Dave Benson’s Six Best Bingeable Shows For The 2020 Holiday Break
Yes, it's the year of the pandemic, and yes, it's the year of gawd-awful politics, but the reality is, 2020 might be the year of watching TV for many of us.
Between working from home, and trying to avoid Covid-19 as best as we can, we've spent more than our share of time in front of the TV set this year. With the promise of a new vaccine or two in the coming months, we might start getting back to normal later in 2021, but until then, who couldn't use a few suggestions for something fun to watch.
1. Ted Lasso
Hands down, my favorite show of 2020 is Ted Lasso. It's on the Apple TV+. And the first thing I need to strongly tell you, it's not about sports. That fear is what sank a classic series twenty years ago, Sports Night, because non-sports fans avoided it. Again, it's not about sports.
(Apple TV via YouTube)
And truth be told, while this show has a ton of laugh out loud moments, it's a dramedy, and surprise, Jason Sudeikis can do serious. Really well. The cast is mostly Brits. You might recognize Hannah Waddingham from Game of Thrones, and her ex on the show is the guy from the instant coffee commercials back in the 80's, but otherwise they're mostly new to you and me, and boy, are they good. Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt (who co-stars as Coach Beard) and Bill Lawrence, the man behind Scrubs and Cougar Town, lead the production team.
So far only one ten-episode season had been made available, but two more seasons have been announced for the future. All I can say is, it's that good, and it's not about sports.
2. The Crown
I love a good historical drama, and The Crown doesn't disappoint. It's a little slower, and since the episodes are 50 minutes long, will take a lot longer to plow through. The historical parts of the story are fascinating to me, but like some people recently, I have reminded myself, the personal stuff, is speculation and partly fiction. The British Monarchy are not an open book, and you know the writers have had to make things up to fill in the blanks. Still it's very good and I recommend it.
Spy is a British sitcom from about a decade ago (2011). Here's the description from wikipedia of the first episode. It's pretty much explains the show.
"Tim Elliot (Boyd), a divorced and single father disliked by his precocious son Marcus (Wright) and ex-wife Judith (Wells), decides to quit his job as a sales assistant in a computing store. From the Job Centre he learns of a data processing position in Westminster. Unknown to him, he is taking an exam for MI5, and passes to be a spy. When the bosses, including the Examiner (Lindsay) learn of the misunderstanding, they still offer him the position anyway, and Tim accepts." - Spy wikipedia page.
The show is sweet and funny.
4. The Last Dance
It was one of the TV events of the spring, but if you missed it, it's good, and unlike Ted Lasso, this one is about sports. But it's also about life and success and the thin line between winning and losing, and a peek inside a modern-day dynasty. My older son who's not much of a sports fan loved it; partly because he was too young to remember this, but also because Michael Jordan is such a compelling character. This is on Netflix.
5. The Komisky Method
I watched a little more than the first season and really enjoyed it. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are great as is the writing, which to me is always critical. Lisa Edelstein never disappoints, and the supporting cast is solid, too. Netflix for this one.
I haven't seen this series on Hulu, but it's next on my list. It's about a small Canadian town, hockey players and it's very funny and came highly recommended, so I am going to check it out this weekend.