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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

Your Covid TV GUIDE


Spoilers For: The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 2), The Witcher: Blood Origin, Yellowjackets. Baby spoils only.

Take two aspirins, ten episodes, and call me in the morning.

Has it found you yet, weary traveler? Have you fallen prey to covid? Whether she's your dirty scoundrel of an ex, your present affliction, or your future crush, let's talk how to wallow immobile and rise above with a restorative Covid TV Guide treatment. Rest up, sit down, and let the healing begin.


Day One: Schitt's Creek

You sit next to your positive covid test and resist the urge to weep. You want meaty characters, silly antics, and the warmth of a true ensemble. You need six episodes of Schitt's Creek. Stat!

What heals you most:

-Johnny Rose's eyebrows

-Moira Rose's willful mispronunciation of words

-David and Patrick's beautiful love story, complete with the heavy use of Tina Turner medleys

-Annie Murphy as Alexis, whose vocal fry, ever-reducing selfishness, and escapist, silly extremism helps you reconnect with your passion for hyperbole just in time to insist to your partner Jeremiah on your first night of covidian sleep, "I can't breathe."

You can breathe. Jeremiah leaves you alone on the guest bed to fall asleep to another Schitty ep. Rest finally comes.

Day Two: The Sex Lives of College Girls

On day two, you awake a new woman. Your bones are brittle, your test tight, your stomach squirms. You feel like you pulled an all nighter even after nine hours of sleep, so it's the perfect time to go back to college. Your liberal farts education as reimagined by Mindy Kaling.

What heals you most:

These passionate-ass women fight for inclusion, for self-esteem, for sex, and you are reminded of the young, hungry odyssey to become that was college.

You can feel the zippy rejoinders fighting your ever-brimming infection. You are now capable of such tasks as DOING DISHES, COMPLETING LAUNDRY, and flirting with your boyfriend. Immediately upon completing said tasks, you sleep for another eleven hours, willing season three to exist when you arise. It doesn't. And so the emptiness begins.

Day Three: The Witcher: Blood Origin

You flip idly through the Netflix menu for hours, ignoring the pounding pressure in your head, and considering everything from true crime documentaries to extreme cooking tv. As you indecision mounts, a cash-grabbing prequel limited series set inThe Witcher universe jumps into your cue. One glance at Michelle Yeoh's face in the promo trailer and you're in. You're ready to taste the fantasy (despite your still-dwindling taste buds).

What heals you most:

-Every actor chewing the scenery like a Shakespearean villain.

-Some seriously twisted torture, transformation, maiming, and death sequences.

-A Dungeons and Dragons style crew. A bard, a bruiser, a mage, a swordsman, a little person with a big revenge quest.

-Michelle Yeoh doesn't waste a micro-moment. She SERVES.

You go to sleep with a still-tight chest, but you remember--you're a freakin' hero and you will overcome. Most likely.

Day Four: Yellowjackets

On day four, you awake with a pounding headache, a trauma you'll battle all day. Take the lingering effects of trauma on the female psyche seriously and join the ragtag survival crew of Showtime's brilliant show Yellowjackets.

What heals you most:

-The 1996 culture of the girls' initial plane crash trauma. The Nirvana, the repression, the butterfly-based fashion, such colloquialisms as "sit and spin."

-The portal jumping across time between past (1996) and present (2021).

-The queer energy of all the characters. Tender lesbian love and crushing on your friends.

-The impeccable writing.

-Christina Ricci's master class in likable, crazy bitch.

You go to bed too immersed in the soothing tincture of Yellowjackets' pathos to resent yet another cup of Theraflu.

Day Five: Key & Peele

The release of watching the absurd reminds you of the stupidity of life's most sacred institutions. Hit by an unexpected cloud of brain fog on day five, you need a light to cut the darkness. You need Key and also Peele.

What heals you most:

-No show so adroitly handles racism with a huge smile on its face.

-These male writers traffic in feminist principles--delighting in the tomfoolery of gender norms and parodying all the best romcom tropes.

-Watching two actor/writer/producer best friends play pretend with their full imagination on display invigorates you, nose blowing, fever persisting, to re-believe in your dreams.

Day Six: Willow

Your dreams freshly re-brewed, you turn again to fantasy. Disney+ has had some real bangers so far, so why not give a cult classic fantasy movie the chance to live anew on tv? Well, if Willow is what rebirth looks like, it's a raw deal.

What heals you most:

-Ribbing on the bad fight scenes with your trained fighter partner.

-Mocking the ham-fisted, rushed plotting.

-Overanalyzing the contrived writing, the soap operatic CW performances, and a story at once bloated and dull.

-It's still entertaining.

Finding your talons still sharp after a week of ill use reminds you of your critical power. The end of your covid is near.

Day Seven and Beyond: The Bear

Your inbox brims with responsibility deferred. Your tasks half done, and, your energy still subterranean, returning to your daily grind feels impossible. You have replaced the tightness in your chest with a tightness in your shoulders. This tension reminds you, annoyingly, of your will to live. So you're ready to watch The Bear.

What heals you most:

-Watching stories about blue collar people striving. Not enough of this on tv by a mile.

-Exploring men with high emotion. Even assholes have hearts.

-Seeing the most captivating depiction of the chaos of the food service industry in media ever.

-A reminder: our griefs can bring us closer to each other if we allow them the space to be felt.

-Sydney. Just watch.

-A dogged devotion to one's calling on screen reminds you of your own journey to not be a walking pile of fear.

Wake up, try a little, make a mess, start a fight, have a laugh, chop, sizzle, and repeat.

You're healed now, but not over covid. Maybe you never will be. It's part of you now. Covid was your impetus to stop, to regenerate, to give in, to let go, to ask for help, to rediscover your strength in weakness. Screw Mucinex. Build your own original COVID TV Guide and call me in seven days. We're gonna have a lot to discuss.

What shows are on your COVID TV GUIDE?

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