Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.
It feels very strange to be stuck in place—a house, an apartment—while so much is changing out in the world. And for those of you who have already begun to feel murderous toward your roommates (or significant others, siblings, parents, cousins—all of which by now have become, in all but name, your roommates), it's important to cultivate what Seamus Heaney called "moments of lift, of joy." Whatever you’re going through right now, here are ten shows and movies, all available on streaming services, to distract and delight.
1. Grace & Frankie (Netflix)
With a solid first three seasons, and then a few seasons in homage to the first three seasons, this is a show that’ll have you—and your roommates—Googling Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin interviews for weeks or months or however long social-distancing lasts.
2. Sex Education (Netflix)
It is almost impossible to imagine Gillian Anderson more stunning and affecting than she was in The Fall, playing Detective Superintendent Gibson (opposite her fluffy, very handsome serial killer co-star, Jamie Dornan). But here we are. In Sex Education, Gillian transforms into the wry, lavish, perfectly-disheveled sex therapist single mother of the show’s awkward high schooler protagonist, Otis. When Otis realizes he has inherited some of his mother’s gifts, he teams up with gutsy but troubled heartthrob, Maeve, to run a sex advice consulting business for their classmates. An utter delight.
3. Billy on the Street (Netflix)
You’re Inside. You’re probably tired of being inside (I am). Good news: Billy Eichner is not using his inside voice. You’ll feel like you’re on the streets again, life full of wonder.
4. Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix + Hulu)
It’s all here, all for you: 15 seasons of the classic show that Netflix describes as “romantic, emotional.” Life-shaping, they forgot to add. Listen, there are two scenarios. Either you’ve watched or you haven’t. Either you know why Izzie won’t cash Denny’s million-dollar check or you don’t. Join us.
5. The Parent Trap (Disney+)
Back when we were all Lindsay Lohan. Watch it for the soundtrack.
6. Dark (Netflix)
This is the German gothic time-traveling sci-fi thriller soap opera you didn’t know you needed. And all of the actors are as beautiful and sleep-deprived as you will be after binging on both seasons straight through the night. Essential information: sub, not dub.
7. Survivor (Hulu)
34 seasons of bandanas, B.O., clashing personalities, Jeff Probst not aging, bug bites, and torches snuffed to satisfying gasps of smoke. The early seasons are especially interesting—the soon-to-be-infamous Reality Star Type didn’t really exist yet, so contestants were playing to win, not to become famous. All this to say: Watching (or re-watching!) is an exercise in anthropology as much as entertainment.
8. Fleabag (Prime Video)
This show is delicious and smart in every way. But be prepared, one of your roommates is bound to say something about how “unconventionally pretty” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s nose is. Fortunately for them, they are safe from the violence you will be tempted to perpetrate, because they are 6 feet away.
9. Tiger King (Netflix)
What is a snow leopard doing in the back of this guy’s van? Why do we emotionally identify with the wind-blown lion yawning in the back seat of that speeding convertible? Who are these people and where do they grocery shop? These and other questions remain mostly unanswered. They are, however, dramatized toward some kind of genius in this wonky, very binge-able docuseries.
10. Chicago (Hulu)
Scurrying from the couch to the snack drawer and back again may begin to feel like your own kind of “Cell Block Tango.” But we’re not watching this movie for the sake of a joke hinging on some small but growing sense of existential peril… We’re watching because Roxie Hart has got a vaudeville career to build, and this tiny little thing called murder isn’t going to get in her way. Plus, we all need something gritty and fun to sing in the shower.
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