5 Shows To Watch Right Now

I'll admit I am a big consumer of movies and television shows. I grew up in the best generation of tv - we had One Saturday Morning to look forward to every weekend, TGIF sitcom nights, and on Wednesdays all my friends piled into my mom's living room to watch Dawson's Creek. Things haven't changed much (I do still love cartoons!) and the family and I just finished watching a few new titles. The majority are on Netflix so they should be easy the find the next time you are looking for something new to watch.

5 shows to watch right now

13 Reasons Why

I first heard about this show when it was announced that Selena Gomez had optioned to turn the book into a series. I started watching with my youngest son and after 10 episodes, my oldest started watching and caught up to us. I should mention both my boys are teenagers in high school, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone younger than 13. Last night the three of us finished the series but I can tell we will talking about this one for a while. 

The basic plot is a young teenage girl commits suicide, and leaves tapes detailing the 13 reasons why she took her own life. The show follows a boy named Clay, a fellow student, as he listens to the tapes. There is a lot of buzz, both praising the show for getting difficult conversations started and on the opposite end, some are saying this is glamourizing suicide and could lead to further teen suicide. 

Here's my take. The fact that Hannah commits suicide in the show, which was heart wrenching and difficult to watch, is only one part of the conversation. The show covers rape and sexual assault, bullying and cyber bulling, and how difficult it is for teens and their parents to communicate. I had some very open conversations with my boys, especially after some of the more hard to watch episodes. The show does not shy away from anything and I can't think of a single show that represents the teenage experience more than this one. I think every teenager should watch this show, many schools have this book as part of the curriculum, and I don't think anyone walked away from this show and thought that suicide looks fun. 

It is still a show so it is entertaining and the soundtrack is incredible, I can't get this song out of my head. This is not a show that you will burn through quickly because of the difficult subject matter, we would watch 2 episodes and would need to take a days break from it, but it is so well done it really is worth sticking with it. The writing and dialogue is remarkable, as is the acting.

Currently streaming on Netflix

tv shows

Santa Clarita Diet

Santa Clarita Diet is a fun and easy watch, well unless your squeamish like me with spend a good amount of time with your hands over your eyes! With only 10 episodes, each one lasting 30 minutes, its easy to get through in a few nights or a rainy Saturday. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as a husband and wife real estate team who have to deal with Drew's character dying and eating people. Some of the situations they find themselves in are laugh out loud funny and because it's so different from any other zombie show you've seen, it's not predictable at all! The supporting characters are great too, a few actors you will recognize from other shows. I'm crossing my fingers that this one gets a second season! 

Currently streaming on Netflix

tv shows to watch

Stranger Things

I know that Stranger Things came out last summer but I was actually avoiding watching this one. The critics and bloggers raved so much about it, I actually worried it wouldn't live up to hype! I finally broke down one night in February and started watching (because what else are you going to do when it's February and too cold to go outside!) and couldn't stop until I finished it. Eight episodes between 45-60 minutes long I watched it in two nights, staying up past midnight each time. Which was a bad idea not only because I was tired at work the next day but because I was legitimately scared! I'm not even going to give you the plot outline (you can read it here) because I don't want to spoil anything. Although given it's cult classic status (did you see the Barb skit at this year's Golden Globes?) you may already know quite a bit about it. If not, I recommend steering clear of the internet and watching it right away before anyone can spoil it!

The show is a cross between The Goonies, Halloween, E.T and a Stephen King novel. It's fun, scary as hell, and will make you nostalgic for all things 80's. I have been telling anyone who will listen to watch it. If you scare easily, try watching during the day. Maybe with a fresh stack of eggos.

Currently streaming Season one on Netflix. Season two releases on October 31st, Halloween 2017

The Crown

Brilliantly acted. Compelling story. Exquisite scenery. What's not to love about The Crown? The new Netflix series starts at the beginning, at Edward VIII's abdication and the ascension of George VI as the new King of England. Elizabeth is eventually crowed Queen of England and we follow her early days with the season ending in 1955.

What I find particularly interesting to watch is Queen Elizabeth's interactions with Winston Churchill. I don't know how historically accurate those situations or conversations were (you can find more than a few webpages devoted to the accuracy of the series) but knowing quite a bit about Churchill, I'm sure a few of them did happen. John Lithgow nails Churchill. There is not other word for it. And frankly, I'll use the word again to describe Claire Foy's portrayal of The Queen. That's why I started this section with brilliantly acted. I think that is what stands out the most about this series.

Seeing London and the surrounding country side is pretty incredible too, there's a bit of escapism in there because with this series you can be quickly transported to another time and place. I imagine they didn't have to worry too much about the background changing since England looks the same no matter what year it is, which is probably what I love most about the UK.

If you're not as enamoured with The Queen and Churchill as I am, there is an amazing supporting cast that all have their own story lines. The Great Smog story line is fantastic and I'm sure even the largest anti-monarchist would find it entertaining. And while we all know, or can easily Google, what happens in Queen Elizabeth's life next, I can't wait to see how Netflix pulls it all together.

Currently streaming season one on Netflix. Season two is rumoured to appear November 2017.

tv shows to watch

Big Little Lies

I'm actually a little torn on including Big Little Lies. I loved the book yet feel that the show fell a little flat. They changed the story in slight ways that I felt was a little unnecessary, luckily they kept the important parts in! The quickest way to describe this story is three women become friends and navigate the "mommy" world together. There's scandal like crazy because a story wouldn't be interesting without any. I think what the show got right was the casting, even as I read the book I pictured Nicole Kidman as Celeste perfectly. They also left in the main plot points, which I think was the right move. The things I think they may have gotten wrong was the odd film work. It was highly stylized, almost obnoxiously so. The constant slow motion waves grated on the old nerves more than once. And while all these actors and actresses are incredible, I just don't think they clicked in this mini-series. 

So you might be thinking that if I didn't enjoy it very much, why have I included it and you're right to ask that! I polled a few friends and family on this series and a theme appeared - Those who read the book first all felt the mini-series did not live up and those who didn't read the book absolutely loved it! I'm chalking this up to that it's difficult to bring books to life and I recommend you don't read the book if you are interested in seeing it. Also I have to give a big shout out to whoever picked the songs for Big Little Lies. The soundtrack is an eclectic mix of old and new (I especially loved the inclusion of Alabama Shakes, one of my fave bands who I will be seeing live, again, this summer!). Each song was tightly interwoven into the story, I actually think this is the best part of the series!  

Recently aired on HBO, can be found streaming on Amazon

Alright I lied. I don't have 5 shows to watch right now, I have 6! 

This last one is just a quick little plug for a limited BBC series called Thirteen. Released in 2016, the British drama follows the story of Ivy a 26 year old women who just escaped from 13 years of being confined to a cellar. It's an edge of your seat, gripping series and at only 5 episodes, very easy to binge watch. There is no season 2 and the series wraps up nicely. 

Currently streaming on Netflix.

I'd love to hear what shows you are loving right now and I swear this hasn't been a plug for Netflix! But good grief, they have some great shows on right now!