If you're looking for some gripping, satisfying TV to watch while staying at home, we have you covered with the perfect distraction — drama series!
What better way to pass the time than to tune in to a show full of characters and stories that will keep you coming back for more? Maybe you're going to use this opportunity to check out a show you've been meaning to watch but haven't yet. Or maybe your plan is to rewatch a favorite you already know you love.
With romance, scandal, plenty of emotional drama, and gorgeous costumes in an English castle, this beloved PBS series about the aristocratic Crowley family and their equally compelling downstairs staff delivered six seasons of welcome escape. For extra pleasure: there’s Maggie Smith, as the sharp tongued, witty Dowager Countess of Grantham and her delicious put downs.
Station 19 & Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
The one-two punch of Seattle first responders and doctors reliably provides a mix of action, medical miracles and romance. Sure, sometimes our heroes’ lives are in danger, but even through the pain, they always find a way to carry on.
Fans of period dramas will find much to like in this sumptuously realized show set in 18th-century London, where the only thing more colorful than the costumes is the language. Harlots is an unabashedly feminist celebration of women supporting themselves and each other.
Honestly, is there anything in the world more satisfying than a cozy period mystery? This ITV series ran from 2004–2013, so it predates all the more recent moody British murder shows and dark Christie adaptations. It’s more like a warm cup of tea spiked with a bit of dark rum; a charming and absorbing distraction.
Courtesy Everett Collection
Perry Mason (MeTV, CBS All Access)
Raymond Burr is a cool presence as the shrewd, unflinching Los Angeles attorney who goes to great lengths to defend his clients and see justice served. Also welcoming are the familiar faces who frequently pop up as guest stars, from members of the original Enterprise crew (Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, DeForest Kelley) to grande dames like Bette Davis, Cloris Leachman, and daytime great Jeanne Cooper.
In this long-running British crime procedural, no-nonsense Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn), in her signature crumpled rain hat and mackintosh, is a reassuring force for good. Vera’s the cop you want in your corner: intuitive, dedicated, with no patience for snobbism or sexism. An empowering woman to watch in trying times!
Stars Hollow is one of our favorite (fictional) places in the world, and it’s a perfect escape for those who love the fall season, constant coffee-drinking, hanging out in diners and meeting wacky townsfolk. Watching the quick-witted and fast-talking mother and daughter duo of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) face familial and romantic issues and kickstart careers and businesses over seven seasons will never, ever get old.
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Nobody survives in a crazy world better than the lawyers of Reddick, Boseman and Lockhart. With Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart leading the charge, we all feel like survivors watching this drama.
Aaron Sorkin’s TV masterpiece is an idealized portrait of a White House where eloquent language and big personalities help lead a grateful and entertained nation. Revel in President Jed Bartlet’s (Martin Sheen) dazzling way with words, and the support of a crackerjack administration that includes scene-stealers like Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, and Rob Lowe all at the peak of their appeal.
With her folksy charm and lack of pretension, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), the mystery writer at the heart of CBS’s 1984-96 procedural, proves to be one of the most likable and endearing crime-solvers in the history of TV. Effective, too. At the end of every hour, she always gets her man (or woman) to confess to the killing. What’s more comforting than that?
Project Blue Book (History)
Who would have thought the 1950s investigations into UFOs by a scientist (Aidan Gillen) and Naval pilot (Michael Malarkey) would would prove to be as clever and creepy as The X-Files? Or that it would qualify as a period piece about “simpler times”?