Splendid Isolation: TV and Movie edition
March 15, 2020 12:20 PM   Subscribe

What to watch while stuck at home?

So social distancing has taken effect for most of us.
What tv shows/ movies are you watching? Recommend your favorites classics, obscure shows, to new media. It’s all fair game here!
posted by Champagne Supernova to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Casa Blanca!
posted by NotLost at 12:32 PM on March 15, 2020

The Shield with Michael Chiklis.
posted by Fukiyama at 12:49 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Don't judge us, but when we found ourselves housebound after her recent knee surgery, we really got into "Sex sent me to the ER". All different sex couples so far, which is my only annoyance with it, but lots of actual really interesting medical information (did you know you could get MRSA in your knee? We didn't) along with the more expected "whoops, we did something really dumb."

We also love the Masked Singer around here, and this season has been a lot of fun. If you're into dance at all, see if your streaming provider of choice has back seasons of World of Dance.

We have turned into those middle aged folks who tape Jeopardy and spar over the answers. Family Feud is ridiculous but nice for 20 minutes blobs of entertainment.
posted by joycehealy at 12:49 PM on March 15, 2020

Assuming you have Amazon Prime and enjoy science fiction, you can totally get absorbed into The Expanse.
posted by Lynsey at 1:14 PM on March 15, 2020 [12 favorites]

If you're wanting to groove on the disease/civilization-wipeout vibe, consider I am Legend. Another Will Smith fav-- Enemy of the State. Nod to Gene Hackman here. Brink of WWIII more your style? [Another nod to Gene Hackman as well as Denzel Washington] Crimson Tide. Sticking with Gene Hackman [with a nod to Kevin Kostner] in a Russian conspiracy flavor, consider No Way Out.
posted by Gino on the Meta at 1:16 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Maniac (on Netflix)
posted by DoubleLune at 1:23 PM on March 15, 2020

Depending on how old you are, and your tolerance for sitcom tropes of the 80s, all eight seasons of Perfect Strangers are available on Hulu.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:32 PM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Corner Gas (which is streaming on Amazon) which I learned about a few weeks ago on AskMe. It's set in a small remote Canadian town and is generally very calming.
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:32 PM on March 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

Money Heist on Netflix.
Babylon Berlin (also Netflix)
Kidding (Showtime)
Everything's Gonna Be Okay (Amazon)
posted by Obscure Reference at 1:47 PM on March 15, 2020

I enjoyed the three-episode Dracula miniseries (it's a 2020 version) on Netflix. It was slightly dark fun, not heavy in any way.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:01 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Recently I've been testing a hypothesis that "Cheers" was the best-written comedy series since M*A*S*H (yes, better than Seinfeld, which I also love). The first episode may be the best first episode of any series ever. Netflix.

We have turned into those middle aged folks who tape Jeopardy and spar over the answers.

Netflix has some Jeopardy reruns!
posted by rhizome at 2:02 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Because I'm in the mood for light fare, I'll recommend a few of my favorite lesser-known comedies.

I am constantly pushing Better Off Ted here on the green. It only has two short seasons, but they are great. I think it might appeal to people who like Arrested Development, only partly because it prominently features the delightful performance of Portia de Rossi. It is streaming free with a Hulu membership or there are various other places that let you rent it.

Take My Wife is a lovely, sweet comedy featuring a wonderful pair of comedians who are married in real life, Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. I came for Cameron, who is a personal favorite, but stayed for her wife, Rhea, who was a revelation to me. She does awkward and uncomfortable in a way I find utterly relatable. It is only two seasons, as well, and has just 14 episodes. It's streaming with a Starz subscription or available to rent from various places. You should also look

What We Do in the Shadows changed my mind about the entire concept of mockumentaries. Four vampires live in a house on Staten Island. Life is tough. I don't usually laugh out loud this much. There's just one season out so far, streaming on Hulu.

Please Like Me is an Australian dreamed with four seasons, that features Josh Thomas coming to terms with his identity as a gay man and dipping into the dating pool. It served as my introduction to Hannah Gadsby, who has a small role but appears to be a treasure wherever she shows up. It's streaming for free on Hulu.

I also really love Josh Thomas's new show, Everything's Gonna Be Okay. Again, it's on Hulu, but also available on Freeform, if your cable subscription includes that. It's so good, you guys. It has a teenage character on the Autism spectrum who is actually played by an actress on the spectrum, which is refreshing.

Other things I've enjoyed lately which I may come back to pitch when I have more time!
- Brockmire
- Crashing (both the UK show & the American one, which bear no relation to one another other than title)
- You're the Worst
- Better Things
posted by diamondsky at 2:12 PM on March 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

These series are all available on Canadian Netflix and Amazon Prime, so I’ll assume you’re able to access at least most of them in the US:

Sex Education
Babylon Berlin
The Good Place
Russian Doll
The Bridge (original Swedish version)
Bordertown (the Finnish one)
Derry Girls

Parks and Recreation
The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:16 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by amtho at 2:34 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Devs! I watch on Hulu. Only 3 episodes so far but it's so good!
posted by smashface at 2:34 PM on March 15, 2020

Oh! I have to jump back in to second Hurdy Gurdy Girl on Derry Girls. This Slate article about the gloriously over-the-top facial expressions of lead Saorise Monica Jackson ought to be enough to reel you in.
posted by diamondsky at 2:38 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Schitts Creek, very charming sitcom once you get past the first one or two episodes
The Star Trek back catalog (if you’ve never watched before, try starting with season 3 of The Next Generation)
Locke and Key

Superstore, also currently running on NBC
Devs, also currently running on FX

Silicon Valley
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Recently I've been testing a hypothesis that "Cheers" was the best-written comedy series since M*A*S*H <> I think this might also be Frasier, which I think you can get on Hulu.
posted by jeoc at 2:40 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

On Hulu, we just finished Legion which we highly recommend. It's set in the world of mutants from Marvel's Xmen comics. It's extremely surreal and dreamlike. Possibly not everyone's cup of tea, but if you enjoy cerebral shows that you have to think about a lot in order to understand/follow them, Legion is amazing.

On Netflix I have also really enjoyed Good Girls with Christina Hendricks. Which is pretty much the opposite of Legion in that it's just funny/fluffy entertainment albiet a tiny bit dark at times.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:00 PM on March 15, 2020

Counterpart (free on Amazon Prime)

I found an article about it during a search for pandemic-related media and I'm loving it so far.
posted by marguerite at 3:01 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Isle of Dogs - 2018

The only Wes Anderson film I loved and will watch again. It's only the second of his films I enjoyed enough to finish. Animated.

Colossal - 2017

Wow. This reviewer said it better than I could: "It's a sci-fi/horror/psychodrama/comedy/thriller/revenge/romance film - and that jumble of a description not only works, it does so in spectacular fashion."

Mr. Right - 2015

Offbeat, loopy, ridiculous, fast paced fun - for those who know fun can include a hit man, a high body count and a relationship between 2 who should be on meds. She (Anna Kendrick) is a manic party animal who wants to DO SOMETHING, he (Sam Rockwell) is a hit man with a difference. They meet, he tells the truth about himself but she thinks he's just clowning around in conversation.

The Triplets of Belleville - 2003

I saw it based on the first sentence of the Roger Ebert review: "'The Triplets of Belleville' will have you walking out of the theater with a goofy damn grin on your face, wondering what just happened to you." It's animated. Essentially a silent film, with maybe a dozen lines of dialog.
posted by Homer42 at 3:30 PM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]



Schitt’s Creek ends up being more loving than you can imagine based on the first couple episodes.

Dark (the German show). It is dark but I’ve watched it twice.

The OA. It can be very sad at times but ultimately makes me feel better about humans and our need to have connections with others. I’ve also just realize a main plot point is characters being physically isolated but also proximate. Hmm.

Nature from PBS. They have several episodes entirely about CATS. And 38 seasons overall. My local affiliate provides access to all streaming PBS content for a mere $5 monthly donation.


Lost Treasures of Ancient Egypt (have to buy it but worth it. I love it features many female archeologists, historians, etc)

The Expanse (Netflix and prime) (unless Alien Plague is not pleasurable viewing right now. It’s one of the few shows I’ve watched multiple times.)



Black Panther

Knives Out (took me a little to get it but then I was like “ohhhh”)

Kon-Tiki (yes the old black and white film by Thor Heyerdahl. They have a parrot friend who travels with them a bit. And they just seem like a lovely bunch of adventurous Swedes getting sunburn and seasick to prove ancient peoples were sea-faring. )

I like ExpressVPN because it was the easiest to set up directly through my Apple TV, should you need such a thing. And their live chat support was actually helpful.
posted by affectionateborg at 3:34 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yesterday, about a world in which The Beatles only exist in 1 guy's memory. 3.99 or so on Play, other platforms. Fun, charming, 0 stress. I sang along.
posted by theora55 at 3:37 PM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

The Music Box- Laurel & Hardy deliver a piano up a very long flight of stairs on a hillside. Won the first Academy Award for a short film.
posted by Homer42 at 3:42 PM on March 15, 2020

I think I might give Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt a re-watch...all the scenes in the bunker should fun.
Also, PORN! And mail-order sex toys come wrapped in plastic. Don't fuck fomites!
posted by sexyrobot at 3:50 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files here, for some major 90's nostalgia. Maybe Fringer later.

Depending on how old you are, and your tolerance for sitcom tropes of the 80s, all eight seasons of Perfect Strangers are available on Hulu.

Oh, I love that one where they are painting the walls and then the door opens up...which episode was that again?

Also, The Leftovers would be a good rewatch.
posted by Pryde at 4:07 PM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

posted by Freedomboy at 5:17 PM on March 15, 2020

Crash landing on you (Korean, subtitled)
posted by Comrade_robot at 5:32 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fortitude on Amazon is riveting. You'll have to pirate the third season though unless you're not in the US. The third season is shory, kind of a wrap up
posted by fshgrl at 5:33 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

On Prime:
Gentleman Jack
Scott and Bailey (also with Suranne Jones. I would watch her in anything)
Happy Valley is excellent
Hulu has Pride and Prejudice right now.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:54 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Black Monday
On becoming a god in central Florida
Secret Healer
A series of unfortunate events
High maintenance
posted by bleep at 8:42 PM on March 15, 2020

Just check out all the shows in my fanfare comments. It's all great!
posted by bleep at 8:42 PM on March 15, 2020

Oh yeah and Marc Maron's new Netflix special is amazing. It feels like it was written & performed 4 days ago.
posted by bleep at 8:43 PM on March 15, 2020

I was watching Letterkenny just the other daaaaaaaay.
posted by roue at 9:23 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Jane Austen. The answer is anything Jane Austen.
posted by TrishaU at 1:04 AM on March 16, 2020

* pulls up chair and sits down *

I'm watching my way through all of the 1001 movies to see before you die films. Unfortunately they're not always on free streaming with Netflix, but a good number are available for a couple bucks on Youtube or Amazon or the like. Some are even free on Youtube because they're in the public domain (I will say that if you haven't seen anything by Buster Keaton, do something about that today).

My roommate and I are also working our way through The Good Place and everything by Anthony Bourdain. I've also been watching Star Trek: Picard.

Also, on YouTube, every so often you can find full episodes of British news/comedy shows or panel quiz shows - look for episodes of QI, or of the news/comedy show The Last Leg.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:13 AM on March 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

On Netflix, I'm a handful of episodes into Julia Child's original (1964) The French Chef and enjoying it immensely. They have all ten seasons.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:28 AM on March 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Some English shows I couldn't stop watching...

The End of the F***ing World

And American..

posted by tectressa at 10:22 AM on March 16, 2020

Response by poster: Excellent suggestions, folks!
If I may add my own-
Party Down (Hulu)
Monk (Prime)
Lastly, the original Brith version of Life on Mars, which is on Britbox.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 4:17 PM on March 16, 2020

Someone above mentioned Perfect Strangers.

On the flip side of quality television: if you're a fan of benign, good-humored hate watching, Perfect Strangers was the prototype for the TGIF style which influenced a decade of delightfully awful network television.

If right now you're locked up with a roommate or SO, I'd recommend trying some of these together. Sharing 22 minutes of derisive, incredulous laughter can be very cathartic and unifying in a tense environment.

My favorites include (Hulu all):

-Family Matters (jump off with S2 E18, Life of the Party)
-Step By Step (S1 E9, Just For Kicks)
-Full House (the shameless S6 E23, The House Meets The Mouse)
-Baywatch (Seasons 1 and 2)
-Its spinoff Baywatch Nights, an inexplicable X-Files ripoff (Intro)

Common tropes to look out for:
-The lack of any shadows at any time in anyone's homes
-Casual, unironic belief in the existence of God
-Pool halls filled with bikers who will either try to hustle the characters or brawl with the characters (or both)
-Most importantly: the main characters will inevitably become the center of attention wherever they go (e.g. Disneyworld, school dance, etc)

(Also, I'd hate to offend anyone who truly loves these shows! I have a lot of affection for them, as well as disdain!)
posted by matt_long_username at 2:09 PM on March 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

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