Like most parents right now, you’re probably stuck at home with your kids and you’ve done everything within your parental powers to keep them entertained and cared for the entire day. What about your entertainment and your care? After you’ve tucked in the kids, you might be longing for a bit of escapism. We’ve got some ideas!
If you’d like to see something with actual adult people in it instead of animated programming (we’re tired of the Trolls too), here are some show recommendations from the Mamas Uncut team. These shows are adult-approved and many of them offer the escape we’re all in the mood for right now. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine (or an Ina Garten sized cocktail), pop that popcorn baby, and dip into your chocolate rations. It’s time to watch some great TV! Here are 10 shows that are really worth a binge.
10. Last Tango in Halifax
Netflix has the first three seasons of this charming, funny and heartfelt show. The elevator pitch: After almost 60 years apart, Celia and Alan decide to get married. The sweethearts have been thinking about one another for decades but a twist of fate saw their lives diverge on very separate paths.
The series is written by the incredibly talented Sally Wainwright who also penned popular crim procedural Happy Valley and the historical romp Gentleman Jack. The four stars of the show Sarah Lancashire (who also starred in Happy Valley), Nicola Walker, Annie Reid, and Derek Jacobi are pitch-perfect in every scene. We don’t often get to see love stories about seniors and this is definitely one you’ll want to see.
9. Russian Doll
Orange is the New Black‘s Natasha Lyonne created the show as well as wrote, starred, and even directed episodes. If her star power and comedic genius aren’t enough to persuade you, the entire writer’s room for the show consisted of women. It’s incredible.
The elevator pitch: A disenchanted New Yorker keeps dying and returning to the same party that’s being thrown for her. She’s stuck in a strange time loop à la Groundhog Day and she can’t seem to figure out how or why it’s all happening. Each time she returns to the party, we learn more about her and the characters in it.
The show is fantastic and hilarious. We generally aren’t huge fans of the Groundhog Day trope, but this show does it in a fresh way. There is only one season of the show currently streaming, but it’s been renewed for a second.
8. Self Made: Inspired by the Life and of Madam C.J. Walker
Many people don’t know the story of America’s first female, self-made millionaire. Fortunately, Netflix released the limited series all about Madam C.J. Walker starring Octavia Spencer in the title role! The four-episode series is a modest 3 hours and easily digestible.
The elevator pitch: Sarah, a poor black woman, born in 1867 works as a “laundress” for pennies a day. Through grit, determination, and business-savvy, she builds a haircare empire by and for black women. This thrilling show documents the life of an often forgotten American woman who defied all the odds and helped change the beauty industry forever.
In addition to Octavia Spencer’s incredible performance, you’ll also enjoy seeing comedian Tiffany Haddish as Lelia, Sarah’s daughter. Don’t think this is a boring historical drama. There is so much juicy drama in this show! The show was created, written, and directed by women of color. It’s fantastic.
7. Schitt’s Creek
We’re not going to lie, this show grew on us. We weren’t the biggest fans until the show hit its third episode and really got into a stride. Now, it’s the one show we return to for comfort and plenty of laughs over and over again. Netflix currently has 5 seasons of the show on offer.
The elevator pitch: A rich video store ‘magnate’ named Johnny Rose and his family fall on hard times and lose their entire fortune except for a small, rural hotel in a town called Schitt’s Creek. The Rose family which includes two adult children, all move to the town and try and regroup.
The show is whipsmart and it was created by real-life father and son, Dan and Eugene Levy. This Canadian import is hilarious and equally as sweet.
This show is probably one of the heaviest and hard-hitting on the list. However painful the subject matter might be, performances by Toni Collette (Hereditary) and Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie) are absolutely captivating.
The elevator pitch: Based on a Pulitzer Prize Winning true story, the show tells the story of a young woman named Marie who was charged with lying to police about being raped. Two female detectives intervene and follow a path to the truth.
The pacing of the show is perfect and it was written by Susannah Grant who also wrote Erin Brockovich.
5. Call the Midwife
This long-running import from the UK has a whopping 8 seasons available on Netflix. There are many highs and lows throughout the series, but each one seems better than the last.
The elevator pitch: In London’s East End neighborhood, Jenny joins a team of midwives and nuns to deliver care for working-class pregnant women. The show is set just after the end of World War II and there is so much fascinating history both medical and cultural that the show explores.
The show is extremely well cast and some standouts among the many great performances are Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement) and Jessica Raine (Wolf Hall). Come for the midwifery, stay for the saucy nuns.
4. Night on Earth
If you’re really looking to escape, like away from the human species, consider getting a little wild with this thrilling and fascinating nature documentary series. Netflix has released one season of the show, but we hope there’s more!
The elevator pitch: Utilizing new technology, filmmakers and photographers are able to capture wildlife at night like never before. From the Peruvian Desert to the deepest depths of the sea, this show explores nature as you’ve never seen before.
We’re not going to lie, we just rewatched this for the monkeys. There’s an entire episode dedicated to wildlife adapting to life in cities! It is nuts! A caution: you may or may not have nightmares about some of the sea life. So, do with that what you will. This show is actually fine to watch with your kids and they might enjoy it if they’re really into animals.
3. Sex Education
We know we said we’d only be telling you about Netflix shows about adults, but this show about high schoolers is very grown-up. If you get uncomfortable talking about sex, you should most definitely skip this racy show. There are 2 seasons available on Netflix and it’s been renewed for a third.
The elevator pitch: Otis is a teenager who has a sex therapist for a mom. He’s constantly embarrassed by her profession until he decides to team up with a classmate to put the sex knowledge he’s absorbed over the years to work. The friends start an underground sex therapy clinic at school.
We would have never given this show a second thought until we heard that Gillian Anderson plays Otis’s mom. The show is absolutely ridiculous, but it does have some really heartwarming moments.
2. I’m Sorry
The show originally aired on TruTv but luckily you can now watch both seasons of the show on Netflix! The show has already been renewed for a third season and if you’re a parent and you want to see a show about the awkwardness that role entails, I’m Sorry is for you.
The elevator pitch: An offbeat comedy writer, mom, and wife exposes her own neuroses through a series of unexpected events. Whether she’s taking flirting with her husband to new extremes or trying to explain where babies come from to her young daughter, she’s always doing it 100% her own way.
Comedian Andrea Savage (Episodes) who is a real-life mom created the show and enlisted her A-list friends to produce. Big names like Will Ferrell, Andy Samberg, and Adam McKay are all attached to the project. Although there are a number of heavy hitters producing the show, it feels completely like Savage’s baby. It’s so stupid-funny. We think you’ll love it.
Unorthodox is one of the best shows to come out so far this year. Netflix has one season of the show available and at just 4 episodes, it’s easy to get through without feeling like too much of a commitment.
The elevator pitch: Esty, a young, ultra-orthodox Jewish woman living in Brooklyn experiences a huge life change that motivates her to leave her husband and tight-knit faith community behind. She ‘escapes’ Williamsburg and travels to Berlin where she hopes to study music at a prestigious music conservatory.
If you would have told us a show with that premise would be thrilling, heartbreaking, beautiful, and, dare we say, sexy, we would have laughed. This show has so much to offer thanks in a huge part to its star, Shira Haas who is a phenomenal talent.
There you have it! Your Netflix watchlist for adults only (mostly!)! We did our best to pick shows that might have been flying under your radar. By all means, go watch that insane Tiger King documentary! It’s fun! But, we wanted to bring you some things that we really enjoyed and that resonated deeply. Take care of yourself and escape into another world with these excellent shows.
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