We like watching television together as a couple and as a family. It is one of the ways we like to unwind in the evenings and connect together. We now have just about every single possible streaming service so mind ya business! For posterity, here are my top 10 picks from the past year.
Best Continued Series
(1.) Ted Lasso (Apple +)
I put Ted Lasso in the same category as The British Baking Show: Watch When You Need a Serotonin Hit! Seriously some of the most heart-warming characters on television. If you love sports and underdogs and seeing the best of humanity, this show is for you.
(2.) The Morning Show (Apple +)
If Ted Lasso represents the best of humanity, The Morning Show represents the worst. There are some messed up characters in this show. However, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston shine. Billy Crudup is great too. Overall, the writing is just good on this show.
(3.) Virgin River (Netflix)
Virgin River is hard to explain. Is it predictable? Yes. Cheesy? You bet. However, it is one of the best shows on television in my opinion. You know this because you cannot wait for each new series, you are super invested in the lives of everyone in this fictitious town, and you pretty much binge a whole season in a weekend. I describe this show as Longmire meets Hallmark, set in a beautiful backdrop with a lot of heart. Virgin River is the place you go when you need to feel something.
Best New To Us Series
4. Succession (HBO)
What to say about Succession. Wow. This is one of the most messed up families in all of television history. Some critics say the show has Shakespeare’s King Lear vibes and I can see it. The layers of emotional abuse and manipulation in the Roy children is intense. Corruption, power, loyalty, and familial identity are just a few of the themes this show explores.
5. Mare of Easttown (HBO)
Not a show, per se, but more of a limited series, I absolutely LOVED Kate Winslett as Mare. This series left you hanging after each episode wanting to piece together clues and figure out the mystery of who done it. Highly recommend if you’re into crime drama.
6. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Late to the game I know, but I started season one in the spring and didn’t get too far into it before I recruited Ryan to watch too. Underrated hero of this show is Tony Shalhoub for sure. The show is the baby of Amy Sherman-Palladino of Glimore Girls so if you like the fast talking, sarcastic humor, gotta-be-listening-or-you’ll-miss-a-joke kind of show then this is a winner. I love the themes of feminism, the amazing period clothing, and the inner workings of an American-Jewish family.
Best Need a Laugh with the Family + Newly Discovered Comedian
7. Nate Bargatze comedy shows (Netflix)
There was just something about the timing of when I found Nate Bargatze on Netflix. A longtime fan of standup (Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, and Dave Chappelle), Nate’s deadpan humor and ability to talk about the mundane parts of life in such a dry, humorous way came at a good time. #grieving I watched everything he’d done on Netflix, started listening to some of his podcast episodes, and watched The Greatest Average American multiple times.
Best Old Show We Introduced to the Kids Who Are Now Obsessed
(Runners Up: Superstore, Modern Family, and My Name is Earl; *also inspired by the Friends Reunion Special on HBO)
We initially subscribed to HBO so that I could watch the Friends Reunion. Once we had it, we discovered several shows we wanted to watch, including getting our three teenagers up to speed on the original Friends. I put friends in the Mount Rushmore of must watch, must know, television. Ryan had never seen Friends and ended up watching all ten seasons of it with me in 2019 before it left Netflix. In 2021 our kids fell in love with Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica. How you doin’?
Best Movie I Saw in the Theater:
9. Westside Story
(Runners Up: In the Heights and Spencer)
When we were at Fort Polk we had a tiny, one screen theater that got all of the new releases. I began a self-care habit of seeing any and every movie that came to our theater, many of those screenings alone. When theater movies went away for 2020 and much of 2021 I was so bummed. However, movies are back and I’ve gone to see a few this year. By far, my favorite was seeing Westside Story with Mae. It was so well done.
Best New Favorite Way to Spend 20 Free Minutes of Down Time
(Favorite Channels: Korean Homemaking ASMR Creators, Budget and Personal Finance Creators, and Minimalism and Simplicity Creators)
My newest fascination is pulling up the YouTube app on our television when I have a little bit of time and I don’t want to get lost in a show. Instead, I consider YouTube continuing education. I love learning and so many of the creators on YouTube are putting out meaningful and useful content.
There you have it! These are the shows, movies, videos, and limited series entertainment options that filled up our year.
Not mentioned but certainly a favorite for me is The Great British Baking Show, Shark Tank, and the Goldbergs.
We have a few things in the queue for 2022 if the fates allow:
+ It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
+ Reservation Dogs
+ The Shrink Next Door
+ Only Murders in the Building