5 Things — TV in the Pandemic

Dr. Tanya has this prompt called “5 Things” and this week she’s interested in hearing about five movies or shows we’ve watched and enjoyed on TV in the year of the pandemic. So here we go:


If you have a hankering for a good old fashion western, Pilgrim, you might want to take a gander at “Godless.” It’s a seven-part mini series on Netflix and I found it to be an excellent, well acted western drama. And I was surprised by the credible performance from Michelle Dockery, best known as Lady Mary in “Downton Abbey,” as a strong, tough, independent lady of the Wild West.


“Atypical” was a pleasant surprise for me. It’s sort of like “The Wonder Years,” only narrated by, and told from the perspective of, a teenage boy with autism. It is essentially a coming of age story about an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum as he searches for love and independence. While he is on his journey, the rest of his family must grapple with change in their own lives as they all struggle with the central theme: what does it really mean to be normal? There are three seasons available for binge-watching and a fourth (and final) season is due in 2021.

Black Mirror“Black Mirror” is an anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide. It first appeared in 2011 and has a total of 22 episodes. It sort of reminds me of a 21st century “Twilight Zone,” so if you’re into that genre, you might enjoy it.

UnbelievableI’m a fan of detective stories. I mentioned a few I really enjoyed watching this year when I designated seriously flawed detectives as my Who Won the Week winner in August. “Unbelievable” is an eight episode mini series that tells the the story of a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped and the two female detectives who team up to follow the path to the truth. I wouldn’t characterize these two detectives as seriously flawed as much as very human and very determined.

Orange is the New BlackMy wife and I finally got around to binge-watching “Orange is the New Black,” a series with 91 episodes spread over seven years. It’s based upon the story of a 30-something woman. Piper Chapman, who was convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend. Normally law-abiding Piper is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life-changing prison can really be. It’s got a quirky cast of colorful characters and is fun to watch.

14 thoughts on “5 Things — TV in the Pandemic

  1. rugby843 December 29, 2020 / 2:19 pm

    Of your choices I liked Unbelievable best. I tried watching Black Mirror, didn’t care for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen December 29, 2020 / 2:54 pm

      I’ll put Unbelievable on my list.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 29, 2020 / 10:34 pm

      Black Mirror, like many anthologies, can be hit or miss, but I thought it had more hits than misses.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marleen December 29, 2020 / 2:52 pm

    I will look into a couple of your recommendations under this heading (as well as under earlier ones), Fandango. The first two you listed here look especially appealing.

    Let’s see if I can come up with 2 series and 2 movies and something else; I’m trying to stick to 2020. Series: Mandalorian and The Queen’s Gambit. Movies: the new Wonder Woman (1984) and… I’ll probably see that new Bill and Ted thing at some point (in other words, I can’t exactly vouch for it now). There’s something posthumously put out with Chadwick Boseman — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (which I certainly intend to see).

    Oh. Far higher on the list than a Bill and Ted movie is a series I have begun but haven’t completed. The Good Lord Bird (on Showtime): Ethan Hawke stars as abolitionist John Brown in a humorous, dramatic and historical tapestry of Antebellum America. A Limited Event Series based on the award winning novel by author James McBride.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 29, 2020 / 10:40 pm

      I almost had The Queen’s Gambit on my list. I haven’t seen Mandalorian, but if it’s exclusively on Disney+, I don’t subscribe to that. I did see WW84 on Christmas Day on HBO MAX and was disappointed.


      • Marleen December 30, 2020 / 12:12 pm

        Generally, it seems many “television” series are more engaging than movies these days. On top of that, there were fewer movies released in 2020 than usual… I’m pretty sure that’s true. I liked “… 1984” better than Tenet (which was highly anticipated yet perhaps debuted now to face less competition); Tenet felt oppressive (besides being a gratuitous display of being rich for the hell of it) and, well, just an excuse for tech displays that have nothing to do with reality or even, in my opinion, deep philosophical questions. One of my sons liked it, though, in part because the evil guy was just evil [instead of finding excuses for his soul or about his upbringing* or some such.. and I can see that as a affirmative point in its favor].

        * Sometimes, in life, there are complexities. But sometimes a person or group simply likes evil.

        Oh, and the sound is way better in WW1984 than in Tenet. For Tenet, I might recommend turning off the sound and turning on the script for the bottom of the screen.

        With Wonder Woman 1984, I expected light but well-done entertainment and got it. I don’t feel any draw to go back and reminisce the early eighties, but it involved some laughs. I could leave it off my list and have (for the five) two series I’ve viewed, the series I’ve started (The Good Lord Bird), and the two movies I’ve expected to see sometime (mentioned earlier). But I can always add more movies for which I want to look: Today, I’ve read of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “First Cow” as examples in addition to the other two that I have yet to watch.

        I have no desire for returning to viewing movies at theaters.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadje December 29, 2020 / 8:02 pm

    I haven’t watched any of these! I’ll save your post and check these out.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje December 29, 2020 / 11:12 pm

        I hope I do. It’s hard to find good stuff to watch as the choice is too wide

        Liked by 1 person

  4. leigha66 January 1, 2021 / 4:02 pm

    Watched all of Orange and about 2 seasons of Black Mirror. Atypical sounds like something new worth a watch. Unbelievable and Godless sound good too, I have heard WW 1984 did not live up to the original. Two I want to see are Disney’s Soul and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

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