It’s my job to write about TV, and I can’t complain because this kind of path is what I’ve dreamt of and worked towards since I was 18 years old. That being said, being a writer, let alone an entertainment writer, can be a little draining and affect your desire to watch any new shows outside of your job. When you’ve spent all day working on your computer, sometimes the last thing you want to do is spend more time in front of a screen watching TV for your own enjoyment.
So, while I’m still trying to cut down on unnecessary screen time, I’ve only recently gotten out of a rut where I really wasn’t watching anything other than shows I cover for work. That being said, I definitely recommend the following three shows if you’re like me and enjoy historical shows or unconventional reality TV.
Also, I’m so excited for Timeless and Call the Midwife to come back in March!
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Otherwise known as the show that finally got Amy Sherman-Palladino some award show love, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows a Jewish housewife in 1950s Manhattan who finds a calling in stand-up comedy when her marriage abruptly ends.
One half of the duo behind my favorite podcast, Gilmore Guys, now runs a podcast deconstructing Maisel episodes, and in this, someone commented that Maisel includes the time period and type of characters where Sherman-Palladino’s writing style and reference points just thrive. Gilmore Girls included old-school, mid-20th century references that were a little less believable for young characters in the early 2000s to use, but given that Maisel takes place in the ’50s, Sherman-Palladino’s knack for vintage pop culture can truly shine.
The physical quality of the Amazon Prime show is also great. There are sweeping, detailed shots that make the setting so believable, and things like that just make the entire story more immersive as a whole.
I actually watched this period drama’s pilot for the first time in Gatwick Airport in December 2015. I was trying to pass the time until I could go through security for my flight home from my semester in London (we had to be out of our flat by a certain time, so I had a lot of time to kill before my late afternoon flight). I remember enjoying it, but not enough to keep up with it.
After discovering that Indian Summers, as well as many other PBS dramas, was available on Amazon Prime, I decided to give the series another go. After all, how bad could anything with Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley!) be?
Taking place in the 1930s, Indian Summers is primarily set at and around a Himalayan resort that serves the British governing and trading forces stationed in India. The main Indian character, Aafrin, is a member of the Indian Civil Service, whereas his sister becomes involved in the fight for national independence. Rising tensions between the white and Indian communities are explored, in addition to romantic and political drama throughout the group of characters. I love that the show is about a part of history that Americans don’t learn much about in school!
The series only consists of two seasons, so I’m hoping to get through this one quite quickly. When it comes to PBS shows, I’ll probably tackle Home Fires next, because I interviewed one of its stars, Rob Heaps, last year when his show Imposters premiered on Bravo. He was the first celebrity I ever interviewed, and although I’ve interviewed several since, Rob was, hands down, the kindest and most giving actor that I’ve spoken to, so I’d love to see him in his other TV role.
Married at First Sight
Before this year, I’d seen a little bit of all of the previous MAFS seasons, but the current Season 6, set in Boston, is the only one I’ve actively kept up with. Three couples comprising of total strangers meet at the altar and are immediately married after being matched together by a panel of experts. They must stay together for at least eight weeks (six in earlier seasons), going on honeymoons together, moving in with each other, and incorporating their new spouse into their daily lives. The first two seasons filmed in New York City, but every season since then has taken place in a different major U.S. city. The show is even casting for Season 7 in Dallas right now.
As of now, only three couples from the past five years are still together. I wouldn’t exactly call the show a trashy guilty pleasure, but watching the couples progress (or, in many cases, regress) in their brand new relationships is always so fascinating to me. Out of the couples who choose to get divorced at the end of the show’s experiment (or a short time after filming ends), some part on friendly terms, while others’ demises are just disastrous. Seasons 1-4 are available on Hulu, while you can access all six seasons on Lifetime’s website.
What about you? What have you been watching lately?