Streaming Services, Where Would I Be Without You?

A few months before the COVID pandemic erupted in early 2020, my wife Sandy signed us up for Netflix, a streaming service. She immediately dipped into its vast catalog of offerings, but I didn’t. This was predictable, since, for years, I’d been watching very little TV. However, when the pandemic halted the activities that until then had shaped my life significantly — such as going to concerts, movies, museums and restaurants — I was in need of high doses of entertainment. So, I turned to Netflix and HBO, another streamer, in order to fill the gaping void. (We already were HBO subscribers, because Sandy loves Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.) I’m damn glad that I did. Man, it became a five-to-seven-nights-a-week ritual, which has continued to this day, for Sandy and me to watch an hour or two together of one series or another, or sometimes a movie instead.

And the selections available to us expanded luxuriously about a year ago when we decided to give Jeff Bezos some needed cash by becoming members of Amazon Prime, one component of which is Prime Video, a streamer supreme. Around that time, too, we transitioned from HBO to HBO Max, as Max offers shitloads more series and movies than traditional HBO does. Holy crap, my mind was and remains blown by the nearly infinite mass of scripted, ad-free visual content a few clicks away from me. Though the world in many ways is a nightmare, its streaming realm is f*cking miraculous.

It was a good move on my part, at the start of my infatuation with streamers, to begin compiling a list of the series that Sandy and I jointly watch on television. After all, in a way the list is a partial record of our lives. The list also includes the series that she and I have viewed individually, but there aren’t many of those. Well, I ain’t lying when I say that the list has become really long. The number of productions that we’ve seen in tandem absolutely astounds me: 87, comprising limited series and also multi-season series of which we’ve taken in one or more seasons. Yup, though I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time in front of the tube, I’m a freaking streaming addict nonetheless. I haven’t partaken of scripted fare to this extent since I was a kid ages ago, when I feasted regularly on innumerable network-television series: Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, and Peter Gunn, to name but a few.

A good indication of the strength of my addiction (and Sandy’s too, it must be noted) is the fact that, as a team last month, we polished off every episode of Mo, A Very English Scandal, Entrapped, and Wednesday. We also devoured season one of The White Lotus and the first two seasons of Catastrophe (we’ll watch the remaining two seasons in February). I liked all the shows, one especially so.

The standout is Catastrophe. It initially ran on the United Kingdom’s Channel Four, ending in 2019. Prime Video started carrying it somewhere along the line. A rip-roaring rom-com that isn’t all fun and games, Catastrophe tells the mid-life tale of Sharon Morris, an Irish lass living in London, and Rob Norris, an American who hails from Boston. At the start of the show, Rob is in London on business. Friendly, frisky and 40-ish, Sharon and Rob like what they see in each other when they meet by chance in a pub, and lose no time in getting it on, repeatedly, over the next week. Rob then returns to the States where, some weeks later, Sharon phones him to announce that she is pregnant. Well, though they barely know one another, Rob moves to London, Sharon decides to have the baby, Rob proposes to Sharon, who says yes, and a married couple they become. A few hours after the wedding ceremony concludes, the unborn child silently proclaims that it is ready to meet the world ahead of schedule.

I won’t say any more about the plot. I will add this, though: Catastrophe (created by, written by and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, who, as best I can determine, were/are not romantically involved) leaves me breathless. Its eight or so principal characters are beautifully drawn and played, its dialogue whip-smart. The show, however, is not for anyone who isn’t up for getting drenched with candid sex talk and robust sexual situations, all of which, mind you, Catastrophe presents with a twinkle in its eye. Catastrophe truly is something else.

So, that’s the latest on the TV-viewing front from my abode. Seeing that Sandy and I always are on the lookout for series and movies to watch, we’d love to learn what you recommend, on streaming services or elsewhere. Thanks!

149 thoughts on “Streaming Services, Where Would I Be Without You?

  1. ckennedy February 12, 2023 / 7:14 pm

    Same here–during the pandemic, we watched so many good streaming series on television. Since then, we’ve subscribed to AppleTV to watch Ted Lasso–loved it; HBO Max had Righteous Gemstones, which we loved; Hulu had lots of great things–and it came with Disney+ which is fun as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 12, 2023 / 10:39 pm

      Good evening. We have HBO Max, and I’ll check out Righteous Gemstones. I hadn’t heard of that one. It’s incredible how many series are available now, what with all the various streaming services.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. February 13, 2023 / 7:41 am

    Hi…I’m sorry to report, we have ‘normal’ cable and all it has is free re-runs and the news, both of which we avoid more times than not. Thus the bird-watching and cat-watching, and snow-watching. I’m with you on being more than ready to get back to the loved activities of Pre-Covid status! Enjoy that show…it does sound quite interesting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. D. Wallace Peach February 13, 2023 / 12:18 pm

    My husband and I are also Netflix and Prime members, Neil, and we love watching a bit of our favorite stuff most nights (John Oliver fans too!) It’s a much-needed break from the repetitive news about those wild and crazy Republicans, and there’s nothing better than bingeing a great series. Thanks for the recommendation of Catastrophe. We’ll give it a try. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 13, 2023 / 4:30 pm

      Hi. Movie theaters are having a hard time of it, I think, because it’s so easy and tempting to stay home and watch the tube. Yesterday, though, my wife and I went to an arthouse cinema and saw a movie called Living. There were 40 or so people there, which is more than I expected.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Pearce Griffin February 13, 2023 / 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations. We are always looking for something interesting to watch. We are not those people who have the TV on 24/7 but we have been having “dinner and a movie” most evenings since we retired. We are currently watching Wednesday and that tells me that we share similar tastes – maybe. So here are a list of recent movie recommendations from Prime: Dough, Ideal Home, The Tender Bar, The Bachelors, Burn Your Maps. Also Lion – on Netflix – completely worth the watch. I’m sure there are others but I can’t remember them all. We are currently watching Mayfair Witches. Anyway, thanks again for the list. Hope you enjoy mine.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Pearce Griffin February 14, 2023 / 5:26 pm

        And a few more on Netflix: You People, Hillbilly Elegy, The Starling, The Railway Man…………..let me know what you think.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Max Ethan February 15, 2023 / 5:54 am

    My list of shows continues to grow but I watch at a pretty slow pace Neil. Rainy weekends are excellent for binge-watching though, as long as there aren’t 12 seasons to get through

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 15, 2023 / 7:38 am

      Hello there. I also tend to stay away from shows that have lots of seasons. Watching that many episodes is too daunting a project.


  6. chattykerry February 15, 2023 / 12:30 pm

    I think streaming services enabled us to get through the Pandemic without jumping off a cliff (there are none around me but I guess I could have waded into an alligator infested bayou…) The quality of series has improved in leaps and bounds. My husband and I thoroughly enjoy either anticipating the script or dissecting it. Loving Three Pines on Amazon right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. stargazer February 16, 2023 / 4:45 pm

    I actually gave up my Netflix subscription because I never used it. I still have Prime, but mostly for the free delivery of orders. Occasionally, I watch a show or film. Good Omens is one of my favourite Amazon Prime productions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pam Lazos February 18, 2023 / 2:36 pm

    Whoa, now I have to add catastrophe to the list, Neil. Much like you and Sandy, we were not huge TV watchers before the pandemic, but the gloves are off now and we stream and stream. If you haven’t watched “Succession” on HBO Max, that’s your next show. Also “Mare of Easttown.” Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 18, 2023 / 5:27 pm

      Thanks for the Succession tip, Pam. We’ve seen Mare, and liked it. Have you seen Cunk On Earth? We watched it this week. It’s funny!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. alhenry February 18, 2023 / 6:23 pm

    “A Very English Scandal” was amazing, wasn’t it? Ed has more TV endurance than me, but we do watch various series on Saturday and Sunday night, and the occasional hour on a weekday. If you haven’t tried it, may I suggest “Endeavour”, the prequel to the old fabulously popular “Detective Morse” series. Endeavour is the young Morse. We are now in Season 7 and still “in love” with this high-production values, well-scripted, excellently acted series on Amazon Prime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 18, 2023 / 8:21 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation. A detective series you might like is Unforgotten. It’s on Amazon. There’s no shortage of shows to watch!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. J P March 1, 2023 / 3:56 pm

    Oh my, am I allowed to drop the “television? We don’t watch much” facade here? OK, the missus and I watch a bunch together.

    Our tastes match up maybe 85% of the time, and another 10% is in the “I’ll watch it because you want to” category. If you like noir-ish crime thrillers, there is Bosch starring Titus Weiliver. On Prime, I think, but they all kind of swirl together for me. I will also add a vote for The Flight Attendant. A classic (that I liked better than the wife) was The Sopranos, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed Downton Abbey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 1, 2023 / 5:26 pm

      Hi. Thanks for the input. The Sopranos is great. I happened to see one of its stars (Michael Imperiole) recently — he’s in the second season of The White Lotus.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Un po' di pepe March 12, 2023 / 7:34 pm

    Catastrophe was quite brilliant, although not for the faint of heart. I saw it on CBC (aka regular Canadian TV, not even cable) a few years ago. It as around the time Carrie Fisher passed away, as she plays Rob’s mother! I don’t have cable, but I do have Netflix. I will be keeping it to that, since I feel like I already watch more than I have time for. I am keeping a list of ‘to watch’. Ciao, Cristina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 12, 2023 / 11:43 pm

      Hi Cristina. One thing for sure is that there’s enough on Netflix to keep any viewer occupied for years and years. There’s so much content, and much of it is good.

      Liked by 1 person

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