Let me start off by saying something that, I think, everyone needs to hear in this crazy time we’re all going through…. WE’RE FUCKED! THE GODDAMN SHIP IS GOING DOWN AND THERE AREN’T ENOUGH FUCKING LIFE JACKETS! In the immortal words of the late, great Bill Paxton: GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!
Phew! Well… now that I got that out of my system, down to business! Most of us (with the exception of a significant number of morons) are holed up inside, waiting for this shit storm to blow over before they murder their family. On a side note: this little GLOBAL PANDEMIC, is just a preview of things to come in the 21st century. There are more than a few existential threats heading our way in the coming decades. Unfortunately, just like the federal government’s abysmal preparation for Covid-19, we’re doing jack shit to prepare for global threats that will make this epidemic look like a picnic in the park (Climate Change, The Exponential Advancement of A. I., more Pandemics). To quote Ultron “When the Earth starts to settle, God throws a stone at it. And, believe me, he’s winding up.”
On that happy note, I’m sure people are doing whatever the can to pass the time. What better way to while away the hours than to binge watch some great TV series? So today I give you Paul’s Quarantine TV Binge Guide! These are my picks for the best shows available, to give you a fun escape from life’s crushing misery! I tried to offer up variety in my picks.Some of these are well known show’s that you may not have watched yet, a few series to watch with the family, and I also have some hidden gems that folks might not be as familiar with. Each series is available to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO (along with the HBO steaming services), or On Demand. Each of these excellent shows get my personal seal of approval and I’m sure there’s something on this list for everyone. Let’s dive in!
Daredevil: Seasons 1-3 (Available On Netflix)
Many of you may have already seen this series, but it bares repeating for those who haven’t. Daredevil is a masterpiece, plain and simple. I absolutely love The MCU, so even compared to movies like Infinity War and Endgame, Daredevil could be the best content to come out of The Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ll even go as far as to say that the 3 seasons of Daredevil, amount to the very best live-, comic book adaptation done in any medium. Daredevil redefined superhero fight scenes with the now iconic Season 1 Hallway Fight. The “Single Take” fight scene became a staple of the show, with “The Stairway Fight” in Season 2 and “The Prison Fight” in Season 3. The incredible cast is anchored by Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Nofrio as Wilson Fisk, whose rivalry is electric. This is the most riveting and complex hero/villain dynamic since Nolan put Bale and Ledger on screen together. Though Netflix ended the series 2 years ago, the Season 3 finale works very well as a series finale. It brings the characters and the story full circle. So even if we never see a Daredevil adaptation with this phenomenal cast again, the 3 seasons of Daredevil tell one complete story that is a MUST WATCH.
If You Like That, Watch This: Jessica Jones Season 1 (Netflix)
Locke & Key: Season 1 (Netflix)
This is a great show to watch with the family, especially if you have kids over 10 years old. After a terrible personal tragedy, The Locke Family moves to their ancestral home, Key House. Relocating to a small Massachusetts town, each member of The Locke Family is looking to start over with a clean slate. Mother, Nina, her teenager children Tyler and Kinsey, little brother Bodie, and their paternal Uncle Duncan. As they try to build new lives, it becomes clear that Key House and it’s surrounding grounds are much more than an old family mansion. The Locke siblings begin to discover magical keys throughout the estate. Each key possess its own amazing and unique power. All the while dark, supernatural forces conspire to steal the keys for their own sinister means. Like I said, this is a great show to watch with the family because not only is it a great new series, I’d say the series never gets more intense or violent than any of the darker Harry Potter films. Locke & Key is definitely one of my favorite new shows of the year.
Watch This, If You Like: Stranger Things (Netflix)
The Outsider: Season 1 (HBO)
This riveting supernatural mystery thriller based on the novel by Stephen King stars Ben Mendelsohn as Det. Ralph Anderson, a small town Georgia Detective. When a young boy is found brutally murdered, all the evidence points to Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), a beloved local teacher and baseball coach. After eyewitness, fingerprint, video, and DNA evidence all paint a damning picture of Maitland as the killer, Ralph thinks he has his man and stages a very public arrest of Terry Maitland. Case closed, right? Well, Terry is shocked and insists his innocence after his arrest. In fact, Maitland claims he was a hundred miles away at the time of the murder. He was at a hotel for a conference with dozens of witnesses. Even more baffling is the video evidence backing up Maitland’s story along with physical evidence at the hotel he was staying at. So Det. Anderson is faced with evidence that proves the suspect committed the crime AND simultaneously proves his innocence. So what the hell happened? Is Maitland innocent? and if so, who or what committed the crime? How can one man seemingly be in two places at once? As Stephen King put it, the central concept behind this story is how does a normal, intelligent, down to earth man like Ralph Anderson come to terms with the realization that the supernatural is real and the creature that committed the crimes he’s investigating isn’t human? We’ve seen this trope in hundreds of film and television shows over the years: the down the earth cop has to come to terms that monsters are real. Yet it has never been so well acted and well written as it is in The Outsider. Ben Mendelsohn, is already an excellent and versatile character actor, but his work here as Det. Ralph Anderson is among the very best of his career. The rest of the cast is fantastic as well but Mendelsohn is the stand out here. A suspenseful and atmospheric home run for HBO.
Watch This If You Like: True Detective, The X-Files
Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters: Seasons 1-3 (Available On Netflix)
Here’s another TV show that you can watch as a family, especially if you have younger children, that won’t make you want to blow your fucking brains out while watching it. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to very young children, I would say at least eight years old and up would be appropriate for this series. Trollhunters is a classic coming-of-age, “heroes journey” type story. The series follows high school student Jim Lake as he and his best friend Toby discover an entire hidden world of trolls and other magical creatures, secretly living alongside us. This, mostly, peaceful magical community, has their own protector called The Trollhunter. When one Trollhunter dies, the next one is magically chosen to protect the Troll and human world. The Trollhunter’s primary weapon is an amulet created by the wizard Merlin himself. It grants the wearer armor and weapons like swords and shields, as well as enhanced strength and agility. By some magical fluke, (or is it?) the amulet chooses Jim to be the first human Trollhunter and it’s not some job you can just quit. This is a real destiny type of thing. Jim, along with help from his friends both human and troll alike, has to come to terms with his responsibility as a hero and a young man. It’s colorful, funny, and adventurous enough to appeal to the kids in the family. However, the deep, well realized characters, great voice performances, rich mythology, and action/fight sequences intense and real enough to keep an adult watchers interested. With beautiful, unique animation and fantastic characters, Trollhunters is a great binge for the whole family.
If You Like That, Watch This: 3 Below: Tales of Arcadia, a spinoff of Trollhunters about three alien refugees, a teenage brother and sister as well as their warrior protector, posing as human while hiding out on Earth in Arcadia, the same town that Trollhunters takes place in. Hence the “Tales of Arcadia” subtitle (Available On Netflix), Star Wars: The Clone Wars Seasons 2-7 [Season 1 sucks] (Disney+), Star Wars: Rebels Seasons 1-4 (Disney+)
Watchmen: Season 1 (HBO)
This season of television is an absolute masterpiece. I mentioned earlier in the article that I thought the Daredevil television series on Netflix was the best live action comic book adaptation of all time well, this might be the new contender. Created by show runner Damon Lindelöf, who had previously created or co-created such television series as LOST and The Leftovers, HBO’s Watchmen is basically a sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic 1985 graphic novel. considering that watchmen is considered by many to be the greatest comic book or graphic novel ever written, some would consider an attempt at a sequel of any kind is sacrosanct. Which is what makes the fact that this television series is so spectacular, that much more incredible. This is a once in a lifetime creative homerun for show runner Damon Lindelöf. Season 1 of the series is so brilliant that many fans don’t even want a second season, everything was done so well in the first season, how could they possibly top it in Season 2? A creator doesn’t just pull a show like this out of their ass. They gave it their all. They made this series is if it was the last story they would ever tell in their lives. It’s that good. The fantastic cast includes standouts like the amazing Regina King and Jeremy Irons looking like he’s having the time of his life. They’re far from the only standouts in an incredible ensemble cast. The performances from the cast across the board are inspired. With multiple actors giving awards worthy performances. The story is incredibly complex and multilayered, yet every piece fits together perfectly. The mysteries are intriguing without ever being confusing. Just like the graphic novel it’s based on, when rewatching episodes of the series you pick up on new details that you missed the first time aroundottom line, the series is fucking spectacular. However, there are some things you should know going into the series. I will say that if you have not read the original graphic novel or watched Zack Snyder‘s 2009 adaptation you may be a bit lost. This is a sequel to the graphic novel first and foremost, not Snyders film. As such, certain key differences in the film and the comic book are important to understand and fully appreciate the television series. Below, I included two videos, the first gives an overview and explains the broad strokes of the original graphic novel, which you can watch right here:
This second video explains the major differences between the graphic novel and the film. For the most part, the 2009 Watchmen film is an extremely faithful adaptation except for one MAJOR change the film makes to the ending of the film. The series serves as a sequel to original graphic and multiple major plot points from the show revolve around a concept that was otherwise absent from the 2009 movie. Watch it here:
More To Check Out…
The Mandalorian: Season 1 (Disney+)
OZARK: Seasons 1-3 (Netflix)
Good Omens: Season 1 (Amazon Prime)
Community: Seasons 1-6 (Netflix)
*Bookmark this page because I will be posting updates!
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