Thanks to this lovely Coronavirus so much of the world is either in a lockdown or heading that way and it sucks. A lot of us probably feel the same way as the dog in the picture above by now. Sure, there’s stuff you can do but no one wants to be trapped in their houses 24/7, especially if you’re on your own. Since so many of us geeks tend to struggle socially that’s a major problem. Still, we can at least use this time indoors to catch up on some great shows and keep ourselves entertained. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Batman: The Animated Series
This had to be first on the list. Batman: The animated series is largely considered not only the greatest superhero cartoon but one of the best cartoons ever. Not only do you get the sumptuous noir visuals, the first appearances of Harley Quinn and the modern backstory of Mr. Freeze but you’ll experience Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy in their iconic roles as Joker and Batman. If you’re even remotely into Batman or superheroes in general then this is the show for you.
Available on: DC Universe
Justice League/Justice League Unlimited
Technically this is two shows but Unlimited is a sequel so I’m counting it as one. This is an amazing series. The first two seasons focus on the stereotypical Justice League line-up. We see Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter fighting the forces of evil across a string of two-part stories. It’s great and there’s a lot of character building throughout but things really pick up once Unlimited starts. The team massively expands to include virtually every DC superhero and the stories are no longer in two parts. You’ll see the likes of Question, Green Arrow, Huntress and Supergirl taking the main stage alongside the original roster as well as adaptations of classic works like “Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow?”, not to mention Batman singing. It’s well worth a watch if you’re into comics.
Available on: DC Universe
Game of Thrones
Yeah, the ending could’ve been a lot better but that doesn’t detract from how good this show was for most of its run. The goings-on in the world of Westeros managed to keep the public hooked for 8 years and with good reason. Everything seemed to have stakes and even though the story was told from multiple different points of view it rarely seemed to drag. I think this was a testament to the quality of the actors. Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Maisie Williams, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau all spring to mind as highlights of the cast but I can’t think of a single bad actor on the show. It trailed off in quality towards the end due to the author not being able to keep pumping books out in time to keep up with the show. Now the books are claiming to be back at work though. I can’t say how soon he might have new books out but the potential for a proper ending is as good a reason as any to give this show and the previous books ago.
Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
I love this show. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is one of the best-animated superhero shows of the last 30 years. It starts off with stories introducing each main Avenger and continues to adapt major stories from all throughout the Avengers comics. Of course, as the series goes on you get to see more and more of the Marvel universe and its heroes leading to some brilliant team-ups. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the theme tune now that I’m an adult but the quality of the animation and voice acting in this show was superb. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re a Marvel fan.
Available on: Disney Plus
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This is the show that put Joss Whedon in the limelight. Imagine how good a show has to be to convince Disney that the creator is the man they want in charge of their biggest film venture ever, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This show features drama, horror, comedy and relatable characters in droves. Admittedly some of the effects are dated (it did start in the ’90s) but Buffy is still not only one of the best horror shows ever to appear on television but one of the best action and teen drama shows too.
Available on: Amazon Prime
The definitive British sci-fi show. Doctor Who is one of the most well-known sci-fi shows of all time and dates back to the ’60s. It focuses on the adventures of an alien time traveler as he/she galavants around the universe alongside some human companions and it’s incredible. The show’s filled with drama and there are high stakes in every episode but it never loses its sense of fun and I think that’s what makes it so appealing for so long. The newest season just finished a few weeks ago so this is the perfect opportunity to catch up. The show is available on Netflix, Britbox and BBC iPlayer so there’s plenty of ways to view this incredible show.
Available on: Netflix, Britbox & BBC iPlayer
With the recent announcement that the Bleach anime is going to be returning next year for its final season now is the ideal time to get up to date with this classic Shonen Jump offering. The series follows Ichigo Kurasaki, a substitute soul reaper hunting evil creatures called hollows. It’s amazing. The action, creativity, art and humour makes this one of the most iconic anime of all time. I can’t recommend Bleach enough to anyone looking for some entertainment while they’re isolating themselves during this epidemic.
Available On: Crunchyroll
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
In stressful times like these I think a bit of silliness is good for the soul and this anime is pure cheese. There’s dramatic and violent moments in here too but fundamentally this is a show designed to be ridiculous. The bizarre adventure starts with the story of Jonathan Joestar when his father adopts the young Dio Brando. Naturally, chaos ensues and a rivalry develops between the two young men that continues across multiple generations of the Joestar family. It’s an epic, globe-trotting, supernatural tale covering Victorian times, World war two, the 80’s and the modern-day and it’s as entertaining as anime can get. With the third series set to debut on Netflix in the coming weeks this is a great time to catch up.
Available on: Netflix
The story of FBI agent Fox Mulder trying to discover the truth behind the supposed alien abduction of his sister. At the same time he’s assigned a skeptical partner called Dana Scully in an attempt by his bosses to discredit him before he can expose any of their secrets. It’s a classic sci-fi/horror show with most episodes being their own standalone stories. The acting from David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson is some of the best of their careers and the show is as creative as you can get. The X-files are definitely worth looking into.
Available on: Amazon Prime
American Horror Story
This anthology series rocks. Admittedly there’s one or two seasons that drag it down a little but for the most part, AHS is a horror classic. The show is presented as an anthology with most of the same actors in each season albeit playing different characters and in different settings. The show starts off with the Murder house storyline and progresses on through Asylum, Coven, Freakshow, Hotel, Roanoke, Cult, Apocalypse and 1984. Between the concepts behind each season and the phenomenal acting from the likes of Jessica Lange, James Cromwell, Kathy Bates, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters this is a show that’s well worth looking into.
Available on: Netflix
Honorable mention: WWE
The WWE has recently announced that its subscription service (The WWE network) will be free for the duration of this crisis so it’s a perfect opportunity to take advantage of their massive library of wrestling events. All of their TV shows, as well as their pay per views, are on it alongside classic footage of the NWA, WCW, ECW and many other promotions. This promotion won’t last so it’s best to take advantage of it while you can.
Available on: WWE Network
Honourable mention: A Series of Unfortunate Events
I used to read these books religiously when they first came out. They were second only to the Harry Potter titles in my opinion so I was hyped when a movie was announced to adapt the novels. Sadly, despite the dream casting of Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, the first film wasn’t successful enough to warrant sequels. I was heartbroken but a few years ago Netflix announced their own adaptation in the form of a TV series. It was perfect. Neil Patrick Harris is featured as the lead villain Olaf along with some brilliant young actors as the Baudelaire orphans and a stunning supporting cast that includes Nathan Fillion, Will Arnett, Cobie Smulders, and Patrick Warburton. There’s snappy dialogue throughout and the show manages to be hilarious without losing any of its sense of drama. A series of unfortunate events is well worth a look whether you’re a fan of the books, enjoy the cast members or you’re just looking for a good time.