Okay, so I don’t watch the Kardashians, Hoarders, or the Real Housewives of God-Knows-Where. But… I will defend to the end your right to binge watch junk-food reality TV to your hearts content. No judgement.

Look, it’s not like I haven’t seen my share of the Krisley’s, or lost another Saturday afternoon watching one more episode of a head ghost hunter capturing clearly recorded ghosts on their iPhones, claiming, “I killed them all!” It happens every… single… episode. (Have you noticed that?)

Anyway, there is some really good non-narrative TV to watch. In some cases they’re called documentaries. Don’t let that deter you. Award-winning series come from such things. But don’t take my word for it. Watch them yourself!

1. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (NETFLIX) My favorite episode: Seinfeld drives wingman, Norm MacDonald, around in (another personal favorite) a rusty but lovable slate blue Karmann Ghia. As good a place to begin this series as any.
2. Our Planet (NETFLIX) Like it’s cousin series, “Planet Earth” this show is narrated by Sir David Attenborough too! It’s lush photography and extraordinary subjects, this series delivers the world, quite literally, to your living room!
3. Connected (NETFLIX) Every random thing you ever thought had an oddball connection, turns out… you were right! And here’s proof.
4. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes (NETFLIX) Some of the coolest houses on the planet in some of the most amazing location, location, locations.
5. History 101 (Netflix) According to ‘Decider’ mag, this show consists of “complicated concepts in easy-to-digest chunks”. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Interesting as hell!
6. Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix) Taste how rich and wonderful culture can be, especially while traveling the world! Samin Nosrat is the delightful hostess who introduces your palate to a variety of sensations! Watch it hungry.
7. Floor Is Lava (NETFLIX) This is the game show that springs directly from your childhood imagination. Now how do we make my little brother disappear? (Wait a minute, I don’t have a little brother… anymore.)
8. The Great British Baking Show (NETFLIX) Welcome to a land where biscuits are cookies and people appreciate a good ‘sponge’. This show is delish!
9. Coronavirus Explained (Netflix) I think this show speaks for itself. Except this is done quite well. Keeps it simple. Practical.What you need to know to safely navigate.Get on it!
10.Martha Knows Best (HGTV, HULU) If you ever doubted whether Martha Stewart lives well or not, this show will put that to rest. And it turns out she’s who you want next to you in a foxhole. It’s official, this woman is comfortable in *any* setting!
11. Knock Down The House (NETFLIX) Granted this is a documentary, but the best ‘reality’ TV stake their lead from well produced docs. And during this extraordinary Election year, this is one doc you really should see BEFORE you vote. This is a game changer!
12. Chef’s Table BBQ (Netflix) This quiet slice of something unexpected will leave you hungry for more. Discover “a true Texas legend”: Miss Tootsie Tomanetz, of course!
13. May It Last: Portrait of the Avett Brothers (HULU, HBO Max) First off, if you haven’t had the pleasure… sit up! strap in! your heart and your head are about to experience a unique treat!
14. Tiny Luxury (HGTV, HULU) Full disclosure: when ever the promos ask, “Do *YOU* have what it takes to live in a tiny home?” I wanna yell, “No!” And throw something that’ll leave a dent at the TV. This show is uniquely entertaining just the same. How to do more with less!
15. Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO Max, HULU) This show may slant left, but they manage to include political views of every stripe. Hugely entertaining as well as insightful, current and engaging! I wouldn’t miss it!
16. The Social Dilemma (NETFLIX) If you’ve felt like you’ve been enduring the most aggressive social (and therefore psychological) experiment of all time during the pandemic, guess what? You’re right. And it started years before Corona ever came creeping.

Copyright © 2020 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.