Television shows

Bingeworthy TV shows for this spring

By Lauren Bray, edhat team

With the Santa Barbara International Film Festival over and the Oscars slated for Sunday, it’s time to discuss bingeable TV shows.

While some big-name critics scoff at modest television and focus only on the merits of esoteric independent films, I welcome its variety and, more often than not, its predictability.

Being home with two babies for the past six months, the only “productive” thing I’ve been able to do is stare at a half-asleep TV screen. So with that glowing recommendation, here are my top picks of shows from the last 6 months in no specific order.

1. Resident Alien

I went through the two seasons of the series at a record pace. It’s easy on the eyes and damn witty. The comedy follows an alien who must assume a human identity to complete his mission and an intergalactic hijinx ensues. The writing team is strong and the cast has excellent comedic timing, so I found myself laughing more than I expected.


2. Abbott Elementary School

A charming social commentary on the public school system wrapped in comedy and empathy. The depiction of eccentric teachers in a low-income school doing their best while facing the hurdles of incompetent leadership and an absent budget would be scary to watch if it weren’t for the skilled writing and the character performance.

3. Someone somewhere

I absolutely loved this series. The friendship between Bridget Everett and co-star Jeff Hiller is worth watching on its own as Everett returns to her small Midwestern town and is forced to deal with issues she is unaware of. The series also does a great job of tackling larger themes of loneliness, addiction, and grief without being overbearing.

4. Ghosts

Very easy and delicious watch. A city couple move to the countryside after inheriting an estate from a long-lost relative and must deal with an array of hilarious ghosts who have been trapped there for generations. It can be a bit predictable at times, but it’s always nice to watch historical jokes scattered between 30 minutes of problem-solving.

5. Insecure

Writer, creator and star Issa Rae is once again stepping out of the park with the final season of his acclaimed series about a group of friends in their 20s and 30s living and loving in Los Angeles. It amplifies the experience of young black women in America intertwined with drama, comedy, and the best soundtrack of any series I’ve watched.

6. The yellow vests

Mystery, thriller, drama and dark comedy are all evident in this Showtime series that travels between 1995 when a plane carrying a high school girl’s soccer team crashes in the desert and today with the survivors. . Christina Ricci’s portrayal as a lonely, nerdy sociopath is worth watching on its own, but the whole show is a wild ride.

7. Wheel of Time

It’s the perfect fantasy escape we all need right now. Based on a novel, the world building and character story reminds me of Game of Thrones in a more mythical and fantastical way. It’s not without its problems, some poor acting and confusing storylines, but if you’re looking for an interesting world to fall into, give it a try.

8. The chair

Sandra Oh can’t hurt in my book, and I’ll happily watch whatever she finds herself in. performance. Although it missed a few cues to deepen, it’s still witty and enjoyable.

9. Ted Lasso

I didn’t find season two as amazing as season one, but it was still an enjoyable watch. Jason Sudeikis’ performance has more depth and the rest of the cast gets more screen time, giving the series a fuller experience, but the writing didn’t pack as much of a punch as it did in the show. season 1.

10. The Grifter Series

These next eight shows I called the series scammers because they all focus on real people (whether in documentary or scripted format) who lied, cheated, stole, scammed and exploited vulnerable people. It seems to be a hot topic for producers and viewers lately, because there are so many, and I think I’ve watched them all. Take a look if you feel like being enraged by criminal behavior and sometimes naivety.

Dr. Death: A truly gruesome scripted series about a real doctor who cheated hospitals and killed patients.

The narrowing next door: Another doctor, this time a celebrity-obsessed psychiatrist, preyed on a wealthy patient for over thirty years and was able to take over his patient’s business and home, as well as receiving large sums of money of his trust fund.

Lowering: A church leader focused on weight loss and hair styling high turns to worship techniques to drain her parishioners of money.

LuLaRich: A multi-level marketing company (aka a pyramid scheme) aimed at selling ugly leggings turns into a cult company with questionable practices.

love fraud: Online daters beware, this tells the story of one of many people who scam lonely women looking for love out of their pensions, homes, cars and other money available.

Rogue Tinder: This guy does the same thing as the criminal above, but he’s younger, wears better clothes, and makes a lot more money.

Invent Anna: Possibly the most interesting of the con artists, this self-proclaimed foreign heiress conned investors and New York’s elite through a series of confident lies that only the wealthy would believe.

Bad vegan: An interesting story about a successful restaurateur who wastes her money on an below-average salesperson who tricks her into emptying her business accounts…or does he?

MOVIES

For the movie crowd only, here are a few that I enjoyed. I haven’t had time to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies yet, so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments:

  • Dunes: Great world building and staging, the plot can be a little hard to follow if you’re not familiar with the book.

  • Don’t look up: hilarious and chilling satire on the state of our world.

  • together together: comforting rom-com on a subject not often shown.

  • The world to come: a captivating period film about forbidden love and female desire.

  • The Adam project: Entertaining futuristic action flick with witty banter from Ryan Reynolds, though avid viewers may be left with unanswered questions at the end.

  • I want you to come back: A fun romantic comedy with a predictable plot but actors Jenny Slate and Charlie Day make it better than most.

  • Lucy & Desi: This documentary about the iconic comedy duo hits all the right chords. The love, pain, and success endured by these two individuals was overwhelming.

  • Be the Ricardos: Aaron Sorkin’s scripted biopic about the same iconic duo above received mixed reviews, but shows some interesting behind-the-scenes insight into these two. The shifting time frames were confusing and the film rarely felt grounded, but the nostalgia shone through.

Share your thoughts and your favorite TV shows and movies in the comments below!