If work and your pathetic budget can’t allow a trip to some random paradise, worry not, because the TV is here to keep you company. In this time of need, the television is your best friend. It won’t leave you to pursue a sense of wanderlust. It won’t judge you for not wanting to get out of bed because of the heat. And, most especially, it’s a source of constant entertainment.
Here are eight shows that can put your summer boredom at bay and make any day at home as engaging as any vacay.
1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The gist: A woman recently freed from a bunker owned by a doomsday cult decides to pursue a life in New York City despite being naïve to the outside world’s harsh misgivings. When she finds a roommate in a gay chubby black man, optimism ensues, as well as a huge dose of hilarity.
Why watch it: The critically-acclaimed comedy is helmed by SNL alum Tina Fey, which guarantees that the laughs will be abundant. Starring in the title role is the lanky Ellie Kemper, whose bright smile and gung-ho portrayal of the sunny Kimmy should be a hit on days when you're down in the dumps.
What you can learn from it: If a sheltered twenty-something can find the silver lining regardless of the fact that a delusional cult leader held her captive and still chase her dreams of independence in a strange city, then you shouldn’t be bitching about your meandering day-to-day problems.
2. How To Get Away With Murder
The gist: Annalise Keating is a steely defense attorney who navigates the emotional turmoil of juggling criminal drama with, well, her own drama. She does all this while teaching a class of snooty, pious, and entitled brats who help her in solving her high-profile cases. And, as the title suggests, a mysterious murder ties all these events together.
Why watch it: If you haven’t already heard the hype from twist-spoiling officemates, this is THE show that everyone is talking about. Its razor-sharp storytelling, coupled with the overt trashiness of its plot and characters, is a recipe that creator Shonda Rimes has been banking on (hello, Scandal fans!) for quite some time now. Just don’t take it too seriously, because God knows, the show already does that for you.
What you can learn from it: Uhm, how to get away with murder perhaps? Your boyfriend should be afraid. Very afraid.
3. Jane The Virgin
The gist: Despite being in a sexless relationship, a hotel waitress gets accidentally impregnated through artificial insemination with her boss’ sperm sample.
Why watch it: The telenovela-like dramedy is equal parts whimsical and touching. It’s a testament to the fact that, when an idea is sincerely novel, there’s no need for all the bells and whistles that only distract viewers from the message.
What you can learn from it: Chastity and virtue may be old-school values to some, but there’s still a noble quality to someone who can hold out on the pleasure for true love.
The gist: A coroner’s assistant turns into a zombie after a freak boat party accident. To feed her undying hunger for human brains, she gets a job as an assistant at a coroner’s office.
Why watch it: We know what you’re thinking? Another zombie TV show! But this one is in the hands of the same team that brought Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars into pop-culture consciousness. Give it a shot. It won’t kill you.
What you can learn from it: The useful tactic of adaptation. If Liv, the show’s yuppie-turned-zombie, can find a way to cope with her newfound deadness, then maybe, just maybe, learning to ride out the lows shouldn’t be so difficult for you as well.
The gist: A middle-aged father decides to come out of the closet as a transgender to his three spoiled kids. But just like any personal revelation of this weight, obstacles–both big and small–abound.
Why watch it: It’s the familial comedy/drama that no one knows about, but everyone needs to see. Not only does it draw outstanding performances from its cast, but it also touches on issues that society needs to be recognizing with a clearer eye.
What you can learn from it: The importance of tolerance and acceptance when dealing with a subculture that is unappropriately perceived as strange, weird, and abnormal.
6. Billy & Billie
The gist: Two stepsiblings (with the same name, only spelled differently to avoid confusion and for added cuteness) dig through the highs and lows of being in a taboo romance…with each other.
Why watch it: Only because you were a The O.C. fan, and Adam Brody a.k.a. Seth Cohen is totally the leading man in this one.
What you can learn from it: Why NOT to get into a relationship with your stepbrother. Reason #1: It’s just too complicated.
7. The Affair
The gist: Noah is married with four kids, but resents his life of wealth bestowed upon him by his intrusive father-in-law. Allison on the other hand is a grieving mother, whose child’s death forces her to question the stability of her marriage. When the lives of these two individuals collide, an extramarital romance penetrates the core of their once-mundane existences.
Why watch it: The illicit relationship between a schoolteacher and a waitress is told from two perspectives–the male and female, respectively. As it switches from one to the other, the tale unravels by revealing how some details can be fleeting depending on who perceives them.
What you can learn from it: The reality that affairs are intricate, time-consuming acts of deceit that is just as confusing to navigate as any regular relationship.
8. Broad City
The gist: Illana and Abbi are BFFs trying to hustle their way through the unforgiving urban landscape that is New York. When they aren’t partying, getting stoned, or abusing everyday citizens with their unabashed ways, they’re just like every other mid-twenties girl–looking for love and trying to survive.
Why watch it: The oft-crass humor in this one is not for the faint of heart. They show touches on subjects such as rape culture, race, and feminism with a tongue-in-cheek tone that most would find politically incorrect. It is, however, fucking hilarious.
What you can learn from it: How to live a little, not take things seriously, and revel in the bliss that brainless entertainment can allow.
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