It’s been months. Hell, in a couple months it will have been an entire year since the pandemic began. Last year The Bruns presented the same baby-faced optimism as many others did – we wrote you articles about what to watch on Netflix, and we joked about how profs didn’t know how to work Teams. We tried to occupy our time by telling you how to occupy your time.
But it’s been awhile since we’ve gone into detail about the options for those of us who are self-isolating, quarantining, or even just spending a lot of time alone while New Brunswick is in stricter lockdown phases. So we revisited our recommendations and created this comprehensive guide to keep you entertained. No more Dalgona coffee and Tiger King. It’s been a year, and things have changed.
We have a whole article up reviewing Queen’s Gambit which you can read here, as well as a recommendation guide for films based off your Hogwarts House available here, and our previous quarantine TV guide here. So we will avoid films for this watch list and instead recommend some bingeworthy TV shows, by platform.
This is a free, legal streaming service that requires no payment or subscription!
The Great British Baking Show
In this challenge-based competition, chefs attempt to prove that they have what it takes to win the bake-off. More interesting than it may sound, this show is no cutthroat kitchen – it’s light, positive, and friendly. This is a great show to throw on in the morning to start your day off on a positive note. Pairs well with a nice lemon scone.
This is another lovely, easy-watch show. It’s reality-TV at its best, with a kind Australian vet doing his best to help all creatures great and small. The setting is cheery, especially in the depths of a New Brunswick winter, and the animals are certainly cute.
Call the Midwife
This is one of the best TV shows made in the last decade. The first two seasons are available free on CBC Gem, and several other seasons are on Netflix. The show follows a young nurse-midwife in a poor neighbourhood in London in the first half of the 20th century. It’s a gorgeous period piece and follows compelling and wonderful characters through the ups and downs of life and death. The show spans such a large amount of time that it almost feels as though the characters grow up with each season. Definitely worth a good quarantine binge.
Nothing is funnier than this show. A brilliant, quick-paced comedy series that is easy to watch in a weekend. Following the adventures of the unpopular young teen Martin Moone, and his imaginary friend (played by Chris O’Dowd), the series is the absolute best of what it means to be a child, but plays off an adult sense of humour.
Stand up comedy is not usually our thing. Frankly, most of it is garbage. However, Jonny Harris’s tv show may be an exception. This show follows Harris as he travels to struggling small towns across Canada, learns their stories and their problems, and twists it into an inventive and fresh performance. The show is a real Canadian experience, and has episodes from British Columbia to Newfoundland.
Netflix requires a paid subscription.
Deep Space Nine
Is this Star Trek series dated? Yes. Is it still worth watching? Yes. One of the last TV series that was created by Gene Roddenberry, the original mind behind Star Trek, Deep Space Nine isn’t all laser beams and aliens. Instead, this series follows a cast of characters who share life on a space station following the dismantling of a planetary occupation. The show is intellectual and political, addressing interesting questions of reparations, culture, and religion, all while maintaining a certain level of comedy. Seasoned Star Trek fans might balk and say this is the worst Star Trek series, but, frankly, that’s only because it stands on its own. You don’t need any prior knowledge of Star Trek to enjoy this Sci-Fi series.
This is the perfect series for anyone looking for some fun. It’s campy, romantic, uncomplicated, and will have you cry several times before the last season. A retelling of the Arthurian legend, this series promises at least a whole quarantine’s worth of entertainment. Warning – the ending is awfully sad, despite how funny the show may seem.
This show is scary. Full-on horror/thriller/mystery. The show is in French, but if Parasite can win best picture, you can handle a show with subtitles. Set in a small French town in the mountains, each episode is a crime that the town’s detective must solve, but each crime plays into a larger mystery that begs the question – what is living in the woods? At no point do you see a classic monster like a werewolf. Instead you are consistently confronted by forces that could almost be supernatural and as an audience are forced to decide if it’s the forces in the woods or the people in the town that are truly the monsters.
Black Earth Rising
This show follows a single woman’s journey to uncover what really happened to her as a child when she survived the Rwandan Genocide. The show is full of twists and reversals, and has perhaps the most unpredictable ending we have ever seen.
Night on Earth
This relaxing nature-doc show uses cutting edge technology to reveal the lives of animals – at night. Instead of the grainy, green-eyed night shots most audiences are accustomed to, this show feels like everything could be happening in the middle of the afternoon. Except it’s midnight. Any fans of Planet Earth will be more than happy to watch this limited series as a lovely before-bed binge.
Trailer Park Boys
Come on. It’s a classic. Is there really anything better than cracking open a few beers and watching Trailer Park Boys? No. For those of you who somehow missed this Maritime institution, the show is a comedy that follows the lives of best friends Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles – troublemakers who are frequently in and out of jail, and frequently clashing with the alcoholic trailer park manager, Mr. Lahey. This is probably the best thing that’s ever come from Nova Scotia, and now is as good a time as any to watch it.
CraveTV requires a paid subscription.
Only Trailer Park Boys can top this Canadian comedy, and only then by a thin margin. The show follows the inhabitants of Letterkenny, Ontario – a town made up of hockey players, skids, and hicks. Anyone who’s ever lived in a small town can appreciate the nuanced and at times bizarre humour of the show. If nothing else, it’s fun to laugh at how accurately they portray hockey players.
Disney+ requires a paid subscription.
Baby Yoda? Say less. This show is unique and interesting. It requires no understanding of Star Wars or its lore. It’s accessible, punchy, and entirely entertaining. And yes – Baby Yoda is cute. Watch the series to find out what his real name is.