There’s something about bingeing that is a more formalized pursuit of escapism. Candy Crush, refreshing the social feeds, or reading, these are all in service to a more broader impulse to get out of your head for a moment. And the need for escapism has never been more necessary considering the Coronavirus has overtaken the world. As a global community, when we look back after fighting our way through this pandemic, we’ll see one set of footprints in the sand… and those footprints will belong to those shows we binged along the way, helping us maintain our sanity in an insane setting.
Ergo and therefore, understanding our new plight, I am here to provide you with an overview of things you should be watching in the event that you do not find yourself to be sick or caring for someone who is.
And because we all have different sensibilities, I’ve taken the initiative and divided these shows into different categories of varying secularity given that your mileage may vary on the appropriateness of potential binges.
Light Secular Energy
A show where Timothy Olyphant is Raylan Givens, a stern and quickly triggered U.S. Marshall from Kentucky, who finds himself in constant contact and conflict with Walton Goggins’s Boyd Crowder, an all-time great TV villain that you cannot help but love a little bit.
The Young Pope
Jude Law plays Lenny Belardo, AKA Pope Pius XIII, the titular young pope and in doing so steps into a landscape of television that is both hypnotically weird and mesmerizingly beautiful as it meditates on the notions of faith, works, belief, and what it means to challenge these things in the most stylized way possible.
An overlooked TBS comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe as a middle manager in Heaven, this show considers what it might be like if God (played by Steve Buscemi) was an apathetic, illiterate, selfish oaf and how Earth and humanity would fare accordingly.
Moderate Secular Energy
This remake of the movie adaptation of Nick Hornby’s magical book, reimagines that story into TV form and swaps John Cusack for Zoe Kravitz in the lead role, which turns out to be a star-making turn for Kravitz as Robyn “Rob” Brooks, the unlucky–in-love owner of an impossibly cool record store in New York. Come for the story atmosphere and stay for the soundtrack, the hilarious dialogue, and the incredible cast of supporting characters.
Bill Hader plays the titular role of Barry, a professional hitman teetering on the edge of an existential crisis. To combat this, Barry enrolls in an acting class—and hijinx, both comedic and violent, ensue.
Written by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, a law enforcement officer who becomes delightfully entangled with Jodie Comer’s Villanelle, an international assassin.
Big Secular Energy
Starring Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, You is a spiritual ancestor of Dexter in that it also uses voice over, low-key creeping, and both justified and unjustified vigilantism. However, where Dexter Morgan was primarily concerned with law enforcement, Joe Goldberg is concerned with love, to the point of obsession.
An anthology series from Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror explores the dark potential of technology for humanity in the very near future. Each episode contains tension, creative character studies, and a healthy dramatic dose of the worst unintended consequences brought on by societal advancement.
From Damon Lindelof, (of LOST and The Leftovers fame), Watchmen is a gritty and mind-blowing rumination on what it means to be a superhero, what it means to rely on them, and what it means to be a society obsessed with them. Regina King as Angela Abar puts on an acting masterclass and Lindelof does some of the most visually stunning storytelling in recent memory.