After a long and tiring day, once you have a quiet and (relatively) clean house, there is nothing better than sitting down on the couch and suspending reality for a few minutes. Those days when you're looking forward to seeing the latest of a great show that you're truly invested in are the glory days - in those seasons of life, my husband and I scamper around the house, cleaning the kitchen, putting laundry away, and doing final work tasks with a frenetic energy and childlike anticipation.
We had that euphoric great-show buzz when working our way through Friday Night Lights, How I Met Your Mother, and West Wing (until Season 4). However, between our differing tastes and lack of cable, it's not always easy to find the perfect show. That said, we've landed on a few over the last 12 months that have hit that revered mark, which is a standard we've only been able to define as "we'll know it when we see it."
Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies is an HBO mini-series based on the best-selling book by Liane Moriarty. I stumbled into this show and hadn't read the book first (I wish I had and still plan to read it.) Once you start watching this, you'll want to watch all seven episodes in one sitting. The cast is amazing - Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, the plot is captivating and keeps you confused and desperate to guess the ending, and the scenery is stunning and hypnotic. There were some intense moments, but this was easily my favorite show in the last year.
And, good news - they have filmed a second season. I'm a little skeptical about how they'll add a second season without forcing it, but the entire cast, plus Meryl Streep, is back, so I'll be anxiously awaiting the release of the second season sometime in 2019. This is an HBO show, but we watched it on Amazon Prime. You can also purchase episodes on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, or Vudu.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a Prime Original series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who many of us know and love as the creator of Gilmore Girls. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows a 1950s New York City housewife in her journey to be a stand-up comic. I love the cast, particularly Rachel Brosnahan as Mrs. Maisel, the depictions of New York City in the 50s, and how much I laugh each episode. Season 1 had 8 episodes, and Season 2 will be released on December 5. Mrs. Maisel is available on Amazon Prime, and easily one of the best shows I've ever watched. Catch up on Season 1 fast so you're ready to go on December 5th!
Barry is an HBO comedy starring Bill Hader that was released in March of 2018. Season 1 has 8 episodes, and a second season is in the works. Barry is your classic lead - an assassin that just wants to leave the killing behind and become an actor. It's a dark comedy, but not overwhelmingly so, and the violence does not overshadow the plot. The show has a unique and intriguing premise, and the humor is dry, smart, and surprisingly relatable, particularly given that it centers around a trained killer. I was skeptical about this at first, but it definitely provided some great laughs. You can watch Barry on HBO, Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, or Google Play.
The Rookie is an ABC drama that premiered on October 16, 2018. Four episodes have aired so far, but it was recently picked up for a full 20 episodes. The Rookie stars Nathan Fillion as a forty-something, divorcee remaking himself as a cop after a near -death experience. It's the rare ABC drama that my husband and I both like, and while there are pieces of it that are over the top - how on earth are these three rookies having to take on every major crime event in LA - it's entertaining and a good way to suspend reality for an hour each week. The show airs on ABC on Tuesday nights, but you can also find episodes on Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Google Play.
It's good to have a laugh-out-loud, 20-minute comedy in your tv lineup. ABC's American Housewife fills that slot for us. American Housewife is currently in its third season, with 54 episodes available for your viewing pleasure. Starring Katy Mixon, American Housewife follows the life of the Ottos, a typical middle-class family that find themselves in the wealthy, pretentious town of Westport, Connecticut. The writing is great, and Mixon's delivery as Katie Otto, trying to navigate the Westport housewife culture, is perfect. Time will tell if they can keep the storylines and jokes from becoming repetitive, but for now it's a good, classic comedy that will give you a few weekly laughs. You can find episodes on ABC, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play.
Hope you enjoy these as much as we do. And, please share any others that you think belong on this list!
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