#CindySays … Binging in the time of COVID: five shows I’ve been watching

Ok… I realize it’s been awhile since I wrote something other than for work — like an email.

Recently, a stranger messaged me on LinkedIn and asked if I really wrote a blog… I had to think for a second how to answer because I hadn’t written in a long while. To be honest, I kind of burned out on it because I felt like my voice was a small one in an ocean of entertainment writers, all covering the same thing. Then this person said something that stuck me as truth. There’s SO much content these days, people always are looking for recommendations on what to watch. As that was why I started this whole deal in the first place, (though I did hope to also become some sort of influencer), I decided that maybe I had something relevant to say after all. So, here I go again!

Here are a few shows that I have been watching.

The Great Pottery Throw Down

Right… You are reading that right. But, stay with me. This is essentially the British Baking Show, but with pottery. And no Paul Hollywood. It’s the same exact premise — with multiple challenges and one potter is eliminated each week. The judges are renowned potters and it’s just as compelling as these potters are so creative. I bet you will be pricing out a potter’s wheel before you finish the first season! I found it on HBO Max.

After I finished the three seasons, I immediately went back to Netflix and The Great British Baking Show which has the latest season available with new episodes dropping each week.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Victoria Pedretti as Dani Clayton

From the same team that delivered The Haunting of Hill House in 2018, even with a number of the same actors, this Netflix original is what can be best described as a true gothic ghost story. More suspense than overt horror, this nine episode arc follows an American nanny as she takes on two new charges at an historic English manor. Things get weird pretty quick, and grow more intense as the tragic past of the manor unfolds — a place where no one seems to leave alive. With a few solid jump scares, and some really creepy occupants, this one is perfect as Halloween fare.

Hot in Cleveland

This series ran from 2010 to 2015, and I watched it when it aired originally as TVLand’s first foray into scripted territory. The show features four classy comediennes: Valerie Bertinelli, Wendy Malick, Jane Leeves and the inimitable Betty White. Melanie, a list book author, Victoria, a daytime soap actress without a show, and Joy, an eyebrow artist, are living in LA where the focus is eternally on youth. On their way to Paris, their plane is forced to land in Cleveland. They decide to venture out and realize that they are attracting attention from men —- and start to feel like who they actually are: gorgeous women who deserve the same. Not ready to give up that feeling, recently divorced Melanie decides to stay. Victoria and Joy intend to stay only temporarily and move in with Melanie. The home she rents comes with a catch: Elka, an acerbic octogenarian caretaker with a rapier wit. And, the show is born.

Wendy Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White and Jane Leeves

A bit of a throwback to the zany Lucy and Ethel escapades, the show follows the ladies’ pursuit of love, happiness and a daytime Emmy. What makes this show special is that, as guest stars, you also get a parade of almost every fantastic sitcom actor including those these ladies have worked with over time: from Carl Reiner and Mary Tyler Moore, to David Spade to John Mahoney. All in all, it’s a fun, silly half-hour, that will make you laugh out loud. Hot in Cleveland offers six seasons and you can find it on CBS All Access and PRIME.


New on Hulu this week is the first season of the Marvel comic adaptation, Helstrom. This follows siblings Daimon and Ana, who are tortured by their heritage. Oh and with good reason by the way, as Dad was a serial killer and Mom is institutionalized because she is possessed by a demon. Both Daimon and Ana are gifted with abilities, a lot of which seem best suited to demon hunting and exorcism. They are joined by other colorful characters all in the “demon biz”. Also, Dad who was caught and killed 20 years ago may not be dead and may be more terrifying than they ever realized. So… yeah! The demon stuff puts me on edge as I believe in God and therefore evil as well, but it’s not been too graphic. Perfect genre for Halloween, but not really one for the kids. I’m not vouching for greatness here, but it kept me interested. I’m on episode 5, but I have way more questions that have yet to be answered.

Sydney Lemmon as Ana and Tom Austen as Daimon

So, there you have it… five shows that #CindySays is watching.

#TV #WhatToWatch #Helstrom #HotInCleveland #TheHauntingofBlyManor #TheGreatPotteryThrowDown #TheGreatBritishBakingShow #NetflixOriginal #HuluOriginal

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