Binging is a popular pastime for just about everyone. With platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime encouraging eager viewers to sit back, press play, and devote hours to great TV, it's never been easier to consume high quality content. And now, as COVID-19 looms over much of the world, access to content means more than ever.
With so many available options, it's easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the entertainment possibilities while enduring life in quarantine. This is true for TV aficionados who already have subscriptions to multiple streaming platforms as well as viewers looking to enter the streaming game. Luckily, help is here. These are 10 of the most binge-worthy shows on TV right now to help you withstand the coronavirus crisis – and guidance on how to watch them without breaking the bank.
Perhaps the most hyped show on social media today, Tiger King is the product of big cats, big personalities, and big prison sentences. A dramatic documentary examining Joe Exotic, the owner of a big cat zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and his bitter feud with animal rights activists that eventually culminate in a murder-for-hire plot, Tiger King provides a vivid and shocking snapshot of the politics of roadside zoos and the eccentric characters who run them.
From sleazy zoo owner Doc Antle to the suspicious disappearance of activist Carole Baskins' first husband, every episode is full of twists and turns that virtually guarantee jaw-dropping shock. You may end up wondering what you watched and why you found yourself so invested, but this sneak peek into a ludicrous world you never knew existed will keep you hooked from start to finish.
Tiger King is exclusively available on Netflix. For current subscribers, there is no incremental cost to watch Tiger King. In addition, Netflix offers a free one month trial for those who aren't committed to subscribing. Subscriptions begin at $8.99 per month.Watch Tiger King on Netflix
The critically-acclaimed Ozark debuted its third season on March 27th, 2020, much to the delight of its legions of devoted fans. The tale of a family that moves from an upscale Chicago suburb to the Ozarks in Missouri in an attempt to remedy mob relations after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, Ozark examines the underbelly of organized criminal enterprises in the United States. As the family's desperate need for cash evolves, they are drawn deeper into illegal operations in an attempt to make amends. The characters' desperation and panic fuel the show's intensity, creating a dark and dramatic world that's hard to stop watching.
Ozark is an intensely captivating production, due in large part to incredible performances by leads Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. The detailed depictions of the seedy world of American crime and plot's many twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat and hungry for more.
Ozark streams on Netflix and is free to view for current subscribers. Those who want to watch for free can take advantage of a one-month trial. Subscription costs start at $8.99 for single-screen viewing.Watch
Love Is Blind
Dating shows are everywhere, but few are quite as addictive as Love Is Blind. Rather than relying on lust fueled by beauty and brawn like other shows, Love Is Blind attempts to prove that love is, indeed, blind. Contestants create connections with one another sight unseen, speaking to one another in individual pods that allow for conversation but not visual contact. After creating seemingly deep emotional bonds, male contestants are given the opportunity to propose to their new newly-discovered loved ones – all without meeting face to face.
The couples have a chance to meet each other, and one another, at a retreat in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, followed by group living in an Atlanta apartment. As romantic struggles and tumultuous wedding planning proceeds, couples are left asking themselves whether appearance matters more than previously realized.
Love Is Blind is a Netflix production and is available exclusively on the subscription-only platform. Viewing is free for current subscribers and those enjoying the one-month trial period. Paid subscriptions start at $8.99.Watch Love is Blind on Netflix
Little Fires Everywhere
One of the newest shows to debut on Hulu, Little Fires Everywhere is the enigmatic story of a seemingly-perfect family in progressive, middle class Shaker Heights, Ohio and their connection to a nomadic mother and daughter. The story opens with a home in the community that burns after small fires are set individually in multiple rooms, creating a suburban controversy in which all characters find themselves embroiled. Led by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere provides a peek into colliding worlds and a compelling mystery.
While Little Fires Everywhere is based on the novel of the same name, the miniseries takes the story beyond the book, delving into racial issues in modern America. The divide between black and white as well as the dynamics of relationships between women drive the plotline, giving viewers powerful social situations to ponder outside of the bounds of the overall whodunit story.
Little Fires Everywhere is a miniseries available exclusively on Hulu. Current subscribers can watch for free, as can those utilizing Hulu's free month trial. Hulu subscriptions start at $5.99 for the ad-sponsored model and $11.99 for ad-free watching. Those who want to include Disney+ can get both platforms for $12.99 per month.Watch Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu
For those looking for something a little more lighthearted, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the acclaimed NBC comedy currently airing its seventh season, is a perfect choice. Following a quirky group of detectives led by the no-nonsense Captain Holt in Brooklyn's fictional Ninety-Ninth precinct, Brooklyn Nine-Nine uses situational humor and real-world events to drive gut-busting laughs.
In addition to providing a lot of levity in a coronavirus-fueled time in which laughter feels scarce, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also deftly manages social issues in a way few comedies can manage. From an exploration into racial discrimination in the police force in "Moo Moo" to the shock and anxiety of policing during an active shooter situation in "Show Me Going," Brooklyn Nine-Nine will leave you laughing, smiling, and contemplating societal issues over the course of 140 episodes.
All seven seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are available on Hulu, which is free for current subscribers as well as those in the initial one-month free trial period. Hulu subscriptions are available in an ad-sponsored format for $5.99 and ad-free viewing for $11.99. Select episodes are also available on NBC.com and the NBC mobile app for those with an active cable subscription. Hulu users can also choose to bundle Disney+ for $12.99 per month.Watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu
A dark story of obsession, lust, and murder, You is a first-person narration exploration of control and desire gone very, very wrong. The plot focuses on awkward, bookish Joe Goldberg and his obsessive interest in the women in his life. Rather than letting the dating game play out naturally, Joe takes a different approach, using a combination of stalking and forced encounters to trick the objects of his affection. He stops at nothing to get what he wants, leaving a trail of tears – and bodies – behind him in his quest for dominance and control.
You became a cultural phenomenon in from its debut on Netflix in 2018, with late 2019's second season similarly engaging viewers from around the world. With violent and obsessive turns in every episode, you'll be left wondering just how far Joe will go to make his twisted fantasies come true.
While originally released on Lifetime, You is now exclusively available on Netflix. It is free to current subscribers and those taking advantage of the one-month free trial. Subscriptions to Netflix start at $8.99.Watch You on Netflix
The Mandalorian effectively put Disney+ on the map, leading to millions of subscribers in the weeks after the service's November 2019 launch. A series set in the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian takes place five years after Return of the Jedi and explores the story of a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter operating outside the authority of the New Republic and the adventures he experiences in his travels across the galaxy.
Despite the top-notch production value and fantastic performances by the main cast, The Mandalorian is primarily defined by the introduction of baby Yoda, at least from a pop culture perspective. The adorable infant presence seeks to map the history of the compelling character in the series, but has also charmed audiences around the world.
The Mandalorian is available on the Disney+ app, which offers a seven-day free trial and a subscription cost of $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. Users can also choose to bundle Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99 per month.Watch The Mandalorian on Disney+
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
One of the most successful shows to debut on Amazon Prime to date, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a period dramatic comedy set in the 1960s in New York City. Miriam Maisel, an upper-class housewife tired of her normal life who discovers a hidden talent for stand-up comedy, finds herself divorced and alone on the Upper West Side. Rather than marrying again, she finds a footing in the comedy circuit and the experiences a wild ride while seeking success.
A story of life, laughter, and overcoming hurdles as a woman in a traditionally male world, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tackles gender issues and independence in this wonderfully cast and highly successful show. The third season debuted in December 2019 with a fourth season renewal promising more for Mrs. Maisel in the future.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video for free for current subscribers. After a one-month free trial, Amazon Prime costs $119 for the year or $12.99 per month. Prime subscribers also benefit from additional Prime services, like free two-day shipping on eligible purchases.Watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Video
A British comedy-drama series, Fleabag is a television adaptation of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's one-woman play of the same name. The storyline surrounds the life of Fleabag, an otherwise unnamed young woman living in London, and the trials and tribulations she experiences involving life, love, lust, and loss.
The series is nothing if not quirky and eccentric; Fleabag, in addition to her personal oddities involving sex and relationships, is the owner of a guinea pig-themed cafe that doesn't earn her enough money to fund her desired lifestyle. Her life is further complicated by the tragic death of her best friend, an event that impacts her emotions and actions deeply. Raw, real, and hilarious, the cast of characters in Fleabag's life are somehow dislikeable in such a captivating way that viewers – and critics – are left constantly hungry for more.
Fleabag can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. Current subscribers can watch for free, as can those utilizing the free one-month trial period. Following the trial, access costs $12.99 per month or $119 for the year, a price that also includes access to other Prime perks.Watch Fleabag on Amazon Prime Video
The Morning Show
The first breakout hit on Apple's new Apple TV+ platform, The Morning Show delves into the world of televised news reporting in New York City. With a star-studded cast featuring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, The Morning Show deftly deals with social issues and power dynamics within media in a comedic and captivating way.
The Morning Show starts with a male host's dismissal that unfolds very similarly to real-life anchor Matt Lauer's departure from The Today Show in 2017. The plot gains steam as Aniston's character is joined by a rarity in new media: a second female anchor. By using media to highlight the many faults existing in modern society, the two leading ladies provide a new lens through which to examine social issues in this clever, creative drama.
The Morning Show is available on Apple TV+. Current viewers can watch for free while new subscribers will enjoy a seven-day free trial period before paying $5 monthly or $50 annually for a subscription.Watch The Morning Show on Aple TV+
|Show||Streaming Service||Cost to Watch|
|Love Is Blind||Netflix||
|Little Fires Everywhere||Hulu||
|Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Hulu and NBC||
|The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel||Amazon Prime||
|The Morning Show||Apple TV+||
NOTE: prices current as of publish date.
Dealing with the lifestyle changes resulting from the spread of COVID-19 isn't easy, but great shows can ease the stress of minimizing social contact. From the rollercoaster ride that is Tiger King to the feel-good laughs Brooklyn Nine-Nine providers, binging something fresh and fun can help pass the time until the world returns to normal.