In my troubled 2020 moments, I’ve self-soothed by turning to my old friend: Television
Television has been the distraction I've needed from the crises I’ve faced this year.
Here are my Top Binged Shows of 2020 that positively impacted my mental health. These are the shows that challenged me or that made me feel "warm & fuzzy" when I REALLY needed it.
8. Get Organized With: The Home Edit (Netflix)
Genre - Reality/Home makeovers
It's incredibly satisfying to watch homes transform into tidy spaces. It's literally restoring order to chaos. The duo who perform the re-organizations are funny, relatable women. This show has provided inspiration for home projects if we are faced with another lockdown or just in the winter months when I don't want to leave the house anyway!
7. The Babysitter’s Club (Netflix)
Genre - Young Adult
Ten year old me would’ve been thrilled to see such a wonderful adaptation of this 90s era children’s book series! Thirty-five year old me was enchanted. This first season tackles themes like ableism, transgender children’s rights, girls’ self-esteem, and friendship. The Babysitter’s club is wholesome and radically progressive.
6. Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
Genre - Young Adult
This hilarious teen “dramedy” has an extremely diverse and inclusive cast of characters. The show centres around an Indian-American teen named Devi who is endlessly clever, but is embroiled in a firestorm of angst, grief, and raging hormones. This first season was so touching and relatable, and reminded me that I survived teenage-hood, and thus can survive anything.
5. Queer Eye (Netflix)
Genre - Reality/Self-Help/Inspirational/Love Bomb
Can you tell that I have a high opinion of this show? The release of the fifth season was perfectly timed, dropping at the height of the pandemic. I’ve shed many happy tears watching Queer Eye, and in 2020 it was refreshing to cry with joy. Queer Eye is a show that connects diverse people and calls them in during such a divisive time!
4. Little Fires Everywhere (Amazon Prime)
Genre - Drama/Mystery
This women-led 8 episode miniseries was haunting and beautifully executed on all levels! Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are at the tops of their respective games, each playing complex characters who ignite moments of reckoning for each other. Internalized misogyny, classism, racism, toxic positivity and many more important themes are explored with honesty and humility. Little Fires Everywhere was the “feminist text” I needed at this moment, to spark my introspection, and help me on my journey to become a better woman…and human, in 2020.
3. I May Destroy You (HBO, CRAVE TV)
Genre - Drama/Mystery
On the topic of feminism, watching this series was another thought provoking, self-interrogating experience I will not forget. Based on creator Michaela Coel’s own experiences with sexual assault, this show was BRAVE. This suspenseful mystery “destroyed” me as a viewer… in a good way. I felt empathy, anger, anxiety, confusion, triumph — a lot of feelings.
2. RuPaul’s Drag Race (Netflix, CRAVE TV)
Genre - Reality/Competition
This franchise (Drag Race-All Stars, Drag Race UK, Canada’s Drag Race) will never not cheer me up. The larger than life personalities, the glamour, the talent, the Queer excellence — I’M. HERE. FOR. IT. I’ve been told that I go into a joyful trance whenever I watch Queens lip sync. During 2020, Drag Race has been my “mindful activity,” my form of fabulous meditation.
1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime)
Genre - Dramedy/50s Period
I fell in love with this series from the first season. In my opinion Miriam “Midge” Maisel is one of the most charming and tenacious heroines in TV history. I burned through season 3 in just a few days and felt a revived passion for my own creative pursuits. Midge, a comedienne on the rise, questions her career decisions in many of the same ways I have. Although I can relate to Midge’s artistic struggles, any woman can identify with the difficult personal sacrifices she has to make, and be inspired by her victories.