While quarantining during most of 2020, I had a lot of free time. I saw a myriad of movies, documentaries, and TV shows that kept me entertained and inspired. There were so many that stood out, I feel like they deserve to be discussed. Now that it’s winter, it’s that time of the year (no matter where you live), where your couch and TV become your best friends. There’s nothing more comforting than making a cup of hot chocolate and watching an entertaining TV show (or film) on a rainy or snowy night. Here is my list of 10 TV shows, movies, and documentaries that I watched during quarantine.
After renting In Time, it quickly rose to the top of my all-time favorite movies list. Mixing science fiction with action, it’s suspenseful, interesting, and like nothing I’ve seen before. A society where the economic system uses time as a currency (your clock determines how long you have to live) acts like a philosophical take on America’s capitalist system. The set and the costumes for Amada Seyfried’s character are retro futuristic, a vibe I enjoyed.
I’ve been obsessed with Shameless for a few years now, but last year I decided to re-watch it. This drama series revolves around a dysfunctional family (the Gallaghers) as they navigate through life. I love how realistic it is and how it dives into certain issues that aren’t usually discussed in other shows. The writers do an outstanding job covering topics like poverty, sex, mental health, drug use, and family struggles in a real (but comic) way. This combined with the stellar acting makes it stand out amongst other series. The drama sucks you in and you get invested in their lives.
I’m obsessed with Guy Fieri. Not only is he hilarious and the ultimate meme but his shows are so fun to watch! Guy’s Grocery Games was one of my favorite shows that I streamed last year. The food always looks so delicious and the games are entertaining and crazy. The games challenge all the contestants more than any other food challenge show I’ve seen. This brings out a lot of skill from the chefs and incredibly innovative recipes. Triple G is a feel-good cooking show that is fun to watch when you’re looking for something lighthearted.
Horror is my favorite genre of movies so I am always looking for new ones to watch. I saw many last year, but The Lodge stood out as a favorite of mine. It’s a psychological horror, and plays games with your mind which makes it even scarier. You aren’t really sure if what you’re seeing is real or if it’s an illusion. The plot follows two children who recently lost their mother. They’re staying in a lodge in the dead of winter with their father’s new and mentally unstable girlfriend. Watching it made me feel anxious, unsettled, and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Dirty Money is a groundbreaking investigative docuseries that discusses scandals and corruption in the American business system. There are episodes that cover Trump, the Sinaloa Cartel, Wells Fargo, and even Jared Kushner. Showing corporate greed in a major way, this documentary opened my eyes to things that have been swept under the rug. I recommend that everyone watches it. You will learn things about our business sector that every citizen should know. It honestly left me in shock.
Nothing is better than a classic Disney film. The Aristocats was a favorite of mine when I was a child, and I enjoy rewatching it from time to time because it brings back some priceless memories. After I purchased Disney Plus, it was the first movie I streamed on the platform. Romance, adorable cats, jazz music, and an adventure through Paris make this a chill movie for when you want something lighthearted. Grab a box of tissues for this one because the nostalgia is real.
After so much hype, I gave Uncut Gems a watch. The crime thriller was all over the place, but in a good way. Throughout the film there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t wondering what is going to happen next. Adam Sandler does an outstanding job of embodying a New York City jeweler, a refreshing break from his usual hilariously funny roles like in Billy Madison and Big Daddy. If you like high-energy crime movies, this one stands out amongst others.
Jeffrey Epstein had been the talk of social media after his arrest and then suicide in 2019. Fast forward a year later and Netflix created the docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, which is based off a book by the same name. The four part special gives insight into who Epstein was, his connections to high-profile people, and gives some of his survivors a platform to tell their story. It uncovers a lot of corruption and pedophilia that goes on in our society, which left a foul taste in my mouth. However, I was glad I watched it because the survivors’ voices deserved to be heard.
While The Wire is an older TV series that ended in 1998, it’s still a must watch. For years I heard such good things about this drama, so I began streaming it and was instantly hooked. Let me tell you, anyone who says that this was one of the best shows ever created—they were right! The writer, David Simon, used to be a police reporter who wrote for the Baltimore Sun covering the crime beat. What stands out is his realistic portrayal of urban American life, city politics, poverty, and crime. Each season covers a unique institution of the city, like the drug trade or the city government. The realism puts you right there with so many emotions and reliable characters.
The Academy Award-winning documentary Free Solo is fascinating to watch. It follows climber Alex Honnold on his journey to be the first person to free climb a mountain in Yosemite. If you’re looking to watch a real life, dangerous adventure, then you’ll love Free Solo. I found it intriguing and intense which let me live vicariously through Alex’s tremendous feats.
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