Summer vacation is a great time to log off from Canvas and log in to a streaming service like Disney Plus. And while occasionally I am craving a movie or an interesting documentary, I had a couple of shows on my to watch list. Most of them were recommended directly by friends, which is generally a trustworthy source. Hopefully I can provide you with an addition to your own list by sharing with you five shows that I loved binge watching this summer.
Bridgerton season 2
I love a period piece, and the hype for this show swept me up right away. While the new season featured different characters in the same universe, I was eager for the changes. I could not have predicted every twist and turn, particularly among some of the “background” characters, but the costuming and set designs were as high-quality as I had anticipated. Being an oldest daughter and sister, I found myself empathizing with both Anthony and Kate and rooting for them every step of the way. One word to describe this binge: tension.
As I’ve narrowed in on my doctoral research, I’ve had a number of people compare me to the famous fictional Coach Lasso. I resisted watching this because I wanted to wait until the whole of season two was available, and I’m glad that I did. I think we plowed through these episodes in about four days, it was that good. Laughter, tears, and a couple of pauses to have great conversation about what was happening and why we loved it so much. Oh, and the very end of the last episode made us stand up from the couch and angrily yell. One word for this show: heartfelt.
Our Flag Means Death
If I had hit play on the pilot episode without having heard any of the hype, I don’t know if I would have made it through. However, trusting the glowing reviews of our friends, we were slowly captivated by a ragtag pirate crew just doing their best. The various backgrounds and personalities weave together a really entertaining and in the end emotional story about relationships, including the relationship you have with yourself. The cliffhanger on this is deadly and I will be refreshing writer and producer David Jenkins’s Twitter account checking for information about season two. One word to describe this show is: goofy.
Here is another show that my friends were begging me to watch. This one I think I managed in one full day, and I have no regrets. The story comes from Alice Oseman—who I was tickled to learn is a year younger than I am—who originally posted it as a web comic, which was then adapted into a printed graphic novel in 2019. There are several volumes in print and only one season so far, meaning I have another Twitter page to hunt for updates. In the meantime, everyone can find something to adore in this precious coming-of-age tale about a group of high school students trying to understand themselves. I vote Nick and Charlie for couple of the year. In just one word: adorable.
I conclude this review with a less than warm-and-sunny choice in Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman.” This one is also adapted from print material, with the original run of this dark mythological comic book series spanning from 1989 to 1996. With the author on board as a producer, it’s no wonder the team was able to make something creative and engaging that felt new while still honoring the story. At times beautiful and other times dark and sad, this show really took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I will be hoping for a second season to learn more about this fascinating universe and its cast of characters. One word to describe this binge: otherworldly.
We all need to let our brains relax and stop thinking about homework and exams. For many Americans, watching multiple episodes of a TV show in a row is one way to achieve that. Don’t be ashamed to binge, and keep my list handy for the next time you get the urge.