Designated Survivor

Tired of Christmas shows? Binge-watch these

Boomer gives his selections on what to view

  • Sunday, December 20, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

If you’re already tired of Christmas stuff, or you aren’t even in to Christmas at all, you may need something to do – especially since so much is shut down due to COVID-19.

That’s been my case for months now. With so much time on my hands I’ve watched more TV than ever in my life. There are so many choices now. When I was young, we only had three main stations – ABC 4, NBC 5 and CBS 7, with 11 in Tacoma and 13 I don’t know from where but it wasn’t very good then anyway.

I digress. Since March I’ve done a lot of binge watching. It can be a huge waste of time trying to find a show you like. You might watch a program or two and decide it’s not for you. I’ve done that more times than I can remember.

So to help you in your non-holiday TV watching, here are some of my favorite shows from the past nine months, in no particular order. I’ve listed a Top 12, with 10 honorable mentions in case you like any of the first dozen. Notice I didn’t include some everyone seems to like, such as Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black because I truly liked these better.

House of Cards

I say no particular order, but these first few really are my favorites. Until recently I’ve always enjoyed politics, and House of Cards really was an eye-opener of what really goes on in Washington, D.C. I guess most of us realize there is a lot of corruption but like to overlook it because this is our country – the best in the world. Sure doesn’t seem so great lately and this show helps you understand why. I watched it before Kevin Spacey ran into all of his issues, so if you don’t like him for whatever reason this may not work for you.

Designated Survivor

Not usually a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, I thought he was great in this role. He is an Independent who becomes president, which for me is ideal. He works with both parties and brings them together, something that is a dream more than a reality nowadays. He holds the high morale ground most of the time, but in the end caves in to the process, which is sad.


Loved this show from the start. Attorneys going at it from all angles. Great cases. Interesting relationships. Tense scenes. Surprising twists. It’s got everything to keep you engaged. Some of the shows in later seasons go a bit too far, but for most of the time it seems pretty realistic.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

This show is so different than my other favorites. It’s funny in a raunchy sort of way. The music is so entertaining. Definitely for mature audiences. My wife didn’t like it. Said I did only because of my weird humor. But I got hooked. I like musicals so that’s my excuse. Rachel Bloom is amazing as Rebecca Bunch, who is a little off her rocker. Very insecure, especially in love. She’s got some great friends who just make this a fun show. Just a super cast that can jump into song and dance at any moment.

13 Reasons Why

Another amazing show but for entirely different reasons. It looks at the very serious topic of teen suicide. A high school mourns the death of Hannah Baker and her friend, Clay, receives a box of tapes from her. As he listens, he finds out how lonely she was trying to fit in to a new school, all the problems she faced, and why she took her life. Conflicts over those situations lead to more tragedies. It’s actually the kind of show I think high schools should show to students to display how actions have consequences.

Schitt’$ Creek

These next few are probably just a notch down from the previous ones, but still excellent. This show is a little more quirky than I usually like, but the characters are so funny it’s hard not to enjoy them. The acting is frankly amazing. The premise is a rich family getting ripped off and suddenly finding themselves poor and living in a rundown hotel in the little town of Schitt’s Creek. The father-son duo of Eugene and Dan Levy are the brains behind the show, but Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy are a delight and the sarcastic Emily Hampshire as Stevie Budd will have you in stitches.


Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star in this intense crime show about a family that relocates to the Ozarks for money laundering. They seem just like a regular family, Bateman plays a financial planner, that runs keeps running into bad dudes, including Mexican drug cartels.


I’ve always enjoyed “Who Done Its” and this one will keep you guessing until the end. The murder of a young boy in a small coastal town brings a media frenzy that threatens to tear the community apart. The dry English detectives add to the irony of the emotional killing.

Happy Valley

Another crime drama (notice a trend here?) in England. Police Sgt. Catherine Cawood is no nonsense who heads of a team in rural Yorkshire. A staged kidnapping spirals out of control turning into a brutal series of crimes that ends of unknowingly close to home.


I almost didn’t watch this just because of the title. Not really into the devil. But Lucifer Morningstar is amazingly likable. He leaves hell to better understand humanity and turns into a nice devil after falling in love. Don’t get me wrong, he still does some horrible things. But you know how you sometimes root for the bad guy? Surprisingly funny but with plenty of violence, twists and suspense.

Dead to me

The two leads, Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, have wonderful chemistry in the series about two women who have lost someone in their lives. They truly seem like best friends plotting things together to help the other out. Each episode has suspense that keeps you moving on to the next one. I can’t wait for the next season.


Not as exciting as all of the previous it’s more like the sitcom you see on regular TV. It stars some of the regular TV folks: Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott, Elisha Cuthbert and Debra Winger. Colt Bennett is a former pro football player who comes home to help on the family ranch. The dysfunctional family dynamics and relationships with different folks in the community are just interesting enough to keep you watching.

Honorable mentions

Psyche, Longmire, Bosch, D.C. Banks, In the Dark, 7 Seconds, What if?, Black Mirror, Dear White People, The Komisky Method and You (first season only).

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
13 Reasons Why
Schitt'$ Creek
Happy Valley
Dead to Me

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