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What Are The Best Shows to Binge Watch Right Now

3:22 PM PDT on March 16, 2020

    [dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap] live with my family. All of it, I think.

    Like every Galindo that ever dawned that Super G cape is here almost always now that we are under the Rona Quarantine (copyright pending). But I also know a lot of my friends are missing their folks back home and even their little chosen fam across the way right about now.

    So what do we have? Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, and whatever app you use to steal all that?

    TV can be our escape, right? But that's harder when you are a person of color. Most of TV doesn't really reflect the family and friends we are missing right about now.

    Thankfully, there are some shows you can binge right now that offer a wealth of diversity and tell stories that remind me of my crazy family and my dope friends. Here are 12 of my favorites.

    Gentefied on Netflix

    PREMISE: A multi-generational Mexican-American family must come together to save their taco shop from gentrification.

    There have been many think pieces on Gentefied. I should know. I wrote one. But mostly, it's a funny show with a lot of heart that features a primarily Latinx cast. At its most basic, it's your typical modern American sitcom, which in itself is a breakthrough for centering Latinx stories in that medium. At its best, Gentefied is a heartfelt love letter to that community.

    High Maintenance on HBO

    PREMISE: A weed guy opens the doors to a variety of stories in the diverse and expansive New York area.

    High Maintenance is probably the most diverse show on TV right now. Its basic idea is to tell these incredible stories of New Yorkers in the kinds of vignettes that feel like they take the best of French New Wave without feeling pompous in any way. Because they are telling the story of possibly the most diverse city in the history of the world, the show manages to be incredibly rich and beautiful. It's quite a remarkable accomplishment considering how many shows about New York and Los Angeles fail to capture that obvious reality.

    Undone on Amazon Prime

    PREMISE: A Latina finds herself struggling with some mind-bending realities as she investigates the death of her white father.

    Undone will mess you up. Straight up, this show will break your brain. It's brilliantly done in this animated style that itself bends reality. If you like mystery shows and time travel and some Aztec warrior shit sprinkled in there, this is the show for you.

    Shrill on Hulu

    PREMISE: A struggling journalist tries to find her voice and confidence without becoming a jerk in the process.

    Shrill is hilarious. And it's a rare show centered around a white lead that also has a ton of diversity in its cast, world, and stories. The fact that it can do that without being some kind of tragedy porn or othering its black and LGBTQ characters is commendable.

    Insecure on HBO

    PREMISE: A young black woman struggles with insecurity as she tries to get her life together.

    Insecure is a modern, much better Sex and the City. Maybe I'm not allowed to make that comparison because I'm just a man. But I was practically raised on Sex and the City, a show that I loved but that I never quite related to, with its rich, white, vain world. Insecure, on the other hand, captures some of that same magic while setting it in a world much more in line with my reality.

    High Fidelity on Hulu

    PREMISE: A music-obsessed record shop owner struggles to get over a string of bad breakups.

    At its core, High Fidelity is a show about pop music and heartbreak. But the fact that it looks at all that through a very intellectual lens and through the eyes of its biracial, bisexual protagonist, makes that seemingly superficial premise cut deep through my cynical heart. By embracing the cultural richness of New York, High Fidelity does things High Fidelity the film never could. And honestly, the writing on this show is the kind that will make you want to write. My fellow writers, know what's up with that high praise.

    Los Espookys on HBO

    PREMISE: A group of young Latin American goth kids try to expand their love of horror into a business.

    Los Espookys is the quirkiest, cheesiest, funniest show I've seen in a long time. If you don't speak Spanish be prepared to read a lot of subtitles. But it's worth the effort. The show revolves around these young horror fans who are actually really good at special effects. But there is also a ton of mystery and magical realism that takes the premise to a whole new level.

    Brooklyn 99 on NBC

    PREMISE: A look at the lives of detectives at Brooklyn precinct who cope with the seriousness of their jobs by doing all sorts of silly things.

    Brooklyn 99 is such a fun, silly buddy comedy show. It's halloween episodes remind me of Community's paintball epics. The show features a diverse cast of characters while never steering into racial stereotypes and does so while being a show about cops. That's impressive.

    On My Block on Netflix

    PREMISE: A group of nerdy friends try to navigate puberty and cholos.

    At the outset, My Block may seem like another show that stereotypes Latinos as cholos. But this is actually a show about some nerdy kids doing nerdy kid shit that often clashes with the gang-controlled universe they inhabit. I relate hard to this idea. The show often feels Shakespearean mixed with Goonies mixed with The Wonder Years mixed with the 'hood I grew up in. And I wish I had this to watch when I was a kid.

    Cobra Kai on Youtube

    PREMISE: The karate kid, Daniel Larusso, and his arch-rival Johnny Lawrence are all grown up and still trying to one-up each other.

    Cobra Kai walks a delicate balancing act between the nostalgic Karate Kid reboot that it's marketed as, and the fresh new story about a young Latino kid named Miguel Diaz trying to find his strength in a world that fucking hates him. Truth be told, Latin folks have always seen Daniel Larusso as Latino not Italian as is intended. Either way, the story of the karate kid has always been one about underdogs, immigrants and breaking things with a karate chop. The TV show is no different. It flips the script tho. Lawrence is the underdog here as he mentors young Miguel as the new karate kid.

    Superstore on NBC

    PREMISE: A look at the daily lives of workers at a big-box chain like Walmart or Target.

    Superstore is a great sitcom that follows the tradition of The Office and Cheers but sometimes ups the ante a bit so that it really feels much more lived-in than other past shows. This is especially true because it offers a very diverse cast set in Midwest superstore. We love to tout the diversity of L.A. and New York, but Superstore does this in Missouri.

    Atlanta on FX

    PREMISE: A couple of underachieving cousins try and make it in Atlanta's rap scene.

    It's kind of hard to describe Atlanta except to say that it's the best show on TV. Saying that it's a show about what it's like to try and make it in Atlanta's rap game is accurate. But it's really a show about how absurd it is to be a person of color in America, where unless you get rich and famous you might be relegated to a life with little money and even less freedom. There's so much magical realism clashing against the gritty reality that it feels like it's all going to kill you but in a good way. Shit's funny as hell, too.

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