Call the Midwife


Desperate for new binge watching that isn’t apocalyptic, I asked arts editor Kay Kipling for her recommendations. She turned me on to the British import Call the Midwife that’s been running on PBS for 12 years—yes, I’m a little late—and it’s become my latest Netflix marathon. The series follows a group of midwives and Anglican nuns in an impoverished section of London in the 1950s. The lives of the residents and their issues are difficult, and the childbirth scenes may be too realistic for some, but I relish the sisterhood, generosity of spirit—and the always comforting cup of tea—so I have to keep the tissues handy. —Susan Burns, editor-in-chief

High on the Hog

This four-part Netflix series, based on the book of the same name by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, examines Black history through the lens of food. It begins in Benin, West Africa, where the host—the charming writer-chef-sommelier Stephen Satterfield—tours the area's markets, villages and restaurants with Harris, culminating in a deeply emotional visit to the Door of No Return in Ouidah, the point at which enslaved Africans were forced to sail to the Americas. In episodes two through four, Satterfield returns stateside, traveling to South Carolina for Gullah Geechee food; to Philadelphia for pepper pots; to New York for oysters; to Virginia for macaroni and cheese, created by Thomas Jefferson's enslaved Black, French-trained chef, James Hemings; and to Houston to pay homage to the cuisine Black cowboys made in the 19th and 20th centuries. Along the way, he also interviews historians, chefs and bloggers, creating a profound look at, as wrote in The New York Times, "Black people's food—which is to say, American food." —Megan McDonald, digital editor

The NBA Playoffs


I have not been able to take my eyes off this year's NBA playoffs, which have come down to a handful of teams that are typically not title contenders and a rising generation of stars who are seeking to win their first NBA title. There is no LeBron James, no Kevin Durant, no Steph Curry. It's a thrilling changing of the guard for a game that has been dominated by a handful of players and teams for many years. At this point, I don't care who wins, but I'll be watching every minute. —Cooper Levey-Baker, senior editor

Last Tango in Halifax

It’s refreshing to see a romance between two people on the screen outside the typical age cast for love stories. Set in Yorkshire, England, the backbone of this comedy-drama is the rekindled love between two widows, Celia and Alan, who are in their 70s and had crushes on each other in high school. The Netflix series follows the ups and downs of their two families melding after they marry. Celia and Alan differ politically (they have a momentary fallout over Brexit) and socioeconomically, yet manage to nurture what they have in common. The initial rifts between the two families shrink as they live through losses, divorces, coming outs and even a secret murder in self-defense. Like a more sober version of Modern Family with real-looking people and realistic lives, this highly relatable series shows how to conquer division with love and understanding. Viewers will also adopt the term “dozy bugger” before long and consider taking "spots of tea” throughout the day. —Kim Doleatto, associate editor

Stranger Things Season 3

 
I have been re-watching season three of Netflix's Stranger Things. The '80s-inspired sci-fi series follows a group of monster-fighting kids through their summer vacation adventures. It has a nostalgic "small town in the summer" feel and is filled with fireworks and sparklers, carnivals with games and rides and, of course, lots of '80s fashion. I'm excited for the series' fourth season, coming out in 2022. —Allison Forsyth, assistant editor
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