I'm a massive fan of Netflix, this whole idea that you don't have to wait a week for the next episode is probably one of the best things to happen to TV viewing. On the rare occasion that a Netflix show is releasing episodes weekly, the wait inbetween them is long enough that I often need to watch the episode before it again before watching the new one!
There's nothing nicer than sitting there sewing, crafting, drawing, or painting with a show on in the background. Half-listening and half-focusing on my work, I tend to go for shows that are easy to follow and easy to enjoy, nothing too stressful or complicated. So here's my top ten list at the moment:
A recent one I've just started but was familiar with for a long time, Charmed is about three sister witches back in around 1999 that went on for 8 seasons. I remember watching the odd episode with my mother, who used to watch it every day at lunchtime. It has that kind of classic recipe where it mostly ends up okay at the end of the episode again, no matter who dies, because they're witches, they just turn back time or sort it out with a power.
I think for that reason it's quite an easy to watch show, and being familiar with the characters from previous watching makes it easier to get into it straight away.
9 Brooklyn Nine Nine
Have you ever seen the Andy Samberg classic that is Hot Rod? He's a young amateur stuntman that needs to raise money for a new heart for his stepdad, just so he can beat him in a fight. It's a great film, like so stupid that it's genius. Anyway, this is where I saw Andy Samberg for the first time, so when I saw a series that he was featured in I watched it immediately.
This was years ago, back when there was only two series I think on Netflix. The early seasons are brilliant and I really enjoyed them, but didn't know of anyone else watching it. I couldn't speak to anyone about it! As the years went on, it gained popularity and is now a mainstream and well-liked show.
As most shows do, over the years it has changed a little, but once I'm invested in a show I need to watch it to the end. The characters are all so lovable and this is what keeps me watching, no matter how chaotic the Halloween Heist gets every year!
The series follows a group of detectives and their co-workers in the 99th precinct, following romance, stake-outs, cases, apparently nothing like how a police precinct would really run, but very entertaining anyway.
8 Bob's Burgers
This was quite a recent one for me, I loved Archer and followed the main voice over to Bob's Burgers, where Bob and his family own and run a small burger restaurant. I guess I can't even describe what happens, it's so random each episode between the kids adventures, or Bob and his wife or any of the other characters around them.
It's an animated show, which I find usually to be easier to get into, but it takes a few episodes for me to decide whether I like it or not. Animation styles differ so much that it takes a minute for me to adapt to the new one, the way they move or talk, but the type of easy humour they use is often the attraction of why I like to put these on in the background.
Bob's Burgers has 10 seasons now I think with more on the way, similar to Archer's 12, so it has been a long running show so it is strange that I didn't give it a shot before, but definitely something I will continue watching over the years.
Archer is another animated show that follows a spy agency and some pretty extreme adventures, it is more on the side of rude and dark humour, which I enjoy, and the usual romantic storylines, adventures and that 'everything's okay' storyline by the end of the episode, usually.
The show has evolved from their spy agency, to drug dealers, to freelancing, private investigators, and even a wild three seasons following Archer's coma dreams, which include all the cast as new characters in these made up worlds, including one based on Alien a little which I love.
I think the thing about Archer is that they all talk so loud and angrily usually at each other that it's hard not to take it in, so even if I'm very focused on my work I can often keep track of what's going on!
6 Chicago Franchise
The Chicago franchise for me started with Chicago Med, I watched this after Grey's Anatomy because I was into the medical dramas at the time and really enjoyed it. It follows a group of ED doctors, so most of the case are pretty extreme and wild. It follows the usual medical drama romances, rule breaking, even a bit of the lives of the firefighters that bring some of the patients into the hospital. After I exhausted the episodes of Med on Amazon Prime, I saved it to hopefully be alerted when the next two seasons were released on Prime, and then discovered Chicago Fire. I was a little unsure of this one because I hadn't see a fire show before, and I struggled a little at the start with losing the story when the patient got to the hospital, but soon got into the idea that the fire was the main event in this show and some of those were pretty wild and weird. There is also romance storylines in this, which I've realized is something I quite enjoy following in the shows I watch.
I realised watching it that I had seen some of the characters before in Med, they do crossover episodes which I enjoy, apparently this is a split opinion with some people hating them. There is also Chicago PD and Justice, both of which I can't find on anything yet, but perhaps may be worth a watch because I'm familiar with the characters already, a brother of a doctor etc.
I think something else I enjoy from the fire show is the female point of view, there was plenty of women in the show but their struggles as females in a male-dominated career are made a part of the storyline, the women often surpass expectations, get the promotions, we love to see it.
5 Station 19
Station 19 is another fire show, that follows a group of firefighters and aid car medics, I started watching this straight after I finished Chicago Fire, which sometimes is hard to do if I was enjoying the first show it is hard not to compare it to the next one. In the first episode, I recognized a couple of people, including the trainee firefighter, Ben Warren, who used to be a surgeon on Grey's Anatomy, although he left to pursue a new career with the fire service. That's when it clicked that this was a Grey's Anatomy spin-off that I hadn't even heard of.
It looks like the show will be continuing alongside Grey's, which is on season 17 now, and getting to see more of some of the doctors and getting another side of the story sometimes in these big situations that happened in Grey's.
4 Rick and Morty
A recent, classic show, Rick and Morty follows a old scientist and his grandson on their cosmic adventures, which is on it's fifth season I think now. The usual thing happens where everyone complains that the quality is declining as the seasons go on. I do prefer the first couple of seasons, but I still enjoy the new seasons as they come out. It's easy-watching probably because I've seen it so much, maybe the first time I watch a particularly complicated episode I would have to pay more attention but usually it's not too bad. It's just bright and animated and fun which I think is why I enjoy it.
3 Ink Master
I love competition shows, Sewing Bee, Drag Race, I love a good elimination-style contest and Ink Master has got to be one of the biggest. Ink Master is about tattoos, with a huge number of seasons and often a pretty large numbers of artists competing on each one. Not many shows start off with over 20 people in the running, making the first few episodes really fun when you get to see a huge number of great tattoos. They run through all the different styles and categories of tattoos and eliminate an artist each week, with two top tattoo artists as judges as well as Dave Navaro.
They often do a weird challenge before actually tattooing, it will be something like a giant image made from pins, or post it notes, or bricks. Something that shouldn't be able to make an amazing piece of artwork but somehow always does. I also just love the art, the artists are hugely talented on paper and skin, and it's great to watch. I love learning about the styles and things, but also enjoy how harsh they are to each other and how harshly they are judged sometimes, despite the artwork usually looking pretty good anyway. Definitely a good one to watch while you're sketching in the evenings!
2 Rupaul's Drag Race
The Drag Race franchise has grown so much since I first started watching it, the first season I saw was series 9, which remains one of my favourites to this day with the amount of talented queens competing. Since then there has been 4 more American seasons, three UK, a Down Under season, A canada one, and probably loads more that I haven't even seen yet. Plus the 8 seasons before 9, and now 6 seasons of all stars, so literally plenty to get through to fill the time. I find the design challenges the best I think, it's amazing what they can make out of plain weird items. Again an elimination type show, Rupaul's Drag Race is judged by the drag queen Rupaul alongside regulars like Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Carson Creisly, people that I hadn't seen before Drag Race but actually I find them really entertaining.
I think the All Star seasons are great, they bring back queens that did not win over the past few years, mix them up and they compete again, with slightly harder challenges I would say, with the twist that they eliminate each other, not being eliminated by the judges. I think these seasons do a lot of good for some of the queens that perhaps did not do great the first time around, or came across bitchy and unliked, it can often turn an opinion around on them and give them the better representation they deserve.
Overall a very easy to watch show, although it can be a little confusing to keep track of the queens at the start when there are so many of them constantly changing wigs and outfits, but soon a few start to stand out and by a few episodes in all the names have registered and I start to get favourites.
1 Grey's Anatomy
Mentioned a few times already in this list, Grey's anatomy is 17 (18?) seasons strong, following the life of surgical intern Meredith Grey, following in the footsteps of her infamous mother, we have watched Meredith follow the path from intern, to resident, to attending, even owning the hospital, and the various people and adventures she has along the way.
Originally I thought the show was going to be too stressful for me, realistically a lot of people were going to die on the show being a hospital that caters to emergencies, cancers, ICU patients and everything inbetween, but I don't think I was prepared for the amount of loss around Meredith throughout the seasons, but I think that's something central to her character is that she suffers a lot of loss but carries on.
There's so many characters in Grey's, and you get so invested in all of them, the families are so complicated, and the romances, and the deaths, but somehow it remains quite a light-hearted show that I enjoy watching, you just got to really lean into the loss and not getting too attached to the characters.
There was an episode finale during the middle somewhere, where a man struck by the loss of his wife that he thought was by the hands on Meredith's husband brought a gun into the hospital and started shooting, seeking for Derek. It was such an intense and scary episode, with the doctors and patients all stuck in various rooms of the hospitals, torn between hiding and helping. A lot of people were lost during that episode, but it really spoke about the impact of loss and the reality of shootings in America which was very scary.
I've only watched the episodes through once, but no doubt will start the whole thing again at some point to watch them from interns again. The whole thing mad me wish I had been a surgeon for a while but it was an unrealistic dream haha. I haven't yet seen the season that covers Covid19, but I hear there's some pretty big events during it, so I'm looking forward to that coming out on something soon.
So there we go, my top ten at the moment! What do you enjoy watching while you craft away?