If you're hanging out at home during the coronavirus pandemic, here are some under-the-radar series (and new faves!) PEOPLE editors love

By People Staff
March 23, 2020 03:55 PM

If you’re able to practice social distancing in the weeks ahead, as the coronavirus pandemic continues, chances are you’re going to blow through the leftovers on your DVR pretty quickly.

We’re here to help! Below, a list of all the new series and old favorites PEOPLE editors are binging while we ride the situation out from home.

The Shield (Hulu)
Before Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and The Walking Dead, FX tested the bounds of cable television in 2002, breaking new ground by green-lighting a gritty cop drama called The Shield. The shows stars Michael Chiklis (Gotham, Coyote) as morally ambiguous LAPD Detective Vic Mackey — a dedicated family man unafraid to bend the rules to suit his own agenda. The successful series ran for seven seasons on FX, and introduced the world to the considerable acting prowess of Walton Goggins (Justified, The Unicorn), Benito Martinez (Hawaii Five-0, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan), Kenny Johnson (S.W.A.T., Bates Motel), and CCH Pounder (Avatar, NCIS: New Orleans). Over the years, actors like Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Forest Whitaker, Laurie Holden, Carl Weathers, Glenn Close, Michael Pena, Melanie Lynskey, Guillermo Diaz, Danny Pino, Jamie Anne Allman, Clark Gregg, and Michael Kelly appeared in supporting roles. I often judge shows on how they finish, because it amazes me how characters and ideas established in a single pilot episode can be developed through such elaborate, unexpected storytelling. I had never paused a series finale before, and I haven’t since, but when that last episode of The Shield aired, I had to pause it four times, just to catch my breath. And if that doesn’t convince you to binge it, consider this: My father — a retired police detective — once told me he didn’t like The Shield because it was “too authentic” and “gives away too many secrets.” — Chris Harris, Senior Crime Reporter

The Chris Gethard Show (YouTube)
Social distancing can be lonely. As we all continue to follow health officials’ advice and keep ourselves isolated from each other to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, I don’t know if there’s ever been a more perfect time to watch The Chris Gethard Show. The New Jersey comedian turns late night on its head with his punk-inspired talk show, throwing together variety program that features emotionally open and hilarious interviews with celebrities from Aubrey Plaza to Jon Hamm. But TCGS isn’t your typical late night show: Gethard perfects audience participation and truly brings viewers into the fold, letting fans at home ask questions via Skype or jump out from the audience to participate in a half-baked game that often devolves into chaos. Gethard, who hasn’t been shy about his own battles with depression and anxiety, finds a way to make youpart of the show and its close-knit community — even if you’re watching thousands of miles away, or years too late (TCGS was canceled in 2018 after three seasons). So, if social distancing is getting you down, pop on a few episodes of The Chris Gethard Show on TruTV’s app or find full episodes on YouTube here. — Sean Neumann, Politics Writer

Ozark
Jessica Miglio/Netflix

Ozark (Netflix)
In this Netflix drama, Jason Bateman stars (and produces and directs) as Marty Byrde with his seemingly idyllic life as a financial adviser. Beneath the surface, however, there’s a lot going wrong, including dealings with a ruthless cartel leader and his wife, played by Laura Linney, has been unfaithful. The family has to relocate to the Ozarks and Marty has to find a way to launder millions in cartel money while trying to avoid feds who are closing in on him. Things go from bad to worse with each bad choice. Season 1 is stronger than season 2, but there’s still plenty to enjoy in season 2, including plans to open a casino and joining forces with some locals that are in the heroin business. The comparisons to Breaking Bad are inevitable, but Ozark is its own show with its own characters that make some very poor decisions. — Joseph Accardo, Digital Operations Manager

The Invisible Man 

The Invisible Man (iTunes, Amazon)
Much has been said about the current “invisible enemy,” aka coronavirus, but allow me to introduce you to The Invisible Man. This suspenseful thriller (released in theaters late last month, then rushed to at-home rentals as cinemas closed during the pandemic) is an effective allegory that skewers and analyzes domestic violence in the way Get Out explored racism and The Babadook personified depression. Starring Elisabeth Moss, The Invisible Man includes well-crafted scares, twists and WTF moments that’ll have you yelling at the TV screen — about something other than the news. — Benjamin VanHoose, Digital News Writer

Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer (Amazon)
This docuseries is a solid choice for people (like me) who find true-crime content strangely soothing in difficult times. The best thing about it is it’s entirely focused on giving a voice to Bundy’s victims, not on Bundy himself. It tells the story of Bundy’s heinous crime spree from the perspective of his long-time girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall, as well as her daughter. Both women considered Bundy part of their family, and the level of betrayal and shock they experienced upon learning what he’d done is tragic. The show also includes interviews with some of Bundy’s survivors. This thoughtfully executed project is one of the only films I’ve seen about Bundy that that doesn’t mythologize him or turn him into a creepy bad-boy sex symbol — it’s refreshing. — Laura Barcella, Staff Editor, Crime

Itaewon Class (Netflix)
After a million of my friends started telling me how good Itaewon Class is, I decided to start it and now I am hooked. The series has so many riveting storylines and amazing characters to fall in love with (especially Park Seo Joon, the lead actor who plays Park Sae Ro Yi on the show). The entire first season is out on Netflix now so it’s the perfect time to binge-watch!
Diane J. Cho, Features Editor

What We Do In the Shadows (Hulu)
I’m all about comic relief right now. This show follows a group of Vampires living on Staten Island. It’s off-beat, silly, and the actors are creative and a great ensemble. — Sheila Baylis, Health Editor

Downton Abbey (Amazon)
There is something instantly soothing about re-watching the British historical drama set in the early 20th century. (Maybe it’s the English accents?) The series follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants working and living in the family’s grand Edwardian estate. Between the cinematic shots and all the upstairs/downstairs drama, it serves as a great way to escape to the English countryside. Plus, if you finish the whole series, there’s still more Downton to binge. The new film is available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime. — Colleen Kratofil, Style Editor

New Girl (Netflix)
“There’s nothing better than bingeing a show about a gal living in an apartment with three guys while you’re stuck hanging out in your apartment … with your three guy roommates. It’s funny, relatable and reminds you that having roommates is kind of the best — especially when you can play a game of True American.” — Maggie Dickman, Associate Audience Editor

Soundtrack (Netflix)
“The Netflix romance series, from Gossip Girl executive producer Joshua Safran, got a bit buried when it was released during the holidays — so much so that plans for a second season were scrapped. But now is the perfect time to discover for the first time the magical 10-episode show, which follows Callie Hernandez and Paul James as star-crossed lovers navigating through the ups and downs of their relationship in Los Angeles. With a supporting cast featuring standouts Jenna Dewan and Megan Ferguson, it’s a show filled with twists, turns, and (as its title implies) a lot of music. In fact, each episode finds the characters all lip-sync along to songs from the soundtrack of their inner monologues, from artists like Sia, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, Amy Winehouse, Demi Lovato, Robyn, Katy Perry, Neil Diamond, The Weeknd and more. It’s a fabulous and fun convention that not leads to elaborate performance numbers, but also will make it impossible for you to not picture yourself doing the same thing every time your favorite song comes on.” — Dave Quinn, Writer/Reporter

Married at First Sight (Lifetime, but you can catch up on Hulu)
“It’s produced by the same people (Kinetic Content) who brought you Netflix’s Love Is Blind, so rest assured it is just as binge (and cringe, in the very best way possible)-worthy as LIB!” — Melody Chiu, Deputy West Coast News Editor

The Outsider (HBO)
“Opting for lighthearted escapism may be the go-to in times of stress, but there’s also something to be said about becoming consumed by woes worse than what’s going on IRL. With The Outsider — HBO’s recent 10-episode adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name, starring Jason Bateman, Cynthia Erivo and Ben Mendelsohn — viewers get a grounded, realistic take on a supernatural invader that tends to feed on tragedy. Sound like too much of a downer? The story of protagonists setting aside differences to combat a deadly unknown force with a united front is actually more relevant and encouraging than ever.” — Benjamin VanHoose, Digital News Writer

Hunters (Amazon)
“I recently started watching Amazon’s Hunters. Set in ‘70s New York, the series follows a wealthy Jewish man (played by Al Pacino) and his unconventional band of New Yorkers, working together to hunt down former Nazi soldiers who have taken cover in America since World War II. The Tarantino-like series is a little on the dark side, but it is also very witty and boasts incredible acting. Think 20 years after the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but a lot heavier. You may need to binge two or three episodes then take a break with a lighter Arrested Developed-type show (which is what I have been doing!).” — Morgan Evans, Associate News Editor

Nathan for You (Hulu)
“Nathan Fielder’s under-appreciated Comedy Central series pretends to be a reality show about helping struggling business owners, a la CNBC’s The Profit. But what they don’t realize is Fielder is an absurdist comedian, not an entrepreneurial whiz. He’s trolling them with his dead-pan ‘suggestions,’ such as re-branding a sweet real estate agent as a ‘Ghost Realtor’ and installing a taxi device that asks passengers if they want to converse with the driver (and, if so, offers a variety of insane topics). Dumb Starbucks is his most high-profile prank, but stream Gas Station/Caricature Artist (season 1, episode 4) for his best work, as he creates the most impossible-to-fill, legal rebate in human history. Rest assured, he’s not overtly ridiculing the unassuming victims of his comedy; there’s a lot of heart in his  awkward attempts to connect.” — Michele Corriston, Senior News Editor

Sherman’s Showcase (Hulu)“It’s a hilarious sketch comedy show that keeps you guessing about what’s next. Everything is beautifully directed from the dance numbers to fictional TV ads — and you’re guaranteed a great laugh.” — Darlene Aderoju, Editorial Assistant

Miller Mobley/E! Entertainment

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (Hulu)
“No matter how many times I’ve rewatched the reality series, it never fails to entertain me, especially when I’m having a bad day. And with 17 seasons and more than 250 episodes to binge, there’s more than enough content to keep you busy during your social distancing.” — Kaitlyn Frey, Assistant Style & Beauty Editor 

High Fidelity (Hulu)
“This TV adaptation of a movie adaptation of a Nick Hornby book has it all: Zoë Kravitz as a Brooklyn record store owner who wears incredible outfits, plus heartbreak and romance in equally relatable doses and a spot-on debate over whether Rumours or Tusk is the superior Fleetwood Mac album. The only thing that could make that better is Thomas Doherty as a hot Scottish singer, and uh, yep, it’s got that, too.” — Rachel DeSantis, Human Interest Writer/Reporter

Sailor Moon (Hulu)
“An absolute classic that is still delightful in 2020 and will help take your mind off the seriousness of the news! In the name of the moon, we will defeat COVID-19!” — Amanda Retotar, Photo Editor

Any Classic Disney Movie (Disney+)
“Tuning into Disney’s beloved animated musicals, and singing along, has brought back memories of my childhood, which are, in turn, a big mood booster!” — Lindsay Kimble, Senior News Editor

Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm (Netflix and HBO)
“In tough times you need to escape into a fun light-learned world and both these shows transport you away and make you giggle.” — Dan Wakeford, Editor-in-Chief

Sex Education (Netflix)
“If you haven’t already watched season 1, I’m actually jealous: You’ll have double the delightful episodes to keep your spirits up. Sex Education follows a teenager named Otis (Asa Butterfield) whose mother, played by the magical Gillian Anderson, is a sex therapist. With everything he’s learned from the oversharing at home, Otis becomes the go-to guy for advice on sexual issues at his high school. The series is laugh-out-loud funny, while still full of heart, sensitivity to real issues, and loveable, layered characters. And don’t get me started on the quirky fashion!” — Breanne L. Heldman, Senior Editor, TV

Gilmore Girls (Netflix)
“Watching Gilmore Girls is my version of self-care. The characters are quirky, yet loveable, the dialogue is super-sharp and the setting (a fictional Connecticut town called Stars Hollow) is completely magical.” — Andrea Lavinthal, Style & Beauty Director

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (Netflix)
“The sweetest teen romance since Sixteen Candles, with an independent heroine you can’t help but cheer for.” — Sam Gillette, Writer/Reporter, Books

The Office (Hulu)
“I’ve been binge-watching The Office over and over again to relax, basically!” — Charlotte Triggs, Deputy Editor, Digital

I Am Not Okay with This (Netflix)
“If you’re anything like me and feel guilty taking too many long breaks while working from home, this show works as a perfect self-timer. It’s only seven episodes, and each one caps at around 20 minutes, which gives you just enough time to reset your brain before getting back to work. Based on a Charles Forsman graphic novel, the show features superpowers, awkward coming of age stories and a whole lot of teenage angst. Think Stranger Things but with even more nods to John Hughes.” — Georgia Slater, Digital News Writer

Spirited Away (Prime Video)

“This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s all about moving from a place of fear into one of confidence and compassion. The protagonist is a resourceful little girl, which I love, and it’s so magical, beautiful and unique. I promise you’ve never seen anything like it, and if you’ve already seen it, watch it again — it just gets better.” — Sheila Baylis, Health Editor

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu; premieres March 18)
“I loved the book and am obsessed with this entire cast (especially Joshua Jackson, as a lifelong Dawson’s Creek fanatic who will always be crushing on Pacey Witter). The book’s underlying messages about nature versus nurture, cultural-bias examination and what constitutes a family make for a lovely, slow burn (no pun intended). I can’t wait to see how that translates to the small screen.” — Jen Juneau, Parents Writer

For more binge-watching ideas, check out People Now‘s Jeremy Parsons on Today this week.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

Advertisement