As 2020 has passed, we would like to be the first to wish you and your families a happy, prosperous, and healthy 2021!
For those of you who plan to stay indoors this winter, we wanted to share some of our team’s favorite TV shows for you to binge, if you haven’t seen them yet!
The Mandalorian (Season 1 & 2) on Disney+
By: Adam Armstrong
For any Star Wars fans out there, you’ve probably already seen this. For anyone who liked the original films, hated the prequals, and found some entertainment in the high production value of the latest, Disney-saga version of Star Wars, then give The Mandalorian a shot! Jon Favreau directs and produces the latest expansion within the Star Wars universe. Filmed as a “Space Western”, the lead character carves his way through lawless planets, meeting new characters each episode as he partakes in quests to protect a young and highly valued creature that resembles a baby version of “Yoda”.
Season 1 was a bit slow in development, with episodes a bit disjointed and unrelated to one another, but stick with it, because Season 2 was a vast improvement. The overall story arc involves returning characters, new adventures, and quests, all while keeping the same goal of protecting “baby Yoda” from the Moff Gideon, this series’ antagonist. For those that have seen the ending of season 2, you can join me on the edge of my seat for a re-run later this evening as the surprise hero sets the stage for future battles while staying true to some of the earliest star wars films roots.
Queens Gambit on Netflix
By: Elena Ladygina
The Queen’s Gambit is a period drama created by Netflix. The story starts in the mid-1950s and follow the life of an orphaned chess prodigy Beth Harmon. The young girl discovers an astonishing talent for chess while taking green and white sedatives that were commonplace in orphanages to “promote” calmer behavior. Well…that didn’t turn out to be a great “end-game” strategy! The story follows her unlikely journey to the top of the chess world in the 1960s while struggling with drug and alcohol abuse to cover her own deep-rooted emotional battles.
The story is inspired by many real-life chess legends and real matches that took place, though the main character never actually existed. This show not only captivated the hearts of many binge watchers during the pandemic but also made many realize there is greater purpose in chess. You see the ins and outs of chess, study the board but you don’t know until you play the game how it’s going to go. In many ways it’s like how we “play” in the markets…we study trends, indicators, moving averages but at the end of it all, we wait and see how the moving pieces pan out. The bottom line is… the show teaches us more than just how to play chess, it symbolizes how to play life!
Peaky Blinders (Seasons 1-5) on Netflix
By: Mark Lucci
Taking place in the 1920s in Birmingham, England, just after the conclusion of the First World War, this fast-paced drama will lure you in from the beginning. The devious Thomas Shelby will stop at almost nothing to achieve the goals he sets for himself and his family business, legal or illegal. Shelby, the protagonist, heads a gang by the name of “Peaky Blinders” in this period drama. Shelby’s inner circle is made up of mostly close family members, which supports an important value of his: trust.
Starting off as a small, local gang, Mr. Shelby’s large ambitions often lead him and his crew into predicaments that are often difficult to overcome. However, it seems that while Mr. Shelby is often two steps ahead, it could be only a matter of time until he is in over his head. The seasons span the time between WW1 and WW2, and we can’t wait to see how the series concludes over the final season next year. A pro-tip… watch with subtitles so you fully understand their thick British accent, and thank me later.
Schitt’s Creek (Seasons 1-6) on Netflix
Schitt’s Creek, a Canadian television sitcom, is one of those rare perfect combinations of laughs and heart. Within its cast are some of Canada’s greatest comedy legends, such as Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Chris Elliott.
When the wealthy Rose family finds all their money is gone and possessions repossessed, the one asset they still own is the town of Schitt’s Creek they had purchased as a joke, years prior. Johnny and Moira, along with their failure-to-launch adult children David and Alexis, are forced to move into the town’s motel and begin their new lives. The town, and the people who live there, help the Rose’s get back on their feet while they learn how to function in their own “new normal”. Navigating without their fortune and jet setting lifestyle for the first time, Schitt’s Creek forces them to slow down and become a family again. While the first couple of episodes may read slightly snarky or mean, push through them for six seasons of quote worthy, laugh out loud funny and feel good perfection. Although, you may never say the name “David” the same way again.
Yellowstone (Seasons 1-3) on Peacock & Amazon Prime
By: Jim Ferrare
The recent passing of legendary actor Sean Connery got me thinking about one of my favorite all-time movies, The Untouchables, released in 1987. That movie’s all-star cast included another favorite actor of mine, Keven Costner. Costner was fighting underworld crime then and in Yellowstone has changed sides and is now willing to do anything to protect the family’s largest contiguous ranch in Montana.
There is family, fighting (all sorts), power struggles, plotting, relationships, “Machiavellian revenge” but it’s the “OMG” surprises combined with succinct bursts of relatable writing that grab you. The show has been widely criticized for being insensitive, out of touch, and unrealistic. And yes, its all of that but its equal parts entertaining. Billions, Succession and Breaking Bad are not “realistic” dramas either, so look beyond the deserving and underserving criticism and notice the incredible scenery, talented cast and mindless fun that unravels.