Since we are all working remotely or stuck at home waiting to go back to work, I am sure your screen time has had a considerable increase. The majority of the world is sitting around streaming movies and trying to find a new binge-worthy series. As much as I want to recommend other things to you, like reading, at-home workouts, or learning to play the guitar, I just can’t. Well, I mean, I just did, but I also can’t ignore the fact that we are ALL watching a lot more television right now.
With feature films going straight to TV platforms for rent or purchase, and new streaming services like Apple and Disney+, there are a lot of great options for 2020. Here is what I have already consumed, what’s on my watch list, and what I think you should give a try.
The first time I saw the trailer for this one, I put it on my watch list. An Amazon Original, “Honey Boy” is written by Shia LaBeouf, who plays a version of his own father in this movie based on his early life as a child actor. This one is raw, and it’s real. LaBeouf wrote the screenplay while in rehab after his arrest in 2017. It’s an honest inside look at his childhood, PTSD, and exposure therapy. It’s a strange movie from a strange guy with a peculiar past, but I honestly believe this film was genius. Oddly enough, Shia may be as well. This one is free with Amazon Prime.
New Kid's Movie
Disney Pixar’s new animated hit, “Onward,” is one of my new kid favorites. I was lucky enough to see this movie in the theater at a private premier here in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. This was my first true daddy-daughter date with Carter and “Onward” didn’t disappoint. The setting is a mystical universe where everyone has lost their magical roots to a more modern and civilized society. It’s a comical take on the fantasy world that even I found interesting and entertaining. Two brothers venture on a quest to use ancient magic to bring their father, who passed away before either had a real chance to meet him, back to life for 24 hours. It’s good. If you have kids, go see it. I mean, stay home and see it. Disney+ will be adding this one to the queue on April 3rd. I hope we’re not still on lockdown by then.
Apple’s new streaming service came out swinging with “The Morning Show,” reported as one of the most expensive series ever launched ($150 million per season), with big-name stars like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. In the opening minutes of the first episode, you’ll be hooked, as a major network’s morning news show and its star anchor are hit with allegations of sexual assault. Aniston is the best I have ever seen her, and the storyline is absolutely brilliant.
This one is only available on Apple TV+, but there are numerous ways to get 12 months for free. I happened to pick up a year of service when I recently upgraded to the iPhone 11. There are similar deals available when purchasing any Apple device, but the app is already available on most smart TVs.
Series Hack: Apple has a 7-Day Free Trial and that is plenty of time to binge the full season.
New What The F@#!
Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” takes the WTF award this go-round. Netflix always seems to come through with a series that says, “What in the actual F@#! am I watching?” Some are entirely mind-boggling, like “Don’t F**k With Cats,” some are heart-wrenching like “The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez,” and others are just, “Wait. What?” like the Aaron Hernandez story. The “Tiger King” seems to keep with this tradition. “He’s a completely insane, gay, gun toating, drug addict, fanatic” is the opening one-liner about Joe Exotic. I just started this 7-episode docuseries, so check out the official trailer to see if this one is for you. All I can say so far is – Wow.
If you’re looking for a new-to-you series that you can binge till the apocalypse starts, then here are a few that have more than one season and can keep you couch-ridden for quite some time. Dark, funny, family, or trivia, I tried to list one for everyone. These are some of my recent favorites and ones I’m guilty of binging on myself.
My wife and I just finished the first season of Netflix’s “Ozark,” and it’s our new favorite. There are two seasons available, with the third season coming in just a few days, on March 27th. This one has a Breaking Bad vibe with Jason Bateman as the family man caught up in the drug game. This one is full of money laundering, drug cartels, rednecks, murder, and deception — and one I will be watching over the next couple of weeks.
One of our more family-friendly favorites is Netflix’s “A-Typical.” Three seasons of hilarity about a teen on the autism spectrum and his neurotic family. From the creator of “How I met Your Mother”, the characters, the storyline, the premise, I love it all. The final season isn’t slated for release until 2021.
If you happen to have been living under a rock in recent years, there’s a show called “This Is Us.” It’s kind of a big deal and one of my absolute favorites. You can binge the first three seasons plus 17 episodes of season four on Hulu. The fourth season is currently airing (Tuesdays at 9 PM on NBC) but also available for next day streaming if you happen to miss it.
Ok, this is one of my guilty pleasures. My wife is not a fan of “Jeopardy,” which I am, but she does seem to like the fast-paced “Jeopardy” on wheels version. If you’re unfamiliar, “It’s a tv game show that takes place right here in my taxi.” Those are the words of long time host and comedian Ben Bailey. For 13 seasons, “Cash Cab” called the Discovery Channel home, but Hulu only has the last two available for streaming. However, season 14 starting airing on Bravo TV late last year, and has 30 episodes in the can. Because of that, viewing options are all over the place from BravoTV, Hulu, GoDiscovery, and more. You can even scour YouTube for seasons dating back to 2005. That makes the trivia aspect interesting.
Learn to do something new
As I mentioned before, if you think learning something new is more appealing than wasting away on the couch, binge-watching TV, then check out this offer from Fender Play. Due to the virus, they are giving three months of guitar lessons to the first 100k subscribers. I just signed up today, no payment information was needed, and the lesson platform looks incredible. If Bradley Cooper can learn to shred in only a few months, I expect to do the same by the end of all this.