What to Watch While Under Quarantine
By Brigid Mullen
With school closed, big group events canceled, and social distancing practices put into place due to the coronavirus, a lot of us may find ourselves with a good amount of free time on our hands. To fill this free time, many have turned to binging TV shows or watching movies. But with countless options available on streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus, what are the best options?
First of all, you can never go wrong with a little nostalgia. Disney Plus offers many binge-able Disney Channel favorites like Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, That’s So Raven, Phineas and Ferb, and Kim Possible. If you’re in the mood for something light that will take your mind off the stresses of the outside world and back to a peaceful afternoon of your childhood, these are all perfect options.
If you want something new, but still feel-good, Netflix has some great lighthearted reality TV available. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, for example, follows a woman that goes around helping people declutter their homes and lives, encouraging those in crisis to ditch anything that doesn’t spark joy. Tidying Up consists of one season with eight episodes, each around 40 minutes long. Another similar option for uplifting reality TV on Netflix is Queer Eye. Queer Eye which follows five men who, similar to Marie Kondo, go around to different people currently struggling in their situations and completely make them over, helping them handle everything from their wardrobes to meals to relationships. Queer Eye also tackles many imporant issues regarding the LGBTQ+ community, containing poignant conversations about sexuality, homophobia, masculinity, and much more. Regarding the show’s topicality, creator David Collins has said “The show has shown that we’re able to talk to one another and have these dialogues, even from different sides of the equation… Ultimately, when we lift each other up, life’s better. And when we tear each other down, there’s consequences for that.” Queer Eye currently has four seasons on Netflix, with eight episodes per season, each around 45 minutes long.
If you’re in the mood for something tonally darker, Netflix does not disappoint in that category either. The most talked-about Netflix show over the past month or so is the true-crime docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. As evident in the title, Tiger King follows the story of several tiger-breeding zookeepers, and the scope of the rivalries and insanity of their jobs and personas. Tiger King consists of just seven episodes, each about 40 minutes long.
Reality TV and documentaries aren’t for everyone, though. If you prefer dramas or comedies, or a mixture of both, you still have plenty of options to explore during quarantine. For example, the Netflix original On My Block has gained traction in recent years as one of the most well-loved shows on the site. On My Block is a coming-of-age story following a group of teens attending an inner city high school, balancing relationships, friends, and family with the dangerous gang activity throughout their city. On My Block now has three seasons on Netflix, ten episodes in seasons one and two, and eight episodes in season three, ranging from 23 to 36 minutes per episode. Disney Plus offers its own coming-of-age teen drama in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Released just last year, this show quickly became the selling point for a Disney Plus subscription for many households. Shot in the style of a documentary (think The Office), the show follows a group of theatre students attending the real East High School and putting on “High School Musical” as their school show. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has one season on Disney Plus, with ten episodes, each around 30 minutes long.
We’re living in a scary time, and it’s completely understandable to want to distract yourself from everything going on in the world today, even temporarily. Whether you want to lose yourself in a fictional world of teen drama, or just relax and watch a woman help people clean their houses, binging TV shows is a great way to relieve the stress of our current situation.