Needed something good to watch while your favorite television series was preempted for wall-to-wall coverage of the impeachment trial of the 45th President of the United States? TV Source has a list of top shows you should have binged.
If you aren’t a fan of watching something where you already know the ending (spoiler alert: he won’t be removed), TV Source has better options for you to get your entertainment fix. Whether it’s OnDemand or streaming services Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, peak TV was just the thing needed to escape the madness of the US political system.
The Good Fight
Presently Airs: CBS All-Access (2017 – Present)
Where to Stream: CBS All-Access
Stars: Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, Audra McDonald, Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi Nyambi, Zach Grenier, John Larroquette, Delroy Lindo
The Good Fight picks up one year after the events of the final broadcast episode of The Good Wife. In the new series, an enormous financial scam has destroyed the reputation of a young lawyer, Maia, while simultaneously wiping out her mentor Diane Lockhart’s savings. Forced out of Lockhart & Lee, they join Lucca Quinn at one of Chicago’s pre-eminent black law firms.
The Good Fight is more than just a sequel to the near flawless The Good Wife. The series often mirrors the absurdity of our real life politics, acknowledging just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. If you’re a member of the resistance, it feeds your spirit to not give up and actively fight for the return of normalcy in the country — that is until you’re shown a figurative mirror that forces you to question what is normal. It also touches upon 45-derangement syndrome in later seasons, when the resistance becomes just as susceptible to fake news and echo chambers as those who wanted to make America great in 2016.
The series is smart, it’s full of heart, and it isn’t afraid to challenge your conventions. The strength of The Good Fight lies in its compelling characters and stellar cast. Christine Baranski’s performance as Diane Lockhart is always a highlight. Diane is a bleeding heart liberal married to a gun toting republican who gets a reality check in the form of the privilege she took for granted, but realizes how much work is needed to be done. Her relationship with Cush Jumbo’s Luca Quinn and Rose Leslie’s Maia (one of my favorites) us one that we all can relate to. What happens when the protege outgrows their mentor? You learn to see things for yourself, and sometimes that leads to conflict. The conflict that develops between these three women are some of the most layered, compelling parts of creative you’ll see.
Presently Airs: Freeform (2018 – Present)
Where to Stream: Hulu
Stars: Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Sherry Cola, Tommy Martinez, Zuri Adele, Emma Hunton and Josh Pence.
We pick up where “The Fosters” ended, 5 years in the future, with sisters Callie (Maia Mitchell) & Mariana Adams-Foster (Cierra Ramirez) graduating college and moving to downtown Los Angeles. Living with a group of friends in a community style living space, Callie and Mariana navigate the beginning of their careers—Callie clerking for a conservative judge and Mariana in the male-dominated tech space. The sisters and best friends will navigate love, sex, and the complicated relationships that come with living in a new city in your 20s.
Whether you’re a millennial or Gen Z, Good Trouble provides relatabaility for the ones who’ve lived it, currently living it, or on the verge of doing so. Think of Good Trouble as a modern-day Melrose Place with a topical bend. Whether it’s stories woven around unarmed shootings of minorities, body positivity or #MeToo, underneath the topical direction is a primetime soap opera ripe for viewing.
Callie falls for housemate Gael, but things get complicated when she learns he’s bisexual. She says it’s not an issue, but his attraction to men initially fuels an insecurity inside of her. Their relationship would be a rollercoaster that gets a turn when her ex-Jamie (Beau Mirchoff) resurfaces.
Davia Boheme (Emma Hunton) is a teacher and body positive model with a knack for being in everyone’s business. Pull back her layers and you’ll see a complicated soul looking for love in all the wrong places, such as her ongoing affair with a married man from her hometown. And despite her projection of confidence, she struggles with insecurity about her body brought on by a lifetime of comments by her youth chasing mother.
Davia forges a connection with womazing roommate Dennis Cooper (Josh Pence). On the surface, Dennis is a creepy older dude with a fixation for sleeping with younger women. But you soon learn all the booze and women is to cover up from the very real trauma he’s suffered in his previous life (I don’t want to give away the story but it will break your heart).
There’s Malika, who’s activism in light of a police shooting of an unarmed black man gets her into trouble she didn’t anticipate. You’ll learn why she is so passionate about these issues, and the conflict it brings with Callie, who is clerking for the judge overseeing the case.
Each character is fully formed, with a backstory you learn over time. You’re allowed to dislike the characters and for some that may not change. Each conflict is an opportunity for growth, not that it’s the responsibility of someone else to each them, but scenarios are crafted in a way where they can see things from someone else’s POV. I definitely recommend this series as a must watch.
The series also stars Tommy Martinez as Gael, Sherry Cola as Alice, Zuri Adele as Malika, Emma Hunton as Davia and Josh Pence as Dennis.
“Good Trouble” is executive produced by Joanna Johnson, Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg, Gregory Gugliotta, Christine Sacani, Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina. The series is produced by Nuyorican Productions, Inc., in association with Freeform.
Originally Aired: USA Network (2011-2019)
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime Video
Stars: Gabriel Macht, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman, Gina Torres
Recently, my timeline has been flooded by tweets of Suits gifs, mostly of a handsome blonde & gorgeous redhead. His gifs were full of charming but cocky statements, while hers were sassy and smartassy and right up my alley. Then my brother started watching it and binged watched the first couple seasons over one weekend. This is a man who often takes four days to finish one episode of his favorite show so I knew I HAD to watch it, and I am so glad I did.
Suits is a legal drama with heart. Sure, there are exciting court battles, brilliant legal maneuvers, and plenty of backstabbing fun to go around, but it’s the relationships between the characters that are at the core of this show. Led by the charismatic duo of Gabriel Macht & Patrick J Adams, and an amazing supporting cast that includes Gina Torres, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman and Meghan Markle, Suits is a thrilling peek inside the high stakes, ruthless world of corporate law.
Harvey Specter is a Senior Partner at Pearson Hardman law firm and has a reputation for being able to close any deal. Mike Ross is a brilliant, but aimless college dropout. They meet on a fluke, where Mike so impresses Harvey with his knowledge of the law, that Harvey takes a risk on Mike and hires him as his newest associate, despite the fact that Mike has never even graduated from college, let alone law school. Suits follows Harvey & Mike as they take on cases, dodge hostile takeovers, and deal with office romances all while trying to keep Mike’s secret from the world.
This show is smart and funny, with brilliantly flawed characters who you will both love and hate at times. Trust me, this is a must watch.
Originally Aired: WB/CW 2000-2007
Where To Stream: Netflix
Stars: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop, Edward Herrmann, Scott Patterson
There’s nothing we like more than female driven shows and Gilmore Girls is a classic. We’re going to go ahead and ignore the revival and only focus on the original run because it was the superior version.
Gilmore Girls has comedy, drama, romance, and really tugs at your heartstrings when the moment calls for it. At first, the “girls” part of the title seems to be just about the mother/daughter relationship between Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Lorelai had Rory at sixteen and raised her as a single-mother, running away from her privileged life in Hartford, Connecticut to the quirky small town Stars Hollow. However, when you look deeper, it also refers to matriarch of the Gilmore Clan and Lorelai’s mother, Emily. The relationship between Lorelai and Emily is strained at best. They love each other but the just don’t quite get each other and often butt heads.
The show starts with Rory getting into a prestigious private school that while will give her a leg up on her dream to attend Harvard is also not cheap. Lorelai is willing to do anything for her child even if it means swallowing her pride and asking her parents to pay for Rory’s school. Emily and Richard Gilmore agree on the condition that the girls start coming over for weekly, Friday Night Dinners, a staple in the show that offers some of the best scenes in the series.
From there the show offers love triangles, will they/won’t they, family fights, friendships made and broken, and ends on one of the happiest notes. You can’t go wrong by clicking on this title.
Presently Airing: NBC (2018 – Present)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Stars: Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman
While ‘Gilmore Girls’ offers viewers a more wholesome experience, ‘Good Girls’ is a bit grittier. The humor is dirtier, the storylines darker, but the main thing the two shows have in common is a core group of powerful women.
If I had to use one word to describe ‘Good Girls’ it would have to be survival. The three leads of the show, sisters Annie and Beth, with their best friend (who might as well be their sister) Ruby go to drastic measures just to survive in a world where money is everything and it’s not cheap just to keep your family afloat.
Beth finds out that her husband of twenty years is not only having an affair but has taken out three mortgages on their house, has run up all of their credit cards, and they have little to nothing in their savings accounts. Suddenly, the affair is the least of her worries. With four children to worry about and provide for she’ll do anything to keep her family from losing it all.
Ruby works very hard for very little. A waitress in a diner at the start of the show she has two children and the worlds most perfect husband to care for as well. Her daughter Sara has a kidney disease that eats up all of the family’s money, even though the things they can afford are the bare minimum. Learning of a new medicine that can help her daughter but also costs $10,000 a month, she does makes the choice to do something a little less than legal.
Annie is the wild-child and a classic example of the youngest sibling. She had daughter Sadie (later to become son whose name will be revealed in upcoming season three!) at seventeen and never quite grew up herself. She’s irresponsible and reckless but of course has the biggest heart and loves her child more than anything. However, Sadie’s father Greg, doesn’t seem to think that Annie can offer a stable home environment for their kid and is planning on suing her with wife Nancy (whomst I love so much and so will you) for full custody. Annie isn’t going to let that happen without a fight.
The three women team up to rob the grocery store where Annie works. They think they’ll get away with $30,000 and they do….but with much much more. It would appear that the Fine and Frugal has been messing in some illegal activity.
If you’re looking for a show with hilarity, life or death situations, gangs, murder, real-life social issues, and just want to be entertained and invest in some great characters, ‘Good Girls’ is the show for you.
Hart of Dixie
Originally Aired: The CW from 2011-2015
Where to Stream: Netflix
Starring: Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, Wilson Bethel, Cress Williams and Scott Porter
Hart of Dixie remains one of my very favorite shows that every came out of the CW. With characters named Lemon and Magnolia, you cannot help but find the same town show charming. Big city doctor, Zoe (The O.C. alum Rachel Bilson) arrives in town following the death of her father and quickly finds herself immerse in the smalls town’s major drama. She is like a true-blue fish out of water but it does not take her long to adjust to her new surrounding and mix it up with the town’s handsome male offerings. Zoe’s object of affection is George but handsome town charmer, Wade, played by The Young and the Restless alum Wilson Bethel, quickly turns her head. Zoe’s daily antics are often over the top but she is well intentioned as she navigates being a small town doctor looking for love in most of the wrong places and making enemies without even trying.