I don’t get a lot of TV time in. In fact I don’t get a lot of “me” time in at all these days. Being a working single mom to an 8 year old daughter with a full calendar keeps me hopping and often times by the end of the day I’m too beat to bother doing anything but making the house not look like a war zone, packing tomorrow’s lunch and going to bed. But every once in a while I manage to stay alert long enough to sit down (occasionally with a glass of wine) on the couch and tune in while I tune out. I generally gravitate toward comedies when I put a show on because, frankly, I have enough stress in my life, I don’t need to live through someone else’s stress too. So, here are a few of the favorite things I’ve been streaming recently.
Working Moms – Netflix and CBC
I’d seen people mention Working Moms on Facebook,etc. a few times. but I never really had an interest in watching it. For a few reasons. First, nobody was really raving about it. I’d read a few ok comments about it but nothing that made me think I HAVE to watch it. And second, because I had a feeling it really wouldn’t represent me or most of the working moms I know. The latter is definitely true. There is a fair amount of privilege going on in Working Moms and this is definitely not my tribe. I don’t have a nanny, attend a mommy and me class that will get my kid into a private preschool, drive a fancy car, have a husband (or like Frankie, a wife) or a large house in Toronto. On most levels I do not relate to these mothers. However, I still like the show! It’s an escape. The show is funny and witty and well acted. And even though I don’t find these women super relatable I find myself liking them. They are tough, they are vulnerable and they have each others backs. And I find myself wanting to dive into the next episode to see what kind of trouble they find themselves in next.
You can find the first two seasons of Working Moms on Netflix and I believe season 3 is airing now on CBC.
Grace and Frankie – Netflix
This is another series that I wasn’t too sure I was going to like. And to be honest even after the first couple episodes I wasn’t sure. The premise of the show was a bit out there – two senior ladies find themselves single after their lawyer husbands finally reveal their long standing romance and declare their love for each other. It is out there. And the characters are out there. Way out there. Frankie, the eccentric hippy. Grace the snob who lives on vodka and pills. The gang of dysfunctional (adult) kids. The whole thing is silly. But Jane Fonda (Grace) and Lily Tomlin (Frankie) manage to make you fall in love with them. And I love that we have a series that shows older folks as (mostly) competent, capable, funny as hell people that live still live all the struggles (including love and romance and yes even sex) that we all face every day.
You can watch all five seasons of Grace and Frankie on Netflix.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Amazon Prime
I loved this series right from the first episode. It’s improbable, inappropriate, funny, dark and stylish. Set in the late 50s, Mariam (Mr.s Maisel) goes from having it all to having her life turned upside down and we have a front row seat to how she makes the transition from housewife to stand up comedian. I absolutely adore the writing and the pace of this show. It’s super fast and ridiculously funny. It’s a Mad Men era series with a feminist twist.
You can find the first two seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. I can’t wait for season 3!
Ray Romano, Right Here Around the Corner – Netflix
I love stand up comedy. And I love Ray Romano. It’s been a very, very long time since Ray has done stand up so I was thrilled when I came across his new Netflix special. It’s pretty short, just 58 minutes, and I could have sat and watched him for at least another 58. In this short special Ray takes the stage and the Comedy Cellar in New York where he first got his start as a comedian. And all to the delight of the unsuspecting audience who has no idea he is coming. I adore Ray’s style of comedy. It’s relatable. He talks a lot about being a husband and a father. And he can manage to get on to subject like sex without being vulgar and still make you laugh.
You can find Right Here Around the Corner on Netflix.
Life in Pieces – Netflix
This series is definitely quirky. So if quirky isn’t your thing this might not be a hit for you. Every episode is a collection of intertwined short stories chronically the lives of “pieces” of the family. We have the patriarch and matriarch (James Brolin and Dianne West), son Matt and girlfriend Colleen, Greg (played by the adorable Colin Hanks) and wife Jen and their young daughter and finally daughter Heather and her doctor husband Tim (my favorite character) and their three kids. For the most part it’s just plain silliness and dysfunction and its perfect for those of us with a short attention span.
You can watch all three seasons of Life in Pieces on Netflix.
Dumplin’ – Netflix
I don’t find myself watching a lot of movies these days because I rarely have the time to sit that long and get into something. For the most part movies are a date night outing for me. But I found myself with a little time on my hands a few weekends ago and decided to take a break from all the work and find something to watch. I was sifting through the new releases on Netflx and Dumplin’ caught my eye. I recalled a few friends mentioning that they enjoyed it so I thought I would give it a shot. This was a nice Sunday afternoon watch. It was a sweet coming of age, accepting who you are, wholesome watch. It’s the kind of movie I might sit down with my own daughter and watch again. The premise of Dumplin is the older, former pageant queen mom (perfectly played by Jennifer Aniston) and her teen daughter who is much more like her late aunt than her mom. In an attempt to make a point about her mother and society’s norms in general Dumplin’ enters one of her mother’s beauty pageant and she, and everyone else, learns some lessons on acceptance and self acceptance along the way.
You can watch Dumplin’ on Netflix.
Shameless – Netflix
This is what I’m currently watching. A friend mentions it every time I bring up needing to find something good to watch. But I’ve found our taste in entertainment to be somewhat not compatible so I never bothered watching it. But this time he finally convinced me to give it a try. I didn’t think it was going to be “my” kind of show but I have to admit I’m really liking it. It’s a bit dark. Maybe more than a bit. But not Ozark dark ( I cannot watch that one. It stresses me out so bad!). William H. Macy, as usual, plays his roll, as the drunken mostly deadbeat dad to five kids, brilliantly. And I absolutely adore Joan Cusack as the odd, agoraphobic Sheila. She nails that role, and not in a comedic, make fun of people struggling with phobia kind of way.
Shameless takes us into the lives of five kids in Chicago who are pretty much on their own (with a little help from some friends) because their dad is a hopeless alcoholic and mom long ago abandoned them all. Fiona, the 20 something year old sister, is the caregiver, essentially the mother, of the family trying to keep everything and everyone together. The family, as you might expect with an alcoholic dad and mom gone, barely gets by financially and the kids get into various kinds of trouble. I’m now into season two of this eight season series. Shameless covers all the bases. It’s both funny and dark and it doesn’t take long to get really invested and rooting for this underdog family.
You can find all eight seasons of Shameless on Netflix.