Rolling Stone’s TV critic makes his top picks for shows to soothe your coronavirus anxiety and while away the hours indoors
Sports are shut down. Live theater is shut down. A visit to a movie theater sounds downright terrifying. Group activities are a nonstarter. But you know what we still have as America begins The Great Shut-In?
We’ve got TV.
Suddenly, the overwhelming quantity of television has gone from something that provokes anxiety to something that soothes it. Most of us won’t be leaving the house much, if at all, for the next few weeks, and an easy way to stay both calm and safe is to find a new binge. Or 12.
For some, this will be an opportunity to finally crack open some daunting entry in the TV canon, like The Sopranos or The Wire or Deadwood. But you already know those shows are 100-percent certified great. We’re going to be indoors a while, which means it’s time for some slightly deeper cuts. Here are a few ideas to get you started (there may be some overlap with our list of the best shows of the 2010s, which you can hit once you’ve gone through all of these).
If you’d rather visit any time period other than this one:
My goodness are there no end of period pieces to escape into, whether the World War II heroics of Band of Brothers (HBO, Amazon Prime Video), or Netflix’s thoughtful 19th century Canadian drama Alias Grace, about a serving maid accused of murder, among many others. Conversely, if you want to imagine a future where things turn out mostly OK for humanity, CBS All Access and Netflix have Star Trek: The Next Generation (though I’d recommend mostly watching from Season Three on), while Amazon has the hard sci-fi adventure The Expanse.