Top Attorneys Offer Their Bingeable Best

What better time than now for some binge-watch recommendations?

Published in 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine — February 2020

Here’s a confession about a regular Q&A column we run called “Discovery”: A lot of the questions we ask are ones we wouldn’t mind answers to. Case in point: “What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?” Because who doesn’t need a good TV show recommendation right about now?

That’s why we pored over Discovery answers from the last few years to curate an ABA-approved list of great shows to binge during social isolation.

First, a little Super Lawyers trivia for your next virtual happy hour: Approximately 60 attorneys answered this question through the years, and the top three most-popular responses were--

  1. Stranger Things
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Breaking Bad

Our edit staff couldn’t resist adding a few of our own suggestions at the end. Enjoy.

For History Buffs

  • The Crown/Netflix: Come to the Queen Elizabeth II drama for the storytelling and costumes, stay for the epic Princess Margaret meltdowns. Or be like Portland business lawyer Jovita Wang and tune in for the history. “I couldn’t help Googling all the events depicted for historical accuracy—or inaccuracies,” she told us.
  • Chernobyl/HBO: The HBO five-episode limited series didn’t win 10 Emmy Awards for nothing. A muted color palette, stellar ensemble cast and a story that explores the lesser-known dramas of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster make this a sobering but excellent watch. A bit timely, too—first responders play a pivotal role. –Recommended by Indiana’s Brianna Schroeder
  • Yellowstone/Paramount: While this modern Western starring a gravel-voiced Kevin Costner as a ranch-family patriarch has it all—murder, drama, rattle snakes, territory wars and all the Stetsons you could hope for—it’s the wide-open spaces of its Utah and Montana setting that are truly transformative. –Recommended by Vermont’s Samantha Lednicky

There Will Be Lawyers

  • American Crime/Netflix: New York IP lawyer Kamilah Holder gives a simple reason for why this three-season crime anthology, which deals with class, the criminal justice system, race, gender politics, sexual assault and poverty, goes down so smooth: “All lawyers appreciate a good crime show.”
  • The Wire/HBO: What began as a show about cops and drug dealers in West Baltimore expanded outward every season, encompassing politics, education and the media. By the end, creators David Simon and Ed Burns had given us an entire city. If you’re like West Virginia general litigator Monte Williams, you’re going back in for another round. (Bonus: longtime Maryland listee Billy Murphy makes an appearance in season 5, episode 7, as himself.)
  • Suits/Prime: While we get that many lawyers might take offense at a guy faking his way into big-firm life thanks to quick wit and a talent for document forging, for those missing that law office right now, you couldn’t choose a better binge. (At the very least, tune in for all the hilarious inaccuracies.) –Recommended by Colorado’s Halleh Omidi
  • Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul/AMC, Netflix: When it comes to prestige TV, Breaking Bad, which follows ho-hum chemistry teacher Walter White as he rises to become one of the most notorious meth-cooks on the planet, is absolutely in the conversation. But Better Call Saul, the prequel that draws out the life of White’s fast-talking, scheming lawyer, Saul Goodman, is there, too. –Recommended by San Diego’s Valerie Garcia Hong (who is #TeamWalterWhite, for the record) and Portland’s Deanna Wray

Just for Laughs

  • Parks and Rec/Netflix: We can literally think of no better place to be right now than the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, where waffles are king, every day is Galentine’s Day, and treating yo’self kindly is written into the canon of Pawnee life. Optimist-in-chief Leslie Knope leads a rag-tag, hilarious crew of public servants who, at their core, love their town as much as they love each other. –Recommended by Michigan’s Maryam Karnib
  • Insecure/HBO: This modern take on living and loving in L.A., told through the bold and singular lens of comedian/essayist Issa Rae, is sometimes quietly vulnerable, sometimes loud and intrusive, but always funny. Rae and her lawyer best friend Molly navigate the world in a way that is contrarian to the “strong, confident” role often given to black women. Instead, they are aloof, awkward, self-conscious and insecure—but always real. –Recommended by Chicago’s Kimberly Cook
  • Seinfeld/Hulu: All these years later, Ohio workers’ comp lawyer Victor Kadamenos is still laughing at the iconic “No soup for you” line. “It cracks me up every time,” he told us. Watching four friends navigate the absurdities of daily life sounds pretty good to us--talk about vicarious living.
  • Veep/HBO: Ohio family law lawyer Andrea Cozza says Tony Hale’s portrayal of Gary, aide to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer, is the reason she watches this absurdly comedic (and profoundly fowl-languaged) political satire. This dysfunctional government crew cares—just not about each other, for the most part. That’s what makes it so damn fun.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel/Prime: If you’re looking for a fast-talking dose of saccharine straight to the funny bone, this vibrant 1950s Upper West Side story about a privileged Jewish housewife who discovers a hidden talent for booze-infused standup comedy is just what the doctor ordered. –Recommended by Alabama’s Pooja Chawla

For True-Crime Junkies:

  • The Keepers/Netflix: Full disclosure from Manhattan entertainment attorney Victoria Cook, who recommended this docuseries—“The [executive producers] are my clients.” The Keepers tackles the unsolved murder of a Baltimore nun in the late ’60s.  
  • The Staircase/Netflix: You’ll find past Super Lawyers cover story subject David Rudolf as the lawyer at the center of this documentary, which follows the investigation of novelist Michael Peterson, accused of murdering his wife in their North Carolina home. (We are always game to chat Owl Theory.) –Recommended by New Mexico’s Jeremy Worley
  • How to Fix a Drug Scandal/Netflix: We’ll let Oregon estate and trust attorney Hilary Newcomb speak for this doc, which focuses on the ripple effect of crimes committed by two drug lab chemists: “What an astonishing mess that impacted thousands of people in Massachusetts. The behavior of some of the attorneys was atrocious.”

The Other-Wordly

  • Black Mirror/Netflix: The bad news is this dystopian anthology might give you major concerns about the future of our species. The good news is that it’ll make you feel a heck of a lot better about your daily circumstances. –Recommended by Arizona’s Priscilla Frisby
  • Game Of Thrones/HBO: If you haven’t yet thrown in on this epic fantasy saga that has a little bit of something for everyone, we’re kind of jealous—it is the ultimate television experience of the last few years. If you’re like California’s Ramit Mizrahi, who held out for as long as she could before getting her passport stamped in Westeros, just give up already—entertainment is coming.
  • Stranger Things/Netflix: This nostalgia-drenched Netflix original follows a group of Spielbergian kids in 1980s, small-town Indiana as they uncover fantastic and terrifying secrets that turn their lives upside down. Says North Carolina family lawyer Kim Bryan, “It checks all the boxes—creepy, endearing, entertaining.” (May we add, excellent Eggo product placement.)

Staff Picks:

  • The Mandalorian/Disney+: “The best thing to happen to Star Wars in years. Come for the slow-speed Jawa Sandcrawler chases, stay for the life lessons on how to be a good space dad. (Pro tip: never let your old bounty-hunting friends hold your baby).” –Ross Pfund, Managing Editor
  • McMillions/HBO: “Love Monopoly and French fries? McMillions is a saga involving organized crime, lottery winners, greed and McDonalds … too good to be true!”  
  • The Twilight Zone (original)/Netflix: “I have to recommend one of my all-time favorite shows at a time when it feels weirdly pertinent.” –Trevor Kupfer, Senior Editor
  • Living With Yourself/Netflix: “I didn’t expect this Paul Rudd-has-a-clone, 30-minute dramedy to be such a gem. I ate it up. Plus, it has a great Tom Brady gag that goes on for the entirety of the (far too small) season. I hope they don’t make another one, though, because the last 30 seconds of season one was just joyous.”  –Amy White, Senior Editor
  • John Mulaney Standup/Netflix: “It’s not a show per se, but on Netflix comedian John Mulaney has three stand-up specials, his “Sack Lunch Bunch” special, “Big Mouth” and “Oh, Hello,” his Broadway collaboration with Nick Kroll. That should keep anyone busy and laughing during social isolation. Bonus: His father, who is referenced frequently in his standup routines, is a longtime Super Lawyers listee.” –Erik Lundegaard, Editor in Chief

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