Hello and welcome to my latest TV round-up post. Now, I’ve purposely left crime dramas out of this post – you don’t need to tell me that they’re bloody brilliant and some of the best TV shows out there, but I wanted this list to be a round-up of the kind of shows that you can watch on your own, day or night. (Y’know, without fear there’s a knife-wielding lunatic hiding under your bed).
They’re light-hearted (although most do contain some harrowing scenes/episodes/seasons), they’re easy to watch and all have had me desperately waiting to watch the next episode.
I thought they’d be perfect whether you’re battling through cluster feeds with a newborn, or simply spending a lot of time indoors on your own and needing something you can easily wade through.
I hope you like!
One of the very few recent shows worth absolutely 102% of the hype in my opinion. This Netflix original has two seasons (eight episodes each) already raring and ready to go for your viewing pleasure, with a third on the horizon. It’s an odd show to try and describe but it’s based at a present-time British sixth form college (which has some underlying American influences and also has a real nostalgic 80s vibe at the same time – kinda like Skins meets Saved By The Bell).
Anyway, sounds like it shouldn’t work but it really, really does – mostly owing to the incredible characters and very current storylines such as gay relationships, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion.
View both two seasons on Netflix.
Had to throw this in there purely because we’re already on season three of our current re-watch, god bless Amazon Prime. Again, this is great for nostalgic value, but so many of the characters are still razor sharp – Sandy Cohen and Julie Cooper for starters. The clothes are borderline hilarious (mostly because you’ll fail to see what you were clearly so infatuated with the first time round), and the storylines are gripping but have a decent flow to them which makes for great escapism TV.
For anyone new to The O.C. it’s a noughties teen drama set in, you guessed it, Orange County. My only disappointment with re-watching is the lack of diversity, not only in lead characters but in supporting ones too. Turns out if you’re above a size eight and don’t have perfectly sun-kissed white skin, you’re out.
All four seasons are available on Amazon Prime.
Still my favourite parenting show to date – yes, I like this more than Catastrophe, don’t come at me with your pitchforks. It’s set in Canada, the episodes are a very devourable 25-minutes long and it makes for hilarious – and sometimes very emotional – viewing.
There’s lots of ‘LOL OMG THIS IS ME’ mum moments, but it’s the fact all the characters have lives outside of being a mum which makes it so compelling for me. Would highly recommend, especially as easy night-feed viewing.
Watch all three seasons on Netflix (with a forth season dropping on 6th May 2020).
Jane The Virgin
I really didn’t think I’d like this after seeing the ever-so-slightly-hideous adverts for the first couple of seasons on E4 (which, many moons ago used to be my background-tv-of-choice whilst working from home). But alas, so many of you recommended it to me on Instagram last summer that eventually – whilst shaving my legs in the bath – I decided to dive in and I’m so glad I did.
It’s a telenovela, which took me a few episodes to wrap my head around, especially as the narrating is quite intense. But I promise you, once you’re in, you’re in. It’s my feel-good TV show which always makes me feel relaxed and warm whenever I need it!
All five seasons are available on Netflix.
I couldn’t compile this list without my all-time favourite TV show on Earth could I? I’ve already decided that when (and if) I have a second baby, I will be binge watching this from the beginning during night feeds and whenever I’m not also trying to chase after a toddler. I’m so excited.
Grey’s Anatomy is a hospital drama set in Seattle, and if I’m honest, I didn’t love the first season or two. I only got fully submerged and gripped and heavily invested after that because I found the main character – Meredith Grey – quite unlikeable and hard to get on board with.
Now I’m 16 seasons in and can’t imagine my life without it – sure, the storylines and characters have taken me on one heck of a journey, but it’s the soundtrack, the diversity, the way it makes you really feel, that completely makes it one of a kind.
The first fourteen seasons are available on Amazon Prime. The 16th season is currently airing on Sky Witness.
Big Little Lies
A large part of the draw to Big Little Lies is the cast – there’s Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, just to name a few. The show is based on a book of the same name (which admittedly I haven’t read), but has two seasons with seven episodes in each.
It’s set in Monterey, California and focuses on the intricate lives of a group of school mums. It’s dark and it’s unexpected but there’s also elements that you recognise from your own relationships and friendships.
Both seasons are available on Sky Box Sets.
One Tree Hill
An absolute cracker of nostalgic teen television, One Tree Hill includes every bloody brilliant storyline you could hope for – school shootings, murders, surprise pregnancies – the whole shebang.
It’s set in the fictitious town of One Tree Hill in North Carolina, and was one of my absolute fave discoveries in my early twenties – whilst there’s plenty of twists and turns in the storyline – there’s also something powerfully soothing about it.
I think if you like the thought-provoking moments in Grey’s Anatomy but also love the throwback drama of The O.C. then you’ll adore this too. Six seasons to tide you over many binge-watching evenings and weekends.
All six seasons are available on Amazon Prime.
For those of you who love a medical drama (or are too overwhelmed by the idea of watching sixteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy from scratch), let me introduce you to one of my current faves, New Amsterdam.
Set in New York, this drama is loosely based on a book by Eric Manheimer who wrote a memoir about his time as Medical Director at Bellevue Hospital – the oldest public hospital in the United States.
It’s full of all the usual dramatic twists and turns you’d expect from a medical show – car crashes and stabbings and shock deaths. The characters are great, the storylines gripping and you could easily inhale an entire season in a week.
Watch both seasons on Amazon Prime.