By Kelly Riibe of Family Footnote
Cold weather and spring allergies mean more people are home-bound. There is nothing fun about being ill. However, the one okay-ish part of feeling gross is being guilt-free to unleash unlimited screen time until the stomach bugs settle and fevers drop.
Here are some screen recommendations from my sibling and me. My older brother travels a lot for work, so he gets occasional uninterrupted TV viewing while being stranded in hotels. Between the two of us, we have suggestions for everyone.
1-The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Fans of NBC’s 30 Rock will love this original show. The first season had me giggling, and the second season is now streaming. Ellie Kemper (from The Office and Bridesmaids) plays Kimmy, a young lady who has just recently rejoined society after being held in an underground bunker for fifteen years. I swear this show is not dark; it is hilarious. Plus, the guest stars are incredible…Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Ice-T, Lisa Kudrow and many more.
2-Master of None. My big brother John suggests this show starring Aziz Ansari from Parks & Rec. He told me, “Season one of this comedy series is available with season two on the way. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an unprecedented 100% (the highest possible rating)! Some individuals won’t be able to make it past the first ten minutes, but if you can, you won’t be disappointed.” This show follows Ansari’s character (Dev) as he tries to make it in NYC as an actor. It tackles stereotypes and dating in a dry comedy sort of way.
3-Hart of Dixie. Fans of Gilmore Girls should check out this canceled CW series. It is a sweet, romantic show with fun characters and a great setting. All of the actors are beautiful and it makes for a nice guilty pleasure. The first three seasons are on Netflix.
1- The Mindy Project. This is hands down one of my favorite sitcoms. I love Mindy Kaling (formerly the charactor Kelly Kapoor from NBC’s The Office). She is witty, sarcastic, and an awesome leading lady for a show with a ton of quirky side characters. Mindy plays an OB-GYN and the sitcom is a kicked-up-a-notch romantic comedy. There is also a healthy dose of realism showing how people aren’t perfect and even the most meant-to-be relationships have complications. The show is in its 5th season, so watch them all and laugh out loud. Especially the ones with Adam Pally (from the awesome but canceled ABC show Happy Endings!).
2-Iron Man: Armored Adventures. If you have kiddos that love Marvel Avengers or just good old Iron Man, this animated show is pretty entertaining. It follows a teenage Tony Stark as he fights crime and goes to high school. It is probably more appropriate for older children (7 years and above), but all my kids (ages 3-8 years) enjoy it and there has been nothing too violent yet. They constantly sing the theme song and this show makes for a nice treat from our traditional PBS fare.
Amazon Instant Video:
1-Sneaky Pete. This show is in its first season and I am only half-way through it, but it rocks. If you liked Breaking Bad, you will love this quirky drama about a con artist trying to save his brother by stealing the identity of his former prison cell mate. The mind-blowing Bryan Cranston (aka Walter White from Breaking Bad) is a mean mobster and also developed this show, which automatically means it is smart and worth the time to watch.
2-Newsroom. I LOVED HBO’s Newsroom because it showcases a much needed side to journalism (especially in today’s climate). It is about a news station with a big time anchorman looking to capture back the essence of being newsworthy. The show-runners incorporate real, past headlines (ie: Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords) into the plotlines, which make for fascinating scenes. It was created by the talented Aaron Sorkin (writer of NBC’s West Wing and the film The Social Network), and has smart dialogue with strong characters.
3-Bosch and Red Oaks. John suggested these two series. I have been thinking about watching Bosch because I love the Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly. So if you are a reader more than a viewer, check out the novels instead. (My favorite in the book series was City of Bones.) Here is what my big bro mentioned about these shows: “Bosch is a dark crime drama. Two seasons are currently available with the third coming soon. It has an 86% rating via Rotten Tomatoes. Regarding Red Oaks, it has two seasons available with another coming. Eighties haters and lovers can relate to this coming of age series. It flaunts an amazing cast that viewers will learn to love.”
Cable and Movies
1-Elementary. My husband and I have faithfully DVR’d this show on CBS for all of its five season. I love that Lucy Liu plays Dr. Watson. Her fashion is killer and it is a great twist on the typical mystery tale. The show is basically a straight-forward whodunnit drama for each episode, with a lingering (but not overbearing) back-story. Jonny Lee Miller is quirky and selfish as a modern day Sherlock, which makes him great alongside the smart and sophisticated Liu.
2-The Walking Dead. I have not had a chance to watch this series, but I hear only good and gruesome things. This made the top of John’s recommendations. He said, “Many people I’m sure have viewed this series, but I know others (like my wife) that won’t give this zombie show a chance. For those brave and fortunate souls that haven’t witnessed it on AMC, do yourself a favor and binge watch this show immediately (It’s also available on Netflix). It is one of those shows much like Freaks and Geeks, Seinfeld, Deadwood, and The Sopranos that you will miss when it’s gone.”
1-Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Great film, great story, great actors. I mean, it is Star Wars; need I say more? See it immediately, even if you are not a fan of the franchise. This one stands alone and is fantastic. The DVD release is slated for April 2017.
2-The Green Room. John highly recommended this one, but it’s a horror flick. Watch at your own risk! John said, “Picked this movie because I’m sure many haven’t heard of it. It scored a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, but let me warn you this movie is not for everyone. It is wickedly violent yet very engaging.”
3-Moana. Disney nailed it with this one. It is funny with great voices. Adults can even take away something from the film as it really hits home the importance of searching for one’s true purpose. Extra bonus, it was nice to see a strong female character in a Disney film that did not need a prince or have dead parents. The soundtrack will also not Elsa and Anna you to death.
4-Song of the Sea. This animated movie was incredibly beautiful. It plays like a fable and all my kids watched it in its entirety, but I probably enjoyed it the most. I even cried at the end. It was nominated for an Oscar and is about a young brother and a sister. The siblings go on an adventure when older brother Ben realizes his mute sister, Saoirse, is a “selkie” with sea powers that can save fairies. The movie packs a lot of emotion, on top of being great.
What would you add to this list?
This post was originally published on Family Footnote.
About the Author
Kelly J. Riibe has three kiddos, a husband, a Jack Russell Terrier, and a mildly curbed addiction to Diet Coke. Keeping busy for her involves staying home with her children and also finding work as a freelance writer. She has been published in Nebraska Magazine, Heels on a Farm, The Manifest-Station, BonBon Break, Parent.co, Living Here Magazine, Black Hills Faces Magazine, and MockMom. She is also the co-writer for the blog: www.familyfootnote.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @familyfootnote and @KJRiibe.