Like most people my age and older, I grew up with cable. Flipping through a physical TV guide, or waiting patiently on the TV guide channel as it scrolls through to see what is up next (most of the time missing our favorite channel because we looked away for a second).
One thing I remember from those days were most adults complaining about the price of cable and how expensive it was.Which, I think, is why the majority of people my age only have an internet bill sans the cable option.
I remember being thrilled when Netflix first came out – how exciting we can get movies and TV shows for a quarter of the price of cable! Then followed other services like Hulu & Amazon Prime- now there are almost too many to name (although I will admit I’m subscribed to a good portion of them).
Ultimately, we end up paying the same price as cable if we add up all of these subscriptions – so really, what is better? I don’t know, and I’m not here to give the answer…but it is interesting to ponder the question.
What I will do is provide you with 10 must watch shows on a various number of streaming services because there are few better things in life than television (you could argue with me on that, but that would require thinking you could change my mind…which you can’t, I was raised on Nick at Nite in the 90s):
This show required me to re-watch the first episode a few times to fully dive into the series – but wow oh wow I have no regrets getting sucked in. It is originally a spanish show dubbed in english – so if you can get past that or rather watch it with captions, the characters and storyline will not disappoint.
Why: The mystery/thriller aspect of every season, the queerness, and the characters…did I mention the characters?!? I love a television show that has characters you are able to love, even if you secretly hate them.
The Upshaws feels like a sitcom that would have played on CBS and people may have missed it – so I’m glad it was released on Netflix. The actors in this goldmine of a show (Wanda Sykes, Kim Fields, Mike Epps…just to name a few) really hyped up the possibilities AND they delivered..they MORE than delivered. My partner made fun of me with how much I loved watching this show (because I am usually watching thrillers or mysteries on Netflix.. Never sitcoms).
Why: I’ll say it again: Wanda Sykes, Kim Fields, and Mike Epps. It’s like getting transported back to when sitcoms were good AND the jokes are timely.
Everyone recommends this show everywhere I turn – whether it’s on social media or a podcast I am listening to. I LOVE Jean Smart, but Hacks took me a little bit to get into. I didn’t fall in love with the characters right away, and I truthfully haven’t finished this series yet – so I’m sort of recommending this one in advance because…when has Jean Smart ever let us down?
Why: Jean Smart … that’s it.
I love this show and I don’t really love competition shows – but if you’ve watched Paris is Burning, Pose, or love to read about the history of ball culture from the past or present..check this show out. There are now two seasons available on HBO Max.
Why: The representation of a part of Queer culture being on a streaming service – that is why. Also the host, Deshaun Wesley.
Mare of Easttown
By now you have heard of that show that made Kate Winslet talk about Wawa and try out a Delco accent. As mentioned previously- I love a good thriller, and this show delivered until the very last episode with keeping the audience guessing on what the truth was.
Why: There are a lot of reasons to watch this show, it is a solid show. The bonus reasons are to see Jean Smart perform as Kate Winslet’s Mom in a Delaware County, PA setting.
In my opinion, no one talked about this show enough – so I’m here to tell you to dig in the HBO Max library and go binge it this week. There is a plethora of actors in this and the storyline is filled with twists and turns throughout. Yes, this is another mystery/thriller (but also dramedy) and it is ABSOLUTELY worth watching.
Why: The lineup of talent in this show (Kaley Cuoco, Rosie Perez, Zosia Mamet, TR Knight) and the edge-of-your-seat feeling you get every episode.
As a 90’s kid, I love that the decade I grew up in is making its way back around again. This TV show was giving me all of the 90s nostalgia and Pretty Little Liars vibes I didn’t know I was missing in my life. Originally aired on Freeform, this show is available on Hulu.
Why: For the mystery and 90s nostalgia
Tell Me Your Secrets
This show came out a bit back, so many may have already watched. However, if you haven’t …what are you doing? A thriller show that is probably my favorite off of this entire list of shows. I love the cast and the characters and the storyline.
Why: Lily Rabe, Amy Brenneman, Elliot Fletcher, Hamish Linklater…just to name a few. Really though, this was brilliantly written – and unpredictable..which is what makes it my favorite off of this list.
The Good Fight
If you didn’t see the show this is based off of (The Good Wife) the good news, you didn’t need to (but also, why didn’t you?). For obvious reasons I love this show, *cough* Christine Baranski *cough*. Ultimately though, the entire cast is magnificent AND Audra McDonald is brought in around season 2. This is a drama series with a few laughs mixed within.
Why: This is a hidden gem of a spin-off series that deserves more spotlight than it ultimately gets. Also, why wouldn’t you watch a show that has both Christine Baranski AND Audra McDonald in it?
The Challenge All Stars
I grew up watching Real World/Road Rules and my partner is a big fan of the Challenge (past and present-ish). For a year or so I had NO idea what she was watching was the Real World/Road Rules Challenge transformed into just…The Challenge. Anyway, once I realized this was the same show I grew up with I ended up binging the series, only to my disappointment realizing the show now casts people from many other reality shows (minus the THANKFUL recurrence of CT & Aneesa amongst a few others). MY POINT BEING – Paramount Plus released The Challenge All Stars recently which brought back all of the past favorites from the show and it’s worth watching.
Why: Who doesn’t want to relive the good ol’ days by watching your favorites as they are now compete like they used to in the good ol’ days