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Whether you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, and/or judge other peoples’ life choices with abandon (it comes so naturally!), there’s a TV series on this list with your name on it. As it happens, we’ve put our names on them, too, to highlight the reasons we were sucked in, which moms might be drawn to a particular show, and why you should jump on the bandwagon already. From Virgin River‘s dreamy setting and soapy characters to Dead to Me‘s dark and twisted tale of friendship, consider your nights and weekends officially booked. (And for those up for date night flicks, we’ve got a few picks for you, too.)
Who among us hasn’t occasionally wanted to pack their things and run out the door? You don’t have to answer that. HBO’s Run is about a mom and wife who fulfills a pact she made 17 years earlier with her college sweetheart—that if either of them texted each other the word “run,” they’d drop everything and meet in New York. This one only lasted for a season, but it’s a season worth watching.
—Maria Guido, Head of Content
The story of a love triangle gone awry, this 6-episode thriller will draw you in from the moment it kicks off. Louise Barnsley is a single mom looking for love, and when she meets psychiatrist David Ferguson at a bar, we so want everything to work out for them. But alas, that doesn’t make for good TV. When she learns the next day that Dr. Ferguson is both her new boss and married, Louise is at a loss. What’s a girl to do but befriend his wife? The cold and strange Adele Ferguson has many secrets and one of those too-clean kitchens we just can’t support. I barreled through this one on a long flight (with a few startles thrown in, sorry neighbors) and loved it, minus the too-weird ending I’d rather pretend didn’t happen.
—Kate Loweth, Senior Travel Editor
It’s your classic “unplanned-pregnancy-from-a-one-night stand” setup, but throughout four seasons, Catastrophe proves to be so, so much more than a standard-issue rom-com. The stars—Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, who also co-created and wrote the series—have such intense chemistry that it’s hard not to fall in love with them, even when you kind of hate them. Thanks to its dry British humor, even the filthiest jokes are subdued by sweetly relatable storylines, and even television’s most overdone parenting tropes (not to mention the wildly outrageous childbirth discussion in the pilot episode!) get a fresh spin. The 24 episodes spent with this couple before its run on Amazon Prime ended in 2019 were not nearly enough.
—Kate Schweitzer, Regional Editor
Middle age can suck sometimes, and it’s fine to admit it. This Netflix series takes a look at the lives of four friends who are in varying stages of midlife crises; one has a narcissistic husband who doesn’t recognize her talent, one is bored and struggling with anxiety, one’s younger husband just left her, and one is flailing about trying to find steady income. Created by and starring Julia Delpy, this one is at times awkward but also overwhelmingly funny.
Are you looking for a show with a light, tug-at-the-heart-strings, Hallmark kind of vibe? No? Well, great. Because this series is absolutely not that. Instead, this black comedy follows the unlikeliest of friendships between a widow with major anger management issues and a free-spirited empath as they set out to find the former’s husband’s killer. Just when you think there can’t possibly be another plot twist, your jaw will fall right back on the floor. The chemistry between Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini is out of this world and honestly what makes this show a must-watch—well, that and the chance to stare at James Marsden for a good, long while.
—Lauren DuVilla, Editorial Director
Beautiful families living in breathtaking mansions in Monterey, CA? Yes, the setting for Big Little Lies is escapism at its finest. I read the book by Liane Moriarty, and when I found out it was being adapted into a limited series for HBO, I eagerly awaited the release. I usually think a book is better than its movie/TV counterpart, but with its incredible A-list cast, including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, and so many others, Big Little Lies is a must-finish-now show. Starting as one thing and quickly evolving into something quite different, the show is an insightful take on a real truth—that despite outward appearances, no family, no matter what they have or appear to be, is perfect. And sometimes, trying to maintain that perfection can be deadly.
—Gabby Cullen, Senior Lifestyle Editor
I never imagined I was someone who was into sweep, sappy, southern romance—but here we are. Netflix’s runaway success is a success for a reason; it focuses on good friendships, loyal communities, and hot men. You’ll want Brooke Elliott to be your best friend (and cook you a meal), you’ll be cheering for JoAnn Garcia to get away from her cheating sack of an ex-husband (played by Chris Klein), and you’ll want to wrap your arms around Heather Headly and tell her to stop being so strong for everyone. Also—there are margaritas.
I put off watching this show for a long time because, to be honest, I’m not much of a “mom group” person. MOPS and Stroller Strides and the like is my idea of hell, so the premise that these four friends were bonding over a mommy-and-me group wasn’t particularly appealing. Enter COVID and endless time to watch Netflix. I’m so glad I gave this show a chance because I enjoyed its honest look at motherhood, highlighting the struggle of working moms to have it all (in the most hilarious way possible). You have six seasons to binge right now and the 7th (and final) season is expected in winter 2023.
Everyone told me how amazing this show was, but it wasn’t until I was mesmerized by the trailer for season five that I had to start watching. It’s based on Margaret Atwood’s book from the ’80s but modernized with stunning cinematography and music—and you will be hooked from the first episode. Elisabeth Moss stars as Offred, a woman forced to procreate with her “Commander” in a new America that is rife with religious fanaticism and where infertility is commonplace. Aside from the heart-stopping drama, get ready to see plenty of similarities to our current society that will give you major heebie-jeebies. This show is on the violent side, so if you’re a little squeamish, take note. Seasons one through four are all on Hulu, so you can get yourself ready for season five when it premieres in September.
—Karly Wood, Social Media Editor
This show by Mark and Jay Duplass was canceled after two seasons. I hate to lead with that, but I’m still bitter about it. Starring Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and Mark Duplass, Togetherness views the rough spots of marriage through a refreshingly honest lens. They live, laugh, make mistakes, and you’ll fall in love with them. Speaking of mistakes… HBO, why did you cancel this show on a cliffhanger?
Having grown up in a small Northern California town, the setting of Virgin River spoke to me from the opening credits of the very first episode. And while I got pulled into the idea of watching a show with scenery similar to that of my childhood, I was hooked by the characters as well. From Mel, who leaves behind a tragedy in Los Angeles in hopes of starting over, to Preacher with his do-good attitude (he’s underappreciated, IMO), and Hope, who, let’s be honest, is just a little annoying, ultimately, every person bands together to help one another out in a way that only those in a small community can. I can’t wait for season five for various reasons, but first and foremost, Charmaine has got to have those twins already!
Another show that was canceled before its time! Sorry to make you fall in love with these shows that will leave you early, but two glorious seasons are all you’ll get from this cast, including Keegan Michael Key, Fred Savage, and Billy Eichner. Twenty years after graduation, a tight-knit group of college friends reconnects. They’re dysfunctionally dependent on one another, and their relationships are at times totally inappropriate, but this group is so damn real and funny that you’ll fall in love with every single imperfect character.
Honestly, I’ll watch Jennifer Coolidge in anything, so I probably would’ve finished this season even if it wasn’t the most oddly hilarious thing I watched this year. Murray Bartlett nails it as the perfectionist manager of a high-end resort—simultaneously grappling with his sobriety and some of the most high-maintenance guests you’ve ever seen on television. Watch the first season before the second one premieres in October, with a completely different cast. (Except for Jennifer Coolidge who returns again—hooray!)
Amy Sherman-Palladino is exceptionally gifted when it comes to writing the most ridiculous oddball characters that viewers instantly adore. And I’m not just talking about the folks back in Stars Hollow. Upon binge-ing TMMM, you will be sucked into the wild exploits of the one and only Midge Maisel—a housewife-turned-foul-mouthed-comic trying to make it big in 1960s New York City—and her equally eccentric circle of family and friends. Expect mile-a-minute banter (the kind you’ve come to know and love) and to both root for and shout at a protagonist who can’t help but get in her own way. Yes, it can get schtick-y at times, but that doesn’t make me want an encore any less.
This show will make you want to gather your BFFs and start a badass girl gang, complete with money laundering, accidental murder, and hot affairs with drug lords. Okay, maybe this sounds over-the-top, but that’s what binge-worthy TV should be. When you’re finished watching this, you’ll want Christina Hendricks, Ruby Hill, and Annie Marks on speed dial. There are four incredible seasons to binge, and there’s another one coming.
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