Bingeworthy shows to watch during quarantine
"Moesha" is streaming on Netflix. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times.
With so many streaming services and so much content out there, we know there a lot of TV shows for viewers to choose from and this can be overwhelming. To make it easy on you, the BARTable team has narrowed down our favorite shows, currently streaming on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and YouTube. Here's what we're watching during quarantine.
Note: Some of the following shows are rated TV-MA. Viewer discretion is advised.
SFGate called "I'm Sorry" the "best show you've probably never seen." The show is helmed by comedian/actress/writer Andrea Savage (of "Veep" and "Stepbrothers"). "I'm Sorry" follows Andrea Warren - who Savage, as co-creator, has deemed "an exaggerated version" of herself - a TV writer balancing a raunchy comedy circuit filled with dirtbag friends, while navigating the "responsible" side that includes her role as a mom to a preschool-aged daughter and her role as a wife. The show has been renewed for a third season with a TBD debut date.
"Insecure" unpacks the story of the black female experience from the perspective of two female protagonists, Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) who have been best friends with each other since their college days at Stanford. Both in their late 20s, they navigate career and relationship experiences while living in their hometown of Los Angeles. The two share a close bond, and throughout the show, they deal with internal struggles within themselves, their friendship, and the African American community. The fourth season started streaming earlier this year and has recently been nominated for eight Emmy Awards.
A new Netflix series created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, "Never Have I Ever" centers around Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a 15-year-old girl from Southern California. After a horrible freshman year, Devi wants to change her social status, but friends, family, and feelings do not make it easy for her. "Never Have I Ever" is the teen rom-com you didn't realize you were missing.
Based on Celeste Ng's 2017 bestseller, "Little Fires Everywhere" follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family. An enigmatic mother (Kerry Washington) and daughter upend their lives and explore the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster. At first glance, the show seems to be a suburban whodunit. But then it becomes a study of two women—Elena Richardson, a wealthy mother of four, and Mia Warren, a nomadic single mom, who become inextricably linked.
"Schitt's Creek" is streaming on Netflix. Photo courtesy of NBC News.
"Schitt's Creek" is just campy hilarity. In this sitcom, a wealthy couple -- video store magnate Johnny and his soap opera star wife Moira -- suddenly find themselves completely broke. With only one remaining asset, a small town called Schitt's Creek, which the Roses bought years earlier as a joke, this once-wealthy couple must give up life as they know it. With their two spoiled children in tow and their pampered lives behind them, the Rose family is forced to face their newfound poverty head-on and come together as a family to survive.
Sean Evans hosts, "Hot Ones" a YouTube show where celebrities discuss their work and lives while eating increasingly spicy chicken wings. "Our Hot Ones interview show is all about deconstructing celebrities and making them seem like normal people,” said Evans. Watch some of the best guests including Padma Lakshmi, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charlize Theron, Guy Fieri, and Terry Crews.
Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, "The Handmaid's Tale" is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized "return to traditional values." As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander's household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world.
In “The Baby-Sitters Club,” the Netflix adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s popular children’s book series, there’s a witch. Not the cauldron-stirring, spell-casting sort of witch. This isn’t that kind of kids’ adventure story. Instead, Esme Porter (Karin Konoval) is a “spiritual practitioner” who hosts “share-a-monies” in suburban Stoneybrook, Conn. “Witch,” she says, is a name that’s come to be used for “people, primarily women, who refuse to conform to society’s expectations of who they should be.” This makes a pretty good mission statement for the tween entrepreneurs of “The Baby-Sitters Club,” and for the show itself. It is in one sense exactly what the title says it is: a show about seventh-graders who start a babysitting business. But it also defies expectations, and exceeds them.
“Mo to the! E to the!” With its who’s-who of notable guest stars, all six seasons of the coming-of-age sitcom — starring ’90s icon Brandy Norwood — were added to Netflix recently. “Moesha” is the first of seven classic Black sitcoms— along with “Sister Sister,” “The Parkers,” “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” “One on One” and “Half & Half” — that will debut on the service over the next few months.
As the most watched show on Netflix (and for good reason), you've probably heard of "The Office." Just in case you haven't, here's a synopsis: This US adaptation, set at a paper company in Scranton, Pa., has a similar documentary style to that of the Ricky Gervais-led British original. It features the staff of Dunder-Mifflin, a staff that includes characters based on characters from the British show (and, quite possibly, people you work with in your office). There's Jim, the likable employee who's a bit of an everyman. Jim has a thing for receptionist-turned-sales rep Pam (because office romances are always a good idea). There's also Dwight, the successful co-worker who lacks social skills and common sense. And there's Ryan, who has held many jobs at the company.
Featuring stand-alone dramas -- sharp, suspenseful, satirical tales that explore techno-paranoia -- "Black Mirror" is a contemporary reworking of "The Twilight Zone" with stories that tap into the collective unease about the modern world. Each story features its own cast of unique characters, including stars like Bryce Dallas Howard ("The Help"), Alice Eve, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Cullen and Jerome Flynn ("Game of Thrones"). Joe Wright, Dan Trachtenberg, and James Watkins are among the featured directors.