every WiFi device was just hacked and nobody in the media is reporting about this). Munch is always ranting and raving about Big Brother, and he probably should chill a bit, seeing as he literally works for the government. But Munch, and Virgos, will probably be right, only they won’t say “I told you so” because they hate attention. Although a bit of a wallflower, Virgos are extremely perceptive. Similarly, if you listen closely to anything Munch says, you will notice that he is always getting to the heart of people’s issues with this one-liner jabs, and no one ever gives him the proper acknowledgment for his biting sarcasm and critiques. Ah, well. That’s life, as a sarcastic Jiminy Cricket, I suppose.
^That’s the pot calling the kettle paranoid, eh, John?
Libra – Odafin Tutuola
Balanced and fair and not one to rock the boat, Libras are Ice-T to a T. Am I biased because I’m a Libra and Ice-T is my favorite SVU detective? Probably, but what are you gonna do? Arrest me? Look, Ice-T… fine, FIN, is the cool, calm, and collected detective who doesn’t get rattled, even when people call him racist slurs in the interrogation room. He’s also prone to playing “good cop” and pretending to empathize with the perps so he can get a good confession. (Seriously, watch like, any episode and I bet you’ll hear Fin say something like, “I get it. You spent all that money on dinner and she wouldn’t give it up? Who does that bitch think she is?”). Libras are all about keeping the peace and care about others, which can sometimes blow up in their faces, like when you try to not get involved with Rollins’ obvious gambling addiction but then it starts affecting her work and you end up loaning her thousands of dollars to go undercover in an underground casino. C’mon, Fin. You don’t give money to an addict. That’s like, rule number one of enabling. You’re never gonna get that bread back. Be kind, be fair, but don’t be a fucking patsy.
Scorpio – Elliot Stabler
The word “Scorpio” is basically synonymous with “psycho,” so here we fucking are, Scorpio/Stabler. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be, because you know you’re one clever perp or issue with your kids away from taking a dive off the deep end. (You really should get those children in therapy. And also, stop calling your son “Dicky”. I bet that’s the root of like, 75% of his issues.) Sure, Scorpios are assertive and natural born leaders—that’s what got you here and why you succeeded for so many seasons. But, to put it bluntly, you’re also a fucking sadists who enjoy watching people suffer. Which would explain the multiple department-ordered anger management classes and the string of pedophiles who’ve almost walked away scot-free because you couldn’t control your fists in the interrogation room, ELLIOT.
Sagittarius – Dominick Carisi Jr.
Yeah, I didn’t know there was a Dominick Carisi Sr., either, until I looked it up just now. Mind blown. Curious and energetic, Sagittarius keep an open mind, much like how Carisi went from being a low-key misogynist (it wasn’t really malicious; he was just ignorant) to #WokeBae in the span of only a few seasons. We also have to respect Carisi’s thirst for knowledge, as he’s the only one on this squad who’s ever made significant moves to better himself by going to law school—and no, attending department mandated therapy sessions does not count as “bettering” oneself (you know who you are). Despite meaning well, Sagittarius can sometimes put their foot in their mouth and say whatever comes to mind, no matter how undiplomatic their ideas may be. And I’d say that describes, oh, 90% of Carisi’s opinions in his first season. It’s okay, Carisi. You’re learning. Sagittarius are travel lovers, but I swear to God if Carisi leaves the show and they keep Olivia, there will be hell to pay. Do you hear me, Dick?! HELL!
Capricorn – Olivia Benson
Capricorns are responsible and disciplined, and while I personally am not living for Olivia’s character arc as of late, I’ve gotta say the woman is responsible when it comes to like, her kid and also like, not completely waving her middle finger in the face of the law and NYPD procedure (*cough* Amaro *cough* STABLER *COUGHS UP A LUNG*). Sorry. Anyway, Capricorns are good managers, and Olivia is doing a pretty decent job managing this squad of goons. (Mostly directed at Rollins.) Independent in their personal and professional lives, a Capricorn’s personal motto is “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’”. And if that’s not Olivia, IDK what is. You really can’t tell this woman nothin’. You can’t tell her not to date every man in her immediate professional circle; you can’t tell her to fucking TELL SOMEONE if she’s going to go off and secretly meet known rapist and sadistic kidnapper, William Louis, in an abandoned building; you can’t tell her that no, a woman who gets tricked into bed by a man who lied about his name and job title was not raped. Seriously, that’s not how it works, Olivia. That’s not how any of this works.
Aquarius – Monique Jeffries
Aquarians are usually shy and quiet, but they can have a bit of a crazy and unpredictable side. Who else better fits that bill than Jeffries, the woman who never did anything interesting until boom, one explosion and she’s gone off the deep end, going on dates with former rape suspects. Just think about that. Sorry your horoscope is kind of lame, but like, there’s not a whole lot to say about you or this woman. Become more interesting and then report back to me with your results.
Pisces – Brian Cassidy
Pisces, y’all are some paranoid and hysterical motherfuckers. You get way too sentimental and it can hinder your life progress—kinda like how Cassidy gets made fun of in season one because he can’t control his emotions about the cases. And like, I get it, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to be cavalier in the face of sex crimes, but that’s why I didn’t sign myself up to work in the sex crimes division of the NYPD. Know yourself. Work on that, and then maybe you can have another brief stint in SVU a full decade later. One of Pisces’ major weaknesses is their desire to escape reality, which can get them into trouble—for instance, when they sign up for a multi-year undercover operation, get into a relationship with a prostitute, get shot and almost die when their undercover status is exposed, and later on get accused of rape by a prostitute they met undercover years prior which causes them to get demoted. You know, just a totally random example. Find a healthy and less literal way to escape reality, Pisces/Cassidy.