Things to Do

Social-Distancing? Here’s What Our Editors Are Watching on Netflix, Amazon, and HBO

This is your reminder that Selina Meyer makes everything better.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep. Photograph courtesy of HBO.
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You’ve already watched The Americans and Friends and Contagion is hitting too close to home. Washingtonian staffers are here to help.

“To me, now feels like the perfect time to revisit Santa Clarita Diet, a zany zombie joint on Netflix starring Drew Barrymore, Tim Olyphant, and the (maybe accidentally?) hilarious Skyler Gisondo (somebody else in Hollywood, hire this kid!). Barrymore and her hubby are real estate agents in the LA suburbs who cycle through a series of LOL misadventures after she mysteriously becomes “undead” (i.e. very, very hungry for human flesh and blood). I believe the technical term for the genre here is “horror comedy,” and I’m all in.”
—Kristen Hinman, articles editor   

“I enjoy discussing Giannina and Damian’s relationship just like all red-blooded Americans, but sometimes you just want to be where you can see our troubles are all the same. That’s why I love Cheers, the show about sitting around, which 38 years after its debut seems like it should have aged as poorly as Ted Danson’s hairpiece. Yes, there are rare moments that wouldn’t fly today, but for the most part Cheers holds up, with snappy writing and keen character development that defies the show’s half-hearted story arcs. Cheers has 271 episodes, so it should take you a long time to finish, especially if, like me, you use it as a nightcap once you’ve done the hard work of watching the TV shows that everybody is talking about.”
-Andrew Beaujon, senior editor

“I would need multiple two-week quarantines to catch up on all the shows I still haven’t seen (Succession, third season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), but here’s what I’ve loved recently via the streaming world: Cheer, Schitt’s Creek, You, Fleabag, Modern Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Divorce, and anything that has a group of 20-somethings playing lovelorn high schoolers (yes, that includes To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 2, or anything with Noah Centino, really).”
-Mimi Montgomery, associate editor

“Veep! I’ve found the best way to de-stress about this ridiculous mess is by laughing at a different ridiculous mess.”
-Jane Recker, assistant editor

“I just finished the second season of Narcos: Mexico, which dropped on Netflix last month. It involves multiple, engrossing plot lines, and much (most?) of the series is subtitled—in other words, it’s the perfect vehicle for sucking your mind away from a global pandemic. Bonus: season one is even better, so if you’re new to the show, you can have double the fun. While the main action obviously happens in Mexico, a smattering of DC scenes take place within the Justice Department.
I’m only one episode into Hunters, Amazon’s controversial new series from Jordan Peele, but so far, it seems promising. Al Pacino is awesome as the superrich leader of a 1970s gang that hunts down Nazis hiding in plain sight. It kicks off in Washington: the opening scene is a backyard barbecue in suburban Maryland that turns extremely bloody.”
-Marisa Kashino, senior editor

“Meet grim circumstances with equally grim—but masterful and utterly gripping—streaming: the seven-part 2017 Netflix documentary The Keepers, about the 1960s murder of a Baltimore nun and the steadfast detective work of her devoted former students a half century later.”
-Bill O’Sullivan, senior managing editor

“This excellent book excerpt from our March issue, about a woman with serious, scary symptoms who started getting that skeptical ‘ohyou just need an anti-depressant…’ look from doctors, made me want to rewatch The Punk Singer, the 2013 bio-doc about third-wave-feminist hero Kathleen Hanna. It starts off as an exploration of her (DC-rooted!) ‘90s band Bikini Kill and the whole Riot Grrrl scene, then unfolds into Hanna’s (then) present day, where she reveals her long struggle with lyme disease. You can catch it on Amazon.”
-Ann Limpert, executive food and wine editor

Abstract: The Art of Design: My favorite episode of this two-season art documentary on Netflix was about the DC-born graphic designer, Paula Scher. You’ve seen her iconic typography on signage all over New York (think those funky, elongated Public Theater posters). Watch this to feel infinitely more playful, creative, and in awe of something that is all around you—letters!”
-Emma Francois, editorial fellow

“I loved The Newsroom, and I LOVE The Morning Show. A nuanced behind-the-scenes look at a tv station in the wake of a its own #MeToo scandal, the show is smart and compelling. The cast is unbelievably stacked (Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Reese Witherspoon), but then it’s even the lesser-known actors (ahem, Billy Crudup) that deliver some of the best performances. The episodes are long but it’s impossible to watch just one at a time.”
-Amy Moeller, weddings editor

Bon Appetit Test Kitchen vids on Youtube. It seems like the BA staff is teleworking (per their Insta stories where editors were answering questions from home) but you can still binge their T.K. vids, which always feel like a mental reset for me. Gourmet Makes and Back-to-Back Chef are my favorites.”
-Hannah Good, social media producer

Exit through the Gift Shop (Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies). When you can’t leave your house, at least you can live vicariously through the nighttime exploits of street artists. In this indie documentary directed by Banksy himself, you’ll see renegade artists hopping fences and spray-painting public property with tongue-in-cheek images. It’s a great escapist film, and while it skewers the art world establishment, it also doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Also, The Price of Everything (HBO Now, Hulu). From director Nathaniel Kahn, this is a fascinating (and damning) look at the economy of the high art industry, from Koons to present. Come for the gorgeous interior shots of Larry Poon’s countryside studio, and stay for revealing interviews with Jerry Saltz, Sotheby’s employees and billionaire art collectors.”
-Nora McGreevy, editorial fellow

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