It’s the middle of August and the end of summer is upon us. With only a couple more weeks before it’s back to school for the kids, I made a pact to treat myself to binge watch a half dozen series between now and the end of Labor Day Weekend. Based entirely on recommendations from friends and my social media community, here are my Top 6 Shows to Binge on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime right now.
Maybe it’s the fact that the star of this show, Debby Ryan is the girlfriend of Joshua Dunn—the drummer from my favorite rock group Twenty One Pilots that made me want to watch it. Maybe it was the fact that it’s been criticized as one of the worst shows Netflix ever put out because of it’s fat-shaming and politically incorrect satire. But, the buzz around the show (both positive and negative) within my social media network compelled me to watch it. Even though I’m only on the fifth episode, I appreciate the satirical and hilarious content as adult humor. The societal pressures of being thin are extremely real and this show shines a spotlight on it while adding adult humor. It makes an attempt to empower people that aren’t always accepted in society. The show conjures up what it was like in high school and now, even what it can be like amongst a group of parents seemingly wanting their children to be the best at whatever it is they’re doing. It’s worth a watch if you can handle crude jokes, profanity, adolescent humor and serious topics dealt with in irresponsible ways.
Broad City (Hulu)
Four and three and two and wa-one! That’s how the theme song to Broad City starts at the beginning of every episode. My friend Style By Patty recommended this show to me earlier this summer and I couldn’t get enough of it. The show follows two broke girls living in New York City and presents their day to day lives. The characters Abbi and Illana are natural comediennes who are positively obsessed with each other and are truly best friends. Ilana and Abbi remind me of a short, but very fun period in my life, in my early twenties when I bounced around from job to job chasing the American dream, dating wasn’t much fun and my life felt the most complete when I was with my best friend. This show could be like a flash down memory lane or a glimpse into a world you’d never imagined experiencing. I found the characters relatable and real, not glamorous and unattainable like so many glitzy shows about successful trust fund kids or reality television shows.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
This is a dark story. The show is based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel. It is a cautionary tale, a story of resistance and a work of world-building. The story is very relevant in today’s world, especially given our current political climate. The series tells the story of a country reinvented: A violent religious coup has turned the United States into Gilead, a theocracy where women have been stripped of their rights and the more fertile conscripted into “handmaids,” forced to bear children for the elite. It is very hard to watch at times as it plunges deeply into a world of dread and intense brutality. However, if you’re into dark—this is a show to watch.
Chewing Gum (Netflix)
My friend DonMike recommended this show on his Instastories one night. The first couple of episodes were hard to understand due to the very thick British accents. Once I picked up their lingo, the show was much easier to understand. I love to laugh and this show does not disappoint. Created by female writer Michaela Coel, the series is about a character named Tracey (played by Coel), a 24-year-old virgin living in a lower-income housing development in London who spends her time trying to hook up with a boy. It’s an interesting, yet odd girl chases boy kind of show, complete potato chips for the mind. It’s also a huge departure from any reality I’ve ever lived or imagined. I love that it has a female lead and it’s also completely written by her. Check it out if you’re into British humor and slapstick comedy.
Orange Is The New Black (Netflix)
Inspired by Piper Kerman’s real-life account of her arrest and imprisonment for drug-related money laundering, this hour-long dramedy opens up to include the equally heartbreaking and often humorous biographies of her fellow inmates. The show is revolutionary and acclaimed for its onscreen diversity and it becomes more and more timely, tackling everything from transgendered rights to police brutality and more. It definitely portrays a world that most of us have never seen before and it’s interesting to be reminded that there is a prison system here in America and some of these scenes aren’t as far fetched as one might imagine.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
This show introduces us to Midge Maisel, a very wealthy Upper East Side housewife as prim and perfect as if she had stepped out of a 1950’s Life magazine ad. She couldn’t be happier, married to a great husband Joel, and raising her kids in the same apartment building as her endearingly overbearing Jewish parents, Abe and Rose. The series is bursting with old-fashioned charm. The show is shot in the style of Woody Allen’s nostalgic comedies complete with a jazzy soundtrack and an landmarks of the beautiful chaos that is life in the Big Apple. I love the sly, quotable humor throughout and the presentation of a strong feminist streak. This show is inspiring, makes me want to get off the couch and go sing in a Jazz club or reconnect with the elements of life that I completely abandoned in exchange for the life I have now.