Our Favorite Stories of Enlightenment Through Binge-Watching
Streaming recommendations from the Medium universe, with TV shows that changed perspectives and altered lives
Each week on Medium Rare, I’ll be sharing stories you might have missed that are definitely worth a second look. Got a suggestion for a piece we should feature? Pop it in the responses below!
- Cristina Escobar is taking the pandemic one day at a time with the show One Day at a Time, which features the gloriously iconic Rita Moreno in a multi-generational family sitcom revival that is both heartwarming and touchingly raw.
- Don’t bother asking someone how they’re doing these days, because the only appropriate response is not well, bitch! The freedom and unabashed messiness behind that classic Real Housewives refrain is what helped Emily Kirkpatrick through her depression. In times like these, the franchise gives women “permission to feel deeply, live loudly, and take up more space than we think we’re entitled to.”
- Zoey Miller tells the story of how Gilmore Girls reinforced their black identity. At first, they found escapism through the fictional town of Stars Hollow. But over time, Miller grew to appreciate their hometown roots. “It’s plainly and outright un-American to be prideful of one’s own poverty… but in the same vein it’s envied. The no-fucks-given-ness of it all. And I love it. I am proud of it.”
- Alythia Brown wasn’t allowed to watch The Simpsons as a kid, and now that she’s a parent herself, she understands why.
- After a marathon binge-watching session of every superhero-adjacent movie and TV show they could find, Christopher Laine concludes that these heroes in tights are just like the ultra-wealthy: privileged and out of touch.
- “The Masked Singer” gives rejects like me a place to shine,” writes Rachel Wayne.
- It’s such a bummer when a once-beloved show fails to hold up, or as Simone Ritchie’s friends call it, “The Chef Boyardee Effect.” It’s that feeling when something deliciously nostalgic from your youth actually tastes more like dog food in reality, which is essentially the bland aftertaste from a rewatch of Glee.
What it’s like to be judged by Judy
In 2007, Kimberly Forsythe needed help fighting her eviction notice after she’d been laid off and was struggling to support her newborn baby. So she turned to a flyer promoting a man named Charles Taylor, who claimed to be an attorney at law.
Taylor helped her keep her roof over her head, so when Forsythe later needed help divorcing her husband, she turned to him again. This time, the process didn’t go so smoothly, launching Forsythe on a journey of unpacking lies and false identities, which eventually landed her on the set of Court TV.
“Judge Judy basically called me a moron,” Forsythe writes of her reality TV debut. “But I still won.”
Judy came in and sat down. I started to explain my story. I handed the bailiff the sign I had removed from the telephone pole to show how I met Mr. Taylor. I handed her all of the paperwork I had accumulated that included the contract and the copy of the business card.
She was very short with me, then turned her attention to Mr. Taylor in his two-sizes-too-big suit. He tried to play it cool, denying that he ever represented himself as an attorney or that the contract ever stated I was entitled to attorney services or even a refund.
I do remember Judy telling him “Right, I mean if she can’t read, that’s her problem,” or something like that. At that moment, I thought I was going to lose and be made a fool of on national TV. She asked him to tell his version of events as to why services were never rendered. He lied. And, it was his lie that sealed his fate.
Don’t mess with Judy.