PICTURED: Call the Midwife on Netflix and PBS.org

by VCR staff and contributors

Even as the county opens up by small increments, entertainment opportunities remain minimal. Television continues to be a welcome distraction, and we asked VCReporter staff and contributors for their recommendations for quality, though-provoking or just plain fun options to stream right now.

Kimberly Rivers, staff reporter

The West Wing

The West Wing (Netflix) provides a calming escape into a fantasy, fictional government where

thoughtful, passionate people are working for the people — all the people — and most problems

are solved in under an hour, or a few episodes. There is no supernatural hero to save the day, no dynamic car chases or gun fights . . . just great dialogue, amazing speeches and great acting.

If you like The West Wing, next try Madam Secretary (also on Netflix) where Tea Leoni serves as Secretary of State.

Warren Barrett, sales director

Creative Galaxy

VELA on YouTube. Watch John John Florence sailing and surfing the Pacific.

My 5- and 3-year-old children love Hello Ninja on Netflix Jr. The adventures of a boy and girl ninja and their cat, Pretzel. Also great for little kids is Creative Galaxy (Amazon Prime). Each episode is part cartoon and then it shows real kids doing creative art projects. This show has been inspiring art projects at our house daily. 

Cosmic Kids Yoga (YouTube) — yoga made fun for kids with themed episodes like Frozen.

On Hulu, my wife has been watching Little Fires Everywhere.

Barbara Kroon, sales rep

Saturday Night Live

I like to watch things that make me laugh. I’ve been continuing my favorites — Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers all doing their thing from home. Even Saturday Night Live was done remotely, which was weird, but still funny. I’ve been watching old Big Bang Theory and Mom episodes because they never fail to make me laugh. And I never miss Jeopardy!


Tim Pompey, film reviewer and music writer


On Netflix, I’m watching Unorthodox (definitely an insider’s view of life under the burden of Torah) and Freud, a dark and sexually complicated horror series in which the young Freud begins to understand the process of hypnotism. Tales from the Loop on Amazon Prime, about a small Ohio town built around a scientific endeavor known as The Loop, explores various scientific and mystical themes.


Emily Dodi, theater reviewer and art and culture writer

Call the Midwife

“Keep Calm and Carry On.” Call the Midwife is that sentiment personified. The popular BBC drama follows the lives of the midwives of Nonnatus House and the people they serve in London’s East End in the 1950s and 1960s. They’ve seen it all, and no matter how difficult or heartbreaking a situation is, the women of Nonnatus lean into it with courage, compassion and the unwavering belief that we are all in it together. Old episodes are available on Netflix; new episides (it’s in Season 9 now) are on PBS.org

Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer, arts editor

Great British Baking Show

I am embarrassed to admit that I am just now discovering the glory that is NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But boy, has it been a salvation (thanks, Hulu!). Whenever I’m down, I can spend a cool 20 minutes watching a bunch of weirdo cops act ridiculous and exchange hilarious one-liners that make me laugh and laugh and laugh. 

When I want a more soothing escape: Great British Bake Off (aka Great British Baking Show here in the U.S.) on Netflix. The tent is so charming, the food so “scrummy” and everyone is incredibly sweet and supportive of each other. It always leaves me feeling as warm inside as a freshly steamed Christmas pudding. 

Out of the Box is a semi-regular column by VCReporter staff and contributors about television and streaming content.