Just like most other college students who are missing their friends, social activities and busy calendars, I have had to look for alternative forms of entertainment during quarantine.
From documentaries to classics, from comedies to shameful reality shows, nothing has kept me going as much as watching new and old shows on my television. I have happily devoured streaming services and cable, never putting the remote down.
With any free time you have, I encourage everyone to check out some of the shows I have enjoyed. I will admit, this list is filled with short series because my attention span is quite short.
Here are my top ten shows on my four favorite streaming services and Cable:
Netflix ranges $8.99 to $15.99 per month depending on the number of screens watched and level of quality. The service comes with a 30-day free trial. Two short docu-series I have recently found fascinating in extremely different ways are "Tiger King" and "The Pharmacist."
1. "Tiger King" tells the sometimes hilarious but also alarming stories of Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and Doc Antle, three people whose lives are strangely intertwined because of their obsession with large cats. The seven-part series will make you laugh, cry, question humanity and remind you of just how normal you are compared to some people out there. Although the characters' antics are entertaining, I do not condone the animal abuse or captivity in the series.
2. "The Pharmacist" is a four-part series detailing the heartbreaking story of how the opioid crisis has affected millions of people, especially the vulnerable residents of New Orleans. It exposes the corrupt actions of one physician in the area and how she changed the lives of millions through prescription writing.
Hulu ranges $5.99 to $60.99 per month depending on whether you choose to watch live or previously aired shows and whether the plan includes ads. The service comes with a 30-day free trial and there is also an option to bundle the service with Disney+ and ESPN+.
3. "Hillary" is a four-part series following the journey of former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The series showcases Clinton’s days as a teenager in Chicago, her endeavors at Wellesley College and her years at Yale Law School, where she academically challenged herself and met former U.S. president Bill Clinton. It also reveals the challenges she overcame that led her to powerful positions in the White House and her remarkable presidential campaign. It features interviews with Clinton herself, former presidents and other notable figures.
4. "This Is Us" is a four-season television show from NBC, and the entire series thus far is now available online. It follows the lives of three unexpected triplets, their parents and spouses in the past, present and future. The series will break your heart and put it back together again, make you love and hate characters in the most complex way and teach you the value of family, friendship and connection, especially during difficult times.
Cable ranges by price depending on which company you choose and which state or country you live in.
5. "A Million Little Things", available on both Hulu and Cable, teaches the value of viewing life as one big thing rather than a million little things. The show is in its second season and follows the lives of friends who are brought together after the devastating loss of one of their best friends. It airs on Thursday nights on ABC.
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6. "The Real Housewives of (Atlanta, Beverly Hills, New York, Potomac)" are all airing now or within the next month. This multi-series provides viewers with the comedic relief we all need through the lives of wives, mothers and businesswomen as they navigate their lavish lifestyles and complicated social circles. Each franchise airs throughout the week on Bravo.
Disney+ ranges $6.99 to $12.99 per month depending on the plan and whether you choose to bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu. The streaming service launched this past fall and reignites nostalgia, childhood memories and incredible laughs.
7. "Phineas and Ferb" is the perfect old Disney show to watch during this time, as the brothers in the series are home for 104 days on their summer vacation and must entertain themselves without being exposed by their nagging sister. The brothers build fascinating science experiments and wild backyard projects and leave viewers questioning their own knowledge and abilities.
8. "The Simpsons" is an animated classic 90s comedy about the challenges of a seemingly traditional yet realistically unconventional family in the fictional town of Springfield. It satirically explores working-class life, American culture and human nature.
AppleTV+ costs $5.99 per month and is free if you have purchased any new Apple product within the last six months. The service is available on all Apple devices.
9. "Oprah Talks COVID-19" is a mini-series featuring Oprah Winfrey and different guests on each episode. Winfrey sits down with celebrities and other people who have somehow been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The talk-show host’s easygoing nature and remarkable empathy calms nerves and answers crucial questions.
10. "The Morning Show" stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston as co-anchors of a fictional talk show struck by the #MeToo movement. It powerfully demonstrates the impact of the movement on the media and forces viewers to think about how their actions impact others. Many say it creepily mirrors the story of Matt Lauer and the "Today" show, and I would agree.
I hope these series will entertain you and warm your hearts during this uncertain time. With love, laughter and social distance, we can get through this.
Contact lifestyle writer Kay Johnson at email@example.com.
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