I have consumed way more content in 2020 than I have in any other year. I have missed a lot of major shows over the years because I was so focused on other things.
But this year, I have been trying so hard to stay sane, healthy, and happy in the midst of the pure chaos that’s going on. The sane part is what keeps tripping me up.
It’s all too easy for me to look at what’s going on in the world and completely lose my shit. To escape, I’ve taken to watching a lot of TV.
Here’s what I’ve been enjoying this year.
1. Breaking Bad
Holy fuck. I am in love with this show. I grew up in New Mexico and I resisted watching Breaking Bad for years because, frankly, I was afraid it would make me feel homesick. And I was right, it did, but it was so worth it. It is an incredible show.
In case you’re late to the party, too, Breaking Bad is about a high school chemistry teacher (Walter)who becomes a meth cooker in order to leave money behind for his family after he dies from cancer.
Brian Cranston, who is by far one of my favourite actors, does an incredible job of portraying Walter as a real, lovable human going through some dark shit. Throughout the five season run, you watch Walter transition from sweet family man to bad ass drug lord that nobody will dare fuck with.
I will warn you now: The first season is slower. It sets the tone for the rest of the series, but can be kind of sloggy. If you can get through season 1, you’ll be sucked in, and won’t stop watching.
Where to watch: Netflix.
2. 30 Rock.
I saw an episode of 30 Rock on an airplane once, and I had no idea what was going on, but I didn’t think it was very funny. But after Breaking Bad I needed something light, so I gave 30 Rock a chance. I’m glad I did. It’s a very clever show.
The jokes range from stupid to hilarious. I am sure it’s far funnier than it was when it originally aired. Condoleezza Rice Rice and Nancy Pelosi both make appearances. And in an episode in Season 6, one of the characters called out Harvey Weinstein on his sexual misconduct 5 years before the allegations came out.
The guest stars on 30 Rock were phenomenal. Matt Damon has a recurring role, as does Kelsey Grammar, and Steve Buschemi.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime.
3. Cougar Town
After 30 Rock, Amazon thought I would enjoy Cougar Town. This show is far better than I thought it would be. Courteney Cox stars as a 40-year-old divorcee who tries to get over her divorce with younger men.
Or at least that was the plan.
About halfway through the first season, the show took a different direction, and by the end of the first season the show strayed far from its original premise. So far, in fact, the title “Cougar Town” is no longer relevant. The show tried to change the title, but the network denied all rebrand options.
The show spent the rest of its run poking fun at the network in the title cards. Jokes include,
- “Still Cougar Town”
- “All I want for Christmas is a new title Cougar Town”
- “Sorry. We still cringe at the title. Cougar Town“
All in all, Cougar Town is charming, and completely mindless, which is good, given how stupid this year has been.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime.
I don’t even know where to begin talking about Outlander. This show is completely cheesy in all the best ways. It’s sappy, and dramatic, and downright soapy at times, but it is easily of my favourite shows now.
Why do I love Outlander? Let me count the ways.
- Sam Heughan.
- Duncan Lacroix.
- Maria Doyle Kennedy.
- Caitriona Balfe.
- Tobias Menzies.
- Pretty costumes.
- Sam Heughan.
- The title song.
Seriously, though, the show has more going for it than just that. Outlander is a time travelling period drama that spans centuries. Claire, played by Caitriona Balfe, gets sent back in time from the 1945 to 1743 Scotland. Claire gets stuck 200 years in the past, and has to make a new life for herself as Jacobians are coming together and building towards the Jacobian Revolution.
This is a truly captivating show. Once you start, you won’t want to stop.
Where to watch: First 3 seasons are on Netflix. All seasons, including the current season on Starz. (You can add Starz to your Amazon Prime account.)
5. The F Word.
I will watch absolutely anything with Gordon Ramsay. Well known for Kitchen Nightmares, I began watching his show Uncharted after I saw the trailer on the plane to Arizona in January. After I binged all of that series, I needed more Gordon, and found The F Word.
The F Word is the best of all things Gordon. Every week a new team of amateur cooks comes into the kitchen at The F Word Restaurant, and has to cook a full three course meal for fifty guests: 150 plates of food. And here’s the catch: if the customer doesn’t like it, they don’t have to pay.
The show is also interspersed with cooking challenges with British celebs, behind the scenes of commercial food production, and cooking lessons for home cooks.
If you love food, this show is for you.
Where to watch: Tubi with ads. Some episodes are available for free on Gordon’s YouTube channel.