Let’s face it: we don’t always have time (or the attention span, in my case) to sit down and watch a two-and-a-half-hour-long movie. Even if you did have small pockets of time throughout the day, you’d still have to pause your movie now and then, and it’s never fun to watch a movie halfway. So, what do you watch when you’ve got 30 minutes before you have to go out? Two words: TV series.
1. Modern Family (2009 - 2020)
Modern Family is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, and I am not ashamed to say that I have watched all of the seasons at least 7 times. This series follows a pretty unconventional family, its head being Jay Pritchett, a titan in the closet industry. Overall, the series is just heartwarming and it’s interesting to see the characters and the actors who portray them grow up throughout its 11-year run. The series just ended this year, with its eleventh season being its final one. Its finale- although it might take you a while to get there if you’re starting from season 1- is bittersweet, and it will definitely make you cry.
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013 - present)
The series follows New York detective Jake Peralta, who is portrayed by Andy Samberg. Overall, it’s a funny show, and I’ve rewatched it many, many times. The show also touches on incredibly important issues, such as sexual assault (He Said, She Said; S6E8) and systemic racism (Moo Moo; S4E16). However, it is important to note that this is a show that, in a way, glorifies cops, and showcases them in a good light. Some people have even gone as far as to say that it is police propaganda, demanding its cancellation. Although the characters on the show are all-around ‘good’ people, they are not real representatives of the real-world police system, which is something viewers of the show have to keep in mind.
3. I Am Not Okay With This (2020)
The New York Times has named I Am Not Okay With This as one of the 50 best TV shows on Netflix right now, and they are not wrong. This coming-of-age series is directed by Jonathan Entwistle, who also directed Netflix’s End Of The F***ing World. The show is based on the comic book by Charles Forsman, which follows an angsty teen girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. Anger issues, grief, and representation of the LGBTQ+ community are what make this show so good and beloved by many. Recently, the show has been canceled by Netflix after 1 season, due to the COVID-19 situation, and the budgetary cuts that came with it. Of course, this sparked outrage among fans, and so a petition was started to save the show, linked here: https://secure.avaaz.org/community_petitions/en/netflix_save_i_am_not_okay_with_this_1/
4. One Day At A Time (2017 - present)
One Day At A Time is based on Norman Lear’s 1975 series of the same name. The series follows the Cuban-American family of Penelope Alvarez, a newly single mother of two teenagers. This series is nothing short of humorous, entertaining, and uplifting. Not only is this series an example of amazing representation of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx community, but it also deals with traditions and stigmas surrounding mental health. This show is an emotional rollercoaster, as it will have you laughing for one episode, and crying the next.
5. Barry (2018 - present)
Created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, Barry is a dark comedy TV series starring the latter. Barry Berkman is a hitman from Cleveland who moves to L.A. for a job, but after taking one acting class, he finds that he wants to be an actor. This show is incredibly funny, but it is explicit, so it’s not something I’d recommend you watch with your family. Currently, the show only has 2 seasons which has 8 episodes each, so finishing the entire series in a day isn’t impossible.
There you have it! These are just a few shows I turn on when I want to relax for a bit. Every episode of the series mentioned above has a runtime of 30 minutes or less. Some honorable mentions are High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Friends, Kopitiam, The Good Place, Rick & Morty, and so many more. I hope you look into some of the shows mentioned in this article, and that you enjoy watching them!