We certainly live in a world of fast-changing technology. Even a decade ago, most of us boomers had never heard of the term “binge-watching.” Thanks to the invention of streaming networks and On-Demand cable, we now have the ability to watch several episodes of a series back to back and no longer have to drive to Blockbuster to check out the next episodes on DVD!
Although, we think of binge-watching as a guilty pleasure, there are actually some benefits. It can decrease stress and help with relaxation or relief of anxiety. The characters and scenery can inspire us or make us laugh, in the same way a novel does. It can socially connect us to others when we share our favorite characters or scenes. With that in mind, we would like to share some binge worthy shows that we’re watching now or have on our watch list.
All Creatures Great and Small (2020)-PBS Masterpiece Plus, or through Amazon Prime
Based on the popular 1972 best-selling novel written by James Herriot, this series is a feel-good and uplifting tale of English veterinarians working in the farmland of Yorkshire, England in the 1930’s. The many encounters with cute farm animals, cats and dogs, including live births, is sure to delight the whole family. Add in some eccentric and quirky characters to the mix and you have some enjoyable and worthwhile entertainment. Although I have not yet watched it, it has been highly recommended to me and is next on my watchlist.
It's always a good thing to watch something that makes you smile and inspires you. I'm looking forward to this series.
Let the binging begin!
A Million Little Things-(ABC and Hulu)
My family is such huge sports fans that whenever there's a good game to watch, we watch it. However, in the evenings, when I finally sit down I love to watch a good series. Granted I usually don't just sit, but I multi-task (on my iPad, knitting, cutting out fabric, planning meals, etc.) and I love to have a watch a great series.
If you haven't watched A Million Little Things, I would highly recommend this one to you. There are 4 seasons to the series, so far and it airs on ABC. This is a family drama about 4 couples that are friends in Boston. Some have success, some are struggling in their careers and relationships, but they all feel stuck. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it is a wake up call that the others need to start finally living. Through the seasons, they discover that friends may be the one thing that can save them from themselves.
I've been lucky to have great friends on this journey of life and friendship isn't one big thing; it's a million little things.
Check it out!
Ted Lasso- Apple TV Plus
This is a show that didn't catch my attention at first. However, once I started I was hooked. It is not one of those sit on the edge of your seat kind of series but the heart of the story keeps you coming back. It takes place in London and who doesn't love an English accent. It starts out with a divorce' that wants to ruin her ex-husbands struggling Premier soccer team in the ground. A little bit of revenge for a rich lady who's husband has left her for a younger woman. She decides to hire an American college football coach from Kansas who thinks it can't be that much different than what he was doing there. He quickly learns that he is not in Kansas anymore. Ted has to learn the game and the different aspects of how things are done in England while dealing with a group of male athletes, each with his own set of issues, and many co workers who just don't like him. Ted manages to find the best in all of them. He also finds himself dealing with his own struggles in life and portrays the human side of himself.
Ted Lasso is an American Sports Comedy/Drama that is more about positivity than it is about the sport. It is uplifting and entertaining. A show that will have you laughing one minute and tearing up the next. There are so many fun personalities in the characters that you will get to know and love. There is enough sport content to keep the guys interested and plenty of heartwarming scenes to keep the ladies loving it. It's nice to have a show you can both enjoy!
In this day of so much distrust and criticism , it is nice to have a show with a message that there is still good in people and there is hope and kindness to be found. A little laughter is good for the soul too. "Be curious not judgemental" is one of the mottos Ted has spread to the world and we should all try harder to live by it.
60 minutes did a segment on Ted Lasso on March 13, 2022. It is a great description of how the show found itself to be one of the most watched shows. Nominated for 20 Emmys it has defied the odds of Hollywood who wanted nothing to do with it. If you want a little preview, the 60 minutes segment is a great introduction.
Enjoy the laughter but keep a tissue handy!
So what should you binge watch? It really depends on if you’re looking for something to watch on a lazy Sunday, a long holiday weekend on the couch or something to have on in the background, which to be honest is typically how I “watch” TV! Whichever you prefer, there are literally hundreds of thousands of shows on Netflix. A friend at bible study asked if I had watched Virgin River on Netflix. Of course, my answer was no because I’m just not a huge TV person. However, she said I HAD TO not just watch it, but binge watch because season 4 was about to begin in early summer! I'm glad I began watching, because it is SO GOOD!
Virgin River is a book written by Robyn Carr which inspired the hit Netflix series. It's a romantic drama set in a small town in Northern California. The series is similar to Hart of Dixie only better! The story follows Melinda “Mel” Monroe, who after her husband dies, wants to escape the painful memories, and answers an ad to work as a nurse practitioner for the town doctor. She soon learns that small-town living isn’t quite as simple as she had hoped it to be. The episodes are easy to follow and are only about 30 minutes in length. Binging to catch up in time for Season 4 to begin, would mean watching 10 episodes in each of the show’s first three seasons. It’s like watching a feel-good Hallmark show with the drama that comes from a small town. Virgin River is well-acted and written and offers great chemistry between the main characters. So far, I’m loving it because it’s so easy to watch and I have just a few more shows to catch up on before I’m all in for the start of season 4!!
If you're looking for something to watch other than a romantic drama, here are a few other series that my husband and I have really enjoyed watching together. They are Schitt's Creek, The Queen's Gambit and Ted Lasso. However, if you haven't watched Virgin River, I hope as you do, you'll enjoy it and find yourself hitting the "next episode" button a lot!
Yellowstone-Peacock and Amazon Prime
Almost everyone has heard about this wildly popular series. My husband and I started watching it in the first season and were hooked. We had to wait on the season releases before we could binge it, so we relied on the DVR so as not to miss an episode. This is a suspenseful, modern-day Western set in Montana at the Yellowstone Cattle Ranch owned by the Dutton Family for generations. It seems everyone is out to get the Duttons and their land. This makes for some intense drama with plenty of characters and villains that the viewers will end up cheering for. Keven Costner plays John Dutton. His award winning portrayal of a rough rancher couldn't be more spot on. Beth Dutton, John's shrewd, adult daughter is convincingly played by the English actress, Kelly Reilly. Her character is one of those you will likely feel ambivalent about in the beginning, but keep watching as her story evolves into a sympathetic one. John's sons are interesting characters with their own issues and struggles. Each season is tied into its own dramatic storyline.
One of the most enjoyable qualities of the show is the beautiful cinematography and scenery. Filmed partly in Montana and partly in Utah, the footage is breathtaking. In addition, the horses they use in the ranching and rodeo scenes are some of the most beautiful and well-trained horses in the world. Whether or not you were raised in the country, you will appreciate the show's genuine attention to detail in the filming of cattle ranching and training horses.
I highly recommend this show. Although it's dramatic, it's also highly entertaining, the acting is great and it will keep you moving on to the next episode. (Warning: make sure the youngsters are out of the room! Lots of language and adult situations)