Hope you’re doing well! With all this free time on my hands, I’ve had plenty of time to catch up on my favourite TV shows and start the series I’ve been meaning to watch for ages. As you can see, I typically stick to teen and family dramas – there’s just something comforting and nostalgic about them – and with the current situation, we all need shows that can make us laugh, smile and reminisce about our younger years. I also love the occasional thriller or historical drama. Below are some of the best TV series I have watched this year, all of which you can easily binge-watch. Make sure you check them out if you need something new to watch.
Okay, so I did watch Glee before lockdown, but I’ll include it anyway since it is without a doubt one of the most iconic teen shows of my lifetime, and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who loves pop music, musicals and teen drama. Glee centres on a group of high school misfits who join their school’s singing group, and cover some of the best chart and musical tunes from the last few decades, such as ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’, ‘Defying Gravity’, ‘Bust Your Windows’ and ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’. Glee is sometimes problematic and features crazy storylines that are often far-fetched, but it’s such a fun show that covers so many relevant topics, such as teen pregnancy, cyberbullying, catfishing, eating disorders, learning disabilities and domestic violence.
2. Switched at Birth
Switched at Birth is another show I started a while before lockdown – but I watched the last two seasons since. I discovered Switched at Birth last year and fell in love with it straightaway. It focuses on 2 families from different walks of life who find out that their daughters were accidently switched at birth. Switched at Birth is a heart-warming series that often tackles serious issues, such as rape, racism, sexism, addiction and disabilities (some of the main characters are deaf, and a few characters with Down Syndrome appear in the last season). It’s a really eye-opening show that’s perfect for fans of Gilmore Girls and Jane the Virgin, and you’re bound to recognise at least a couple of the actors that appear throughout the show: Lucas Grabeel (High School Musical), Maiara Walsh (Cory in the House), Austin Butler (Zoey 101, The Carrie Diaries, Life Unexpected, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide), Adam Hagenbuch (Fuller House), Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy, Before I Fall), Molly Hagan (Unfabulous, Princess Protection Program), Max Adler (Glee), Lauren Potter (Glee) and Ivonne Coll (Jane the Virgin) are just some of the familiar faces on Switched at Birth. As Switched at Birth is massively underrated and didn’t get the recognition it deserved, it’s not currently available on any streaming services (that I know of) – a real shame because it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
If you’re into Downton Abbey or historical drama, this show is for you. Belgravia is also directed by the award-winning director of Downton Abbey and is set in 1840s Belgravia (one of the wealthy areas in London). It follows 2 upper class families as secrets from the past threaten to emerge. As you’d expect, Belgravia is full of scandals, beautiful sets and lavish costumes. Belgravia stars a handful of notable names, such as Ella Purnell, Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter (the latter two play the parents in Friday Night Dinner), so you know it’s going to be good. There are only 6 episodes and the show is available on ITV, so you can easily binge it in a day or couple of evenings.
4. Sex Education
Also another series I watched prior to lockdown! If you’re missing Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why, or really loved Skins or Degrassi as a teenager, you’re bound to enjoy Sex Education. The show centres on a group of funny and relatable teenagers who navigate school, relationships and sex. I’ll admit that I was a little sceptical about watching Sex Education as I thought it would be really cringey – and while I was right, I quickly got into this series and could see why it’s so popular. My favourite characters would have to be Eric, Maeve and Aimee – I loved their individual stories. Both seasons of Sex Education are available on Netflix, so you don’t have to wait for the next episode.
5. Spinning Out
Yep, I watched Spinning Out before lockdown, but it’s a truly brilliant show, and I was gutted when I found out that it was cancelled after only 10 episodes. Spinning Out stars Kaya Scodelario as Kat, a young figure skater who decides to return to the ice after a brutal accident, whilst dealing with bipolar disorder, friendship drama, a romance with her new skating partner, and a strained relationship with her mum. What I loved most about Spinning Out was the stunning skating choreography and the ‘long lost love’ subplot involving Kat’s coach. Spinning Out will suck you in right from the start and make you want to take up ice skating as soon as lockdown is lifted!
Other TV shows I’ve watched recently and would recommend are Lizzie McGuire, Noughts + Crosses, Cheer, Katy Keene, Friends, Friday Night Dinner, Riverdale (if you can get past the cringey acting and ridiculous storylines), Sweetbitter and One Day at a Time (the ideal show to binge after Switched at Birth). I’m planning to catch up on Orange Is the New Black, Big Little Lies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Nashville (as well as Fuller House and 13 Reasons Why when their final seasons return in a few weeks), and finally start Looking For Alaska, Normal People, Good Witch, His Dark Materials and The Fosters in the near future, but if you have any other recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments.