It was a big old lunker of a trunk in the bottom of my closet, covered with vending machine holographic logo stickers from all 30 hockey teams, arranged in lines and alphabetically. The contents were my childhood treasures: Dozens upon dozens of VHS tapes that contained all the movies, TV shows, music videos, anything that I wanted to watch, rewind, and watch again.
And now, it all lives online. Even the one thing that I never, ever thought I would get to see again after I tossed that trunk lives on YouTube.
Streaming has been an absolute game changer in television viewing, in a good way. No longer are we bound by the scrolling television lineup or the grid on the pages of the TV Guide.
So what am I most likely to binge? Well, since you asked…
1. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime): In the face of divorce, what else would a 1950s housewife do besides put down the Pyrex and pick up a microphone? That’s what occurs in this critically acclaimed series that hosts an amazing cast, witty scripts, and appropriate-for-the-era costumes that makes any vintage clothing lover which they could be an extra. It’s smart and funny TV without being hoaky or tacky, and it makes me so ready for the next season.
2. “Drunk History” (Hulu): I joke that this is a rip-off of any weekend at any bar where social studies teachers or history majors gathered when I was in college. The premise is stupidly simple but yet amazing: A comedian or actor gets a little tipsy, and then recounts a story from the past. Sometimes it’s a well-known tale, other times it isn’t. But it is 100% hilarious all the time.
3. “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix): Tina Fey is a true comedic genius. “Mean Girls” is every mood ever, and “30 Rock” was awesome. For four seasons, the one-time mole woman now big-time New Yorker wannabe Kimmy Schmidt delighted in a perfectly satricical, uniquely humorous way. And the way it ended? I cried (damnit).
4. “Slings & Arrows” (Netflix): This was the first thing I ever streamed when I first subscribed to Netflix. It is a Canadian comedy based around a Shakespearean festival based on the one that occurs annually in Stafford, Ontario. It was a darker comedy, and each season was about the major work of Shakespeare that the troupe was performing that season (the first season focused on “Hamlet” and a bizarre request from the festival’s late director that really emphasized his theatre skulls–I mean skills). By the pricking of your thumbs, you can bet that something wicked(ly funny) this way comes when stream “Slings and Arrows.”
5. “Hatufim/Prisoners of War” (Hulu): Any fan of “Homeland” needs to check out “Prisoners of War.” The former was a loose adaptation of this Israeli television series, and even though we get a bountiful 84 episodes with Agent Carrie Mathison and only 24 with Nimrod, Uri, and Ami, it is still a worthwhile binge. “Homeland” is told from the perspective of the agent, but “Prisoners of War” (also known as “Hatufim,” which means “Abductees” in Hebrew) is more about the prisoners held captive and what they are hiding in regards to their fellow soldier who has died while in captivity. Their struggles as they are reintroduced into society (as well as their families) are also addressed, so it is more than just a simple psychological thriller; there is a lot of heart that comes with this look at what it means to come home.
On any given lazy Sunday, this is what will be streaming through my Fire Stick (which is so much nicer and easier than a VCR). So now, tell me: On what shows do you spend your bandwidth?