Bored and Quarantined: Television to Binge While You Practice Social Isolation

bored and quarantinedConvention cancelled and you suddenly find yourself with a free weekend? Classes moved to online only and you’ve got a little extra time during the day? Or are you voluntarily practicing social isolation and doing your part to flatten the curve? Whatever the reason, we at The Geekiary have compiled a list of binge-worthy media to get you through this pandemic! First up: television shows.

Listen, going out to the movies or shopping is not being brave in the face of danger. It’s being socially irresponsible. This is probably the one chance in your lifetime to stay at home and watch hours of television without being judged for it, so take advantage of that fact by checking out one of our many, many recommendations while you’re bored and quarantined.

TITLE: Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: It’s easy these days to despise the uber-wealthy and maybe, even, to root for their failure, but Schitt’s Creek shows you that people can grow and change, and it does that through a perfect blend of charm and hilarity…not to mention some great positive bi(pan) representation!

TITLE: Good Omens (Amazon Prime Video)
RECOMMENDED BY: Corellon Johnson
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Return to the nostalgia of 2019, when Pestilence had actually retired from the horsepeople of the apocalypse. Good Omens is an optimistic, genuinely uplifting show (with groundbreaking nonbinary representation) that reminds us that humans are ineffably capable of enacting positive change.

TITLE: I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Despite moments of unbelievability and a lack of POC representation, this show is a great portrayal of teen angst and sexual fluidity, and the story is female-driven. Plus it’s only eight 25-ish-minute long episodes, so you can basically treat it as a long movie.

TITLE: The Untamed (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Jamie
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This is actually what I am watching in my period of self-isolation (aka my life since I still have to go into work), and I am obsessed. I’m on my third rewatch, and I notice something new each time. Yes, the gay relationship is not as explicit as in other versions, but it’s more obvious than I expected considering this is a Chinese show. There are lots of longing looks (LOTS OF THEM) and dramatic music swells. Lan Wangji gets some nice slow motion entrances. Anyway, the cinematography is spectacular, the music is lovely, and the story is fantastic. Plus, everyone is so, so pretty.

TITLE: Stranger Things (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Angel
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This is an incredibly bingeable show. I have watched all three seasons each in one sitting almost as soon as they dropped and I’ve never felt like I needed a break. So if you’re trapped at home and need entertainment, this should work well for you! Besides, if you haven’t watched it by now, you’re probably surrounded by pop culture references to the show that you just don’t quite get, so now is a perfect time to fill that knowledge gap.

TITLE: In the Flesh (BBC Three)
RECOMMENDED BY: Farid-ul-Haq
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Watching a zombie show, right now, might not be the first choice for some, but what if I tell you it’s a British zombie show with a queer romantic storyline? As far as my opinion goes, it was way before it’s time (back in 2013) as it focused on a queer lead and addressed hard-hitting topics including depression, guilt, discrimination, and a whole lot through the lens of a world trying to recover after a zombie apocalypse. It lasted only two seasons (concluding in 2014) for a total of 9 episodes. You should consider checking it out! I even wrote a recommendation piece.

TITLE: The Good Place (Hulu and Netflix)
RECOMMENDATION: Erin
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This is a show with a focus on being a good person (which we could all use a little of right now). Written and created by Michael Schur of The Office and Parks and Recreation, this is a sitcom with actual heart. With an ensemble cast led by Kristen Bell, the show takes place in the afterlife, and demonstrates that even those who are dead must grapple with what it takes to get to “the good place” instead of “the bad place.” The show just ended its four-season run, and is completely bingeable and memeable. (P.S. Check out our coverage from 2019 SDCC of The Good Place!)

TITLE: Reign (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Listen, this show is terribly historically inaccurate both in story and costumes. But the latter are beautiful and the former is as riveting as it is frustrating. It’s pretty darn trashy, but the words one of the characters used to describe her husband are an apt description for the show as well – ‘morally corrosive and VERY sexy’.

TITLE: Russian Doll (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Em Rowntree
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Featuring Natasha Lyonne from Orange is the New Black, Russian Doll is a defense of hope, community, and life itself, written and directed entirely by a team of women. So many shows try to deal with the tremendously volatile topic of mental health troubles, and a huge amount of them end up either glamorizing some things that should never be glamorized or else getting moralistic and preachy. Russian Doll manages to be gentle in its touch, dealing with the topic with deep empathy, while also having a mystery plot that’ll cause some gasps with its twists and turns. And the main character has a cat called Oatmeal, which is pretty unbeatable.

TITLE: Hilda (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Jamie
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: I was working on a regular rec for this series that will be a little more in-depth, but basically, this is a cute, quirky series about a young girl and her mother. They used to live in the wilderness until their home is destroyed by a giant, and now they live in the city. This show has a lot of influence from Scandinavian folklore, and it has a lot of great characters and stories about friendship and tolerance.

TITLE: Penny Dreadful (Netflix)
RECOMMENDATION: Erin
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: It’s really hard to find decent horror television shows, but Showtime’s Penny Dreadful is a good example of mixing horror with period drama. Taking homage from characters and stories crafted by Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and urban legends, this show starts out a little over-the-top in season one, has a stellar season two, and a decent season three. It’s very enjoyable to watch the ensemble cast led by Eva Greene and Josh Hartnett have a lot of scary fun across London in the late 1800s. Though this original series ended abruptly, we are excited for the upcoming anthology series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. (P.S. Check out all of our prior coverage of the show here.)

TITLE: Wynonna Earp (Netflix)
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: A badass yet flawed and vulnerable female lead. Great LGBTQ+ representation. A lovely portrayal of a positive relationship between sisters. A *super* appreciative and welcoming fandom. Plus, it’s funny. Plus, Doc Holliday. ‘Nough said. (P.S. Check out our most recent Wynonna Earp coverage on YouTube!)

TITLE: Downton Abbey (Amazon Prime)
RECOMMENDATION: Erin
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This show is the biggest sleeper hit of the 21st century so far. Though you might be initially turned away by its period drama facade, let me tell you that this is 100% pure soapy drama. Taking place in the early 20th century within the English aristocracy, Downton Abbey shows viewers both sides of the coin: those upper-class lords and ladies who must navigate advantageous marriages and estate inheritances, and the servants who live downstairs and must hold onto valuable secrets. This show has spectacular acting, music, costumes, and art direction, but will really reel you in with scandalous plots, murder, mayhem, war, and family dynamics. This is one of the most bingeable shows currently available, and even has a major motion picture (Farid’s reaction video here) to continue the story that came out in late 2019.

TITLE: Pride and Prejudice (1995)
RECOMMENDED BY: Em Rowntree
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: What better time to settle deep into the loving arms of an hours-long period drama. There are so many to choose from, with North and South (2004) and Wives and Daughters (1999) being a couple of personal favorites, but nothing can beat the absolute classic that is this six-hour-long rendition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Everything may indeed be garbage out there in the real world, but hey – Netherfield Park is let at last.

TITLE: The Orville (Hulu)
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: I’ll be the first to admit that I watched the pilot as soon as it aired and was not impressed. I didn’t give The Orville another chance until over a year later, when a close friend just wouldn’t shut up about it. But wow am I so, so glad I finally listened to him, because this show is Just Great. I’m not really a Star Trek fan (nothing against it, I’ve just seen very little of it), but even to me, it’s clear how much of a love letter to Star Trek this show is. It also has its own unique brand of comedy – it’s very Seth MacFarlane, but then it’s not. (To be honest, it really is hard to describe.) The political references are extremely apropos, the world- and character-building are far better than expected, and once I really got into it, I REALLY got into it…and I think you will, too.

TITLE: Kingdom (Netflix)
RECOMMENDATION: Farid-ul-Haq
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Yes, I know, another zombie show during such a time. But trust me when I say it’s one of the best zombie shows I have ever seen. Kingdom is a South Korean series streaming on Netflix (the second season was released on March 13, 2020) that has the undead as well as a whole lot of political drama set in the Joseon period, which was a few years after the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598). If you’re someone interested in seeing how people would have tried to handle a zombie outbreak in the past and want to look at South Korean culture, you should consider giving this series a try. It has a very interesting cast and seeing it evolve into quite a women-centric narrative was a welcome surprise. I even reacted to the Kingdom Season 2 finale on YouTube if you want to check it out.

Feel free to let us know what you’ll be binge-watching!

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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About the author

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.