The 88th Annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, and you’re either in the midst of planning your Oscar party, indifferent to the awards show obsession or boycotting because of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. I'm leaning towards avoiding the awards ceremony, save for host Chris Rock's opening monologue, so I've planned a full roster of television to mainline along with a gooey plate of nachos.
Here are 5 shows to binge-watch on Oscar night...
Shades of Blue, Hulu
If you missed the January debut of NBC legal thriller starring Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta, a chilly Sunday afternoon is the optimal time to catch up. Lopez not only embraces her extension-free bob and a downgraded wardrobe, she channels Bronx roots as a corrupt NYPD detective forced to turn FBI criminal informant on her crew of crooked cops, led by a greedy force of nature named Woz (Liotta bringing his electrifying best). It’s less a cat-and-mouse pursuit and more of a tiger-and-dragon cage-match as Harlee is torn between her loyalty and fear of Woz’s reign and the far-reaching arm of the FBI. If you've slept on Lopez’ acting chops, you won’t anymore.
Shades of Blue airs every Thursday at 10/9c on NBC but you can watch it from the beginning on Hulu.
Happy Endings, Hulu
Even if you caught the first run of the screwball comedy about six friends making their way to singledom, married life and careers in Chicago, you will love watching it again. The underrated comedy, starring Damon Wayons Jr. and SNL alum Casey Wilson, only ran for three seasons, but the comedy is still topical, ridiculous and punch-your-BFF funny. In short, it’s amahzing.
Luther, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix
The Academy may have neglected to nominate Idris Elba for this work in Beasts Of No Nation, but he recently snagged a SAG Award for his work as DCI John Luther in the BBC series, Luther. This chilling and brilliantly written show follows a dogged and polarizing British detective he outsmarts some of London’s most sadistic murderers. Luther mines the humanity and terror of murder and violence and dramatizes the struggle of staying on the right side of the thin blue line to bring such monsters to justice. If you’re American, you’ll be flabbergasted that usually do it without guns.
Top Chef, Hulu
Now in its 13th season on Bravo, this thrilling competition for up-and-coming chefs is equal parts delicious and addictive. You'll be dazzled by the knife skills, the sophisticated fare, the passion and host Padma Lakshmi's wardrobe. Though it ups the high-brow factor in later seasons, it's gratifying that Top Chef rewards hardworking contenders with awesome cash and prizes for individual challenges in addition to the big prize, so most don't leave empty-handed.
Unlike the granddaddy of reality competition shows, American Idol, many of the diverse cheftestants have gone on to become powerhouses in the culinary industry by opening critically acclaimed restaurants and/or hosting their own television shows (Seasons 5 and 8’s Carla Hall is a chef/host of ABC’s The Chew). Fun Drinking Game: Drink every time a chef tastes samples their food and puts the spoon back in the pot, cuts themselves or plates with tweezers.
Grey’s Anatomy, Netflix
You can never go wrong by spending a night with Shonda Rhimes. Fall in love all over again when you check into Seattle Grace Hospital with the shockingly green interns in Grey’s Anatomy. Start with the “Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me” realness and move on the breathtaking Izzy/Denny love affair, maybe skip over--Spoiler Alert—George’s untimely and infuriating death, but dive into the majestic entrance of Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). What was once television and Emmy-worthy brilliance is now the industry gold standard for medical and romantic dramas.
Note: The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag was created last year by April Reign (@ReignOfApril), NuTribeMagazine's Editor-At-Large and Managing Editor of BroadwayBlack.com.
Photo Credits: nbc.com, ew.com, movieforums.com, latimes.com, greysanatomy.wikia.com,
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.