5 shows on Netflix to productively waste your time

Laughed my head off: The Circle


Comparing The Circle to the other reality show on Netflix, Love is Blind, is like comparing a nightclub pre-corona to post-corona. In the brilliant show The Circle, eight people live in isolation, only able to talk to each other online. Every couple of days, they rate each other, and from there decide who’s thrown out. The competitors are eccentric and hilarious, and some of them catfish. A bit creepy, but I laughed so hard.


Absolutely bonkers: Tiger King


What I thought would be a show about tiger welfare was actually about cults, unsolved murders, polygamy, presidential campaigns, and illegal animal trafficking. All of which ends with (spoiler alert!) a man named Joe Exotic being sentenced to 22 years in prison. I’ll never look at zoos the same way.


Something emotional: Unorthodox


Loosely based on a memoir, the premise is that a young woman leaves her orthodox Jewish community in New York and “escapes” to Berlin. The plotline jumps around, diving into culture, women’s sexuality, music, and the power of community. The further into the story I went, the more shocked I became.


Watch with your mom: Something in the Rain


This came out a while ago, but it still deserves a mention. If you want a slow-burning, makes-you-smile type of romance, then commit to watching the Korean drama Something in the Rain. It might be a bit slow at the beginning, but the show more than makes up for it in sweet moments and strong female characters.


Has an attractive Spanish man (among other things): Money Heist/La Casa de Papel


Again, not new (although Season 4 was released on April 4), but a must-watch. In this Spanish show, a group of criminals plans a heist to come away with over a billion dollars. The intricate plan involving scary masks, hostages, and the support of the public is revealed piece by piece, even as the operation descends into chaos. Each episode left me shocked.