Top 12 Binge Worthy Shows to Watch

I don't tend to watch a lot of TV, other than a standing appointment with Dateline every weekend. With all the extra time at home, I've been watching a little more TV. I switched from netflix DVDs to the streaming so I could watch Tiger King with everyone else. lol I do miss the DVDs because it gets recent movies very quickly and I see that the streaming is missing a lot of movie titles. Also Sex and the City is only available on the DVDs, otherwise you have to get HBO to stream. Here's a list of 12 shows I liked this year, and also a listing of comedy specials you should check out.


Little Fires Everywhere 
Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington in a drama miniseries based on the best selling book of the same title. When this was released on hulu I immediately ordered the book off Amazon and quickly read it. I like to read the book first because there's always more detail in the book that they can't cover in a TV show. For instance the book has a different ending that made more sense. The story is set in 1990s suburbia between two families and the issues that arrive over racial and economic class. 

Based on a memoir, this series stars actress Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live who plays Annie who works as a journalist and just happens to be plus size. She knows she's as good as anyone else and has the confidence to show it. Here's a really interesting article from the costume designer of the show who said she was surprised she couldn't find nice clothes for Annie, so she had to make most of them herself. This show reminds me a lot of Lena Dunhan's show Girls where you see someone going through their 20s and the awkward relationships that come along with it. The show also got some press as people thought it powerful to see a plus size person in love scenes.

The Act
A series based on the real live crime story of Gypsy Blanchard starring Patricia Arquette and Joey King. I first heard this story on Dr. Phil's crime podcast and it's the story of a single mom who had munchausen syndrome by proxy where she kept her daughter sick so the mom would continue to get the attention and pity of people. 

Wu-Tang: An American Saga
The series is based in 1990s Staten Island and is the story of the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan rap group. If you liked The Wire, you'll love this show. You have 90s fashion, beepers, mixtapes, old school rap music, drug dealing and how they finally got a record deal. 

The first four are about religions but you don't have to be part of that religion to enjoy the show. 

Is a four part series based on the based on a memoir by Deborah Feldman who flees her unhappy marriage and her tight knit Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is filmed primarily in Yiddish. I learned so many things about traditions in orthodox Judaism. 

One of Us
After watching Unorthox, I watched this documentary on three ex-Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn. One who lost custody of her 7 children by leaving the religion (due to a legal loophole). You can watch a clip of her on a talk show here.  It's a portrait of what it's like for them to enter life outside of their community and how incredibly difficult it is for them. They lost their family (as no one will speak to them), never used a computer or smartphone before, and didn't have a modern education. 

The Two Popes
A biographical drama film set in Vatican City and shows the relationship between Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, played by Anthony Hopkins and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina who is now Pope Francis. I learned a lot about the current Pope's history, the scandals in the church and their different ideologies on how to lead the Catholic church. It was nominated for 3 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes.

A miniseries based on David Koresh and his followers during the 51-day standoff in 1993 Waco, Texas. It's based on the memoir of a survivor, David Thibodeau  played by Rory Culkin.

The next three are crime themed.

The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
A true crime documentary series about convicted murderer and former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, star of the New England Patriots. I had listened to a podcast about this first, but the show had some different angles about the biggest trial in sports history. It talked about his abusive childhood,  all the crimes he may have committed, and the double life he was living. After his death his brain was studied and was found to have advanced (CTE), a condition associated with repeated head trauma that has been detected post-mortem in a number of pro football players. The question is did the CTE, which  produces mood and behavior disorders, cause him to become a murderer?

I've talked about my love of this show here, it's the Australian version of Orange is the New Black. Season 8 should be coming out next month!

Travels with my Father
Both a travel show and comedy of a British father and son traveling around the world together. Season 1 is Southeast Asia, Season 2 is Eastern Europe and Season 3 is the USA. The show is hilarious because you constantly see the son, a comedian, bicker with his uptight father through quick-witted comments.

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
A series on the inspiring story of African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker who built a hair care empire that made her America's first female self-made millionaire. Starring Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, and Blair Underwood.

I have these three new series on my to watch list. I loved Homeland and these three thriller-drama shows have a similar vibe. 

Caliphate (Netflix) 
This Swedish series, filmed in English, is about an impending ISIS attack on Sweden that follows a young Swedish mother, Pervin who regrets her decision to accompany her jihadi husband to Syria.

Fauda (Netflix)
This Israeli series is on it's third season now and most of the dialogue is in Arabic and Hebrew. It's about a top Israeli agent who is looking for a Palestinian fighter he thought he killed. It has gotten some harsh reviews as it seems to favor one viewpoint.

Baghdad Central (Hulu)
This is a British series set after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It centers on  a former Baghdad police inspector whose world has collapsed. His rebellious daughter has gone missing, his other daughter  needs dialysis, and he has no job. It explores how the occupation was experienced by its supposed beneficiaries.

Comedy Specials
Tiffany Haddish presents: They Ready
Sebastian Maniscalco: Stay Hungry
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones
Jerry Seinfeld 23 Hours to Kill
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal
Mike Epps: Only One Mike
Gabriel Fluffy Iglesias

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