Brandon’s Pandemic TV Binge Guide, Vol. 2

Yes, this is once again my television, but mounted this time.

Hey, everybody! Another year has gone by and we’re still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, many of us have spent a lot of time at home. Following up on last year’s guide, here’s some good content for you to check out while we’re still uncertain about the future of the pandemic.

Loki (Disney+)

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios and Disney+

After taking 2020 off, Marvel Studios came back with a vengeance this year. WandaVision racked up a ton of Emmy nominations. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier revived the Captain America film series. Black Widow was finally released in theaters (and Disney+)! However, none of those outdid Loki in terms of sticking the landing and presenting an interesting concept throughout. While it’s not interested in punishing the Avengers for Endgame, it does lay the groundwork for the Marvel Multiverse and their next Big Bad. It’s also Tom Hiddleston at his best, displaying a range of emotions that we didn’t get to see all the time in Loki’s film appearances. With its season two announcement, I’m curious about what comes next for the cast and how it will affect the MCU as a whole.

The Sopranos (HBO/HBO Max)

Photo courtesy of HBO

Ever wonder what it’s like when an Italian mobster needs therapy? Never fear, HBO’s got you covered. This classic series from the premium network stars the late James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, a major player in New Jersey’s Soprano crime family. He also suffers from panic attacks, and thus needs therapy to deal with his demons. This compelling, funny, but often dark, series is a must-watch. It’s got loads of references, including actors, to other mafioso films like the Godfather trilogy and Goodfellas. Just be mindful that when it gets dark, it gets very dark. This is HBO, after all. 

Shaman King (2021) [Netflix]

Hiroyuki Takei’s Shaman King follows the adventures of Yoh Asakura, a Japanese teenager training to become the world’s top shaman. Similar to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, DragonBall Z Kai, and Sailor Moon Crystal, the new Shaman King aims to remain more faithful to the original manga. Because of this, the pacing is quicker, but it is overall a more interesting version of the story than its predecessor. Being reunited with Yoh and his spirit partner Amidamaru is a dream come true. So far, only the first season is on Netflix, but it will be released in parts as the series airs in Japan.

Thundercats (2011) [Hulu]

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. & Cartoon Network

Thundercats, ho! This reboot of the 1985 cartoon still deserves another season. I liked this show because it gave background on the entire cast and shook things up. We got to see Lion-O (Will Friedle) grow from a young prince to a capable king. We learned how Cheetara (Emmanuelle Chiriqui) got her speed and staff. Panthro (Kevin Michael Richardson) got to bond with robotic Care Bears before losing his arms. There was a ton of anime influence, too. If you’re on an ’80s reboot kick, queue this up after you finish Masters of the Universe: Revelation.

Invincible (Amazon Prime Video)

Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

Robert Kirkman’s Invincible is an animated superhero series based on a comic of the same name. When Mark Grayson’s (Steven Yeun) superpowers finally develop, his father, Omniman (JK Simmons), takes an interest in training him. Unfortunately, Omniman is not like Son Goku training his offspring to defeat evil. He’s more like Darth Vader trying to train his son to take his place. Similar to The Boys, this series shows the world’s Superman not as a benevolent savior, but as a godlike conqueror. Boasting an all-star cast that includes Sandra Oh, Zazie Beetz, and Grey Griffin (AKA DeLisle), Invincible is a fresh superhero story free from the Marvel and DC Comics duopoly.


How do you feel about this list? Have any other suggested series? Stay tuned for more binge guides!

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