We’ve made it through 3 weeks of Quarantine with the help of Netflix’s captivating cast of characters from Tiger King, Love Is Blind, and You!
Now that stay-at-home orders have gone inter-galactic, we’re finding unique ways to pass the time.
There’s cleaning your cabinet of cleaning supplies, choreographing mesmerizing Tik Tok dances, dressing your cat up in random outfits for her long over-due big photo shoot, and crafting while under the influence (why?).
And now add crafting your own face mask to the “To Do” list. May God or YouTube help those of us who lack spatial reasoning skills.
Our fearless Surgeon General will show us the way:
But the clear and obvious way to whittle away the next few months is to kick back and binge-watch streamed shows!
So, for your viewing pleasure, I bring you the craziest and most enthralling in pop culture at the moment.
Note: These selections were based largely on the need for non-distracting background noise while working on my laptop in the evenings. However, be aware that each series will draw you tightly in against your better judgment!
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
Hello, Cool Cats and Kittens.
We kick things off with the mind-blowing docu-dramedy that you’re now sick of hearing about (and that you cannot not get sucked into!)
This telenovela has got something for everyone!
- Exotic animals
- Bitter arch-rivals
- Needless explosions
- A power throuple united by the love of meth
- Mind-boggling hair and fashion
- Lip-synched music videos
- A botched murder-for-hire plot
- A mysterious arson
- A perfunctory political campaign
- A missing husband
- The unquenchable thirst for fame!
There’s no way that you can un-see these scenes, brimming with over-the-top characters and a seedy underworld, once you’ve watched it.
But it gifts us with so many valuable takeaways!
#1: Don’t ever pet an adorable liger cub because it will instantaneously lead to a big cat addiction in which the seemingly logical next step is to open up a full-fledged zoo (or sanctuary) that requires a small army/harem of unpaid to minimally paid staff to keep running while you become a social media sensation.
Wait, that doesn’t sound so terrible.
#2: Those big cats spell a slippery slope into perma-animal print fashion.
Live free, just like those beautiful, caged beasts who belong back in the wild, although sadly 99% of their natural habitat is now extinct.
#3: Shop at Walmart for all your big cat dinner needs. Save a bundle!
#4: Baby tigers are the ultimate babe-magnet.
#5: Steer way, way clear of meth, because it will horrifically distort your judgment and decision-making in ways that you could never have dreamed possible!
#6: Be sure to spend those campaign funds only on condoms and not on sketchy assassin fees.
The only plot that could top this madness is if John F. Kennedy, Jr. faked his own death and came out to announce this summer that he will be Trump’s running mate. What the what?
That or an alien invasion, of course.
For a proper encore, Investigative Discovery has just greenlit your next fave true-crime story: Investigating the Strange World of Joe Exotic.
Now, you’ll get an up close examination of all the skeletons in Joe, Carole, Doc Antle, and Jeff Lowe’s closets. With no end to the mysteries and absurdity, this could easily become the longest running show in TV history!
Love Is Blind (to Countless Red Flags)
As much as I tried to ignore this reality TV “experiment” to see if love is blind, while I plunked the keys on my laptop, I couldn’t help but get invested.
In my defense, the emotional intensity ratchets up to orbital heights within just the first episode!
Having never seen each other, couples speed date in their own self-isolating pods (how prescient!) to determine if they have a “connection”.
As all speed dates go, they make declarations of undying love and commitments to spend the rest of their lives together through a wall.
What could go wrong?
We voyeuristically watch as these strangers/couples meet in person for the first time, co-habitat, meet each other’s parents, bicker over everything and then makeup, and naturally shed countless, dramatic tears.
As we reach the climactic main event (episode #10 Wedding Day?), the guests are on the edge of their seats right along with us to see if they’re about to witness a wedding or a funeral. Oh, the anticipation!
And oh, the awkwardness of being dumped at the altar in front of all your friends and family and a full camera crew.
Although, I think I finally cracked the real code of this coupling “experiment”:
How many red flags will a person ignore while falling in love and deciding to walk down the aisle with a complete stranger (Mark, I’m talking particularly to you buddy).
My 2nd Hypothesis: The “experiment” is to gauge the viewing public’s saturation point with reality dating/engagement/wedding shows.
Fun Fact!: There is no limit to viewers’ demand for romance and train-wrecks.
FYI: The Season 2 Casting Call just went out for those of you who want to share your most semi-private feelings and tears (infinite tears) with a wall of flashing lights and the entire Netflix viewing world….
Last up, we have Netflix’s scripted psychological thriller You.
Again, needing background noise to fill the silent void in my living room several weeks ago, this show about a young stalker was perfect.
After watching only three episodes, I shared with my co-worker (back when people still worked in offices) that this show is similar to Dexter in numerous ways. Season 2 takes a particularly Dexter-y turn and then even openly admits it in an episode!
So, here’s the review you didn’t even know you wanted, brought to you because my co-worker said I should write it (thanks, Amanda C.!).
Quick Show Overviews
On the surface, the two shows display no obvious overlap (other than the butcher aprons), yet both:
- Are suspenseful thrillers and dark comedies
- Star serial killers
- Provide a cool, rational, calculated narration from our anti-hero/protagonist, revealing their inner thoughts which would never pass as socially acceptable
- Contain side characters who sense our anti-hero/protagonists’ creepiness/darkness (thank God someone noticed!)
- Conveniently kill off those who do learn the truth (thanks, show writers, for prolonging both series’ lives at the expense of peripheral characters!)
- Have been well-received by critics and fans alike on Rotten Tomatoes (and that’s what counts)
Meanwhile, both shows’ anti-heroes:
- Are calm and emotionally detached psychopaths
- Have sinister sides
- Stalk their victims
- Have a crazy ton of time on their hands to stalk their victims!
- Are excellent liars
- Make snarky observations about social customs and norms (who doesn’t enjoy that?)
- Have special kill/detainment rooms (that expensive?)
- Have squirreled away a special keep-sake box full of mementos from their victims
- Are made likable by protecting children and occasionally vulnerable women (otherwise, why in the world would we continue watching this psychopathy?)
- Against all odds–due to their anti-social personalities–have somehow managed to develop interpersonal relationships (it would get boring to just watch them hunt their prey every episode)
- Murder child and wife abusers (how sweet!)
- Suffered childhood trauma
- Were raised by a male disciplinarian who’s not a biological parent
- Were given a code by said adoptive parent
- Are always on the cusp of being found out (keep that tension taut!)
- Occasionally date murdering, psychopathic women with a similar passion for murder (see, there is someone out there for everyone)
- Are relied on by other characters to fix messed up situations with their mad problem-solving skills (Deb, get it together already!)
Your kill room does look pretty safe and cozy during this pandemic. Can we just switch out the blinding fluorescent lights for something a little warmer? Also, can we outfit it with indoor plumbing? That whole bucket as a restroom situation is iffy.
Anyway, try both shows! They’re entertaining, on Netflix, and you’ve got the time!
Surviving House Arrest: Watch HBO for Free!
But wait, there’s more!
Click this hyperlink and stream so many worthwhile shows, like Veep and The Wire!: How to Watch HBO for Free
So, if you’re in desperate need for some tantalizing background noise to keep you company while tackling your Homemade Mask Challenge (move over, Toilet Paper Challenge!), your options have just exponentially expanded!
How is your Homemade Mask Task unfolding? Maybe a little duct tape will help?