COVID-19 Diaries: The rest of my pandemic watchlist

So I’ve been watching a lot of British TV, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching other stuff. In the below list, I’ve left out a few shows that I had already been following or that are not as top of mind right now (The Magicians, The Crown, Killing Eve), not because I didn’t enjoy them immensely.

Locke & Key. This wasn’t the best show but it was well done and enjoyable. Based on a graphic novel, it’s about a family who’s moved in the weird family home of their dad who has passed away. They discover these, you guessed it, magical keys that lead them into strange worlds. A little bit of tension and darkness but not too much. It’s almost like it was made for older kids. 

Never Have I Ever. THIS WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. I had heard good things but was resistant for some reason. Then my friend Yiannis raved about it and I had to watch it. It was better than I even expected. Bitingly funny and heartwarming without being sentimental. From Mindy Kaling, it’s about an Indian American teenager, her friends and family, a hot crush, and dealing with the recent death of her dad. I laughed! I cried! I loved how the cast was so diverse.

Avenue 5. From the creators of VEEP (although not as funny), it’s about a pleasure cruise space ship that’s gone off course and is stranded in space for an ever-changing amount of time (weeks to years). It was a little too close for comfort in terms of the quarantine: being stuck inside for an inderminate amount of time. In one espide (SPOILER ALERT) some people start to think they’re not actually in space and that the outside is a simulation, and against their better judgement go into the airlock and promptly die:

Sound familiar?

It stars Hugh Laurie playing a Brit pretending to be an American and also has Rebecca Front as a literal Karen character. I had no idea she was British until I saw her on Love, Lies and Records.

The Witcher. This wasn’t that great. I had high hopes because it’s a fantasy with witches and magic and fantastical creatures. But I hated it at first. I had no idea what was going on. There seemed to be three different plotlines and I didn’t get the connection. It wasn’t until about the fourth episode that it became clearer. Also, it was confusing because the show is a combination of one-off adventures but also a larger plotline that, like I said, doesn’t become evident until a few episodes in.

Yes, I’m complaining about it, but I still watched the whole thing. It was brain candy and Henry Cavill looks awesome with his shirt off.

Outlander. Although partly British produced, I don’t really think of this as a British show. More of an international sensation and the main reason I subscribed to Starz. Netflix only has up to season three so when I saw that Starz had not just one but two seasons, I said sign me up.

It has not disappointed. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are so fucking good together (and an impossibly beautiful couple). At one point I thought, “I want Claire and Jamie to be my parents.” It’s a combination of comforting and stressful/upsetting. I like that they don’t whitewash things like slavery and the mistreatment of Native Americans (at least as far as I can tell).

Discovery of Witches. This show wants to be Outlander but lacks the chemistry between the two costars. The love scenes are stiff (not in a good way) and cringey. But again I watched the whole thing on Shudder (which is nicely offering a whole month free) because I had read all the books and enjoyed their so-bad-they’re-good-ness.

A kind of Twilight for adults, it’s about a woman, Diana Bishop, who was born into a family of witches but isn’t into being a witch until a mysterious book and a mysterious man (a doctor vampire who doesn’t twinkle) comes into her life. Although not fantastic, the show is well done and I like Teresa Palmer who plays Diana. She’s an Australian who does a decent American accent. Alex Kingston, on the other hand, who I normally love, does a super exaggerated one that’s pretty distracting. Anyway, if there’s a second season, I’ll still watch it.

Red Oaks. Set in 1980s New Jersey, this show has been on Amazon since 2015 but I’ve never heard of it. Emily and Chuck on Movie Crush talked about it as being comforting so I gave it a go. It’s delightful. I wouldn’t say I love it but it’s enjoyable. And I just learned the guy who plays David, Craig Roberts, is Welsh! I had no idea.

Derry Girls. SO FUCKING GOOD. Set in northern Ireland during the Troubles in the 1990s, it’s darkly hilarious. All the characters, especially Erin, Orla, and Claire, crack my shit up constantly. Another show for which I have to watch with subtitles. Hmm, I guess this technically counts as a British show, but it doesn’t have the same old-fashioned vibe. It’s much more hip.

GLOW. I’m late to the game on this one about professional women wrestlers set in the ‘80s. I wasn’t very interested until I went looking for half hour comedies. And I love Alison Brie. (I watched Horse Girl recently, and while I’m not sure I liked the movie, she was fantastic in it.) GLOW is even better than I expected, and I’m happy there are a few seasons of it.

Ghost Hunters. Dumb but comforting. This was a show I watched a lot after my divorce, and for some reason I found solace in it. It’s been off the air for a while but was recently brought back, with Grant Wilson only and minus Jason Hawes. I miss their dynamic as well as pairs, Steve and Tango and Amy and and Adam, but I’m enjoying the new team. I don’t think I realized that there’s something oddly soothing about ghost hunting in the dark. Maybe it’s all the whispering. Paranormal ASMR.

More shows to come I’m sure.

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