Watch More TV: A Binge-Worthy Goal for 2022

Ahh, the New Year. A time for reflecting, goal-setting, and… watching TV?

Let me explain. I’ve been thinking about the reading goals I create every year around this time. I usually set a goal for the number of books I want to read, then carefully curate my selections based on my interests, my favorite authors, and especially- what my friends are reading.

But as I reflect on the past year, I’m thinking about the other art I consume, too. I personally, take in a lot of visual media. It’s also very carefully curated, often paired with a glass of wine and a snack- usually while in stretchy pants and in various states of lounge. I do love the visual arts. And by that I mean… TV. I love TV! Why not celebrate and dedicate time to that with the same vigor and pride I have about reading a good book? Why not set some goals, track my progress, and most of all… share it with friends? Finding and binge-watching a well-crafted series is nothing short of therapeutic.

woman lies on bed with snacks watching tv

So this year, out of my friendship and love for you all, along with my many, many long hours spent studying this fine art form (I’m a self-proclaimed couch potato, what can I say?), I give you my personal recommendations for binge-worthy TV, organized by genre…

Comedy

Hacks

An underrated comedy starring Jean Smart of Designing Women fame. I say underrated because I feel like I didn’t hear anyone talking about it this year! I adore Jean Smart and she shines in this storyline about a female comedian in Vegas and her hilariously witty interactions with her newly hired Gen Z writer. Find it on HBO, episodes run 25-35 minutes.

Girls5Eva

As a long-time Sara Bareilles fan, this one was right up my alley. It’s a hilarious almost slapstick comedy about a washed-up girl band that reunites to try for their second chance at fame. Find it on Peacock, episodes run about 22 minutes.

Sex Lives of College Girls

Don’t judge the series by the title. I know it sounds like porn, but I promise it’s not. There are a few steamy scenes, but it’s also a funny, smart, and sometimes sweet heartwarming story of four college roommates during their freshman year of college. This was created by Mindy Kaling, so if you enjoyed her shows The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever, I think you’ll like this one too. Find it on HBO, episodes are 30-45 minutes.

Documentary/Reality

High on the Hog

Okay, I have to admit I didn’t watch all of this one. I’m not much of a foodie. But my husband is and he absolutely loved it. This is a limited documentary series on African American cuisine and how it has transformed and influenced American cuisine. There are four episodes, each about an hour long. Find it on Netflix.

LulaRich

I think we’ve covered this one. Definitely worth a binge! There are 4 episodes, each about 45 minutes. Find it on Amazon Prime.

Alone

This is a reality show in which competitors are sent to different parts of an isolated area of Vancouver Island to survive completely alone for as long as possible. They’re given their own camera equipment to record it all and a few basic necessities to set up shelter, hunt for food, along with a satellite phone to tap out at any time. The last person remaining wins $500,000. The survival skills these people have are incredible! There are 8 seasons, so this one’s seriously binge-worthy. Find it on Hulu, The History Channel, or Discovery+. Episodes are about 60 minutes each.

Explained

Short and sweet, running about 20 minutes per episode, this docuseries focuses on a wide range of topics from female orgasms to chess. Each episode features experts, animations, and helpful infographics. I promise you will come away learning a ton! Find it on Netflix.

woman spills popcorn on herself while holding TV remote

Drama

Squid Game

From South Korea, this thriller swept me off my feet. Sort of a Hunger Games concept, desperately impoverished people are conned into putting their lives at stake for money. Warning, this one is incredibly gory and violent. It also has an incredible storyline that keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat. The acting is amazing but please watch it in the original Korean with English subtitles! Trust me on this. Find it on Netflix, episodes are about an hour long. I hear there’s a season 2 in the works!

Mare of Easttown

Kate Winslet stars as a small-town detective in this mystery and family drama. Bonus- Jean Smart is also in this one as the crass and hilarious grandma. Kate Winslet absolutely shines and while much has been written about her 40something-year-old face and body, she also skillfully shows us the tension between work and family that is ever-present for women. There’s one season so far, find it on HBO, episodes are an hour long.

You

This one’s been around for a few years but the most recent season just came out. It’s probably top of my list for easily digestible, binge-worthy TV that you can’t take too seriously. It’s so unbelievable, so wild; also incredibly sexy and fun. Warning, this one’s pretty bloody and sexually explicit. Watch it on Netflix, episodes run from 40-60 minutes.

The White Lotus

This was a slow burn for me but ended up absolutely worth it in the end. An incredible ensemble cast (Jennifer Coolidge, Steve Zahn, Connie Britton, and more!) wind up at a luxury resort together. We follow the stories of the different guests and staff members as their lives intertwine while examining themes of privilege, family, and social climbing. It’s sort of a dark comedy-drama. Find all six one-hour-long episodes on HBO.

mom, dad and 2 kids lounge on couch watching tv

Family Friendly

Bluey

Do we need to say anything else about the adorable Australian dog family that captures all of our hearts? With the shortest 7-minute episodes ever, you can find it on Hulu and Disney+.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

This one has a little something for everyone. Quirky Wes Anderson-ish vibes, Tony Hale with an evil twin, mystery, adventure, and just a lot of fun. My kids {ages 8-13} all enjoyed it and we can’t wait for Season 2! Episodes run about 50 minutes and you can find it on Disney+.

Making It

If you have a craft-loving kid, this is a great one for the whole family. It’s a basic competition-style show featuring seriously creative makers and every art medium you can think of. Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman as hosts definitely take it to the next level of funny and engaging. Find it on Hulu, Peacock, and NBC. Episodes are about 30 minutes.

The Babysitter’s Club

My daughter and I binge-watched season 2 of this recently and loved every minute of it. Based on the old books, this Netflix series brings a fresh modern take on the characters and storylines. It’s sweet, relatable, and oh so heartwarming. Probably a little more suited to preteen/tweens though. You may shed a few tears and learn a lesson or two about friendship. Episodes are about 25 minutes long.

So there you have it. Fifteen binge-worthy shows for the New Year. What would you add to this list? Share your recommendations in the comments!


 

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Bethany, the daughter of an army chaplain and a special education teacher, grew up moving every 2-3 years. She considers herself an introvert who had to learn how to make friends quickly! She met her Houstonian husband, Paul, in college and they married in 2004. They first settled just north of Houston, where she earned her master's degree at Sam Houston State in School Psychology. After working in public education for a couple of years, she decided to stay home full time with their children, Charlie {2008}, Norah {2010}, and Will {2013}. The family moved to Katy in 2012, where they’ve been ever since. She loves decorating and even had her own small business for a while. She also loves to read, binge-watch old TV shows, talk politics and enneagram, and will not turn down a cup of strong coffee or a good conversation with a friend.

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