Fight cabin fever with a good binge!

If you had asked me last month what the term “social distancing” means, I probably would have said it means taking a break from Instagram and Facebook.

But with Western New York schools now closed for a month, sporting events cancelled, and restaurants and entertainment venues shuttered indefinitely, we fully understand the concept of social distancing to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

I had already planned to write a blog on the topic of binge-worthy, guilty-pleasure TV shows last month. Now, I offer up these suggestions as a much-needed escape from sobering news programs and sporting event reruns.

Series that have me hooked

A good television binge is something my husband and I enjoy together, and we tend to gravitate toward the crime/thriller genre. We started with “Breaking Bad” and have since binged out on:

  • “Ozark”—This series is chock full of strange, unlikable characters and unbelievable plot twists, but somehow it works—thanks in part to a terrific cast that includes Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. We’re completely hooked and anxiously awaiting the release of the next season.
  • “Narcos” (skip season 3) and “Narcos Mexico”—The acting in these two series is excellent as they chronicle the rise of the Columbian and Mexican drug trade. Both are very violent, and you have to keep up with the English subtitles during the largely Spanish dialogue, but these are definitely binge-worthy.
  • “Mindhunter”—Two FBI agents interview incarcerated serial killers in the 70s in an effort to solve open murder cases. This one was fascinating, and the actors do an amazing job portraying some of the most notorious killers of the 20th century. Hopefully, there will be another season before long.

When we want something lighter, old sitcoms like “Frazier” and “Cheers” (the Diane years only, please) can still make us laugh out loud. And for me personally, I love getting lost in the innocent sweetness and relatable humor of “The Wonder Years” when the pressures of today start to close in on me.

Manzella Marketing’s favorite binges

I asked the members of our team to share some of their favorite binge-worthy series, and the responses mirror the diversity of our team.

Kristin Rozewski:

  • You (Netflix)—I love a good psychological thriller, and this one took me on a ride. Penn Badgley plays Joe Goldberg, a seriously deranged stalker hiding in plain sight as a genuine, nice guy. Trying to understand the main character along with the twists in this series made this one binge worthy.
  • This Is Us (watch on NBC, catch up on Hulu)—The writing on this show is impeccable. Just when you think you can predict what is going to happen next, the writers work their magic again. This show is about three siblings and how their past has shaped them, along with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. This one is known to tug at the heart strings, so if you start this one, grab a glass of wine and some tissues.

Eric Tuberdyke:

  • One that caught me off-guard is Anne with an E. We watched all the Little House series with the girls and Kelly was looking for a new series to enjoy with them. It’s appealing in a lot of ways.
  • I also enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House. It has very new age cinematography mixed with old palettes that works really well together, and there are several interesting twists. Awkward and slugging at times, it’s really binge-worthy, if you like psychological suspense stories.

Tom Sharer:

  • Lost in Space (Netflix remake)
  • The Kominsky Method
  • The Mandalorian (Star Wars\Disney)

Bryan Free:

  • Better Call Saul (Breaking Bad spin off)
  • Seinfeld
  • Futurama
  • The Office
  • Parks and Rec
  • The IT Crowd

Steve Ketterer:

  • Seinfeld
  • X-files

Scott Fierle:

  • The Crown
  • Stranger Things
  • Dead to Me

As we all deal with the realities of a very real and potent virus and the limitations of social distancing, we wish you good health and hope you enjoy a much-needed escape with your next great binge.