Have you ever had one of those weeks when Saturday rolls around and you just know your not going to be moving from your bed (or couch) unless disaster strikes? That’s me this week.
Even though I have a long to-do list sitting on the counter, I am devoting at least one day off to binge-watching and binge-watching only — okay, eating, too, but mostly binge-watching.
The only problem with this master plan is that I frequently have absolutely no idea what to watch. It’s as though I have seen every series and I am certain that an hour or more of annoyingly searching for the next perfect show awaits. How is that something so mindless and ordinary is such a challenge to get started?
I’d like to help others avoid this frustrating searching stage, so here is my list of binge-worthy shows, based on your mental or emotional needs at the time:
When You Need to Laugh: I’m Sorry
Andrea Savage is the creator and lead star in this laugh-out-loud comedy in which she is quick to always say the wrong thing and then follow it up with a (maybe-not-so-sincere) “I’m sorry.”
She plays a mom, wife, and writer who doesn’t quite fit in with the other parents. Most episodes are built around her putting her foot right into that very big mouth of hers while her husband lovingly calls her out on her immaturity.
While I’m not usually one to embrace a little crassness, I love how this series pulls it off. I can’t say it any better than Troy Patterrson, who writes (about Savage) in The New Yorker, “Her show assuages middle-aged, upper-middle-class anxiety with easy-listening raunch. Its filth is gently cleansing — exactly as coarse as an exfoliating scrub.”
It’s a great show for light binging, even on a Monday night when you don’t want to be so wrapped up in a show that it’s 3 am before you retire to bed.
Where to binge: Netflix
When You Need a Good Cry: Parenthood
If you have yet to watch this, delay no longer. With 6 seasons, it offers a long-term binge-watch commitment and I can assure you — you will cry with every episode.
The show follows Zeek and Camille Braverman, and the families of their four adult children. With a stellar cast including Dax Shepard, Lauren Graham, Mae Whitman, Erika Christensen, and Craig T. Nelson, the characters are authentic and lovable. You will carry them with you throughout the day as you indulge in binging this series.
The theme of the show is, simply, human connection. We’re invited to watch the characters struggle with parenting, relationship woes, financial stress, and health issues. They often stumble and do the wrong thing, but in doing so, they reveal valuable lessons.
Adulting is hard and this series captures and portrays that in the most genuine way. The show’s music powerfully enhances the emotions the characters invoke, highlighting their trials and tribulations in all the right ways. You will feel as if you, too, are a Braverman when you let these characters in.
When Parenting is Tough: Little Fires Everywhere
Being a mom can be so hard, right? As moms, we will walk through hell and high-water to help our kids, to make them happy, and sometimes — particularly when we have teens — this just isn’t enough.
Little Fires Everywhere depicts and exaggerates this facet of motherhood as two mothers struggle to connect (or stay connected) with their teen daughters. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington navigate through a (sometimes) friendship as racial tensions and socioeconomic inequalities are explored throughout the 8-episode season.
Where to binge: Hulu
When You Crave a Little Competition: The Last Dance
An inside look at the 1990s Chicago Bulls, this documentary uncovers the politics and secrets behind the 6-time Champion Powerhouse Organization and its coach Phil Jackson.
You will get an inside look into how the world of sports journalism has completely changed since the ’90s and a peek into the mind of Michael Jordan, perhaps the most competitive and talented athletes of all-time.
Jordan’s ambition, drive, and desire to win are contagious and inspiring — and makes me want to go to the gym and kick some serious butt. Full disclosure: I am a basketball fan, but I think sports fans of any kind will dive into this documentary about the Chicago Bulls and get lost, in the best way possible.
Sit down and indulge when you need a little spark to light your competitive fire.
Where to binge: Netflix
When You Need to Stand Up For Yourself: The Good Wife
Juliana Margolis will teach you everything you need to know about setting boundaries in this legal drama.
When her mother-in-law approaches her with un-welcomed advise about parenting or unwanted suggestions for finding more balance in her life, she politely makes strong eye-contact and calmly says, “Thank you. Anything else?”
I have so much to learn from this character and I often try to channel my inner Alicia Florrick when faced with the daunting task of setting boundaries. The series immediately introduces us to Alicia as the loyal wife to Cook County’s State’s Attorney, Peter Florrick, as she stands by his side (literally) after a humiliating sex scandal.
The drama takes an inside look into the world of law, politics, and motherhood — and it will have you pressing Next Episode well into the late hours of the night. With 7, long seasons, it will keep you occupied for months, but be forewarned it falls really flat (almost painful to watch) in season 7. I suggest you hang in there, however, because the last scene of the last episode ever is SO worth the long and boring wait.
Where to binge: Amazon Prime