4 shows to binge watch (during your maternity leave)

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Note: You might recall that I’m a mama — hence, the name of this blog. This post is a re-blog that I wrote for my friends over at The Smart Domestic. The TV recommendations are for anyone, not just those in the family way. 

You’ve purged a baby. Congrats! Now it’s time to binge on some TV while you rest and recoup on maternity leave.

I’ve put together list that has a little something for everyone – the true crime junkie, the horror fan, the drama queen and the comedy connoisseur. If you don’t like labels, but love TV, I encourage you to try them all (you don’t have to be postpartum, either).

15690771260_ce94657fda_bThe True Crime Junkie

Watch “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”

Maybe you think you know enough about O.J. Or maybe you saw the promo and got a little weirded out by John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. Whatever the reason, if you missed this show on FX last year, you need to check it out.

Showrunner Ryan Murphy presents the trial of the century – opening with the infamous low-speed chase in that white Bronco and re-enacting all the major milestones (from Marcia Clark’s makeover to the bloody glove to the verdict).

All of that is fascinating, but it’s the acting that really draws you in – especially Sarah Paulson as Prosecutor Marcia Clark and Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran. Paulson and Vance are riveting as the 2 key players in the trial, on opposing sides, equally driven, maligned and misunderstood.

Already watched it? Try “The Jinx,” the HBO documentary about millionaire-murderer Robert Durst.

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© Photography by Cathleen Tarawhiti 2007 – 2012

The Horror Fan

Watch “Penny Dreadful.”

This is near the top of my list of the most beautiful, stylized shows to have ever graced the small screen. Lead actress Eva Green is mesmerizing as Vanessa Ives, a woman haunted and scorned by Victorian society.

The show is a modern, gothic horror masterpiece (it’s like an updated version of Universal’s “House of Frankenstein” with all the classic monsters – Wolfman, Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula, among others). But it’s so much more than that – as the protagonist, Vanessa is a captivating woman who defies stereotypes.

Already watched it? Go back and re-watch “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I’ve watched the entire series no less than 6 times, and it never ceases to delight me.

dramaThe Drama Queen

Watch “The Americans.”

This is one of those shows that flies under the radar – not a lot of my friends watch it, and until recently, critics weren’t giving it its due. But take it from me, it’s fantastic.

The show is the story of 2 undercover KGB agents during the Cold War. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings, a married team of spies with 2 kids, a house in the suburbs and a travel agency. And oh yeah, they kill people, steal secrets and subvert their neighboring FBI pal at every chance. It’s the stark contrast of their double lives, and their relationship, that drive this show. Bonus points to the soundtrack, which has some expertly placed popular tunes from the ‘80s.

Already watching it? Check out “Ray Donovan,” Showtime’s highly underrated drama about its eponymous Hollywood fixer, played by Liev Schreiber.

sunglasses-woman-girl-facelessThe Comedy Connoisseur

Watch “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

If you want to laugh a lot, watch this show. Written by Tina Fey, the jokes come so fast that you will find yourself rewinding to catch the next hilarious line before you are done guffawing at the last.

The show has a great cast – Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess, and Carol Kane just kill it. Kemper plays Kimmy, a lovable sweetheart who was recently freed from an underground bunker where she was held captive. Kimmy moves to New York, gets an apartment with the fabulous and flamboyant Titus Andromedon, and hijinks ensue.

There are also some memorable guest stars (Jon Hamm as the cult leader) and very topical and funny criticisms of society (a pill called Dyziplen for parenting problems). You’ll enjoy it.

Already watching? Check out “The League.” Full disclosure, I don’t know anything about sports – but I can appreciate good, off-color humor, and this show had plenty of that.

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