Here are their recommendations:
The kids and I love “The Great British Baking Show.” There are delightful baked goods, most of which I’ve never heard of before. The competitors are quirky and endearing and we love cheering on our favorites – and celebrating the failures of our least favorites. The hosts are a hoot and the judges are their own intimidating force. And it all comes with a British accent, so if nothing else I feel like I’m smarter for watching it. Pro tip: don’t watch the show if you’re on any kind of calorie or carb-restrictive diet. Watch for free online at www.pbs.org/show/great-british-baking-show/
Jeanne M. DePaul:
I recommend the Netflix original show, “Grace and Frankie.” Lily Tomlin (fantastic) and Jane Fonda star as wives whose law-partner husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) left them for each other. Bring in their respective offspring and the title characters’ new love interests, and you have layers upon layers of relationships paired with writing that is both funny and tender.
Jennifer K. Bauer:
I hate to just choose one but it would have to be “Game of Thrones” because of the stunning plot shifts, diversity of characters and their intricate and tangled backstories. While it may get dismissed as a (often lurid) fantasy it’s actually a fascinating look at how people use power. Watchable at HBO or Amazon Channels.
I’d choose “Parks and Recreation” because it has literally made me laugh and cry, and the characters are so tangible that they feel like close friends. I may or may not have already binge-watched this show multiple times, so I may or may not already know I could very happily watch only this show over and over again.
One of my favorite shows of the last few years is “Rev.,” a BBC sitcom starring Tom Hollander as the Rev. Adam Smallbone, an Anglican priest who has been assigned to a downtrodden London church called St. Saviour in the Marshes. Smallbone finds himself in the center of a maelstrom of eccentricity while struggling to deal with his own doubts and demons. Hilarious, poignant and sage, “Rev.” is superbly written and well acted. It’s an affectionate exploration of life and faith. You can watch all three seasons with a subscription to Hulu.
While I’m not really into knives, swords and other edged weapons, I’ve discovered an interest in how they’re made after stumbling onto the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire.” Watching bladesmiths turn ball bearings, leaf springs and other assorted scrap into functional works of art over the course of a few hours is captivating, to say the least. The looks of horror on contestants’ faces as judges like Doug Marcaida test those same works of art – often destroying them in the process – makes it all the more entertaining. And I’m not alone: My 9-year-old son is also hooked, and we’ve both learned a lot of interesting historical and scientific information along the way.