12 Shows to Watch on Netflix if You’re Quarantined

 Whether you have to self-isolate or if your city / state / country chooses to lock down again, you will need this: a list of 10 great shows. They’ve all either come out come back for a new season this year. 

Stay safe. Share the streaming recommendations. And think this list missed something? Let us know in the comments. 

Feel Good

Lisa Kudrow and many other recognizable faces star in this sweet British comedy that feels like a Fleabag take on LGBTQ+ love.

Mae (played by Canadian comedian Mae Martin) is a stand-up comic in London who starts dating a fan, George (Charlotte Ritchie). Up to that point, George had only dated men.

Martin also co-wrote and co-created the show, with Skins’ Joe Hampson, making Feel Good a semi-autobiographical show.

Mae the character is self-destructive, but also funny and sharp. George is lost and unpredictable. Following them as they navigate their new relationship is sometimes funny, more times heartbreaking, but always charming.

Sunderland ‘Til I die

An endearing show about a working-class town and their team who had just been demoted out of the English Premier League. Nothing is going well in the town of Sunderland, and to put it in the words of a fan, if the team doesn’t do well (it doesn’t) “that’s just the last nail in the coffin”.

This story of a failing team struggling not to let down its town makes you an instant fan and puts you through the disappointment and triumphs that life-long supporters have to live with every week.

With everything from game footage to interviews and behind the scenes politics, it’s also the perfect fix for anyone who misses sporting events.

Rise of Empires: Ottoman

This historical show with immaculate production value is about the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It’s fully in English, despite being a Turkish production, featuring a mix of entertaining interviews and dramatic reenactment. The way it’s narrated is reminiscent of History Channel documentaries (with frequent recaps), which is unfortunate. Still, the story and the production compensate well enough. The young 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmet risks everything in pursuit of Constantinople, a city twelve armies, including his father’s, have failed to take. This moment is pivotal for so many reasons: it marked the end of the Roman empire, it turned the Ottomans from local power to a global one, and the use of advanced military techniques (such as a new generation of cannons) changed warfare forever. But knowing that Mehmet will enter Constantinople (now Istanbul) changes nothing to the appeal of this show. The question is not will he win, but at what cost, and how.

Norsemen

Being a Viking is “the easiest job in the world” a villager tells the town’s most feared fighter: “sit on a boat, stab people with swords — it’s as basic as it can possibly get”.

In Norsemen, a variety of characters try to fight this basicness. They take fashion risks like putting horns on a helmet for the first time, try to be more culturally diverse by interacting with a Roman slave, fall in love and raid tribes (often at the same time), and so on – you know, every day Viking stuff.

Norsemen’s first season was viewed by more than a million people in Norway, a country of five million.

The Twelve

In this compelling new Belgian legal drama, the story is as much about the jurors who are chosen to decide on the crime, as it is about the crime itself.

Usually, the jurors are quiet characters whose job is to be unmoved by hotshot lawyers. The Twelve, somehow the first TV show to do this, digs into how their personal pasts influence their decisions.

Lenox Hill

This docuseries is a straightforward account of what actually happens in emergency rooms and about people who dedicate their lives to this extremely demanding work.

Set in a New York hospital that has struggled in the past to compete with bigger establishments, it follows two brain surgeons, an OBGYN, and an ER physician.

If you like ER, Grey’s Anatomy, or anything similar, and want to know how it actually works – this is a great show. Hint: reality is light years away from how ERs are usually depicted.

Lenox Hill a tough watch that might not be for everyone — there are people diagnosed with horrible things and pretty much every single scene is highly emotional.

Never Have I Ever

This comedy is about a girl whose family moves to the U.S. on September 2001. She grows up to excel academically but, as she asks from the shrine in her room on her first day of sophomore year, she has yet to be cool. “I want to be invited to a party with hard drugs,” she prays, “not to do them, but just to say: no cocaine for me, thanks. I’m good.”

The show is narrated by tennis legend John McEnroe who was known for his explosive temper (played recently by Shia Laboeuf in Borg vs McEnroe). It’s a genius arc because Devi is a “hothead”, exactly like McEnroe. Instead of recoiling, Devi keeps boiling over, making for a fresh and original high-school comedy.

College Behind Bars

This documentary from Ken Burns is a selection of stories from prisoners enrolled in a competitive college program. Many of the prisoners are in maximum-security facilities, some for serious crimes.

Seeing their difficult imprisonment conditions, the struggles they come from, and yet their incredible determination to excel in their education – it’s all such a humbling and emotional affair.

Immigration Nation

For three years, the makers of this docuseries gained in-depth access to ICE and other government agencies to document the current state of the U.S. immigration system.

Immigration Nation looks at how ICE functions from within, but it also focuses on the human toll of its methods. When a migrant freezes to death, an officer calls his distraught father to notify him. It quickly becomes apparent that the officer is using the same call to try to establish if the father is in the U.S. legally or if he should be deported.

The show also makes an important point of noting that the harshness of the U.S. immigration system didn’t start with the current administration. “Prevention through deterrence” Clinton-era policies, for example, forced migrants towards desert routes, killing around 10,000 people from dehydration.

Man Like Mobeen

Mobeen, Nate, and Eight are three friends from Birmingham. Mobeen, the head of the group, takes care of his sister in the absence of his parents and tries to be a good Muslim and citizen while escaping his past as a drug dealer. In the first episode, a transaction to buy a laptop results in three SWAT teams being called on Mobeen and his friends.

A lot of Man like Mobeen is silly, laugh-out-loud comedy. But as its creator wanted, it also gets serious very quickly. Themes of teenage knife crime (in the second season), the rise of right-wing sentiment, and a problematic relationship with the police are constantly being brought up without ever feeling forced.