2020 in TV (so far)

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

I hope this post is a good answer to anyone who wants to know what I do for fun or how I spend my time. I watch an absurd amount of TV. I used to be a little ashamed of it because I wanted everyone to think I was smart and cultured and spent my time doing useful things like reading (I do also read a lot. That post is coming.) I thought it would be nice to kick this baby off by talking too much about the things I like to watch. It feels very on brand. Just imagine me sitting in your living room or next to you at a bar ranting about my latest obsession while you nod along and I don’t get the hint that maybe possibly you do not want to hear me talk about how much I love Penn Badgley and the fact that I would die for Zoe Kravitz. Side note: remember when they dated? I do.

My friend Britnee once said I am her “go-to TV resource,” which makes me sound very knowledgeable and learned until you follow it up with the rest of the sentiment, “especially “bad” bingeable tv.” We all have our vices, mine is CW supernatural dramas and basically any of the teen Netflix originals. Don’t get me wrong, I love good TV. I May Destroy You, did in fact destroy me. Fleabag made me cry like a little baby. Normal People left me feeling listless and empty for days. You are probably seeing the pattern here... But there is something absolutely beautiful about shows leaning into their 16th season of kicking ass and taking names (I have been binge watching Supernatural. I will not apologize for it) and shows that explore how hard high school is whether there are monsters involved or not.

On that note, here is a list of things I have watched and enjoyed from January to July: TV edition.

You (Season 2) Netflix

The move from New York to LA made my heart hurt, but everything else was an absolute delight. Maybe the fact that I ran into Penn Badgley in Williamsburg as I was in the throws of this had an impact on how much I enjoyed it, but I did truly and honestly enjoy it. It edges towards camp without embracing it forthright. It is just bad enough to feel indulgent and just good enough to keep hitting “watch next episode.” I love Joe’s inner dialogue. I love the twists and turns. I love Love and she made me want to pierce my cartilage so bad and I still regret not doing it! Forty is possibly my favorite annoying character that has ever existed. Yes it is ridiculous. Yes Joe is a bad person. Yes he is also very hot. You can be both. Most people are! On that note, I would like to mention that recently Chris Delia has been accused of sexual misconduct with minors, which is even more unsettling when you think about the fact that he’s played a pedophile multiple times including on this show.

Sex Education (Season 2) Netflix

This is honestly one of my favorite shows ever. I have never ever seen sexuality discussed in such an open and clear way in any show let alone one geared towards teenagers. Asa Butterfield has been a personal favorite since I saw him in Hugo (those EYES!) and he plays the awkward Otis so perfectly. Maeve Wiley is a true icon. She is who I wanted to be in high school. Hell, she’s who I want to be now. An entrepreneur, a genius, a fucking go-getter, a great friend, and a total babe. Even when she sucks a little, it makes sense and I can’t hate her for it. I love Gillian Anderson and I cannot believe she just keeps getting hotter as she gets older. It gives me hope. This is such a complicated show and you can read some more of my thought about it and other sex positive teen TV shows here.

Servant AppleTv+

This M. Night Shyamalan show is predictably super creepy and I still don’t completely know how I feel about it. So, I need some more people to watch it so we can discuss. There is a fake baby, Rupert Grint, and some cult shit, but that’s all I’m gonna say. Ok next.

Cheer Netflix

I really didn’t think I would like this because well… cheerleaders, but when I say the last episode made me cry like a little baby…. I mean it. These kids are amazing and so hard working. It is invigorating to watch their enthusiasm for something they will only be able to do for such a short time. I would like to say that I don’t agree with how much they put their bodies through for this, but I respect it. I really came to adore each of the main cast members, which is a testament to them, but also to the crew of the show and the producers who did an amazing job weaving a story together and finding the key players. I also watched this while I was living in New York and it made me miss Texas so much.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3) Netflix

I love Kiernan Shipka. I really really do. I am so excited to see what she does with the rest of her career and I am super pissed that the next season is the last one! With all of that said, this show is such a treat. This is also one of the shows I mentioned in my article about sex positive teen tv shows. I love that there is a trans character who takes his time coming to realize who he is. Yes, it is a supremely cheesy show and I don’t think it is for everyone (few shows are!) but if you like teen drama with some magic sprinkled in, this is a good choice. The fashion is also *chef’s kiss*.

The Witcher Netflix

There are two big reasons I watched this:

1. My brother insisted.

2. Henry Cavill is hot.

I really did enjoy it. I watched it when I had a nasty cold in February, which now because I am a slight hypochondriac, I think may have been Covid, but that’s not the point. It’s fun. I really liked the Bard. I finally watched something my brother recommended, which is always good for our relationship. I’ve also heard they are doing a prequel along with the second season and I think that’s an interesting choice to do them at the same time, but Netflix does what they want I guess. Anyway, it’s entertaining and I would highly recommend if you’re looking for something gory and fantasy oriented that also has a pretty decent level of humor. The song will get stuck in your head btw.

High Fidelity Hulu

I have said it before and I will say it again, I love Zoe Kravitz. She’s stunning. Her style is impeccable. She is an amazing actor. I love everything she does. Now that’s out of the way, I love this show. It was filmed in the same neighborhood I lived in, Crown Heights, and I walked past the little blue basement storefront regularly. It’s on Bedford in between Sterling and St. John’s in case you ever wanted to visit. It seems abandoned though. It was really cool to watch and see little bits of places that I recognized from around Brooklyn. The music and the fashion in this show really seal the deal. I will be exploring the styling at a later date. So stay tuned for that. I had planned on exclusively wearing Hawaiian shirts this summer, but obviously life had other plans. I could have still worn them, but instead, I have been living in old band shirts and bike shorts because well… they’re comfy and why would I wear anything else? Also, my dad is the only person who sees me regularly and I don’t really feel the need to wow him with my fashion. I still haven’t read the book or seen the original, but I like the anti-hero aspect of Rob. While I do love Zoe, the supporting actors are what take this show to the next level. Cherise (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) is amazing and the last scene with her gave me chills. I loved her energy and her style and that she talks back to Rob when Rob is being kind of a bitch. The episode where we get to follow Simon (David H. Holmes) really highlights how self-absorbed Rob really is and gives us the chance to see that she isn’t exactly the most reliable narrator. Honestly, the reason I haven’t seen the movie is that girl Rob is tolerable, but imagining the same shit coming from John Cusak, a straight white cis dude, makes me wanna scream. This is on my shortlist for my favorite shows of the year. Please feel free to cold email me your desert island top five most memorable heartbreaks.

Read this for my opinions on it being canceled after only one season.

The Magicians Netflix

I read all of the books in high school and college and loved them. When I first tried to watch the show, I couldn’t really get into it. There were too many glaring differences right off the bat that turned me off. But once Britnee said something about having seen the entire thing so far, I decided to take the leap. I watched this at a breakneck speed and honestly the longer it goes on the worse it gets, but I still enjoyed it even with all of its oddly placed musical numbers. Again, I wouldn’t exactly recommend this series. The books are good though and actually are set at a magical college instead of a grad school, so if you’re mourning the loss of Harry Potter because J.K. Rowling is a TERF, the book series might be a nice R rated replacement. It’s like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia had a baby and the baby grew up to be really into drugs and weird sex stuff and they are all also really depressed.

I am not ok with this Netflix

It’s like “Stranger Things” meets “Carrie” meets “IT” with some queer yearning mixed in and I loved it so much. The main trio is great. I’ve liked Sophia Lillis (Sydney Novak) and Wyatt Oleff (Stanley Barber) since I saw them in IT and Sofia Bryant as Dina is a great addition. The scene where Stanley is getting dressed up for the party is probably one of my favorite getting ready montages ever. There is also a scene where Stanley and Sydney are comparing the grossness of their body acne, which felt so real and is something I’ve never really seen portrayed in teen media. This is the show that inspired me to write my sex positive article and it’s also one of my favorites from this year. Sydney’s anger, grief, and sadness is so well portrayed and there are so many twists and turns that make it enjoyable to watch all the way through.

Unorthodox Netflix

This show is just absolutely beautiful. It was interesting watching it with my dad who has had very little exposure to Hasidic Jewish people. I had gotten used to walking among a sea of strollers, perfectly coiffed wigs, and shtreimels on my way to work in Williamsburg, but I knew very little about how they really lived. It follows a young woman, Esther (Shira Haas) as she escapes from her community in Williamsburg and goes to start a new life abroad. It’s a sad but hopeful story that is told beautifully from start to finish and I was so happy to see it was nominated for a number of Emmy Nominations including for Limited Series, Lead Actress, and Directing. I don’t want to say too much because it’s so beautiful that everyone should experience it for themselves, but definitely watch the short behind the scenes piece about the making of the show when you finish it. It’s interesting to see how they shot it and got everything to work.

Normal People Hulu

This should come as no surprise because I fall directly within the target demographic for this show. I loved the book and basically anything Sally Rooney has ever done. This show made me cry like a little baby so many times. I think Paul Mescal was the perfect Connel and while I have qualms with the styling and depiction of Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) I think she personally did a great job in her portrayal. (Go read my friend Britnee’s interview she did with her for i-D!) I don’t think the adaptation was perfect, but I think that both the series and the book can stand on their own as formidable pieces of art. The soundtrack did take me out of it sometimes and I thought they should have brought in the turmoil of Marianne’s home life a little sooner in order like it is in the book. Without that, her character doesn’t make as much sense. That all being said, I loved the show. When it was over, I wanted to just sit down and watch it all over again, but I decided not to torture myself. I am very excited to see what both of those actors do next and also I want to know if Paul is dating Phoebe Bridgers, but that is technically none of my business and I can live with not knowing. I guess. (They are friends at least and I love that so much.)

Never Have I Ever Netflix

I need the second season of this right now. I watched it in two days, which is a testament of how easy it is for me to sit on my couch and do nothing. I have been training for quarantine since I was a chronically ill teenager. I was prepared. Mindy Kahling wrote this and it is a great balance between humor and heartfelt. It also balances family drama, friend drama, and the drama of liking the hottest guy in school really well. Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan ) makes so many decisions that hurt me to watch, but I couldn’t look away. I was prepared to hate Paxton (Darren Barnett) and was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t. It’s a fun watch that doesn’t make you feel too bad for liking it.

Outer Banks Netflix

I watched all 10 episodes in one day. I’m not proud of it. It felt like a fever dream. This show isn’t exactly good, but it is entertaining and everyone is hot so it’s fine. It’s like “The Goonies” meets “The OC.” I am also available for conversations about Chase Stokes’s instagram poetry if anyone would like to discuss that.

The Last Dance Netflix

I truly do not care about sports, but this was done so well and I actually got really upset when my dad watched an episode without me. I have decided that Dennis Rodman is a style icon. I wish he wasn’t friends with Kim Jong Ung, but the fits and the hair are impeccable. Michael Jordan used to know how to dress and then something weird happened and all he wore were super lame suits. I love his little earring though. I think what really got me into it was the way it was edited to not just go from point A to point B. I like that they jumped around within his career and tied things from early on to events that took place later in his career. It gave a lot of great context and as someone who didn’t know all of this stuff going into it, I found it really easy to follow along.

Sweet Magnolias Netflix

This show is like if my hometown had a tv show and I wish I hated it more. It makes absolutely no sense for me to like this Christian Southern drama, but here we are. I really don’t know what else to say. I want their spa to do so well. My brain is rotting. Oh! Also Jamie Lynn Spears is in it and she's pregnant, which just made me unreasonably upset about the premature death of Zoey101.

Hollywood Netflix

I would like to preface this with the fact that Ryan Murphy’s work always makes me cringe at least a little bit, but I still enjoy it in small doses. He has a tendency to lose his way in the third act and this is no exception, but it was still enjoyable. Everyone is so beautiful and I liked the sentiment of being able to conquer prejudice in Hollywood in the 1950s though it did feel trite. If you enjoy Murphy’s work, you’ll like this. It’s campy and absurd and oddly optimistic.

Fleabag Amazon Prime

I know I should have watched this sooner. I am aware. It absolutely wrecked me. The first season was hard to get through emotionally. I just wanted her to stop making everything so much worse for herself so badly and I also wanted everyone to just be nicer. It took me four tries over the years to get past the first three episodes, but once I did, I was in it. I didn’t realize going in that it had so few episodes and that she wouldn’t be making more. So when I got to the last episode, you know the one that just rips your heart out of your chest says, “Oh sorry did you need that?” and then throws it on the ground, stomps on it, and then lights it on fire? Yeah when I got to that and realized there wouldn’t be anymore, I mourned for like three days and was completely unable to watch anything else. I don’t think I can really say anything about this show that hasn’t been said before. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is my second favorite Phoebe. Her humor is incredible. Her delivery is impeccable. It’s heartbreaking and hysterical all at once. I’ve loved Andrew Scott since he played Moriarty in Sherlock and it was nice to see him in a more likable role. I also can honestly say I have never liked a Priest so much.

The Great Hulu

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Holt in one series is almost too much for my heart to handle. It’s perfectly raucous and the set and costume design made me swoon. I’ve always loved period dramas done with a modern tone like Sophia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” or Alena Smith’s series “Dickinson,” which I would also love to talk to more people about because I loved that show so much. I am admittedly bad at history likely because I don’t really care much about it so I barely ever remember anything of use, but I love historical tv shows/movies. It’s weird. I know. I also don’t understand my preferences. I just roll with it. Fanning and Holt are both delightful and easy to love and hate and root for even when you don’t think you really should be. It made me laugh out loud a lot. It’s just a joy to watch really.

Avatar the Last Airbender Netflix

Like most people, I was unreasonably excited when Netflix put all three seasons of this show up. I watched Avatar religiously with my brother when I was younger, and I was excited to delve into the nostalgia. I was pleasantly surprised that the show holds up and is just as entertaining as an older viewer. It brought me a level of peace and comfort I didn’t really think was possible to attain at this moment, and I was consistently surprised by how well the character development is done throughout. Zuko’s character arc is what Game of Thrones should have done with Jaime. It’s believable and not completely thrown away in the end. Honestly, I think this is one of the best cartoons ever and I will stand by that. It doesn’t ramble or wander. It’s concise and has its fair share of trials and tribulations without getting bogged down by unnecessary side plots. I am nervous to see how they adapt this to live-action, and I hope they don’t get it wrong yet again, but at least we'll always have the perfection that is the animated series.

The 100 Netflix

I loved this show in high school and just lost interest as time went on, but for some reason, I decided to rewatch the whole thing because they are currently airing the final season. I would never try to argue that this is a good show. It’s not exactly bad, but it has a lot of the problems that most CW shows have. The plot has some holes. There are random characters that we should care about but I never quite did. It’s an absurdly white cast. They cast 30-year-olds to play teenagers. You know, weird shit like that. I do appreciate how they approach romance and sexuality in this show though. Clark has relationships with both men and women and that is never really discussed as something abnormal. Her and Bellamy also went from enemies to friends and never passed over into the lovers category even though everyone is begging for it. Friendship and family have always been more important than romantic relationships in this show, which is a nice change of pace. I honestly think my favorite thing about this show is just that it gets more absurd each season. They’ve destroyed the earth like four times at this point.

Watchmen HBO

I’m a little late on this one too, but fuck. I watched this with my dad and after every episode, we would look at each other and talk about how we have no idea what was going to happen next. This show constantly does things I didn’t expect. There were some twists that I saw coming, but most of them I didn’t. I also had no idea what it was about when I started it and was shaken by how pertinent it was to the current social climate. It deals with racism, white supremacy, the massacre of Black Wallstreet, police brutality, and the inherent systemic racism that permeates our political system. There are also superheroes, but not the kind we have become accustomed to seeing on screen. It’s a very odd show and I could only watch a few episodes at a time because I needed time to think about it.

Supernatural Netflix

First, I chose this video because I think about it approximately once every two weeks. Moving on, I regressed to high school Corey who would spend days watching Supernatural without leaving the house or doing anything productive. At least I haven’t started reading One Direction fanfiction again (yet). This show has 15 seasons. 1-6 are pretty decent. After that, it’s just nonsense, but I still love it so much. You would think Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki would become better actors over the years, but they are still comically gruff overactors. We are in the last season, which is why I decided to keep up. I felt like I had put so much time and effort into this show to not watch the last season. They’re literally fighting God right now, which is just ridiculous enough. I will probably take some time to wax poetic about this show and others that got me through my adolescence, but honestly, I don’t think people should watch past like the first time Sam goes to hell.

I May Destroy You HBO

This is the best show I have seen all year. It does revolve around sexual assault, so be warned if that is something that triggers you, but it handles the topic with such nuance and care. I have never seen a show explore the complexity of sexual assault and its many forms. It shows that everyone has a different reaction to being assaulted and no reaction is wrong. I’m still blown away by the fact that Michaela Coel wrote the whole fucking thing herself. That’s insane. People rarely do that. She also does an amazing job playing Arabella. I like that Arabella is not some perfect and pristinely pure woman who has her virtue tainted. She is a normal young woman who likes to party and be with her friends while she procrastinates writing. Within the torment, she finds a way to be funny. Also, I've thought this was over three times. People kept tweeting that it was over and it took me a while to realize that's because it aired in the UK first. Moving on, the finale for US viewers isn't until August 24th, so I'll update then!

Ok, the finale aired. I really enjoyed the last few episodes. I think this show really explores the nuances of recovering from sexual assault and how it is not linear and often times there is no real justice. You just have to find peace with it yourself.

(If you have experienced any form of sexual assault and need someone to talk to, you can call RAINN at 800.656.HOPE (4673) to talk to a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.)

The Babysitters Club Netflix

I tried watching this when it first came out and the narration threw me so I didn’t even finish the first episode. I took some time away, watched some other stuff and then when I had a really bad depression day, I sat down and watched this. This show is actually pretty good. There is a real need for shows geared towards middle schoolers that are about middle schoolers and The Babysitters Club does a great job of addressing some really important topics in a mature but not too mature way. I liked that the actors are actually around the age of their characters. They aren’t too obsessed with boys and relationships and it shows the benefits and the difficulties of friendships at that age pretty well. It’s sweet and wholesome, which we need sometimes. I also 100% cried during the scene where Mary Anne (Malia Baker) stands up to two doctors who are misgendering one of the kids she babysits. It was very emotional for me. Claudia Kishi (Momona Tomada) is my favorite character and judging by the fact that there is a 17 minute documentary about how much people love her as a character, I am not alone.

If you made it to the end, congratulations. This shit is over 4,000 words long. I would love to know what you’ve been watching, and if you have any opinions about the shows I’ve mentioned. You can either leave a comment below or shoot me a message. If you want to be notified when I post my next chaotic blog post, you can sign up for my mailing list and alerts at the bottom of the website.

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