As we get towards summer, it means more of us will be traveling, some of us will have less work to do, and in general we will have a little bit more time to our days. It also means that we want something to watch on television since many of the network shows go off on hiatus. In that case, you will likely turn to your Netflix queue to figure out something to watch.
If you are a bit stuck, here are a few options that you may have overlooked:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2 of 2 seasons)
One of the best series on television in general, not just on Netflix, is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This is a genius musical comedy about a woman who leaves her fancy, well-paying job in Manhattan to move to West Covina, California, where her beloved ex-boyfriend, Josh, lives. She picks up another job there are meets some of the quirky characters in the town. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a fiercely feminist show that has blatant discussions about mental health, politics, depression, insecurity, and the patriarchy. Each episode has original songs written by the star of the show, Rachel Bloom, and is filled with some famous faces, including Patti Lupone.
It is a show from The CW but it has all of the dark humor of a Netflix show but the charm of a network show. Give it a try and see if you don’t become addicted to some of the smaller characters, like Heather, the brainy and uppity next door neighbor or Paula, the mom who just wants to see Rebecca and Josh have their happy ending.
Jane the Virgin (2 of 3 seasons)
Let’s get one fact out of the way quickly: Jane the Virgin is a show that has a lot of strange things that happen. Based on a telenovela, the CW show follows Jane, a woman who has vowed to stay a virgin until marriage but she gets artificially inseminated by an alcoholic gynecologist. This is one of the more normal things that happens on the show. With a deep look at the ties that bind families together, especially those with strong, single women, it is a cannot miss show. The writing is fantastic and it explores real issues that families face, including a grandmother who is in the country illegally and money problems for the lead characters.
Get ready for some intense twists and turns, but you will quickly understand why Jane gave the CW its first Golden Globe.
The Crown (1 of 1 season)
The Crown offers you an inside view of Queen Elizabeth II. This beautifully shot and dressed show tells you more about the British Royal Family. John Lithgow does a particularly impressive Winston Churchill, who is struggling at the end of his career. Seeing how he helps Elizabeth and truly makes your history books come to life. Elizabeth’s relationship with Prince Phillip, played by Matt Smith, is dissected as well, and it will make you happy that you aren’t a part of the royalty.
It really makes you think about our traditions and the ways our world has changed.
13 Reasons Why (1 of 1 season)
There have been a lot of think pieces about this amazing show over the last few months. It has a great hook: a teenager named Hannah commits suicide and leaves tapes (how retro!) explaining why she did it. She makes 13 tapes in all, each one recorded for the individual who was at least partially responsible for her death. The tapes are passed around so that each of the 13 people hears about themselves and everyone else. They then deal with the guilt, especially Clay, the other protagonist of the show.
Many are fighting back because the show is quite graphic and displays things that teenage girls have to deal with – including bullying, rape, and societal pressures. But the raw tone has also connected to many people who have felt those same feelings. Make sure to heed the warnings and pause when you need to, because this gets incredibly heavy.
Gilmore Girls (7 of 7 sequels and A Year in the Life)
While watching it again as an adult will show you a different side to the Gilmore Girls, it is still a show that will hold up over the years. Filled with references to all things pop culture, you will find yourself picking sides, crying with Lorelai, celebrating with Rory, and (still) lusting over young Luke Danes. It’s a great show to watch for the first time or to rewatch, no matter how old you are. If you watched it when it first aired, watch it again and see how much more you like Emily Gilmore now, or how funny Luke is.
The relationships on this show are strong, the storylines filled with hope, and the members of Stars Hollow will feel like new (or old) friends. Be on the lookout for special guests and see how many references you didn’t get when you were younger but you totally get now.
American Crime Story: the People vs. OJ Simpson
For many of us, the story of O.J. Simpson’s trial is a distant memory that we heard about much later in life. However, for a lot of others, it is something that they remember extremely well. That white Bronco went on the high speed chase some 20 years ago, but the story still grips you. This look at the trial and everything that went on behind the scenes was masterfully written, casted, and shot by the same team that brings you American Horror Story. Sarah Paulson gives another masterful performance as Marcia Clark and her supporting cast is just a strong. In a series that earned over 20 Emmy Award nominations and 8 wins, it is truly a masterpiece.
Even if you’ve already watched it, you can watch it to try to predict how they will take on their next big cases: Hurricane Katrina for season two and the murder of Versace by playboy Andrew Cunanan for season three.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2 of 2 seasons)
With the third season of this Tina Fey-produced show to be released soon, this cracky comedy is one of the best shows on Netflix. Tituss Burgess is a national treasure that should be celebrated. The show follows Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who was kept in an underground bunker for years in a cult. She emerges and goes to live in New York City, where she meets a kooky cast of characters.
Orphan Black (4 of 5 seasons)
Orphan Black is one of the best little shows that too few people watch. With the last season about to start, going back to the beginning of the trip will be an amazing way to spend some longer summer days. Tatiana Maslany is giving one of the best performances on television – make that multiple performances. She plays the girls of Project Leda, a government project that resulted in clones who have to fight back for control of their own bodies and destinies.