In a perfect pandemic-less world, we’d probably be spending more time outdoors and hanging out with friends without worrying about a thing. But during These Times, a good ol’ Netflix binge can bring a lot of joy in the comfort of our own homes.
When the news cycle makes our heads spin, sometimes what we all need is a casual TV show to give our overstretched attention spans a rest. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t have to be limited to our all-time favourite sitcoms like The Office or Friends. Here are a few recommendations for mindless feel-good shows, perfect for *actual* Netflix and chilling.
The Big Flower Fight
Watch some amateur florists compete to create showstopping floral installations and maybe learn a thing or two on how to keep your houseplants alive. Think The Great British Bake-Off, except with flowers. Not only is it like visual ASMR, but it might even inspire you to fill your home with more greenery.
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The Baby-Sitters Club
Whether you grew up reading The Baby-Sitters Club book series by Ann M. Martin or just want some feel-good pre-teen hijinks to binge, this Netflix adaptation is an absolute delight to watch. Guaranteed to bring back some middle-school memories with its big ideas, humour and friendship dynamics, the new series brings a fresh take to the iconic books, making it relatable to teens of today. Bonus: ’90s teen icon Alicia Silverstone stars as Kristy’s mother.
Night On Earth
This is not your average nature documentary series. Narrated by Orange Is The New Black star Samira Wiley, this show explores what happens in nature after the sun sets. The cinematography and stories will definitely move you.
Nadiya’s Time To Eat
Nadiya Hussain, 2015 winner of The Great British Bake-Off, shares some of her *cheeky* cooking hacks and easy-to-follow recipes in Time To Eat. In each episode, she goes on a field trip to factories and farms across the UK to see where some of her favourite ingredients are produced. Not only is this show fun to watch, but it’s refreshing to see a woman like Hussain in the spotlight. “I didn’t grow up watching Muslim women on television. I didn’t grow up watching Bangladeshi women of color on television,” said Hussain in an interview for The Cut. “To be able to do a cookery show and be this British, Bangladeshi, Muslim woman of color—that’s a big deal.”
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The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
The show follows architect Piers Taylor and property developer Caroline Quentin as they explore incredibly unique properties around the world—from palatial family homes in Israel to innovative yet traditional houses in Japan. It’s the perfect docu-series to get some inspo for your dream home vision board. It’s important to have goals, right?
Dancing with the Birds
Just birds dancing to impress each other and mate. That’s literally it, and it’s amazing.
Abstract: The Art of Design
Think Chef’s Table, but with artists instead of chefs. This documentary series highlights highly regarded artists in their respective fields and shows us how they’re shifting the way we view everything. The stories of each individual’s achievements really make you think about the endless possibilities the world has to offer. Who knows? It might even inspire you to come up with your next big idea.
Home Game showcases “unique and dangerous” traditional sports from countries like Italy, Scotland and the Philippines. Perfect for easy-watching with its eight 30-minute episodes, sports lovers who’ve been missing their regular season faves can get their excitement from this interesting new series.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Salt, fat, acid and heat. These are the fundamentals of good cooking. Award-winning chef and food writer Samin Nosrat takes a deep dive by exploring four different countries that perfectly highlight one of these elements in their traditional cuisine. The show follows Nosrat as she visits friends and local chefs to show her ingredients and recipes from their homeland. Even though Nosrat is a food expert in her own right, she lets her guests lead and amplifies their voices.
Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything
As Bill Nye always said, “Science rules!” This new show hosted by science reporter Latif Nasser will satisfy your curiosity as he takes you through a thought-provoking journey around the world. Dust, clouds, surveillance and all.
Need more? Check out these honourable mentions
Moving Art, Dating Around, Unsolved Mysteries, Derry Girls, Explained