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Must-see streaming: Here's what we're watching from home

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For many, binge watching used to be a guilty pleasure. Nowadays, it’s just a way of life. Here’s how we’re surviving by killing time.

'Derry Girls'

'Derry Girls' Channel 4

Bridgette Reinsmoen, Copy Chief

What are you binge watching?

Derry Girls, a comedy from British network Channel 4

What's it about?

Catholic teen Erin Quinn and her friends come of age in 1990s Northern Ireland amid the Troubles. The four girls and one boy (English cousin James, whose safety can't be guaranteed at the boys' school) discover their sexuality, sneak out to concerts, swoon over a dreamy priest, don't even blink when armed soldiers board their school bus, and look at a community-building event with "the Prods" as a prime chance to find a hook-up ("They're not as fucked-up about sex as we are, you know. They put in the work. They know what they're doing.").

The parental generations, meanwhile, must deal with aggravations ranging from actual abduction and vehicle theft to a ruined night at the movie theater after a "wee evacuation" forces them to miss the end of The Usual Suspects.

Favorite moment/iconic line:

This show is full of well-drawn characters, but my favorite might be Sister Michael, the no-nonsense, eye-rolling, priest-disdaining, statue-loving head nun of the girls' school. Her response to a tattletale student reporting a forbidden party: "You will go far in life, Jenny. But you will not be well-liked."

Would you recommend it?

Aye! It's often hilarious. The '90s soundtrack is fun, and the two six-episode seasons go by quickly. Subtitles might be your friend here, at least until the accents and slang become familiar.

Where can we stream it?

Netflix.

'Adventure Time'

'Adventure Time' Cartoon Network

Emily Cassel, Editor in Chief

What are you binge watching?

Adventure Time!

What's it about?

It's a cartoon about a boy and a dog named Finn and Jake. They're best buddies who live in a tree house and run around their post-apocalyptic land of Ooo fighting for good and fighting against, among other things, boredom, gender roles, and messed-up relationships. But sometimes they just make breakfast and play video games.?

Favorite episode/moment/iconic line:

Jake: "Let's never be stupid again."

Finn: "...Wait! Let's always be stupid. Forever!"

Would you rec it?

I can't recommend it enough! It's a colorful, magical show full of mayhem and friendship that's also a good guide for how not to be a shitty person. There's a princess who's also kind of a mad scientist and a vampire queen who plays guitar and this guy. Some episodes are silly little one-off madcap adventures but there's also a pretty deep mythology. And it has a perfect theme song.?

Where can we stream it?

It's on Hulu. There are 280-plus episodes!

'My Cat From Hell'

'My Cat From Hell' Animal Planet

Jessica Armbruster, Arts Editor

What are you binge watching?
Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell

What’s it about?
Feline behaviourist Jackson Galaxy travels the country, helping families, roommates, and couples living with pissed off cats. There are many wonderful zoom-in shots of glaring cats while owners speculate why their cat is calculating revenge against them. Most of the time Galaxy works miracles by telling people to install a cat tree, schedule play time, and stop petting their kitties like they’re a damn dog.

Favorite episode/moment/iconic line:

All of them! Drink anytime Galaxy is brought to tears from a cat’s success. Hiss at the TV anytime someone says they plan to “put the cat down” if the cat can’t get it together (seriously though, WTF?).?

Would you recommend it?

Yes. Cats are awesome, and it’s fun to watch their behavior change when their owners figure things out.

Where can you stream it?

Animal Planet’s YouTube account has full episodes from early seasons.?

'Dispatches from Elsewhere'

'Dispatches from Elsewhere' AMC

Erik Thompson, Clubs Editor

What are you binge watching?
The debut season of Dispatches From Elsewhere on AMC. It was created by and stars Jason Segel.

What's it about?
Four disparate people living lonely lives in Philadelphia (Segel, Sally Field, Eve Lindley, and Andre Benjamin -- aka Outkast's André 3000!) get drawn into a mysterious game. The story takes place throughout Philadelphia, a city I lived in for a while, so it's nice to see familiar sights of places I remember fondly. But it was the illusory, creative elements of the show are what ultimately drew me in. There's a dreamlike quality to the narrative, visual effects, and stage sets. Plus, Richard E. Grant is the head of the Jejune Institute, the architect of the game itself. I'll watch anything Richard E. Grant is in. He rules.?

Favorite episode/moment/iconic line:

Segel's character, Peter, works at an online streaming company akin to Spotify. After being so moved by hearing "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys for the first time, he programs the entire system to play that song on everyone's streaming service at the same time. It's a moment of shared joy that ultimately gets him in big trouble at work, but the risk is worth it to a character that is stuck in a life without meaning.?

There's also a terrific scene with Lindley, who plays a trans woman named Simone, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where she works as a docent. That museum was my favorite place in all of Philadelphia (atop the famous Rocky steps), and to be able to be transported briefly back to that tranquil gallery again was a wonderful moment.?

Would you recommend it?

Yes. The show is inventive, surprising, and quite moving. Plus, the cast is exceptional. The four actors are as different as can be (I never knew I needed to see the legendary Sally freaking Field and André 3000 sharing scenes with each other, but they are fantastic onscreen together), and the show is an affectionate character study of individuals who don't know how much they need each other. It's also an examination of the collective joy and wonder they draw from the game itself, and how that creative and intellectual release snaps them out of their humdrum lives.

Where can we stream it??

It's currently airing on AMC on Monday nights, with just two episodes left of its inaugural 10-episode season.?

'The Wire'

'The Wire' HBO

Sarah Brumble, Food Editor

What are you binge watching?

Once Cheers lost its luster, which happened mid-second season, my partner and I heel-turned and headed straight for The Wire. (That, right there, probably contains everything a psychologist needs to know about two people.) He's never seen it, but I have. On Easter we watched it for something like seven hours.

What's it about?

Oh, c'mon.

Favorite episode/moment/iconic line:

If I could whistle, I'd mosey down my shitty alley doing my best "Farmer in the Dell." This is probably a bad idea, but since I can't whistle… I can dream.

Would you rec it?

Duh.

Where can we stream it?

HBO.

'Deadwood'

'Deadwood' HBO

Keith Harris, Music Editor

What are you binge watching?
Deadwood

What's it about?
Roughly a decade after the Civil War, in the storied Black Hills mining town, an ever-growing number of drunken, foul-mouthed, self-interested, law-skirting malcontents (most of them highly fictionalized versions of real-life figures, including Wild Bill Hickok and George Hearst) accidentally create a society out of brothels, saloons, and gambling dens while double-crossing and/or gunning one another down.

Iconic line:
Ian McShane as saloon-keeper and pimp Al Swearengen: “In life you have to do a lot of things you don't fucking want to do. Many times, that's what the fuck life is... one vile fucking task after another.”

Would you recommend it?
As American society crumbles around you, why not revisit the muck it emerged from? David Milch’s show teems with brilliant turns from ace character actors and features the most eloquently profane dialogue in prestige TV history.?

Where can we stream it?
It’s on HBO, though it’s annoyingly not part of the free selection of programming they’ve made available to non-subscribers for April.?

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