Depending on where you live, life might be slowly beginning to go back to normal. Sure, we’re all a long way off from when we can put the masks down, but around the world, people return to work, families reunite, and we rediscover the outside.
But with all that said, the entertainment world is still feeling the effects of the extended lockdown. Films and television shows are delayed, and have only recently resumed production, so we’re not spoiled for choice when it comes to new content to watch. With this in mind, we need some shows that are not only already there for us to watch, but also perfect to distract us from everything that has happened this year.
Here’s five shows to lift your spirits, and keep you going for the final hurdle of lockdown.
5. Tiger King (2020)
There’s not much to say about this utterly bizarre Netflix documentary series that hasn’t been said better by thousands on social media already. If you are the one percent of the population that still hasn’t fallen into this rabbit hole, I can assure you, that this tale of rednecks, country music, the mafia — and of course — tigers, is worth the watch.
This documentary series predominately follows the titular Tiger King, the eccentric Joe Exotic. Through interviews and archive footage, Tiger King portrays the events that led up to Exotic’s 2018 arrest, for his involevement in the murder-for-hire plot against big cat rival, Carole Baskin. If that wasn’t bonkers enough, a literal assassination attempt involving the FBI isn’t even the most shocking part of the show. Tiger King takes a deep dive into the big cat culture in the US, which involves everything from guns, drug addiction, harems, and even the mafia.
Tiger King may not be the most serious piece of investigative documentary filmmaking we’ve come across, and has received criticism for potentially misrepresenting some of its characters (ignoring Exotic’s racism being a biggie), but the unpredictable twists and turns, and unforgettable cast make this perfect quarantine viewing.
4. Harley Quinn (2019)
While this DC animated show premiered back in November of last year, the show’s second season has only recently wrapped up, and its episodes make for some brilliant 20-minute bursts of black comedy. Harley Quinn follows the fan favorite supervillian/occasional antihero as she breaks up with Joker and tries to make it in Gotham on her own. Joined by Poison Ivy, she forms a crew full of D-List DC villains, and makes playful jabs at the wider comic book universe.
Harley Quinn is at its best when its poking fun at the iconic characters we’ve seen throughout the years, such as Joker, Bane, Scarecrow and even Batman himself. The show manages to walk a fine line between not taking itself too seriously, while still managing to develop its characters, as it does with the relationship between Harley and Poison Ivy. In this vein, it’s quite similar to Birds of Prey (2020), but with the larger cast of characters, this show is likely to have more appeal, even if you weren’t a fan of the film.
3. What We Do in the Shadows (2019)
Staying with comedy here, but with a completely different tone, we have What We Do in the Shadows, a mockumentary series about a group of vampires who have lived together for over 100 years on Staten Island.
While the entire vampire cast give hilarious performances, British comedy actor, Matt Berry, absolutely steals the show with his delivery, playing an English nobleman in modern day America. The premise of an episode can range from typical roommate drama, such as nights out, and keeping the flat clean (albeit, clean from their victims blood) – all the way to episodes centered around brutal murder and trying to plan an orgy, with the main cast reacting to all these issues just as glibly.
Better still, the series is based on the equally funny 2014 film of the same name, written and directed by – as well as staring – Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, so be sure to check that out if two seasons of the show isn’t enough!
2. Game of Thrones (2011)
Remember this? The most talked about show of the decade? The pop culture event of a lifetime? It might not ring any bells, but don’t let that put you off, this unassuming fantasy show is well worth your time if you’re stuck inside.
Jokes aside, this one seems too obvious, but deserves a spot on this list souly to convince the one percent of you that haven’t watched the monstrously popular HBO hit already. Speaking as someone who also got into the show after the dying breath that was season 8, I can assure that having sat through coworkers scream about how disappointed they were, and tweet after tweet about how the show lost its way, wasn’t enough to ruin the show for me. Even knowing who ends up on the throne at the end isn’t enough to ruin the phenomenal journey this show takes you on through Westeros.
Game of Thrones is near perfect lockdown viewing – such a content and lore heavy show will make your time stuck inside fly by. With seasons 1-4, you get some of the best, most well written television ever to grace our screens. With seasons 5-6, the quality may dip slightly, but you’re still treated to some brilliant episodes, some of which being among the best in the show.
And with seasons 7-8? Well, at least you’ll get all the memes now.
1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005)
Despite being the only show on this list to premiere in a different decade, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia takes the top spot for perfect quarantine viewing, and for being one of the few shows to hit 14 seasons and still consistently deliver hit after hit, rarely missing a beat. Danny DeVito’s show stealing performance is enough to warrant the top spot, but there’s also a certain charm to Always Sunny that makes it the best thing to watch right now.
The darkest of dark comedies, Always Sunny follows the exploits of perhaps the most despicable sitcom characters put to television, as they ruin their own lives, and the lives of everyone around them. While many shows of the genre have characters that hardly change, save a relationship or two, the Sunny cast only get worse and worse as time goes on, with their schemes ranging from abusing the welfare system, all the way up to hunting down a homeless priest (of which they made homeless in a previous episode).
As horrific as their exploits can be, the show managed to pull this off by having the main characters undoubtedly be in the wrong. Their antics are never glorified, and almost always ruin their own lives.
But why does this make it perfect for the lockdown? Well, let’s be honest, everything sucks right now. We’re separated from friends and family, and most of our lives have been put on hold. In times like this, watching the idealist Friends just won’t cut it. Why remind us of what we can’t do right now? Whereas with Always Sunny, you get to see awful people be awful to each other, in the most hilarious way possible. Sure, life might suck right now, but at least you’re not part of the gang.
What have you been watching while you’re stuck inside? What upcoming shows are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!