Social Distancing TV Recommendations

I bet this isn’t the first of these articles you darling readers will see and it certainly won’t be the last. We’re here to give you some of our current favorites, older favorites, and shows that’ll essentially keep you busy. We all make a list throughout the years, but never get through it right? Well, now’s the time! I’ve broken it down into two simple categories: dramas and comedies and some dark comedies, too. If there are any specific genre recommendations, feel free to reach out to us.

Dramas

  1. Sanditon (2019–Present) 
    Network
    : Masterpiece PBS

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Sanditon has been a loud presence here at Marvelous Geeks since October and we’re not mad about it. It’s the show everyone and their mothers should be watching especially those into period dramas. But in all seriousness, I made my mother watch it, too. (And she loved it. There’s only one other show she’s loved entirely, too.) Sanditon is the story of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel following heroine Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) to a small resort town where she finds love, friendship, and to quote “the greatest adventure of her life.” It is the stunning love story that involves an impeccably kind but jaded man and an incredibly brave resourceful woman navigating through their clashing vigor only to realize that they’re each other’s perfect match. “It’s the compelling story of humanity and how we operate amidst judgements and mistreatment. It’s the love stories between polar opposites that found laughter with each other and kindred spirits who’ve healed each other of all darkness within. It’s colorfully complex characters arguing over money, regattas, and pineapples? It’s the period drama you won’t want to miss because unlike ones that have come before it, it’s deliciously enticing and even in the midst of the quiet serenity, there’s gorgeous storytelling happening. There are a plethora of reasons why Sanditon is a show I’d recommend to anyone, here’s an entirely separate list of 10 reasons why you should give it a go.”

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

March 8-14
“Ding Dong” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine 

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Source: NBC.com

 

In an unsurprising turn of events my muse is back again when it comes Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I should just review the show weekly at this point, that’s how much I consistently want to talk about it, especially when it involves moments of vulnerability with our favorite precinct. This week we’re back with progress following Jake and Amy’s decision to start trying for a baby.

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

February 2-8
“Manhunter” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Welcome back to this year’s first Most Exquisite TV Moment — Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back and with it unsurprisingly returns my muse for this segment. God, I love this show. Its return brought us one of the sweetest, most intimate moments between Jake and Amy and I am a beaming wreck of emotions. Is there anything better than casual intimacy?  No, no there is not. Is there anything better than the possibility of a Peraltiago baby in the future? Also no. It’s everything that’s good and pure in the world. (Title of  Their Sex Tape.)

Jake and Amy’s relationship has evolved so beautifully: between their moments at work and the quiet moments at home, they’re navigating through life together with such a stunning balance between fervor and tender warmth, it’s always a treat to watch. If I’m this emotional over a scene like this, do we even think I can handle these two as parents? I’m gonna be an absolute blubbering wreck of emotions. Give it to me now.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Episodes

This isn’t a critical review of what makes an episode flawless, it’s a list of the TV episodes I found myself either revisiting after completion or the ones that I couldn’t look back on  that continued to haunt me long after the credits stopped rolling. These are the episodes that left me in complete and utter awe. They’re the episodes filled with the most evocative performances and the most beautifully moving moments that touched my heart in a way I won’t forget easily.

1. “Pandemonium”
The Good Place 

One year later, and I still think about this episode at least a few times a month. It is without a doubt my favorite episode of The Good Place and the one I could potentially write an entire thesis on. “Pandemonium”, and especially the final few moments of the episode were utter chaos. “Embrace the pandemonium, find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now.” There’s a great amount of happening in this episode like Michael panicking and then freaking out when he sees the soul squad together. There’s beauty in the montage created for Chidi and Eleanor. There’s beauty in Jason promising he won’t let Eleanor down. There’s beauty in Eleanor taking charge even while she’s afraid.There’s beauty in Tahani realizing what she’ll have to do when face to face with the person who’ll bring out the worst in her. There’s beauty in the humanity that’s found its way into Janet’s life. And there’s beauty in Michael’s faith in his Soul Squad.

The episode is simply put, special. It forces us to look within ourselves and confront the whys. It forces us to question existence, life, and even the afterlife. But it’s the perfect, most unique way of saying, smile because it happened. And I feel it’s safe to assume that we all know that’s nearly impossible to do, anything but the words we actually want to hear in a moment of sheer of frustration; however, it is what it is. Life is pure, unbelievably unfair chaos sometimes, and the only way to get through it is to embrace what’s bound to make us better. As mere mortals who are incapable of understanding what the afterlife entails, it’s also easy to just believe that we’d grow just fine without trials in our life, but the reality is, we don’t know that. We don’t know why life has to be the way that it is, but we’re here because of it, and there’s a whole lot of beautiful in between those tragic moments, which The Good Place captures perfectly in “Pandemonium”. While it is without question one of the saddest episodes on The Good Place, it succeeds in also being the most hopeful.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Romantic Relationships

In the words of Louisa May Alcott: “Love is a great beautifier.” Whether it’s platonic or romantic, the love we share with others plays a vast role in making us better humans. Some of the couples on this list were tragically set for an unhappy ending, but that doesn’t change the fact that what’s happened between them is still moving and magnanimous. The stories were healing, beautifully sincere, and some of the best written romantic arcs I’ve seen in a while.

1. Sidney Parker and Charlotte Heywood
Sanditon

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The slow progression of this stunning relationship is the kind of romance dreams are made of, and with further progression, I’m almost certain they might become my favorite Austen couple. (No one tell Emma and Knightley.) There’s so much I could say about Sidney and Charlotte, and the unyielding, beautifully touching love they have for one another. There’s something so achingly immaculate about a man whose heart was shattered and darkened opening up to a woman whose innocence brought him back to life. Sidney wasn’t unkind out of malicious intent, but because the cruelty and rejection he faced stripped him bare and broke him at his core, it took the parts of him that felt entirely too much and instead awakened an anger in him. The past took no pity on him, and as a result, his instincts resulted in, attack first, explain later because that’s easier than to unveiling his heart and risking pain all over again. Then, in came a woman with an innocence that tore him to shreds not because she’d broken him further, but because she’d taken the parts of him that had been darkened and restored light into them. A restoration that took time because the severity of the damages done were viscous, and an awakening that opened up parts of him no other human had ever gotten close to. That’s why “I’ve never wanted to put myself in someone else’s before” is so profoundly poignant as a declaration because it bares him more than the afternoon at the coves ever did. It’s Sidney Parker at his most vulnerable, promising that in spite of what lies ahead, the all-consuming adoration Charlotte’s awakened in him will be the governing force behind his every act.

Charlotte doesn’t get to tell him just how much she adores him, but we know as viewers that his flawed, incomparably quiet tenderness is something she’s completely grateful for. He challenges her ideals, breaks down her walls, and most importantly, he listens to her. He respects and values her good opinion, and in the same way, she values his. When given the chance, she’d do anything in her power, go above and beyond just to adore him. If the events of the finale indicate one thing, it’s that both Charlotte and Sidney have never known pain greater than the parting they faced. She’d never be so selfish to tell him to stay and inspired by her scolding, he’s doing the very thing she once told him, too. (Look after his family.) They’re each other’s everything. (I think about Sidney’s inability to respond to Charlotte’s: “Is that all that I am to you? A source of amusement?” To which it’s so clear, he wants to say that she’s in fact, everything. It’s written all over his face and it’s heard in his breathless stutter.) Come what may they’ll find their way back to each other, anchored at sea is their unceasing love for one another that’s stronger and deeper than anything they’ll ever experience, and a love like that withstands all sorts of trials.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Characters

Out of all the articles that release for our end of the year celebration, discussing my favorite characters is somehow the one that always brings on the tears. A well written character whose arc guides the story is the reason I love television so much. The opportunity to see these people live and love and bend and break all while being incredibly human and learning through their journey never fails to be inspiring. It’s a celebration of humanity that allows us to see ourselves, as viewers in a whole new light.

1. Charlotte Heywood
Sanditon

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Charlotte Heywood, in this version of Jane Austen’s Sanditon, might just be my favorite regency heroine, for there’s so much to say about her innate goodness and strong resourcefulness. Charlotte Heywood is the leading example of “having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness”, but perhaps the most captivating part of Charlotte’s tenderness is that it’s woven intricately with the will to stand up for what she believes in. She’s anything but quiet and observant – she’s hardheaded, too, but her choices come from pure intent and unbelievable altruism. Charlotte’s the type of person who’d choose someone else’s happiness above her own time and time again out of the sheer belief that it’s what’s right, it’s how it should be. It’s why she can never marry for fortune because the belief that she’d be prisoning herself and thus, her partner is something she can’t live with. And it’s that very heart that makes it so easy to fall in love with her — just ask Sidney Parker. Charlotte could turn even the most jaded of souls who’ve been tainted by life’s heartbreaks into a softened man who’d do anything to ensure he remains on her good graces. Charlotte’s openness towards Georgiana, and the genuine desire to make sure she knows she’s loved speaks so highly on behalf of the  person she’s aiming to be. A woman who will do everything she can to make the small world she is a part of a little brighter. She isn’t afraid to speak up and she isn’t afraid to apologize. She is willing to learn and grow. Some people are born with a lot of goodness in their bones, some learn to choose it, Charlotte is both, for learning who she is and who she wants to be is something that I hope we’ll get to see more of when Sanditon is renewed for a second series.

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

January 27 – February 2
“Four Movements” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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Source: NBC.com

An eventful TV week kicked off with the emotionally packed Outlander season finale, and a solid episode of Madam Secretary. The Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place and I’ve been beaming since then. Riverdale wasn’t at its best, but it did give us some answers I wasn’t expecting this soon. And The Magicians not only reiterated that our sweet Julia Wicker is a goddess, but our favorites are one step closer to defeating the monster that’s governing Eliot’s body. However, it was unsurprisingly Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s heartfelt episode dedicated to Gina Linetti’s departure that takes the crown.

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2018 Best of the Year Reviews: 10 Episodes

This is always the hardest category to write about but simultaneously my absolute favorite. The best part of it is remembering the very first time I watch the episode and think, “Yup, I need to talk about this for year-end reviews.” But it’s interesting because I was a little stumped this year. I didn’t want to repeat episodes from shows and I wanted a wide variety. We can thank Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place for making my choices so hard with a ton of amazing episodes. Oh how I adore the comedies on TV right now.

For more end of the year reviews, check out our Top 10 Performers, 10 Characters, and 10 Relationships.

  1. “Start”
    The Americans

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I don’t know how Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) would cover this show weekly because I could never find the right words. And I especially can’t find the words for “Start.” The final episode of The Americans needs to be seen by every single TV enthusiast in the world. I can understand that the genre may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in all honesty, at times, it was even too heavy for me, but I’m grateful to know that I’ve seen the best thing on TV. (This sentence was not meant to rhyme, but we’re sticking to it.) “Start” was the perfect conclusion. It wrapped the series up in the most finely crafted bow I’ve ever seen, tying loose ends so wondrously not many before it have mastered. It gave its audience some of the most haunting images to hold onto and I’m sure, without even trying, rendering many of us utterly speechless. Maybe eight years from now when I’m less distraught over “They’ll remember us. They’re not kids anymore.” I’ll be able to talk about just how encompassing “Start” was, but today’s not that day. Or maybe when I’ve finally gotten Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell’s meticulously somber expressions and the stoic, yet crumbling physicality out of my mind, I’ll be able to talk about it more. But for now, let this just serve as my plea to get you all to watch The Americans because it’s truly unmatched. There are no words that could rightfully encapsulate the magnitude of this finale’s greatness.

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

April 1-7
“The Box” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine

jake and holt

It’s been another stellar week into Spring TV with a sweet episode of When Calls the Heart, a gorgeous display of marriage on Madam Secretary, a meme-filled hysterical half hour of Black-ish, a haunting episode of The Americans, and an incredibly relatable episode of Superstore. (Especially for those of us who are multi-lingual!) But from the moment this week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine concluded, I knew it’d be the most exquisite thing I’d watch all week.

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2017 Year-End Reviews: 10 Relationships

The story of Adam and Eve is probably one of my least favorites in the Bible; however, the factual idea behind it is something I could never let go of. It’s this idea that human beings aren’t designed to be alone. We aren’t meant to live alone — we are meant to interact, we are meant to grow, learn, laugh, cry, and love with other human beings who may either be just like us, or our complete opposites. And that’s why writing about relationships will always be my favorite topic as a writer — there’s something so marvelous and raw about the connections we have with other people — whether they’re platonic or romantic, they matter, and they shape us in ways we can never truly describe.

Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute. (There are a lot of things I appreciate about Stranger Things, but it’s the relationships, the pure, indescribable bonds that have profoundly resonated with me to core and have made me cry the happiest tears too many times. They’re now number one for me, of all time. Yes, of all time.)

As always, my beautiful, remarkably wise friends Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) and Heather (TV Examined) have a number of phenomenal choices for their Best of 2017 reviews. Be sure to head on over there stat.

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