When the pandemic hit, and all of my regularly scheduled programs—The Bachelor/ette, Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, Chicago Fire and PD, A Million Little Things, This Is Us, Vanderpump Rules, Southern Charm, Summer House, Animal Kingdom, and the Handmaid’s Tale—got postponed or cancelled, I had to get creative and find new things to watch. Specifically in the spring, when we were locked inside and I had nothing better to do. Normally, when I’m bored I’ll rewatch some of my OG favorites— The Vampire Diaries, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The OC, Friends, Sex and the City, Grey’s Anatomy—beginning to end. And while I did enjoy some Nate Archibald and Damon Salvatore, I needed something new. I was going out of my mind in boredom and needed to feel invested in something (anything).
So, I watched TV— and I watched a lot of it. In fact, I think I watched nearly everything there was to watch this year. To save you a 3,000 word blog, I’ve narrowed it down to my top 10 favorites of 2020 (pandemic edition).
The Top 10 Things I watched during the pandemic
Outer Banks — Outer Banks takes the cake for my favorite show of 2020. Netflix released it right when I was about to lose my damn mind from being stuck inside, so they’re the real MVPs. This show tugged on my nostalgia because it gave me some The OC vibes (which we love).
Virgin River — What do you get when you take an actor from Grey’s Anatomy and an actress from This Is Us? Answer: One of my favorite Netflix originals. Virgin River is equal parts Hart of Dixie and Gilmore Girls. It’s so good.
Ozark — I tend to gravitate more towards mindless dramas (shows that don’t require my undivided attention), so this one was a little out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t watch this at night, because it was too heavy, but enjoyed it enough to see it through the end.
Away — If you haven’t watched Away yet, what are you doing? Hilary Swank kills it. This NASA meets family-feel-good drama is a must. I think I binged it in one day.
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story — Imagine Taylor Swift’s song “Mad Woman” as a short series. This is it. The drama is thick, and it’s good. I actually preferred this series to the original Dirty John show.
Yellowstone — I finally caved and got behind Yellowstone after months of my best friends telling me to watch it. I text them halfway through the first episode and said, “this show gets better, right? I’m bored.” Wow, it sure did. The Duttons are bad ass— and that’s all I have to say on that. This might have been my favorite binge of 2020.
Emily in Paris — The acting was mediocre but I still give this show a 10/10. I watched it in one night (they’re 30 minute episodes, so don’t judge me) while I indulged in room service in an overpriced, trendy hotel in LA. It all felt very on brand. The only con of Emily in Paris is that it really made me crave international travel.
Sweet Magnolias — This show has the cheese level of a good Hallmark Channel movie, and I’m here for it. Sweet Magnolias gave me all the feels. And the ending, wow. I can’t wait for the next season.
Schitt’s Creek — I’m late to the game on this one, but when Netflix added the entire Schitt’s Creek series I had to participate. I personally think Friends is better if we’re comparing sitcoms, but Schitt’s Creek was cute and funny and that’s exactly what I needed this year.
The Crown — I was back and forth between giving The Crown or Reign a spot on the list, but decided to go with The Crown out of respect for Princess Diana.
You’ll notice Tiger King and The Undoing didn’t make the list. I never watched them. Sue me.