The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of change. One of the biggest changes — Gov. Kate Brown’s recent order that Oregonians shelter in place — has given many of us unprecedented amounts of free time.
And since there’s only so much baking one can do and technology has robbed from us the ability to entertain ourselves, we must begin to watch things.
But what to watch? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you:
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
The thing everybody is talking about on the internet right now is “Tiger King,” probably because its release coincided almost perfectly with the beginning of coronavirus in the U.S. It’s primarily the story of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, who for a time ran one of the largest big-cat facilities in the country. You might also remember him from his 2016 presidential run, which was known for its extremely good campaign ads that can be found on YouTube.
Unfortunately, even though Joe Exotic is very funny as a conceptual being, the reality, as shown in “Tiger King,” gets super dark and kind of depressing. There’s honestly too much going on to follow, but it is fairly well-done and entertaining, and if you watch it now you won’t be the person trying to talk about a show 4 months after all their friends saw it.
“The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” any of these would be a great pick. They’re really good and there’s a ton of episodes, and nothing makes a quarantine fly by like several dozen hours of very serious, well-respected actors saying things like, “You gotta let the fly free if you wanna swat the nest,” or whatever.
My personal favorite of this genre is probably “The Wire,” because of Idris Elba and young Michael B. Jordan and the unfairly maligned second season that really should get more respect, but pick anything you want. The important thing to remember is that since the show was on HBO, or Showtime, or FX, it is of higher quality than regular television and it makes you better than the plebs watching network.
Although, on second thought, maybe stay away from “Game of Thrones” unless you’d like to watch your favorite characters become stiff and unwatchable throughout eight or so seasons.
NBA League Pass
In case you haven’t heard, sports have been canceled. Luckily for you — especially if you haven’t been watching much basketball this season — the NBA has made its League Pass online streaming service free throughout the season’s hiatus.
What does that mean? It means you can go back and watch rebroadcasts of every single game from the 2019-2020 season, plus a bunch of older games that were really good. You can simply pretend it is October and begin the season anew.
You have the option of watching the unedited footage or a condensed version, which cuts out the commercial breaks and timeouts. However, keep in mind that League Pass keeps rolling during timeouts, so if you want to see Red Panda or mascots dunking off trampolines, probably opt for the full replay.
Other leagues probably have something similar going on, but who really cares about that?
The Great British Bake Off: Masterclass
We all love “The Great British Bake Off,” but do you ever wish it showed less of people running around being frantic and more of the baking? Then “Masterclass” is perfect for you.
It follows along with the regular season, but instead of showing however many amateurs baking, it’s Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. It’s much easier to follow, both because Hollywood and Berry are infinitely better bakers and because there’s only two of them, so it doesn’t jump around as much.
It’s soothing, it teaches you how to bake delicious things, and it’s quarantine-ready.
Caroline Calloway’s Instagram stories
You’ve watched “Tiger King.” You can’t do any more prestige drama. Sports don’t interest you. There is simply nothing else you care to watch. That is the time to dive down the Caroline Calloway rabbithole.
Caroline Calloway is an early Instagram influencer WASP-type, who made the jump from Instagram famous to real life famous when her former friend and colleague did an interview with The Cut, portraying Calloway as a thoughtless rich girl who cared nothing for her friends, her responsibilities or anything else, really, besides Adderall.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Two weeks ago, Calloway was partying in Germany wearing a tye-dye Corona shirt, she is on a 14-quarantine and her content is flourishing. She’s staging her rebranding campaign from home, with the two-pronged approach of spamming tweets and posting like 25 minutes worth of Instagram stories per day. She’s also writing a book called “$cammer,” and eats a lot of what she calls “nature’s pb&j” (almond butter and smashed up berries on toast).
The point is, you can spend hours consuming Caroline Calloway content. And she name-searches on Twitter, so if you mention her in a tweet she’ll probably like it. Or, if you don’t care about her, you can find someone else who is equally as bored and locked up, and follow their content. It’s not that hard.
The internet may have killed people’s desire to entertain themselves via traditional methods, but that’s just because the internet is so full of content that you never have to do anything else. Which is perfect for right now.
Stay home, stay safe, watch your shows, and we will all get through this together.