Meredith’s TV Guide (March, 2024)

Something awful happened to me a few weeks ago. I had nothing to watch on television! Between network television, Netflix, Hulu, Max, Prime, and Apple TV +, you might ask how that is even possible. Well, it’s no secret that I am a television addict. It’s right there in my bio. I use the term loosely, but television is often my reward for a hard day of work, a grueling workout, a challenging writing session. I don’t watch during the day, even on weekends, but it’s what I do for my last few waking hours most nights before I go to sleep and it adds up. Until now, when I finished one favorite show, I was conveniently rewarded with a new season of a different favorite becoming available. But between the pandemic and the writer’s/actor’s strike, production on so many shows was halted, leaving me in a waiting game with very little content that piqued my interest. I also think some shows, like Stranger Things and Severance, enjoy torturing us by waiting as long as possible. Granted, I have no proof of this. It’s just a feeling!

Anyway, I couldn’t find anything that appealed to me despite clicking through options on all of the above streaming channels. And then I had dinner with my family and my sister provided some really great recommendations! Between those, my own research, and the well-timed return of an old favorite, my rotation is full again, for now. So even though it’s been over a year since I shared my television guide, I decided to write an installment now in case any of you are experiencing the same drought. (I also just sent my latest book to beta readers and am still waiting for edits of my 2025 release and have more free time than usual. I twitch without anything to write.) So, without further ado, here’s what I’m watching now:

The first two shows star comedians, which led me to the incorrect assumption that they would be strictly for laughs but both have surprising depths:

AFTER LIFE: (Netflix) This thirty-minute show stars Ricky Gervais as a man in the aftermath of the death of his wife from cancer. Deciding life is too short to filter his thoughts, he says everything he’s thinking and is often cruel. But deep down—not so deep actually—he’s actually kind and caring and when he changes direction and goes out of his way to lift other’s spirits, you can’t help but love him. One thing I appreciate is that the writers don’t have him mourning his wife for one episode before moving onto a new a love interest. There is a new love interest, but his grieving holds him back from pursuing it, which I think is realistic. I’m so glad my sister recommended this one. There are three seasons of this show and I’m only on the second.

LIFE AND BETH: (Hulu) My elevator pitch is paraphrased from IDMB. After unexpectedly losing her mother, Beth (Amy Schumer) starts having flashbacks to herself as a teenager and learns why she is the way she is and who she truly wants to be. Another thirty-minute show, this one is hilarious at times, but also extremely difficult to watch at others because Beth goes through a lot as a teenager thanks to extremely dysfunctional parents. The second season was just released recently and I’m halfway through it. I hope there will be a third season.

PALM ROYALE: (Apple+ TV) Kristen Wiig (SNL), another comedian, stars in this one, along with a stellar cast including Carol Brunette, Laura Dern (who I LOVE), Ricky Martin, Allison Janney, Josh Lucas, and Leslie Bibb. It’s categorized as a “drama” but it’s definitely a comedy and an absolute delight. Set in 1969 and against the glamorous backdrop of a fancy and exclusive country club in Palm Beach, Kristen’s character Maxine tries to steal and scheme her way to acceptance by the members of the club who want absolutely nothing to do with her. The first season is streaming now with a new episode every week.

EXTRAORDINARY: (Hulu) I spent this past NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) writing 80 pages and a synopsis of a romcom inspired by this hilarious thirty-minute British comedy about a reimagined world where everyone gets a superpower when they turn eighteen. Everyone, that is, except for twenty-four-year-old Jen. The show centers around Jen and her friends/flatmates doing typical twenty-something things like dating, drinking, and dealing with parental disappointment only with a side of a very silly superpower, like Jen’s boyfriend Jizzlord (are you laughing yet?) who can turn into a cat and her roommate Carrie who summons ghost and allows them to communicate through her own body on command. I laugh so hard during this show and am so thrilled a second season is now available. I’m not sure if I will ever finish my manuscript as my agent didn’t seem thrilled with the concept but stay tuned!

NORMAL PEOPLE: (Hulu) Based on the bestselling Sally Rooney novel of the same name, this is one of my sister’s recommendations. I haven’t read the book, but my sister rarely steers me wrong, so I tried it. This one is more “vibes” than “plot” but it’s also an addictive love story between Marianne and Connell, who go to the same high school in an Irish small town where he’s popular and she’s an outsider. They begin a secret affair that continues through college, where it’s no longer a secret, and possibly beyond. (I haven’t gotten that far yet.) They have a very on again/off again relationship and it’s interesting to see the tables turn and the numerous shifts in power/who holds the cards. The tension and angst are near constant and the sex scenes are very hot. I find their lack of communication to be extremely frustrating, but I also can’t look away. It’s only one season and I don’t know if there are plans to renew it so I’m watching it slowly!

WELCOME TO SAMDAL-RI: (Netflix) – This is my current K-drama obsession. For fans of Hometown Cha Cha Cha, it’s set in a charming small town where everyone knows each other but rather than fish-out-of-water, it’s a second chance romance. It’s funny and sweet. I’m almost mid-way through and just reached the “twist” that almost all of them have that I did not see coming at all.

GIRLS: (Max). I didn’t get beyond the first episode when it first came out because I found the millennial mid-twenty-something struggle to be too annoying and maybe I was a bit bitter that I was closer to forty! But now I am very sad to be nearing the end. It was ridiculous at times and the self-absorbed, totally immature main characters were hard to take, especially Marnie (cheating is not cool, Marnie. Not cool!), but I loved the way Hannah came into her own and the progression of Adam Driver’s character. But it was the charming Elijiah who stole the show for me. He’s so loveable!!

Rewatch: THE MARVALOUS MRS. MAISEL: (Prime). This is only my first rewatch and I honestly forgot so much about it that it’s almost like watching it for the first time. I watch it right before bed and it reduces my stress level and calms me down enough to fall asleep. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and hurry to Prime and start RIGHT NOW.

THE GENTLEMEN: (Netflix) – This remake of the 2019 movie is about an aristocrat who inherits his family’s estate only to discover that it’s home to a secret weed empire run by very dangerous people with no intention of letting it go. I’ve only watched one episode so far and it’s too soon to tell if I’m going to like it. I like looking at Theo James but I’m not sure that’s enough. We’ll see.

My one DNF is FEUD: TRUMAN VS. THE SWANS (Hulu). I wanted so badly to love this one because it’s set in high society New York City and there’s so much drama, but I just couldn’t handle Truman’s whiny voice. I might try again with captions on mute, but the reviews have not been great so I’m not sure it’s worth it.


TRUE DETECTIVE (Night Country): (Max) – I could not get into the first season but my colleague and one of my agent siblings gushed. I’m so glad I gave it a try because it was so much faster paced than the first season and creepy as hell!

LOVE IS BLIND season 13: (Netflix) I would watch this all day, every day. I love this show so much. It is my obsession. The most recent season had more drama than a telenovela! I’m not sure all the men—I’m looking at you Jeramey—were there for the right reasons, and Chelsea’s insecurity seriously stressed me out—but the concept seems to work better than most dating shows! I’m even a little bummed that I’m too old to audition. LOVE IS BLIND SWEDEN was also a delicious treat.

PLAYERS: (Netflix) – This romantic comedy movie starring Gina Rodridguez, Damon Wayan’s Jr. and Tom Ellis about a group of friends/colleagues who work together on schemes to help each other get laid was super fun (and way better written/acted than Lindsay Lohan’s Irish Wish that got way more buzz).

That concludes my current television guide. Have you watched any of these? What are your thoughts?

Until next time (though I’m not sure when that will actually be), happy watching!

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