Next week, most of us in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Which means this week, most of us in the U.S. will be dreading Thanksgiving. It’s not that we don’t care for the holiday itself, it’s more so the preparation that kills us. Eating copious amounts of delicious food? Great. Having what essentially amounts to an incredibly stressful dry run of the bigger holidays a month from now? A giant pain in the ass.
And that doesn’t take into account the stress of being home for the holiday. I know that for a lot of people (luckily myself included), the holidays are a fun family affair. Some are not so lucky. The awkward pauses during dinner being alternately filled with silent reminders to oneself (“Don’t say ‘fuck’ at the table. Don’t say ‘fuck’ at the table”) and silent prayers to others (“Don’t say anything racist. Don’t say anything racist”).
Then of course there’s the issue of what to do with all of the time you’re not eating. I’d like to strongly suggest TV. Specifically Netflix TV. No commercials so no awkward pauses, you can rewind it in case someone didn’t catch something, and most importantly, you can totally plan out your day. You not only know exactly how long each series will take to complete, but you can also be sure there won’t be any surprise boobie shots just as your Great Aunt Mary sits down next to you. Below are your best bets to keep things civil during this holiday, and a couple of ways to blow shit up in case you’ve finally decided “fuck it.”
Frankie and Grace
Run Time: 390 minutes
What made the series vaguely middling is also what makes it perfect for multi- generational viewing. Despite being about two law partners having a decades long, same sex affair, the series is fairly tame. All four leads play their parts well, but the parts are predictable. Frankie (Lilly Tomlin) will do some hippie nonsense, Grace (Jane Fonda) will be stuck- up and difficult. Robert and Sol will bicker and make up like an old, married couple. Unless you’ve got some really serious homophobes in your family, this is your best bet.
Run Time: 285 minutes
There’s no reason anyone shouldn’t like Chef’s Table, but there are plenty of reasons why someone wouldn’t love it. Each of the 6 parts profiles one world- renown chef and their work. And that’s it. Nothing even remotely offensive. The problem is: that’s it. Unless someone sees the value and artistry in fine dinning, it could come off as self- indulgent and boring. Also your mom might take it as a passive- aggressive dig at her own cooking. Just make sure to compliment the candied sweet potatoes beforehand.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Run Time: 364 minutes
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is subversive, but it isn’t offensively so. The biggest issue might be that it’s really fucking weird. Like very weird even for a person who enjoys weird. But the weird is mixed in with what mostly seems like an average fish out of water comedy. And the quick paced dialogue might mean a lot of the weird is missed by older viewers. The best show for more laid back parents, or if you want to piss off your parents just a little bit.
Master of None
Run Time: 300 minutes
Oh, you want shit to get real, huh? That’s the only reason to put this show on for your family. Because while the show is great, it’s very clearly an invitation for an open discussion with your family. There’s no sex or violence, there’s just minefield after minefield of shit that most people try to avoid discussing. Why don’t you have kids yet? What are you doing with your life? How come you don’t call/ visit more? Don’t you know how much we gave up for you? Racism, sexism, unrealistically responsibility- free days. This show is only appropriate for families that already have aggressively hashed out these issues. Otherwise you’re looking to blow up Thanksgiving.
Run Time: 741 minutes
Oh, I’m sorry. Now you want shit to get real. Don’t be fooled into thinking that putting on a show with a significantly more fucked up family than your own will someone trick everyone into thinking that this is an acceptable choice. Everyone will think this is how you see your own family. Your mom will think you believe she abandoned you, your dad will think you believe he never loved you, and your brother will be sleeping with the door locked. Don’t do it unless you’re interested in never having Thanksgiving again.
Run Time: 31 minutes
“In 1985, Kung Fury, the toughest martial artist cop in Miami, goes back in time to kill the worst criminal of all time — kung fuhrer Hitler.”
Perfect for the whole family.
Wait, your parents do party, right?
Run Time: 684 minutes
An amazing sci-fi series disrupted by just the slightest hint of German dude penis. Just in case you were saving this to watch with your sci-fi- loving parent.