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Binge Options During the Quarantine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, between exercising my dogs (because Canine Coronavirus disease in dogs isn't the same as SARS-CoV-2 that causes the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 and "there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people"), here's what I'm watching using my subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and free programming on PBS.

Amazon Prime Video

  • "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel": Snappy dialogue and fabulous 1950s and early 1960s fashions while slipping in social issues of divorce and sexism makes this worth watching. 
  • "The Mentalist" and "Psych": You can exercise your brain and try to become more observant. Just how well do you know your actual home? And friends? 
  • "Monk": Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) will remind you of how to keep germ contact to a minimum from the very first episode. Another series that tests your powers of observation. 
  • "Mr. Robot": Cyber-security dude by day and vigilante hacker by night, what could go wrong? 
  • "Scrubs": I can't get the Season 5, Episode 12 "My Cabbage" out of my mind because it shows how a virus can spread. 


  • "The Mandalorian": I'm not impressed, but there is that baby Yoda and I've only watched one episode. I need to catch up with my husband since we'll be at the Anaheim Star Wars convention this summer.
  • "Pick of the Litter": I didn't see the original 2018 documentary, but I've watched the TV series several times. You can always pick up pointers from the rigorous training that seeing eye dogs go through.
  • "Togo": I love a good dog story and this one is about intelligent disobedience and teamwork. 


  • "Brooklyn Nine-Nine": Crime and punishment with pretty crazy characters and plots make me laugh. 
  • "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation": To fully understand the CSI effect you need to watch this. Crime and science!
  • "Flea Market Flip": This might inspire the DIYer in you although it might make you wish for bigger and better tools. 
  • "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit": As an avid "Law & Order" fan, I wish there were more online, but after watching "Unbelievable" on Netflix and during these #MeToo times, this one remains socially relevant. 
  • "This Is Us": I've fallen in love with this family and their trials and the writing and editing keep me guessing while breaking my heart. 


  • "Altered Carbon": My scientist husband is hooked and he assures me this is much better than "Iron Fist". 
  • "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul": This is a world I hope not to ever enter, but to see the moral dilemmas these leads face is fascinating. 
  • "Criminal Minds": Murder, mayhem and a lot of teamwork with a woman behind the computer make this a win for me. 
  • "Grace and Frankie": We watch this together because we love the four leads (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen) and the frank and funny way they deal with growing old. 
  • "iZombie": If you can find comfort that COVID-19 isn't the zombie apocalypse, then this is a funny smart series that may make you want to do some creative cooking and consider all the possible people you could be and that Olivia Moore (Rose McIver) gets to be. 
  • "Kingdom": With South Korea setting an example for COVID-19 control, it's hard to ignore the South Korean costume drama about a prince dealing with political intrigue and a zombie plague
  • "Longmire": For those who want to escape into a modern Western, this is a good choice. I wish that they had done a spin-off with Lou Diamond Phillips on the Res, but one can only hope. 
  • "Midnight Diner": Who doesn't need to think about comfort food during these surreal times? This series explore the emotional connections with foods at a late-night diner in Tokyo. 
  • "Mindhunters": Of course, if I've been watching "Criminal Minds," I've watched the two seasons of this series that tells us where it all began. I'm also reading the book. 
  • "The Repair Shop": For those of us who like to get crafty with our hands, and love antiquing, this is a wonderful show. 
  • "Stranger Things": Creepy and full of surprises. 
  • "Umbrella Academy": Another one of my husband's choices about a dysfunctional family of superheroes.

PBS Passport 

  • "American Experience"
  • "American Masters"
  • "Antiques Roadshow"
  • "Downton Abbey": I didn't like living in England, but I love Maggie Smith as Violet and I like to think that good manners still matter. 
  • "Poldark": A dashing hero loses his first love and finds a fiery wife during hard times as a miner. 
Jana Monji

Jana Monji, made in San Diego, California, lost in Japan several times, has written about theater and movies for the LA Weekly, LA Times, and currently, and the Pasadena Weekly. Her short fiction has been published in the Asian American Literary Review.

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