2020 has met a formidable foe: the coronavirus pandemic. In the early months of the widespread lockdown, many turned to new and fan-favorite television shows seeking comfort. While the film industry has had to halt production and movie theaters have closed their doors, audiences stuck inside discovered their new favorite hobby during quarantine.
Storytelling transports us to different, fictional worlds, free from COVID-19, back to a time when we didn’t have to stay six feet apart or wear masks. The magic of storytelling brings us a bit of joy, makes us laugh and most of all, distracts us from the stress and uncertainty of today, even if only for a little while.
“New Girl,” “Psych,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Friends” are some of the more comedic television shows students have binge-watched over the lockdown months. They brought humor, comfort and nostalgia back into our lives during a time of great uncertainty. All classic comedies, these shows remind us to keep our spirits up.
According to some students, theme songs like “I Know, You Know” from “Psych” allowed them to travel back in time and reminisce about the good old days pre-coronavirus. Beloved characters like the iconic duo, Shawn and Gus, brought humor when it was most needed. Also, “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home” debuted to audiences on Peacock, a new streaming service, in mid-July. Dedicated fans of the show, known as Psych-Os, were thrilled to join Shawn and Gus on another adventure and reconnect with Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter to solve a mysterious case. Critics and Psych-Os alike praised the film for its witty script and heartfelt moments. Villanovans hope that the showrunners decide to produce a third movie soon.
“New Girl” and “Friends” also made Villanovans laugh, cry and reminisce over how much we missed our friends and roommates from school. Although “Friends” left Netflix in January, “New Girl’s” seven seasons remained and were watched by millions during the lockdown. Roommates Jess, Nick, Winston and Schmidt brought audiences humor and allowed them to escape into a world free from COVID-19. The show’s strong cast and the heartfelt moments allowed it to become a show many students watch regularly.
Other television shows students binge-watched over the lockdown include dramas like “Outer Banks,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.”
In the first 10 days after it was released, about 35 million people watched the true-crime docuseries “Tiger King” on Netflix, surpassing “Stranger Things” season two viewership by about three million. This unbelievable, mind-boggling story attracted viewers during the lockdown. Given “Tiger King’s” quick rise to popularity, new scripted remakes are currently in the works and will reportedly star actors like Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic and Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a fan favorite on Amazon Prime Video, has received dozens of Emmy nominations this year. Set in the late 1950s, this fast-paced series is admired by Villanovans for its wit, beautiful cinematography and story full of empowerment, comedy and drama. Showrunners hope to resume production soon so audiences can follow Midge Maisel on her journey to stardom in season four.
“Outer Banks,” a new action-packed teen adventure series, debuted mid-April on Netflix and became popular almost immediately. Set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a group of teenagers finds themselves caught in a dangerous treasure hunt. Villanovans enjoy its many plot twists that they hope will continue in season two. Showrunners and cast members have confirmed that production for the second season has already started.
Although production dates for new episodes of some of these fan-favorite television shows remain unclear, audiences look forward to finding new shows to watch during these uncertain times. We all crave a sense of normalcy, so we continue to immerse ourselves into fictional worlds full of humor, drama and adventure. In the meantime, Villanovans are determined to balance academic life with their new, beloved hobby: quaran-streaming.