HBO’s Run, a romantic-comedy-slash-thriller created by Vicky Jones, the director of the stage production of Fleabag, begins with two lovers going on the lam. Their transgression is more social than criminal, though: Ruby, an unhappy wife and mother of two, absconds from the banality of domestic duties with her college ex-boyfriend, Billy. As the leads, Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson crackle with an enthralling, propulsive chemistry that makes the bite-size series feel like a full journey.
— Hannah Giorgis, staff writer covering culture
THE GREAT (Hulu)
The Great is sumptuous, smart, and so much fun. I could watch Nicholas Hoult’s Emperor Peter III all day—and I did! There is something, uh, familiar about watching a leader squander opportunities while the people around him try to exert their own influence and steer him in certain directions. Also, Elle Fanning is a star.
— Julie Bogen, senior associate editor
FEEL GOOD (Netflix)
In these times of near-endless reasons to feel bad, why yes, I wanted to Feel Good. This hilarious, semi-autobiographical show starring and written by Mae Martin delivered on its title’s promise. It explores the highs and lows of addiction and new (queer) love across six vibrant, well-paced episodes. Pro tip: Martin’s set on Comedians of the World (also on Netflix) is a great introduction to the Canadian stand-up’s charmingly nervy style.
— Kelsey J. Waite, copy editor
Watching this delightful, cringeworthy British comedy has become one of my few bright spots in these largely monotonous days. The premise: Rob and Sharon have a six-night stand, Sharon gets pregnant, they decide to become a couple, catastrophe ensues. When real life already feels so chaotic, the show is a great escape into someone else’s problems, and a good reminder that it’s still possible to find humor amid everyday turmoil.
— Tori Latham, copy editor
DERRY GIRLS (Netflix)
Derry Girls is a transcendent comedy of the universal (teen girls wanting to make out) and the specific (the family lives of Catholics in Derry toward the end of the Troubles, the bloody sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland). There is a sight gag involving a blackboard during Season 2. I cried because I was laughing so hard. I wish this experience for everyone.
— Annie Lowrey, staff writer covering economic policy
ALONE (History, Netflix)
I’ve been feeling particularly cooped up this summer and grasping for any kind of adventure. In this reality show, contestants are dropped in a remote location—alone—with only 10 items. Each day is a fight for food and shelter—and against loneliness and exhaustion. With $1 million on the line, participants weigh how much “adventure” they can really take.
— Mara Wilson, assistant editor
THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB (Netflix)
This is the wholesome content we need for a pandemic summer. The very ’90s book series about a group of tweens who form a baby-sitting club translates surprisingly well to 2020, landline and all. The Netflix episodes are modernized enough to appeal to new, younger audiences; and, for the Millennials who grew up reading the series, revisiting the idyllic town of Stoneybrook is a welcome alternative to doomscrolling on Twitter.
— Mary Stachyra Lopez, an audience and engagement editor