From the moment Sex/Life dropped to Netflix on June 25, horny people everywhere have been blind to the fact that it’s problematic because, you know, there’s a lot of sex in it. Pool sex! Car sex! Elevator (almost) sex! Even though you can see nipples and giant penises in every porn on the internet (seriously, what was going on with Brad’s huge d*ck in episode 3?), seeing it on Netflix is shocking, I guess?
Quick recap, in case you were too busy clicking through speeds on your vibrator to follow the “storyline”: Billie (Sarah Shahi) is married to Cooper (Mike Vogel), and the couple has two children (one of whom is a very annoying little kid who honestly needs to learn boundaries). Since having children, Cooper seems uninterested in sex, so Billie starts writing in her journal (which is just a Word doc on her unlocked computer) about her past relationship with bad boy Brad (Adam Demos).
While the plot itself is not great (so not great, in fact, that it’s actually kinda f*cked-up), there are a lot of other really strange things going on that make absolutely no sense. You might not have caught them because you were too busy orgasming on your couch, but luckily, I’m a fantastic multi-tasker. Cartoonishly big schlongs aside, here are a few Sex/Life elements I quite literally cannot wrap my head around.
1. Billie Doesn’t Use Lube
Now I’m not lube-free-sex-shaming, but the sheer lack of lube in the show is sus. I’m not even 30, and I’ve never had kids, but I basically use a whole bottle before even thinking about penetration. Blame it on hormone-zapping birth control or just plain getting older, but I’ve been on the lube train for quite a while. Maybe Billie is the wettest b*tch there ever was (which like, respect). But come on… for someone so apparently sex-positive, it just seems kinda ridic that she’s having amazing penetration after about five seconds of foreplay without a little help.
2. Billie Gets Turned On By A Random FaceTime Of Brad’s D*ck
Personally, I find few things to be less arousing than opening my phone and randomly being greeted by a surprise penis. I’d quite literally rather have a yeast infection than have to unexpectedly see a picture or video of a peen and then have to respond to whichever insecure guy thought this was a good idea. It’s exhausting to even think about. First of all, just to be the party police, unsolicited d*ck pics are considered harassment (and illegal, in some states), not to mention they’re just awkward. I’ve never seen an image of a d*ck and thought, “Wow, I really want to get me some of that.” Ever. Ever! Not even on a good day, and not even with a good d*ck.
Granted, in Billie’s situation, she accepted Brad’s FaceTime, but when he started revealing his junk, she wasn’t like, “Woah man, I’m married” or even like, “Oh my God, are we gonna get flirty?” Instead, she literally GOT TURNED ON by unexpectedly seeing her ex’s pubes on her iPhone. He’s just sitting there flashing his penis and expecting you to fawn over it? No, girl. I’m calling bullsh*t.
3. And She Watched Her Friend F*ck Brad via FaceTime
Speaking of nonconsensual sexting, how about that time Brad FaceTimed Billie and propped up the phone so she could secretly watch him and her best friend, Sasha (Margaret Odette), have sex against a doorframe? And after Billie watched and masturbated, she told Sasha, who acted like it was NBD that, not only did the guy she was hooking up with film her having sex without her knowledge, but her best friend watched it live — and jerked it — again, without her knowledge. Who are these people? Does no one have boundaries or sh*tty wifi? If I told my bestie I watched her f*ck my ex without her knowledge, I’m sure I would be the proud new recipient of a restraining order and a lawsuit, friendship aside.
4. Billie Consistently Gets Off In Missionary
The last I checked, it’s hard for most women to get off by penetration alone. In fact, only 18% find it sufficient to warrant an orgasm. It seems, however, Billie is part of that lucky group. Sure, in her defense, she credits this to Brad’s proficiency in the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT). “There are whole books written on the subject, which either Brad read or never needed to,” Billie says. “But when done right, it provides the ultimate connection, both physical and emotional. I felt closer to him than I had to anyone.”
In reality, the CAT is just a modified version of missionary where the guy is positioned higher up so the base of his penis rubs against her clitoris. But that’s not the only type of missionary sex they’re having. So, even when Brad’s not practicing the (very hard to master) technique, Billie still gets off in mere seconds from penetration? Checks out.
5. Billie’s Husband Goes On A Double Date With Brad
Going on a double date with most people is torture (the small talk, the discussion of splitting the check, the awkward seating arrangements), but going on one with your wife’s ex who she keeps fantasizing about, and her best friend who’s now f*cking said ex? In what world? It’s honestly sadistic. Out of four adults, one person would have to be like, “Yeah, this isn’t going to go well, let’s not do this” and put their foot down. But no! Everyone goes, and surprise! Things don’t go well. Honestly, I’d love to fake invite my husband to that dinner, just to see his reaction. Or maybe I wouldn’t, because that’s grounds for divorce IMO.
6. The Subway Track Scene
I don’t care how hot someone is, if they pulled me down onto a train track, as a train is coming toward me, I would 1000% be seeing their ass in court. I don’t know what for, but I would sue that MFer. What if a piece of metal was jutting out of the side? What if Billie didn’t get to the little nook in time? What if they stumbled while making out as the speeding train whizzed by? While I get there’s a level of hotness to danger, that’s reserved for like, riding a Vespa or wearing white on your period, not for nearly getting squashed by a train to make out with a guy who will literally have sex with you anytime, anywhere.
7. Billie And Cooper Didn’t Discuss Rules Before Going To The Sex Club
At first, it seemed like their friends sprung the whole sex party thing on Billie and Cooper, but during a later fight, it’s brought up that they both agreed to go. What it doesn’t sound like, however, is that they had any sort of conversation before stepping into the new situation. 101 for that kind of thing is talking before attending. It’s obvious they didn’t have any rules laid out and then just didn’t communicate while they were there. I’m sorry, having sex in front of people in that situation is pretty standard, but not wanting to do that is cool. Getting sucked off by your wife’s friend while she watches and cries isn’t as standard.
Also! The show making it seem like that’s what happens at sex clubs is low-key f*cked-up. For 99% of people, it’s something they choose to do together, but go on, Netflix! Let’s add another layer of insecurities for people who are having normal and consensual non-monogamous sex. Le sigh.
8. Cooper Just Keeps Reading Billie’s Journal
Sure, fool me twice, shame on me. But like, not really, because Brad is literally violating his wife’s privacy. Regardless, after reading Billie’s
Word doc journal, he freaks TF and plays the victim, even though uh, you snooped, sir. Yes, it’s unsettling to see your wife is writing about her old relationship, but she actually didn’t do anything wrong in that regard.
That aside, whatever. People snoop, that’s not so far-fetched. What is unrealistic, however, is the fact that Cooper not only reads Billie’s journal, but she knows he’s reading it, and he knows she knows he’s reading it, and he just keeps reading it, and she just keeps writing in it. This is just straight-up masochistic. Yes, he should be cut loose for snooping, but I’d also maybe stop writing scandy things (at least in the same place) if I knew my S.O. was being a little lurking b*tch, but that’s just me.
9. Billie Doesn’t Have A F*cking Lock On Her Computer
Cooper’s snooping brings me to the most unrealistic, absurd element of the entire show: Billie’s “journal.” This smart woman is writing her feelings down in a simple word document she leaves up on her computer. Her computer that doesn’t have a lock screen. And the same computer she just leaves lying on the counter for anyone to open and use.
Billie’s a professional. What professional doesn’t have a lock on their computer? What non-professional doesn’t? You have sensitive emails and bank statements and in her case, musings about your ex on there! And after her hubs snooped, you’d think she’d spend one second to go into settings and whip up a password based on her childhood pet, but nope! Billie just keeps writing in her little doc on her computer that she leaves out and expects her insecure husband not to snoop. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND HOW IS SHE GIVING LECTURES?
What it all comes down to is this: Sex/Life is no Bridgerton, and if these people lived in the world of Lady Whistledown, it wouldn’t have taken an entire season for their relationship to crumble. And honestly? They’d probably be having a hell of a lot better sex, too.
Images: COURTESY OF NETFLIX (2)
Presented by SkinnyPop
As we move into the spring, and life starts to get closer and closer to pre-pandemic normalcy, it seems like we’re all realizing something very important: having free time with no plans and no place to be is really nice! Over the last year (and then some), I’ve come to cherish my lazy weekends on the couch, with nothing to do except decide what to eat (easy, the answer is SkinnyPop) and what to watch (less easy).
Sure, it’s nice to be able to hug your loved ones again, and I’m all for making plans, but luckily there are plenty of new shows coming down the pipeline for those days you just can’t be bothered to put on real pants and leave the house. Here are nine shows to look out for this spring.
‘The Nevers’ – 4/11 (HBO)
If you love a show with a historical setting, but don’t want to vibe out to the History Channel, The Nevers is right up your alley. In Victorian England, a mysterious supernatural happening leaves a bunch of women with various special powers and abilities, and the main characters set out to protect these people from those who seek to destroy them. It’s kind of like X-Men, but with fun costumes and accents.
‘Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!’ – 4/14 (Netflix)
Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t like Jamie Foxx? I doubt it! Foxx stars in this comedy based on his relationship with his daughter Corinne, who is also a producer on the show. Based on the trailer, this is going to be one of those family shows that sort of makes you cringe in the best way possible, and it’s definitely going to be a binge-in-one-sitting type of thing. Grab the SkinnyPop, and get comfy.
‘Big Shot’ – 4/16 (Disney+)
John Stamos has a new show coming out, so there’s finally something you and your mom can both be excited about. In Big Shot, Stamos plays a disgraced college basketball coach who ends up coaching the team at an all-girls high school. Despite some initial speed bumps, Coach Korn and the girls on the team work together to achieve something bigger than anyone expected. Think Ted Lasso meets High School Musical.
‘Rutherford Falls’ – 4/22 (Peacock)
Ed Helms stars in this new comedy about people from a historic small town and the neighboring Native American reservation who are brought together in a fight to preserve the legacies of their ancestors. The trailer definitely gives off charming Parks and Recreation vibes, and the show has an indigenous showrunner and cast members, as well as the largest indigenous writing staff on any American show. We love to see this representation.
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – 4/28 (Hulu)
If you’re still going strong into the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale, congratulations, you’re better at handling stress than I am. As June’s journey to be reunited with her child (and casually topple an oppressive government), things are as bleak as ever. Season 3 ended up with our main character being shot by a soldier, but something tells me she won’t stay down for long.
‘The Mosquito Coast’ – 4/30 (Apple TV+)
Anyone in your life who loved The Leftovers is about to be very excited, because Justin Theroux is finally coming back to TV. The Mosquito Coast is a tense AF adaptation of the novel of the same name, which was actually written by Justin Theroux’s uncle. The plot centers on a man who uproots his family and moves to the Mosquito Coast of Honduras to avoid the corruption of society—but you already know there’s some darker sh*t going on under the surface here.
‘Pose’ – 5/2 (FX/Hulu)
After taking a lengthy hiatus, Ryan Murphy’s best show (and no, that’s not up for debate) is back for one last season. So far, details about season 3 are being kept under wraps, but the second season brought us into the ‘90s and the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York’s queer community. Pose has always brought the heartbreaking moments right alongside the showstopping ballroom looks and performances, and the finale is sure to be more extravagant than ever.
‘The Real Housewives of New York City’ – 5/4 (Bravo)
RHONY is back for a 13th season, and let’s be honest, these ladies never disappoint. This season, the returning cast will be joined by attorney and TV host Eboni K. Williams, who is coming in hot as the franchise’s first Black housewife. She’ll be entering the friend group alongside Bershan Shaw, who joins the cast as a friend of. It’s about time that the New York housewives start looking a little more like the actual New York.
‘Girls5eva’ – 5/9 (Peacock)
You can never have too much ’90s nostalgia content, and Peacock’s new comedy from Tina Fey and Co. is exactly what we need right now. Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, and Paula Pell star as the members of a long-dormant girl group who decides to attempt a comeback after 20 years. They’ve changed a lot, and so has the music industry, but whether they pull it off or not, it looks like it’s going to be hilarious.
Images: Jasper Savage / Hulu; HBO, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock, Hulu, Apple TV+, FX Networks, Bravo / YouTube
Netflix’s Bling Empire is the latest new show to whet our ravenous pandemic streaming appetites, and for good reason. The show follows the delightful antics of IRL Crazy Rich Asians Kevin, Kane, Cherie, Kelly, Kim, Christine, and of course, Anna Shay, as they throw parties and solve mysteries like “where are Kevin’s parents?” and “Is Cherie’s baby actually her reincarnated mom?” Everything would be fine if it weren’t for one individual: Andrew Gray, an actor best known for playing the role of Red Power Ranger from 2013-2014. I’m not kidding. In Bling Empire, Andrew plays the role of Kelly’s f*ckboyish boyfriend, but instead of just being kind of a tool we all hope she breaks up with, he displays a number of legitimately alarming behaviors that at times makes the show hard to watch. Watching their relationship unfold, I couldn’t help but think back to emotionally abusive or harmful partners I’ve dated or seen others date in the past. Throughout the season, Drew throws up red flag after red flag, and the internet definitely took notice. Here are just a few of the concerning behaviors Drew displayed throughout the season.
Do I even need to explain this one? I presume we were all as shocked as Anna Shay when we heard Drew screaming at Kelly over the phone in the very first episode. Not only was this behavior shocking, it’s also textbook abuse. Screaming or shouting is a common form of abuse and potential precursor to violent behavior. Sure, we all get heated with our partners from time to time, but we all know the difference between that and full-volume screeching at them over the phone the moment they pick up over a misunderstanding that could have been solved with a slightly salty text. From the moment Andrew came on screen, this dude’s flag was blood red.
Another disturbing Drew moment came when he realized Kelly had discussed his freakout and their subsequent couples counseling session with Anna and Kim (despite the fact that Anna literally heard him screaming at the time). Drew tries to guilt trip Kelly for discussing their relationship with her friends (a very normal behavior that should be allowed in every relationship) in an attempt to keep her quiet about his outbursts in the future. By pushing Kelly to agree to never discuss their relationship with others, he’s protecting himself from anyone finding out about his abusive behavior in the future.
At the apex of his creepiness, Drew accompanies Kelly to a couple’s counseling session in which she finally reveals the relationship has to end. Throughout the session, Drew continually gaslights Kelly about her version of their relationship, instead categorizing it as “perfect” in an attempt to get her to stay. Luckily, the therapist is having none of it and makes Drew confront the disparity between his version of events and Kelly’s. Also, did you notice how that therapist separated him from Kelly so they could make a plan to get her out of the house? My guess is that therapist was a lot more alarmed by Drew’s behavior than she let on.
After making it clear to Kelly he did not want her to discuss their relationship, and after his abuse became more widely known in the group (thank you Anna Shay), the season ends with Kelly and Drew reigniting their relationship secretly because she doesn’t want to “deal with the drama.” Isolation puts Kelly in an even more vulnerable situation, because her friends aren’t even aware that she’s in an abusive relationship to keep an eye out for her.
Drew only just found out that Kelly went on a date with Kevin while they were broken up, but I don’t think it’s the last we’ll be hearing about that issue, especially since it was the first thing Drew wanted to know when they got back together. Sure, none of us want to hear about the people our partners dated when we weren’t together, but extreme jealousy is a form of controlling behavior that I could definitely see becoming an issue with Drew in season two. Unless of course, he doesn’t come back for season two, which I think we’d all be fine with.
As you can probably imagine, Drew’s behavior did not go unnoticed among Bling Empire fans, with people on Twitter calling him a “living breathing red flag.” Social media lit up after the show’s debut with posts from users concerned about Drew and Kelly’s relationship.
Drew from Bling Empire is frightening. If the show is close to an accurate portrayal then Kelly should run and never look back. That level of emotional abuse and manipulation is dangerous. He may want to change and heal but he needs to do that alone.
— theycallmecater (@theycallmecater) January 17, 2021
Personally, I found Andrew’s presence on the show distracting from what was otherwise a very fun watch. Bling Empire simply doesn’t need someone like Andrew in the cast. There’s enough drama and intrigue between Anna, Kim, and Anna’s penis pump to make up for anything the Drew/Kelly storyline is bringing to the table. And more importantly, does Netflix really need to be elevating this kind of abusive behavior? While Drew’s red flags are anything but charming to someone who knows how to recognize them, young women and girls might see that kind of behavior normalized—or worse yet, romanticized—on a show like Bling Empire and go on to tolerate it in their own relationships. I know that when I was younger I tolerated a lot of abusive, toxic behaviors because they reminded me of relationships I’d seen on TV. These relationships seem sexy and fun when you’re watching them, but when you’re in them they are anything but, and no one should be left believing screaming, jealousy, and gaslighting are okay. Here’s hoping Kelly and the rest of the Bling Empire franchise leave Andrew where he belongs next season: in the trash.
If you or someone you know are the victim of abuse, check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline here.
Images: Netflix; Giphy; theycallmecater / Twitter
Welcome to 2021! It’s cold, the sun is still setting too early, and now that we’ve been living in pandemic times for *checks calendar* almost a YEAR, your list of TV shows to get through has probably been whittled down to just a few holdouts. I’m always a proponent of watching all 22 seasons of SVU, but if you’re trying to infuse your TV viewing habits with some new blood, I put together this list of shows that are debuting (or returning) in the next couple months. There’s a little bit of reality, comedy, drama—basically, if you don’t like any of these shows maybe you’re just too picky.
Assuming that you’re still spending the vast majority of your time at home (good work, you’re saving lives!), here’s what you should be watching while you continue to wait for the vaccine. Oh, and if you need MORE to watch, lots of the shows from this list are still rolling out new episodes, too. Don’t tell me you’re bored!
‘Search Party’ – 1/14
All the previous seasons of Search Party are on HBO Max, so you have time to catch up. This show is equal parts dark and hilarious, and it is criminally underrated. Also, I’ll say this for the real fans: Elliott and Portia walked so David and Alexis could run. The first three episodes of season 4 are out now, and the rest will drop in weekly three-episode batches.
‘Selena + Chef’ – 1/21
In the last year, we’ve seen plenty of quarantine-inspired projects, to varying degrees of success, but Selena + Chef is easily one of my favorites. In this cooking show, which is returning for a second season on HBO Max, Selena gets a cooking lesson via Zoom from a different professional chef each episode. The way it’s filmed doesn’t make the Zoom aspect feel lame at all, and the different personalities keep every episode fresh and entertaining.
‘Walker’ – 1/21
Jared Padalecki, whom you might know as Dean from Gilmore Girls, and who just finished a 15-year run on Supernatural, returns to The CW in this new reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger. Sorry Chuck Norris, there’s a hot new sheriff in town. In the new reboot, the widowed main character struggles to move on with his career after his wife passes away. I have no idea if this will be any good, but we get Dean in cowboy clothes, so it’s worth a mention.
‘Euphoria: Jules’ – 1/24
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Sadly, there’s still no public timeline for when we can expect season 2 of Euphoria, but at least we still have the second special episode to look forward to. Last month, we got a deep dive into Rue’s story, and this time, it’s Jules’ turn. We have no idea what to expect from this special, but if the Rue installment is any indication, it’ll probably be an emotional roller coaster.
‘Firefly Lane’ – 2/3
Is 2021 the year of the Katherine Heigl comeback? Perhaps! The Grey’s Anatomy alum stars in Netflix’s limited series adaptation of the hit novel Firefly Lane, which tells the story of two childhood friends who go through a lot of sh*t across a span of three decades. The story starts in the 1970s in the Pacific Northwest, so there’s sure to be some great 70s/80s fashion, and yeah, you’ll probably cry a lot.
‘Summer House’ – 2/4
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Summer House is the one show on Bravo that actually makes sense to film in a quarantine environment, and the crew is back for a fifth season. If you’ve never watched but you’re missing the messy glory days of Vanderpump Rules, this might be right up your alley. Based on the sneak peek, we can expect another season of drunken antics, relationship drama, and maybe even a wedding? Lots to consider.
‘Clarice’ – 2/11
If you love The Silence of the Lambs, listen up. CBS made a brand-new series centering on Clarice Starling, the FBI agent famously played by Jodie Foster. The show takes place shortly after the events of the movie, and will give us a much deeper look into Clarice’s background, as well as some gritty new mysteries. The title role is played by Rebecca Breeds, whom you may remember as Nicole on Pretty Little Liars, and the trailer looks dark and twisted, just the way it should.
‘Punky Brewster’ – 2/25
After their well-received Saved By The Bell reboot, Peacock is keeping the throwback vibes going with a new version of the ’80s classic Punky Brewster. Original star Soleil Moon-Frye returns to play a much more grown-up version of her iconic character, who is now a single mom raising three kids. To sweeten the pot, Freddie Prinze Jr. joins the cast as Punky’s ex-husband. Aaaaand I’m immediately interested.
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ – 3/19
This week, we’re finally getting our first Disney+ Marvel series with WandaVision, but we won’t have to wait long for the next one to arrive. Up until now, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s characters have been supporting players in the MCU, but they’re finally getting their starring turn in this action-packed miniseries. The story picks up after Avengers: Endgame, when (spoiler) Falcon has taken over the reins as the new Captain America. Obviously, there are bad guys, and it looks like we’re in for a good time.
Images: Courtesy of Netflix; HBO Max, The CW Network, Netflix, CBS, Peacock, Marvel Entertainment / YouTube; euphoria, bravobybetches / Instagram
Back in March, who could have predicted that basically nothing would change by the end of 2020? Okay, a few things have changed, but assuming you’re not one of the lucky few who have already gotten their hands on the vaccine, your ass is still glued to the couch, and you’re still f*cking bored. Luckily, the TV gods understand our need for constant stimulation, so there’s plenty of good stuff coming to a device near you in the next few weeks. Here are the most important new shows and seasons coming soon that you won’t want to miss.
‘Bridgerton’ – Netflix, 12/25
Back in 2017, Shonda Rhimes made history with a record-breaking deal to set up shop at Netflix. It’s taken a few years, but we’re finally getting our first Shondaland Netflix show, and Bridgerton looks like the exact kind of thing I want to binge in 1-2 sittings. Based on a series of novels set in 19th century England, this soapy drama centers on two young nobles who pretend to be in love, each with their own motives. With a diverse cast, gorgeous visuals, and Julie Andrews as the narrator, this is the event of the TV season.
‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ – Netflix, 12/31
If you’re still watching Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, congratulations, you’ve made it to the end. The fourth and final part drops on New Year’s Eve, and as always, it looks creepy and thrilling. But the most exciting part, by far, is the news that the OG Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda from Sabrina The Teenage Witch will be making an appearance. Idk how this factors into the plot, but my sense of nostalgia is happy.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ – VH1, 1/1
The last time I was indoors at a bar was a viewing party for RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12, so the fact that we’re already getting a new season puts into perspective how long this year has felt. Season 13 features 13 new queens, and whether you’re a Drag Race super fan or have yet to watch an episode, trust me, you’ll love it. From the runway looks to the hilarious challenges to the SHAAAAADE that the queens throw at each other, Drag Race is the perfect competition show.
‘The Bachelor’ – ABC, 1/4
I don’t think The Bachelor needs much introduction around here, but I keep forgetting that Matt’s season premieres just two weeks after The Bachelorette wraps up. Filmed in a quarantine bubble in Pennsylvania, this season is sure to be (say it with me) the most dramatic season ever, and judging from the contestant bios, we might have more than one woman trying to secure the villain spot.
‘The Real Housewives of Dallas’ – Bravo, 1/5
I couldn’t talk about The Bachelor without also including a Bravo show, and the Dallas housewives are back in January for their fifth season. This season was filmed during the pandemic, so we’ll see how the ladies incorporate face masks and shields into their glam routines. Mainly, I’m curious to see how the cast fares in the aftermath of LeeAnne Locken’s problematic behavior and subsequent firing, because that sh*t was messy. Judging from the trailer, newcomer Dr. Tiffany Moon seems like a promising addition, and the ladies of Dallas are often underrated.
‘Dickinson’ – Apple TV+, 1/8
With so many streaming services available, a lot of people sleep on Apple TV+, but Dickinson, one of their breakout original shows, is already coming back for a second season. Hailee Steinfeld plays a young Emily Dickinson who’s struggling with the confines of her 1800s New England life. With modern music and dialogue, this show is super fun, and I found myself laughing out loud regularly during the first season.
‘Everyone Is Doing Great’ – Hulu, 1/13
James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti (aka Nathan and Chase from One Tree Hill) teamed up to create and star in this comedy about two actors who are trying to figure out wtf to do years after starring in a hit TV show about vampires. So One Tree Hill wasn’t about vampires, but I’m pretty sure this is low-key autobiographical. Also, yes, this is the same Stephen Colletti from Laguna Beach, which is reason enough to watch.
‘Search Party’ – HBO Max, 1/14
After moving to HBO Max last spring for its third season, Search Party is already back for season four. Going forward, I would appreciate if all of my favorite shows could start putting out new seasons every eight months or so. Dory, Drew, and the gang are still dealing with the aftermath of Keith’s death, and if you know anything about this show, things probably won’t go according to plan. Can’t wait!
‘WandaVision’ – Disney+, 1/15
When Disney+ launched, one of the main draws of the streaming service was the promise of new shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It took a while, but the first one is finally here, and WandaVision looks like it’s going to be a f*cking trip. Wanda and Vision, two of the more under-used characters from the MCU movies, are the perfect TV couple in this supernatural sitcom through the ages. Tbh, I have very little idea what this is actually about, but it’s going to be a big deal.
‘Servant’ – Apple TV+, 1/15
Along with Dickinson, Apple TV’s Servant is also returning for a second season next month. This psychological horror show is produced by horror icon M. Night Shyamalan, and it follows a family who hire a nanny for their child… who is actually a doll. Sh*t gets weird, obviously. Season one got solid reviews, and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) is in this, which is reason enough to watch.
Images: Liam Daniel/Netflix; Netflix, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bachelor Nation on ABC, Bravo, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, Marvel / YouTube
Presented by Prime Video
At this point in 2020, it seems like a fair assumption that your to-do list of shows and movies to watch in quarantine may be dwindling. Back in March, you were busy cramming as many hours of TV as possible into what you thought were a few weeks of staying at home, but nine months later, the existing options have been thoroughly depleted.
You can only rewatch your old favorites so many times, but thankfully, the well of new shows to obsess over hasn’t run dry yet, and our latest binge-worthy find is Amazon Prime Video’s The Wilds. It’s a show that checks a lot of boxes—relatable characters, dark humor, and major twists around every corner—so whatever you’re normally into, you should probably give The Wilds a try. If you’re the kind of person who really needs to be sold on a new show, here’s why this is the one for you, based on what you already love.
I mean, we couldn’t talk about a show with a plane crash and just NOT mention Lost. It might be the most obvious comparison, but beyond the initial moments on the beach, The Wilds will suck you in with its mysterious developments, just like Lost did. Lost kept audiences guessing constantly for six seasons, and The Wilds is just getting started, so buckle up.
In The Society, a group of teens are forced to work together after all the adults in their town mysteriously disappear. Similarly, the teenage characters in The Wilds will have to work together if they don’t want to, like, die of starvation on a remote island. If you loved The Society and were heartbroken that it got canceled after just one season, The Wilds is going to be the perfect replacement for you.
‘Pretty Little Liars’
To state the obvious, both PLL and The Wilds revolve around groups of teenage girls. But going a little deeper, both shows deal with people trying to get to the bottom of a situation that’s much deeper and more f*cked up than it appears on the surface. It’s a little too early to decide which characters on these two shows line up with each other, but the characters on The Wilds come from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, with a wide range of personalities, interests, and viewpoints—what could go wrong?? The girls stranded on the island may not be getting texts from A, but a phone would definitely come in handy…
If you grew up watching Survivor (guilty!), you’ve probably always wondered what it would be like to find yourself trying to thrive on a distant beach with a group of strangers. At this point, I’d just be happy to get out of the house for a few weeks. The characters in The Wilds certainly didn’t apply to be on a competition show, but they still find themselves facing challenges, and are forced to figure sh*t out with people they would never normally be around.
For a limited time you can stream the first episode of The Wilds for free on Amazon Prime Video or Amazon Prime Video’s YouTube.
We’ve spent most of this year talking about how ~unprecedented~ these times are, but now that Election Day has come and gone, it feels like the last seven months were just a fun appetizer for a totally hellish main course. While we still await results in many important races, it can be tempting to spend 14 hours a day watching CNN, but that’s honestly not wise (or necessary). Remember, your mental health is as important as ever, and you can be a responsible, informed citizen without refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds.
For that reason, I wanted to put together a list of some TV shows that might be just what you need to take a little mental break from the unbridled chaos that’s happening in the world right now. The shows on this list are a mix of new and old, reality and scripted, but for various reasons, they’re all better than the nightmare purgatory situation we’re currently facing. Put your phone on airplane mode, crack a new bottle of wine, and enjoy your binging.
If You’re Obsessively Checking The Results: ‘The West Wing’ (Netflix)
Okay, it might seem dumb to recommend a show about politics to escape the torment of real world politics, but it’s a better strategy than you might think. The West Wing was born out of a time when (most) politicians weren’t literally evil, and it’s a political drama with interesting storylines and characters you can actually root for. The writing is top-notch, and a West Wing binge will give you a few weeks to fantasize about what it would be like to live in a functioning democracy.
If You Need To Fully Turn Your Brain Off: ‘Selena + Chef’ (HBO Max)
Bear with me. When I heard that Selena Gomez was getting a cooking show, I rolled my eyes, but Selena + Chef is surprisingly great. Filmed during quarantine earlier this year, Selena gets a Zoom cooking lesson from a different professional chef each episode. It’s a ton of fun—Selena’s grandparents meander in and out of the kitchen giving unsolicited commentary, and she almost hurts herself at least once an episode. The food also looks incredible, if you’re getting back into a cooking phase for round two of lockdown.
If You Need To Laugh Through The Tears: ‘PEN15’ (Hulu)
PEN15 is definitely one of Hulu’s buzzier shows, and a ton of people have started watching since season 2 came out earlier this fall. If you haven’t watched yet, now is the time. The show stars two 30-something women playing their middle school selves, and it’s both hilarious and uncomfortable in a way that feels strangely cathartic. I think I can safely say that middle school was traumatic for most of us, and PEN15 is exactly what I needed to finally process that trauma.
If You’re Trying To Pretend Everything Isn’t A Mess: ‘Get Organized with The Home Edit’ (Netflix)
You’re either going to love or hate this show, but even though I fell firmly in the “hate” column, I still couldn’t stop watching it. These two women, Clea and Joanna, have a home organization business that’s huge on Instagram (they’re behind Khloé Kardashian’s famous cookie jars), and in the show they help out a mix of celebrities and normal people with their projects. This style of organization definitely isn’t for everyone—everything is in clear bins and categorized in rainbow order—but there’s something incredibly satisfying about watching them work. It’s basically the opposite philosophy of Marie Kondo, but with the same overall effect.
If You Want Chaos To Distract From The Chaos: ‘Dance Moms’ (Hulu/Lifetime)
I started rewatching Dance Moms last month, and I had forgotten how truly wild of a ride it is. Life might feel stressful right now, but nothing compares to the stress of 9-year-olds being yelled at by Abby Lee because they dropped their hat during the group dance. Dance Moms is over 200 episodes of pure reality chaos, and there’s also a Dance Moms corner of TikTok that is beyond hilarious. If you need me later today, I’ll probably be crying watching a compilation of Maddie’s solos.
If You Need To Be Transported To A Simpler Time: ‘The O.C.’ (HBO Max)
Personally, I feel like The O.C. hasn’t gotten the throwback boost it deserves, and it’s time we fix that. Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl are great, but Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper need our attention too. Especially now that winter is basically here, it seems like the perfect time to watch drama unfold against the sunny SoCal backdrop. Thankfully, all four seasons are available on HBO Max, so I don’t want to hear any complaints about not having anything to watch.
If You Find Murder Cases Oddly Comforting: ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Season 2 (Netflix)
I do realize the whole point of the show is they discuss an unsolved mysterious death, but the murder part is heavily implied. I’m not sure what it is about true crime content that can be at once so morbidly frightening and comforting, but if that’s what gets you going, Netflix recently dropped season 2 of its dark remake of Unsolved Mysteries just in time. Honestly, you might have better luck solving these cold cases than you would trying to make sense of the Electoral College map, so go nuts.
Or, if all else fails, you can always watch Friends or Parks & Rec for the 100th time. Trust me, no one is judging. Whatever happens, it’s going to be okay, just make sure you take care of yourself.
Images: Erica Parise/Hulu; Giphy (6)
We’re now in the final months of 2020, and let’s face it, this year still sucks. In the spring, we were all focused on finding new hobbies to cure our boredom while we were stuck inside (RIP my needlepoint kit), but now, most of us have settled into our couches and just need something new to watch. Luckily, the stars have aligned to bring us a lot of exciting TV this fall, even after lengthy shutdowns for much of this year. Some of your favorite shows are finally coming back for new seasons, but we’re also getting a whole bunch of exciting new shows and miniseries. Basically, there’s a lot to look forward to, even if the real world is still a f*cking disaster.
‘Unsolved Mysteries Vol. 2’ – 10/19
Our latest true crime obsession, The Vow, is drawing to a close this week, but Netflix has conveniently scheduled a new season of Unsolved Mysteries to make sure that we don’t go hungry. Volume 2 of the hit show unpacks six new mysteries that remain—you guessed it—unsolved. The trailer for the new season is creepy AF, which, in the world of true crime, is all we could possibly ask for. Can’t wait.
‘The Queen’s Gambit’ – 10/23
Rising star Anya Taylor-Joy stars in this six-part adaptation of the hit novel. She plays an orphaned chess prodigy who has to deal with addiction and other demons in her quest to be the best chess player in the world. The trailer is full of brooding drama and 1960s vibes, so I have a feeling I’ll be watching this in one sitting.
‘The Undoing’ – 10/25
As a bona fide Nicole Kidman stan, I was thrilled when I found out that she’s coming back to HBO after making me cry for two full seasons of Big Little Lies. This miniseries, adapted from the thriller novel You Should Have Known, stars Kidman and Hugh Grant as a couple who have to deal with the fallout from a “violent death.” It’s also produced by David E. Kelley, the mastermind behind Big Little Lies. Yup, this sounds like exactly what we all need right now.
‘This Is Us’ Season 5 – 10/27
Who’s in the mood to cry??? Due to COVID, the new season of This Is Us was originally pushed to November, but NBC saw how much y’all were struggling and moved it up to late October. It’s the little things. Season 5 kicks off with a two-hour premiere episode, which means you’ll probably need two full boxes of tissues at the ready—you’ve been warned. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle all the flashbacks and future scenes this season, considering that none of us even know what year it is anymore. 2015? Sure, sounds close enough to me.
‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 – 10/30
The reason your boyfriend won’t let you cancel the Disney+ subscription is back! But actually, our favorite power couple the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are back for a second season, and with that, hopefully there will be another round of fire Baby Yoda memes. He has some cute moments in the trailer, so it seems promising. But overall, the season looks intense, so maybe I’ll make an effort to watch it this year.
‘Industry’ – 11/9
I don’t know how HBO still has new shows ready to go eight months into a pandemic that brought production to a halt around the world, but I’m certainly not complaining. This new British series follows a group of young associates competing for permanent positions at a high-stakes investment bank in London, and it basically looks like Euphoria, but set in the world of finance. This might not be the one to watch if you have trouble with your anxiety, but personally, I’m very excited. Also, Lena Dunham is an executive producer, so make of that what you will.
‘A Teacher’ – 11/10
FX’s new partnership with Hulu this year is already producing good results, and their latest collab is this miniseries about a teacher who has an illegal affair with one of her students. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but this looks like it’s going to be a thrilling take on it. With stars Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), I have a good feeling about this one.
‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ – 11/11
Last fall, when Bravo announced that the next destination in the Real Housewives franchise would be Salt Lake City, the main reaction was “huh?” Turns out, this wintry spot in the mountains has everything you need for an A+ reality show. The women are rich, glamorous, and most importantly, ridiculous. I got a chance to check out the premiere episode early, and it does not disappoint. And even better, RHOSLC is one of the most diverse Housewives casts ever. You love to see it.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 – 11/12
After season 16 was cut short in the spring due to the you-know-what, Meredith Grey & Co. are finally returning for their 17th season. Yes, it’s a lot of seasons, but if you’re still on the Grey’s Anatomy train, there’s no getting off now. Lucky for you, the season premiere will be a crossover episode with Station 19, which means it’s a two-hour episode. It’s really what we deserve after waiting so long.
‘The Crown’ Season 4 – 11/15
One of Netflix’s top prestige dramas returns for its fourth season, and to quote Chris Harrison, this really might be the most dramatic season ever. As the timeline moves into the 1980s, we’ll see the introduction of Lady Diana Spencer, and in the trailer we see glimpses of her wedding, as well as her tumultuous relationship with Prince Charles. This season’s other top new player is Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, played by The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson. And of course, we still have Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter killing it as Elizabeth and Margaret, respectively. This season looks like it’s going to be wild, in the most refined way.
‘Big Sky’ – 11/17
Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley has two new shows this fall, and the second is Big Sky, a drama coming to ABC. This one looks worth it for the gorgeous scenery alone, but there’s also a gripping thriller plot to seal the deal. Two private detectives (one played by Ryan Phillippe, swoon) team up with an ex-cop to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls. They soon find out that other girls have gone missing in the area, and it becomes a hunt to stop more kidnappings from happening. Looks creepy, I’m in.
‘Saved by the Bell’ – 11/25
The reboot trend is officially not over—sorry if you’re sick of them. This might be the thing that finally forces you to get a Peacock account, because the nostalgia is out of control. In this latest reboot, Zack Morris is the Governor of California, while A.C. Slater is teaching P.E. at Bayside. The old cast is obviously here, but much of the series focuses on a new group of kids at Bayside, who are a mix of wealthy and low-income students. Should be interesting, but let’s be honest, it can’t be worse than last year’s dreadful 90210 reboot.
Images: Liam Daniel / Netflix; Netflix, HBO, TV Promos, Star Wars, FX Networks, Bravo, Netflix UK & Ireland, ABC / YouTube