what to watch now!

Written by Heather Bass/edited by Connor and Jeff Bass. Thumbs Up for the shows from all of us! Television is chewing gum for the eyes. Frank Lloyd Wright

We love TV in my house and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s chewing gum for the eyes and candy for our souls. One of the best escapes we have found is diving into a series, binging, and getting lost in sweet, scary, soulful, silly and surprising stories. We have 101+ shows worthy of praise and highly recommended by some, or all, of our family. We hope you will like them too. Here’s 1-42 (installment #2, 23-42 indicated by *)

Brooklyn 99- Andy Samberg (SNL) is hysterical as Detective Jake Peralta, who works in NYPD’s 99th Precinct. This show is funny, silly, and sometimes even sweet, makingit one of our favorites. It is pure comedic joy. I have 100% considered recreating some of the hijinks that take place on the show. You will too.

Chuck- Zachary Levi (Shazam), and Yvonne Strahavski (The Handmaid’s Tale) are a mismatched but adorable crime-fighting duo in this entertaining show. Chuck Bartowski is a computer nerd who inadvertently downloads a powerful computer program that uses his brain as a hard drive. Unbeknownst to him, his brain becomes the host to every piece of information available to the US government. The result is the US government categorizing him as a national security asset and also a national risk. Sarah Walker, an undercover government agent, is sent to help Chuck manage this new information and also join him in top secret missions when his brain activates to super spy mode. This show is as fun and easy to watch as eating the entire container of ice cream when you swore you’d only have one scoop.

Disenchantment- This hysterical cartoon for grown-ups comes from the same hilarious team that brought us the Simpsons and Futurama. Set in the crumbling kingdom of Dreamland, binge drinking Princess Bean gets into all kinds of trouble with her trusty sidekicks Elfo and Luci. While none of us needs further encouragement, as a tribute to Bean, you’ll fly through this series as fast as that case of wine you bought during quarantine.

I’m Sorry- Andrea Savage (Veep & Episodes) wrote this and starred in it. She plays a neurotic mom who brilliantly juggles work and family life with wit and immature irreverence. It is in equal measures Sooooo Wrong but Soooo Right! I hesitate (just a little) to recommend this show because it really pushes the envelope to the point where some people might feel uncomfortable watching it.

The Middle- Every once in a while a show comes along that captures your heart. The Middle is that show. Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) plays Frankie Heck, the mom of a lovable middle American family. The Heck family is as flawed as it is funny, caring and delightful. You find yourself rooting for each character like they are members of your own family. Don’t get me wrong, this show is a wonderful comedy. It’s just really easy to get invested in the characters as you watch them grow up over the years. Have Kleenex handy for the final episode. You might cry, but it will only be because you are laughing too.

*New Girl– Zooey Deschanel plays quirky and bubbly Jess, who always sees the glass half-full side of things. After a difficult break up, Jess moves into an apartment with three men each with their own unique personality and circumstance. Jess adds zaniness and unconditional love to their lives, and they add stability, support and fun to hers. My son and I binged our way through this in record time. Enjoy!

*Santa Clarita Diet- The cast alone should make you want to watch this dark comedy that dances in the macabre world inhabited by Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant — the adorable leads who play a real estate sales team in Santa Clarita, California. They have a very predictable and almost boring life… until something goes incredibly wrong… And the wrong is what makes it so funny! I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but my son told me it’s important for people to know what they are about to watch. SPOILER WARNING: Please stop reading if you want the full surprise. If you want to know what you’re getting into, be prepared for a fantastic comedy about life as a zombie. For a little cherry on the top of this yummy show, Nathan Fillion (Castle, The Rookie) shows up for a disturbing and hysterical cameo.

Schitt’s Creek- Eugene Levy (Cheaper By the Dozen 2) and Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone) play Johnny and Moira Rose. The Roses are a family who have it ALL and lose it ALL in a matter of minutes. Their finances force them to move to the only place that will take them — the aptly named small town of Schitt’s Creek. The show has earned every accolade it has received. The character development is what sets it apart from straight-ahead situation comedy. Please invest in it. I’m glad I did. I almost gave up during the initial episodes. I’m glad I didn’t. The Rose family’s development within Schitt’s Creek shapes their world view in a most charming and tickling way. I have watched it from start to finish two times. Judge me if you must.

*Ted Lasso- This show is the funny, feel-good comedy we have all been looking for during the pandemic! Our entire family, including extended family like grandmas and grandpas, gave it 10 out of 10 stars. 11 stars if that existed. Jason Sudeikis is perfect as Ted Lasso, a small-time football coach who gets hired to coach a soccer team in London, England. We fell in love with Ted. We laughed belly-laughs while watching it. And now we’re quoting it. (That’s a sign of high praise in our house.) I honestly don’t know how they were able to write such a heartwarming, endearing, and HYSTERICAL show, but they managed to pack it all into one amazing masterpiece. It’s a favorite for sure and a must watch if you haven’t seen it. *Small disclaimer * My parents were not fans of some of the language, so make sure to preview it before you watch it with kids.

The Mick- Grifters, Greenwich, and a federal manhunt – need I say more? Two worlds collide as comedic veteran Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) stars as Mickey – the aunt we wish we had – struggles to care for her abandoned nieces and nephews as her sister flees law enforcement. Mickey starts out as a fish out of water in this comedy, but by the end she turns the whole dysfunctional environment into her own fantastic little fishbowl.

*Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt- This show is pure sunshine, and we have creators Tina Fay and Robert Carlock to thank for it. Kimmy Schmidt, played by Ellie Kemper, is sunshine, rainbows and unicorns wrapped into the world’s most upbeat, optimistic, bubbly person. After being rescued from a doomsday cult, Kimmy moves to New York City to start a new life. It’s just plain fun to watch her interact with her surroundings, her roommate, landlord and boss. And as the theme song says… Females are Strong as Hell!

Black Mirror- Hello Twilight Zone for the new millennium! This is a fun, freaky, suspenseful show. Each episode stands alone and each is guaranteed to quicken your pulse push you to the edge of your seat (which is closer to the refrigerator). Set in the plausibly very real and near future, the show focuses on how technology might completely alter reality as we know it. I have many favorite episodes, but the one with Mylie Cyrus is Just Wow. 

*The Boys- Just thinking about this one makes me chuckle out loud. You know the laugh that escapes when you’re really uncomfortable? That kind of chuckle. The Boys is as fun, funny, and fabulous as it is cringy. It’s about a ragtag group of vigilantes who work together to take down a powerful and corrupt group of “superheroes”. When the superheroes are in the public eye, they are paragons of virtue and morality, but behind the scenes they are the opposite. My son and I started watching this one separately because he was at college. When the pandemic hit, he came home and we continued watching together. In order for us to continue watching it together, we had to agree that every new episode was written to shock and/or gross out the viewer more than they’ve ever been grossed out. We actually think the writers challenged each other to write the most disturbing scene they could imagine. We’re here to tell you, if that was the challenge, they succeeded. You will totally enjoy watching Billy, Hughie, Homelander, Starlight, Queen Maeve, and Stormfront. And for a little blast from Karate Kid past, Elizabeth Shue shows up as Madelyn Stillwell, the woman in charge of the superhero organization. I WISH I could make the comment I want to make here, but it would ruin the scene/surprise between Madelyn and Homelander. Insert nervous chuckle here…

Dr. Who- This timeless classic represents must-see viewing. First airing in 1963, this show has mesmerized legions of fans for 58 years. The central character – known only as The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time and space in his utterly cool time machine, the TARDIS, which looks like a bright blue British police call box, but only on the outside. The Doctor is an eccentric, endearing scientist who adores Earth and he will do anything to protect Earth and its citizens from the evils that lurk in the universe. He always has a sidekick from Earth for the many adventures that take place. I cannot say enough positive things about this show, especially about the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith (The Crown) from 2010-2013. He plays a compassionate doctor, full of heart, with an almost childlike wonder, coupled with a veil of worldly weariness from the horrors he’s witnessed in his other incarnations. It’s a bit sci-fi, it’s a bit fantasy,and it’s a whole lotta fun!

The Mandalorian- This show is the reason we have Disney Plus, hands down! And for those of you who know me and my Hamilton obsession, I know reading this just shocked you. You don’t have to know a single gosh-darned thing about Star Wars to watch and fall in love with this show. It takes place a handful of years after the Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Galactic Empire. For some of you this makes sense, for some of you it doesn’t, and that’s ok, because this show is about one character, The Mandalorian. He is a bounty hunter moving about the galaxy, not unlike cowboys in the 1800’s wild west. His path crosses with Baby Yoda and the show takes off. We flew through season one last December, and season two this December and are already anxiously awaiting season 3. I suspect you will too.

*Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- If you love superheroes, this is the show for you. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up right after the events of the first Avenger’s movie. Here’s a quick refresher in case you need it: the Marvel superheroes (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captian America, Black Widow and Hawkeye) have to team up to save the world from Loki and his army. *Spoiler alert*- they succeed. The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.), run by Agent Phil Coulson, is a team of unique, brilliant and maybe even supernatural people who investigate and intervene in alien events on Earth. You will fall in love with all the characters… May, Daisy, Fitz, Simmons, Ward, and of course, Agent Coulson. – T.A.H.I.T.I. It’s a magical place. – If you’ve watched it, you know… if you haven’t, you should.

Stranger Things- This sci-fi/mystery/thriller is set in Hawkins, Indiana in the early 1980’s and they get it so right, if you grew up in the 80’s you will feel like you traveled back through time! If your kids are like my kid, born in the new millennium, it’s a great way to share a glimpse of growing up in the 80’s. The show features a ragtag little gang of friends who like to ride bikes, communicate on walkie talkies, and play Dungeons and Dragons in the basement. It’s a sweet and simple life in a small midwestern town… until one of the boys goes missing. Before you know it, there are discoveries of secret government labs, scary supernatural happenings, and a powerful girl who might be a touch hero/ a bit antihero. Plus, Winona Ryder is the mom and she is FANTASTIC! You’ll find yourself craving, and probably buying, Eggo waffles after watching this.

*Timeless- This is a fun show that combines adventure, crime fighting, time-travel and history. Imagine a villain who is set on destroying America as we know it by traveling back in time to change the past. A scientist, a history professor, and a soldier are tasked with traveling back in time to critical moments in history in order to thwart the villain. Things get complicated when they must blend into the time period, stop the butterfly effect, and not inadvertently change history themselves. We were sad it was only 2 seasons long.

The Umbrella Academy- This is a show my 20 year old insisted we watch together, and I’m so glad we did. It grabs your attention and holds it until the very last episode. Here’s the problem- there’s just too much to write about! You have to see it to believe it. It’s about a family of adopted superheroes raised by a father who might be planning the apocalypse or might be trying to prevent the apocalypse, you just never know. Each sibling is wonderfully and beautifully flawed and in spite of the dysfunctional family dynamics, they somehow find a way to make things work, even if it isn’t perfect. It makes me think of how we are all trying to find a way through the pandemic, we’re making things work, even if it isn’t perfect.

*The Witcher- True confession time, I wouldn’t have watched this without my son asking me to watch it. It’s a show based on a book that inspired a video game- now you understand my hesitation. After watching it, and LOVING it, it’s proof to me that I need to keep an open mind in life and not judge things before giving them a try. The Witcher is delightful and mesmerizing, and has the catchiest little tune that you won’t be able to stop singing. The main protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, is played by the very easy-to-look-at Henry Cavill… you’re welcome xoxoxo. Geralt of Rivia is a solitary monster hunter who feels more at home slaying beasts than mingling with humans. More often than not, he finds the real monsters are the people trying to use his hunting prowess for their personal gain. My son and I are wildly excited that the second season is currently being filmed! Long live The Witcher! PS. There was one scene that my son flat out refused to watch with me… you’ll see it when it’s coming… and you wouldn’t want to watch it with your kid or mom either!

*The Alienist- This is not a show about aliens from space. It’s a gritty, gruesome, brilliant thriller set in New York City in the late 1800’s. In the mid-nineteenth century, the term psychologist didn’t exist, they were called alienists. An alienist’s goal was to assist patients in overcoming their “mental alienation”/illness. In The Alienist, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler secretly teams up with a newspaper illustrator, and a NYPD secretary (Dakota Fanning!) to solve a string of brutal and disturbing murders, possibly committed by one of New York City’s first serial killers. They use early forensic investigation techniques and the emerging disciplines of psychology to find the killer. This is an incredibly well done show, but it’s not for the faint of heart. I watched it by myself (I shouldn’t have) and I know it would freak my husband out too much for him watch it. That being said, I couldn’t stop watching. It’s not all stressful… There’s a dash of romance, a pinch of history and the costumes and set are perfection. Fun fact: Season 1 and 2 have the same characters, but entirely different plot lines. You might want to watch both with the lights on.

Big Sky- This little five episode surprise came out of nowhere in the midst of a pandemic, when it seemed like nothing new was coming out, and what a fun treat to find. It aired on ABC which I have to admit, surprised me. Not because I don’t like ABC, but because this show is very edgy, creepy, and downright scary. I guess I have always considered network tv to be a little more careful and conservative with pushing limits, but then Big Sky comes along proving me wrong. Human trafficking takes center stage in this thriller. The show highlights the lengths traffickers will go to “get the goods and move the goods”. It also focuses on how far loving families and concerned law enforcement will go to get the girls back. It is a nail biting show and the finale of the the 5th episode will leave your jaw on the ground.

*Game of Thrones- I was LATE to the party watching this one, but I have a really good reason why I didn’t watch it until 2020. In the early days of the show, I turned on the tv late one night and the scene I happened to see was one of the top three most brutal and disturbing scenes in the entire show. I never gave it a chance after that because I thought the entire show was like the scene I had witnessed. Yes, I “judged a book by a cover/ after reading just one page”, and yes, I probably have a little PTSD from that scene, but the pandemic came along and I was in a show hole, so I gave it another try. I LOVED IT like the rest of the world! Imagine nine noble families ruling over a land called Westeros. There are good guys, there are baaaaaaddd guys, there is love and hope and hate and war. There are Dragons! Just watch it if you haven’t. Or watch it again because it has been so many years since you last watched it. I’d recommend closing your eyes or fast forwarding if you need to. I watched the final season with a dear friend on Zoom during the pandemic. Like the rest of the world, we were very disappointed with how they chose to end it.

Mindhunter- Can you believe there was ever a time when profiling serial killers didn’t exist? Mindhunter is a show based on the FBI agents who invented it. For years, the agents fought to break the MMO mold (means, motive, and opportunity) used by the FBI to investigate and solve crimes. They interviewed America’s most notorious serial killers to help create a new way to investigate crimes using psychology and sociology as a way to find MMO. They struggled to be taken seriously. They struggled to make a change. But they never gave up. And the changes they were able to make has changed the FBI for good. And I feel safer knowing it.

*The Undoing- This fabulous mini-series starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant is a wonderful, modern-day whodunnit. Grace and Jonathan Fraser seem like the couple who has it all. She’s a therapist and he’s a pediatric oncologist. They have an adorable little boy who plays the violin and goes to a fancy private school. They live and move in the circles and places where the top one-percent of the one percenters are found. And then there’s a murder. Whodunnit??? People circle their wagons to protect the ones they love, and you’re left wondering if you can get away with murder depending on which circle you’re in. It’s a fun watch, a little outlandish in places, but a great escape. On a total tangent, I found Nicole Kidman’s wardrobe and perfect manicures swoon-worthy. Especially considering I have 100% committed myself to ath-leisure wear and naked fingernails and toenails during the pandemic. I confess I was actually jealous of her nails… and the outfit she wore to the gala…

*You- Oh Boy! This show is a doozy! My son watched it (alone). I watched it (alone). And thank goodness for that. It is a dark, DARK, super-sexy show. The main character, Joe, is a brilliant, charming, dark, dangerous, obsessive guy. Whoever he sets his sights on, he gets. And from the bottom of my heart, you do not want to be the one he sets his sights on. It pretty much always turns out horribly for that person. Yep- he’s a sociopath that you love to hate and hate to love.

*Anne with an E- Anne with an E is a fresh take on the classic tale of Anne of Green Gables. It follows the life and adventures of sweet and sassy Anne, a tween orphan girl living on Prince Edward Island during the late 1800’s. Anne is the underdog in pretty much everything, but that never gets her down or dampens her curiosity, optimism, and enthusiasm. You will love this version and Anne and root for her, her friends and her family throughout the show.

*The Durrells in Corfu- I found this treasure of a show four months into the pandemic. For four glorious seasons I laughed and cried with this special family. The story begins in 1935. Louisa Durrell is a widow in England trying her best to support herself and her four children. They have almost nothing, and nothing is going well for them. Almost on a whim, she announces that they are moving to the Greek island of Corfu. It’s a real life Odyssey for them. They have to overcome mountains of obstacles and learn how to survive and then thrive. They learn to fit into a new culture and to live without electricity. The situations and lessons they learn are hilarious and sometimes profound. Louisa is phenomenal and flawed mother who cares deeply for her four wonderfully and wildly different children and would do anything to keep her family safely together. This family loves fiercely, but not effortlessly. The delightful Durrells live their best lives in Corfu from 1935-1939… and then WWII shows up on their front doorstep… You have to watch to find out what happens. I am so happy this show was 4 seasons long… I would have been thrilled with 4 more seasons, but I can’t control critical historical moments and dates… unless I could live in the tv show Timeless?!?

*Larkrise to Candleford- If you are a period-drama fan, this show is an absolute treat. Larkrise to Candleford follows young Laura Timmons when she is forced to leave her small hamlet of Larkrise to seek employment at the Post Office in bustling Candleford. She is hired by Dorcas Lane, the resident postmistress. Dorcas becomes mentor and friend to Laura. The Post Office is the hub of activity in town and sometimes even the cause of conflict between the residents of Larkrise and Candleford, which as you may have guessed, leaves Laura stuck in the middle. Over the four seasons the characters begin to feel like old friends. Things get exciting when the villagers make mountains out of molehills, but in the end everything always works out. I know people have distinct opinions about happy endings, but this is a great show to come back to again and again, just to get lost in the yumminess.

*The Paradise- The Paradise is an adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel, Au Bonheur des Dames, which retells the story of Aristide Boucicaut, the founder of the world’s first department store, Le Bon Marche. Instead of being set in France, The Paradise comes to life on the lively streets of 1875 Victorian England. This show is rich with amazing characters and gorgeous costumes. It portrays the lives, loves, and losses of the people who work and shop at The Paradise and the surrounding community. John Moray is the visionary and soul that turns a small shop into The Paradise. The employees at The Paradise not only work there, but they live there too. Miss Audrey is Head of Ladieswear, and responsible for keeping decorum and propriety in all things related to the young employees and The Paradise. In spite of her best efforts, there are trials, tribulations, and scandals largely driven by the arrival of plucky country girl with big dreams. I can’t recommend this show enough. It’s simply delightful. If you watch it, please don’t skip the intro. Also, please don’t confuse this show with Mr. Selfridge, which is also about a department store in London from the years 1908-1928. (I will write about this this show in another installment.)

The Crown- I love historical fiction books, so it stands to reason that I’d love this  historical fiction drama. The Crown is about Queen Elizabeth II, her reign and her life. The first two seasons cover her life as a young woman, young queen and young mom. The third season shows her coming into her own. The fourth season is mostly about Lady Diana Spencer. It’s all pure viewing delight: the storyline, the costumes, the acting. I know it’s not a documentary, but they cover the historical moments beautifully. One thing of the things I learned: It’s not easy being Queen.  

*Downton Abbey- The people at Vox said it best: “Downton Abbey is much more than a television show. It’s a cultural touchstone — a gif-able, meme-able, hate-watch-able series with all the trappings of BBC royalty.”Downton Abbey is an epic period drama set in post Edwardian England. (If you’re curious, here’s the difference between the Victorian Era and the Edwardian Era: the Victorian Era was the time Victoria was on the throne (1837-1901) and the Edwardian Era was the time in which her son, Edward VII was on the throne (1901-1910). This show is heavy on period and heavy on drama. It follows the lives of the Crawley family, the Grantham family, and the staff who serve them at the fictional estate of Downton Abbey. It opens with the family learning about a change in heirs because of a death on the Titanic, and then things really take off! Downton Abbey is a new millennium version of the series Upstairs, Downstairs, which tells the story of how the upstairs nobles interact with the downstairs servants, and it’s wonderful. It’s like a giant, perfectly executed, high-end soap opera set in the early 1900’s. The cast, the costumes, the actual castle (Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England) are just beyond! I watched this show in real time every Sunday night on PBS. It was widely known in the house that no-one should even think about disturbing me from 9-10pm. 🙂

*Elementary- This tv series is yet another modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes and I’m not mad about it. Seriously, who doesn’t love Sherlock Holmes?!? Elementary is set in New York City where Sherlock (Johnny Lee Miller) is living and working as a consultant for the NYPD. He meets Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) who is a surgeon and sober companion at the beginning of the show but ultimately becomes a NYPD Detective. Our family watched this show in real time and we all loved it because seriously, what’s not to love about Sherlock Holmes?

The Great- This lovely little show is equal parts comedy and drama. It’s a sassy, irreverent telling of the rise of Catherine the Great to Empress of All Russia. Elle Fanning plays Catherine the Great and she’s so good she should win an award… maybe she already has? The show takes great pride in reminding the viewer that the story they are watching is an occasionally true retelling of the story, so definitely don’t watch this and think you could pass a test on Russian history.

Killing Eve- This show is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES! It has been described as a dark comedy/drama, but I would call it a dark, delicious, comedy-drama, thriller draped in haute couture. Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) plays Eve Polastri, an American working for British Intelligence who becomes obsessed with profiling, chasing, and capturing Villanelle, a sociopath assassin, played by Jodie Comer (Star Wars, The White Princess). I suspect you will find yourself getting lost in the Villanelle collection on Pinterest… enjoy.

*Little Fires Everywhere- This show is based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 hit novel. I read it with my bookclub and we were all really excited when it was announced that Reese Witherspoon was making it into a show. I was looking forward to watching it with my bookclub, but then the pandemic hit and I ended up watching it with my husband. It was fun watching it with someone who hasn’t read the book. I found myself hitting pause and sharing what happened in the book when the show wasn’t consistent with the book. (I hit pause more than I expected to…) I don’t want to give away any specific details if you want to read the book or watch the show, but this is what I can say… Little Fires Everywhere is set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a posh suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The book and show boast that it is the first planned community in America. The planners of the community imagined the magnates of the time living in a place they saw as perfect, complete with rigid architectural guidelines and deed restrictions intended to keep specific races and religions out. For a book that tackles the topics of class, culture, race, religion, education, and childrearing, Shaker Heights is the perfect setting. They are still trying to set things right over 100 years later as evidenced by the article titled This trail-blazing suburb has tried for 60 years to tackle race. What if trying isn’t enough? in the Washington Post from 10/11/2019. The one truth that unites the women in this show is motherhood. No matter who they are, as mothers they are fearsome warriors and protectors of their families. Little Fires Everywhere is a good read and a good watch… do both and have fun comparing!

Longmire- Longmire is a modern day Western, set in Wyoming, and rich with modern day problems. Walt Longmire is a dedicated, levelheaded, silently broken-hearted Sheriff in Absaroka County, Wyoming (fictional county, I checked because it looked like a nice place to vacation). He has amazing friends, family and colleagues who help him navigate life and law in his county which also has an Indian Reservation located within the boundaries. Occasionally the tribal police force and his own department butt heads, but his close friendship with Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) helps both sides keep the peace. It’s a wonderful drama. The characters are remarkable. I was in a real show hole when this one ended.

*Mad Men- This show has deservedly won Golden Globes for Best Television Series, Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Drama, and Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America awards to name a few. Dive into the world of mid-century awesome with this wonderful drama set in the advertising world of 1960’s New York City. Mad Men follows the professional and personal lives of the men and women who work at fictional Stirling Cooper Advertising Agency on Madison Avenue. Stirling Cooper is a bustling place full of a cast of interesting characters. Don Draper is the creative director and genius of the company. One of my favorites is Joan, a fiery redhead who is the head secretary and runs the whole show. Don and Joan live at a time where Lucky Strike Cigarettes is the biggest account for their company, and excessive smoking, drinking, and womanizing is the norm. Just imagine what happens based on that knowledge alone. If you love great characters, storyline, sets, costumes, hair and makeup, you’ll adore this award winning show!

Money Heist- Yes! Yes! YES! This show has it all. I’ll give a little description, but just watch it. You will not be disappointed. A mastermind, criminal-planner who calls himself “The Professor” assembles the top criminals in the country, each with their own specialty, to pull off the biggest heist in history: rob the Royal Mint of Spain. The crime team never shares their true identities, instead they choose names of a major cities…think Tokyo, Nairobi, Berlin, Helsinki, etc. This show is a true thriller. Full disclosure, it was filmed in Spanish and dubbed in English, which I thought would off-putting, but I got over it in less than 10 minutes. “Bella Ciao, Ciao, Ciao…” 

Reign- In Reign, we take the leap from historical drama to historical fantasy and I’m totally ok with it! The show follows the life of Mary Stuart, who we all know as Mary, Queen of Scots. I had to steal this quote from the CW because it’s just too perfect. “Reign chronicles the rise to power of Mary, Queen of Scots when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Frances, and with her four best friends as ladies-in-waiting. It details the secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue.”

Sherlock- If you love Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange) as much as I do, you don’t even need the description for this modernized adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. You’ll be just like me and say you had me at Benedict. If you are not familiar with this brilliant take on Sherlock Holmes, let me share some of the highlights: Martin Freeman (Black Panther, The Hobbit) shows up as Dr. John Watson and together he and Sherlock solve Sherlock Holmes worthy crimes. Moriarty, Sherlock’s arch nemesis, is never far from mind or sight, and he is never up to any good. Mr. Cumberbatch plays Sherlock brilliantly; he wraps the quirky, eccentric, troubled Sherlock Holmes into a package pretty enough to rival any under the tree. This series ran from 2010-2017, (2010- 3 episodes, 2012- 3 episodes, 2014- 4 episodes, 2016/2017- 4 episodes) so only 15 episodes total. We kept our fingers crossed that the 2 year span between new episodes would give us 3 or 4 more in 2019, but sadly we are still waiting.

Suits- Hello to the show where I first met Megan Markle! She was every bit as ravishing when she played Rachel Zane, donning her signature pencil skirts and button downs as she was in any of her royal engagements. That being said, she was not the reason we became immediately addicted to the show. Mike Ross bursts onto the scene as a person in the wrong place at the right time and unwittingly teams up with Harvey Specter, one of New York City’s best legal closers. Harvey teaches Mike. Mike teaches Harvey. We all fall in love with Donna, Harvey’s assistant and wish Harvey would too. We all despise and then some to accept and appreciate Harvey’s office nemesis, Louis Litt. This is a great legal drama with really great fashion. Just don’t ask my husband how he feels about all the male characters who don’t remove their suit jackets when they are seated and working at their desks…

Stay tuned for the next installment on February 18th 2021.

Jeff, Heather, and Connor Bass