Have Cold, Will Netflix

Following a successful apartment-hunting trip to Chicago (details soon), I managed to come down with a super fun cold a full blown sinus infection that knocked me out of commission for a few days. I tried going into the office, but I think the only thing I accomplished was getting my coworkers sick…

So I stayed home instead, the wonder of VPNs keeping me connected to work and the wonder of streaming TV keeping me entertained.

I end up watching A LOT of streaming TV, what with no cable and no roommates (kids, significant other, etc) to claim my attention. I put it on in the background while I clean my apartment, or get through an episode of something new over dinner. Or, yes, I mainline something new on sick days. And Saturdays.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Tina Fey returns to TV post-30 Rock with a sitcom starring Ellie Kemper. And it’s classic Fey in all the best ways: topical, weird, totally sincere. The show’s premise has Kimmy and three other women rescued from an underground bunker in Indiana after having spent 15 years waiting out the apocalypse. With a start like that, you know you’re in for quirky fun.

House of Cards – I cannot understate how much I love this show. It is so viscerally evil and yet so unabashedly intense you can’t help but admire the creators’ willingness to Go There with every new season. When season 3 premiered a few weeks ago, I have no shame admitting I prepped by re-watching the first two, and then kept myself in on a Friday night to blast through the newest episodes.

Parenthood – I’d been hearing for a while how amazing Parenthood is, that it was the best unwatched show on network TV. Long gone are the days I can arrange my schedule to be by the TV for a given show, so I picked this one up on Netflix instead. And it is good. Not great for bingeing, it turns out – the characters, storylines and oddly improvised dialogue can be a bit much episode after episode. But the emotions are genuine and as anyone from a big family can attest, the drama is legit.

Broadchurch – Fox tried to re-imagine this BBC import, but I recommend sticking with the original. My interest was piqued with the casting of David Tennant; it was captivated by the subject matter and masterful unraveling of a mystery. The season focuses on a single crime, a tragic death of a local child in a small coastal town, and the transplant city detective assigned to the case. It’s at turns fascinating, deeply sad but ultimately exceptional.

Archer – Because who doesn’t love lewd sexual humor and politically incorrect storylines in animated form? This Comedy Central series is definitely for grown-ups only, despite being a slick cartoon. Episodes are fast and sharp and inappropriately hilarious, perfect for a good laugh after a long day.

The Jinx (HBO) – I didn’t jump into this one until after the news broke of Robert Durst’s arrest and the shocking confessions in the final episode, but once I did, I blew threw the six short episodes in a few days. It’s a bit unsettling this real-life criminal chronicled as the star of a TV show – I found it odd that each episode had opening credits, for example. But the substance of the show is undeniably compelling, and if it helps bring Durst to justice, all the better.

Of course, whenever I’m not in the mood to sit down and take something in, there are plenty of standbys perfect for filling the space around me. Go-to picks include Friends (I’d rather not admit how quickly I got through 10 seasons once the show went up on Netflix), Doctor Who (safe on the streaming service despite rumors of the contrary), 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and more.

I haven’t had cable in years, and chances are I won’t sign up for it when I land in Chicago, either. Seems I’ve got plenty to consume without it.