The tail end of summer vacation is upon us. Here are my picks for binge-worthy TV shows/series, that is, if you are looking for recommendations on something to do and you are in a staycation frame of mind, and you just want to watch television.
Jury Duty on Amazon Prime (Freevee)
I was hesitant at first with this one because I thought it was going to be humiliating for the guy who is being duped. But he rises to the occasion of the “hero’s journey” and everyone will fall in love with Ronald Gladden. He is the American every-man. The show is filmed as a fake documentary. This is unscripted comedy at its finest – it has garnered four Emmy nominations! If it wins, Ron should renegotiate whatever fictitious contract he signed and get at least ten times more than he was eventually paid.
The Gilded Age on HBO Max
They used actual places/historical homes for this series, albeit they were streets in Troy, New York and homes in other upstate locations to depict late 19th century 5th avenue in New York City. Miranda from Sex & the City (Cynthia Nixon) portrays a completely different New Yorker and it is an amazing transformation! The Gilded Age has one Emmy nomination.
Daisy Jones & the Six on Amazon Prime
Riley Keough and Suki Waterhouse shine as 1970s era rock stars (think a fictional Fleetwood Mac). This mini-series is based on a book by the same name. In The Gilded Age, the set decoration is one of the stars. In this show, fashion is. And singing. A lot of drinking and smoking makes these beautiful people’s lives go awry but there is a sliver of a positive outcome and love wins. The saga bounces between narrative and a twenty-years later documentary, which reminded me of the movie Eddie & the Cruisers. Daisy Jones & the Six has received nine Emmy nominations!
The Resort on Peacock
This is a timey-wimey thingy. More humor than drama plus adventure and mystery. I loved it! People are comparing it to the White Lotus show on HBO Max, but I had to fast-forward a lot of that one because the acting was so bad (or maybe it was the script?). They did such a great job with the set decoration on this one. After digesting it, it took me down a rabbit hole of real derelict beach hotels in various locations, which I didn’t know existed in prime real estate of the resort hotel industry.
The Lake on Amazon Prime
The writing on this series is so intelligently funny, the delivery is deadpan and of course, no laugh track, which allows the viewer an intimate experience with these flawed yet relatable characters. This is another series where people are on a vacation, but there is no other-worldy element. There are two seasons of this one. I watched the first season last summer and I thought, what else can they do with this? Well, they delivered! So good!
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount Plus
This one is a Star Trek original series prequel. Captain Christopher Pike was reintroduced in the Star Trek: Discovery series on the same network and this show was created because fans loved him. Anson Mount is perfecto as the captain. Spock, Uhura and Kirk are there too. It is brilliant. And there are two seasons to watch (spoiler alert: season 2 ends in a cliff hanger so there will be more – you’re welcome). One Emmy award nomination.
And, P.S., there are a number of other Star Trek incarnations on the channel.
Star Trek: Lower Decks on Paramount Plus
Lower Decks is so funny, so witty and fast-paced, and it is a cartoon! You’ll have to watch the episodes more than once to hear everything over your own laughter. The writers are Star Trek savants. They pull material from every other series and the result is obscure reference hilarity. You’ll want to be in on the joke. So, yes, I am saying that I saved the best for last and I reiterate: it is a CARTOON.