It's officially September. It's this magical time when the weather starts to take a chill-pill, pumpkin everything becomes acceptable, and those leather boots and wooly socks come out of the closet, and we all celebrate. By nature, I'm a year-round homebody. I love unwinding after a long day with a glass of Cab or Malbec and discovering a new show, and then binge-watching said show until I have to find another. And the cycle continues.
In the spirit of the cooler, cozier days to come, I've compiled a list of a few of my favorite shows from the past few months to make sure you have plenty of great TV to watch while sipping those pumpkin spice lattes or hot toddies. These are in no particular order, because they're all so different, but they're all really great in their own ways. Trust me! Let's jump in.
Mozart in the Jungle
I'm actually really surprised about how under-the-radar this particular show is. Based on a memoir called Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, it stars Gael García Bernal (who you may recognize from The Motorcycle Diaries and Babel) as Rodrigo De Souza, the fresh and wild new conductor of the New York Symphony. A talented young oboist named Hailey (played by Lola Kirke) finds herself auditioning for Rodrigo and his new symphony, and their complicated relationship ensues. I love so many things about this show, but one of the things I love the most is how dynamic (some pun intended) it is. In the midst of the madness of symphony drama, the show manages to hit on what it looks like to chase your dreams, believing in yourself, and becoming a badass against all odds. Also, Jason Schwartzman, the king of cool himself, is one of the creators of the show, and even makes a few appearances as a love-interest in one of the seasons (no more spoilers, Maddy, GEEZE). The show is a great mix of humor, music, and style, and it will have you chilling on the couch for much more than one episode at a time, guaranteed. Each episode is about 30 minutes, making it the perfect before-bed binge.
Available for streaming on Amazon.
The Mindy Project
This may be a show you've heard buzz about, and that's for a reason! Starring the effervescent Mindy Kaling, this is a goofy and charming comedy about Mindy Lahiri (played by Mindy Kaling) and her private practice in New York City. The original vision for the show was that it would roughly follow a similar structure to many rom-coms, with an I-hate-you-but-wait-now-I-love-you-and-what-is-going-on-with-these-feels type of format (and you'll see what I mean when you see how it plays out a few seasons in). I think it's important to note that while the first two seasons are pretty funny, they're a little bit rocky in some spots, so just get through them! In my opinion, the third season on is where the show truly hits its stride. Mindy Lahiri is essentially that dramatic friend we all love to go out for drinks with every once in a while, with killer style, witty banter and a whole lot of laughs. The show also stars the talented Chris Messina and Ike Barinholtz, giving the show a variety of different styles of humor. Each episode is around 30 minutes, and there're five seasons available for streaming. Overall, it's a great little slice of laughter with a glass of Merlot. Or La Croix. Or Merlot. You decide!
Available for streaming on Hulu.
Okay, I'm side-stepping into dramas for moment, but it's for a good reason. Enter Fargo, one of the most interesting shows I've seen in a very long time! If you're thinking it's a carbon-copy of the 1996 film of the same name that starred William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, think again. I might even sound blasphemous when I say this, but in my opinion, the show blows the movie out of the water. BUT HEAR ME OUT. Each season is an isolated story line, making it feel fresh and new. Season 1 (which I believe is the only season available for free streaming at the moment on Hulu and Amazon Prime) takes place in a small-town in Minnesota, and circles around the chaos that ensues when drifter Lorne Malvo (played by Billy Bob Thornton) rolls into town. An insurance salesman who lives in the town, Lester Nygaard (played by Martin Freeman), gets caught up in the trouble that Malvo brings, and finds himself in a web of complications that he can't easily get of. And if it seems like my description is cryptic, that's on purpose! Part of what I love about this show is seeing how everything unfolds, because it takes twists and turns that you don't necessarily see coming. A slight warning: there is a lot of blood and violent visuals, so if that's not your cup of tea, this might not be for you, but if it is, proceed!
As I mentioned, season 1 is available on Hulu and Amazon Prime, but there are also two other seasons out if you can get your hands on them from the library or from someone who gets the FX channel with their cable package.
Season 1 available for streaming on Amazon and Hulu.
I was extremely skeptical of this show before I started watching it. My sister, Alex, convinced me to watch it, and in a bored moment of show-hole, I decided to give it a try. And I am SO glad that I did. I think sometimes the CW gets a bad rep for only having corny vampire dramas and campy superhero shows, but iZombie is a show to prove all that wrong. The show begins when medical student Olivia Moore (played by Rose McIver) decides to go to a boat party in Seattle, and as fate would have it, becomes a zombie. After a few months of stewing and trying to figure out her purpose as undead-Olivia Moore, she starts working with the Seattle Police department, helping to solve murders by eating the brains of the deceased to recall their memories. There are campy elements to the show, but in the best ways. Originally a comic book series, the TV version pays homage to the comic book style in the way that they segment different scenes and in the way that the show is crafted. It's one of the only (if not the only) zombie shows that I've seen that isn't all doom and gloom, but manages to be really funny and super entertaining at the same time. And also, if you live in the PNW or even Seattle, it's fun to hear them name-drop different places. I don't why. But yes, iZombie! Check it out. Each episode is about 40 minutes but manages to feel like 15 minutes. What's up with that? There're three seasons available for streaming, so binge responsibly (or don't, your call).
Available for streaming on Netflix
Daredevil (and Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Defenders)
Okay, so before you ask, "why didn't you just do all those for the Five Cures to Show-Hole", let me explain. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Defenders are all seperate stories, yes, but they end up coming together by the time The Defenders happens, so you could definitely look at them as multiple seasons of one show. Daredevil, the first of the awesome string of Marvel shows created by Netflix, stars Charlie Cox as Matthew Murdock, aka Daredevil, aka The Devil of Hell's Kitchen, aka tortured Catholic soul. so yeah, very complex character. Erase the visions of Ben Affleck from your mind, because this take on Daredevil is smart, sexy, violent, and addictive. There're two seasons of Daredevil. The first one mainly focuses on Matthew Murdock figuring out the whole vigilante thing, while season 2 brings us a much more refined Daredevil who comes into contact with other recognizable comic book characters such as Elektra (played by Elodie Yung) and The Punisher (played by Jon Bernthal). The villains are ruthless and the action scenes aren't messing around, and there just aren't too many other ways that I can phrase just how good this show and these Netflix Marvel shows are. So like I said, of course watch the two seasons of Daredevil, then Jessica Jones, then Luke Cage, and then The Defenders. Technically speaking, there's another Marvel Netflix show, Iron Fist, but if I'm being honest, it's a total snooze and I think you can just skip it. I didn't even finish it. And that's saying something because I have a hard time quitting a show midway through a season. So just don't do it.
Each episode is about an hour long for all of these shows, so brace yourself for some serious binging.
Available for streaming on Netflix
WE MADE IT. Have you already seen some of these shows? What are your favorite shows right now? Let me know in the comments!