A Solo Mom’s Guide to Netflix

A Solo Mom’s Guide to Netflix

Wondering what to watch on Netflix? P. Charlotte’s got you covered!

Three years ago, I hit a dating low. Online dating had presented me with a string of losers and married men. As a single mom, hanging out at bars and clubs wasn’t reasonable (or satisfying), not to mention what it did to my bank account . . . and calorie count. I was lonely, despairing, and putting on the pounds.

But then I discovered Breaking Bad, and my life forever changed (as did my bank account and my thighs).

I’d had Netflix for years but never used it. It wasn’t until I was stood up by a dude with whom I was deeply in love (OK, I thought I was going to get laid) that I tuned in. And Netflix and I have been happily married ever since (though I’ll admit, I’m having an affair with Amazon Prime on the side).

Each night, after the kids are fed and safely contained, I hop on my stationary bike, pull out my yoga mat, flip on the TV, exercise, and escape. And depending on my mood, there is always something to get me through. Here are a few of my suggestions (all available on Netflix and Amazon Prime). Feel free to weigh in—I could use something new to watch!

I need to escape my life

Breaking Bad. With a terminal-cancer diagnosis, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) secretly turns to the world of meth in a misguided attempt to secure the financial future of his family—ultimately teaming up with hot, young drug addict, Jesse. Hijinks ensue.

Better Call Saul. The prequel to Breaking Bad, it features the beloved and charismatic scumbag attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), whom we can’t help but love. Note: There are no hot dudes in this show.

The Killing. A workaholic and stoic detective, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), and her hot, street smart yet reasonable partner, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), try to solve the murder of a teenaged girl.

The Blacklist. Elusive criminal Raymond Reddington (James Spader) turns himself in to the FBI on the condition he speak only with young agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), who is married to a hot guy.

Fargo. Each season of Fargo, an anthology show, focuses on a true-story, crazy-quirky crime committed in . . . you guessed it, Fargo, North Dakota. Dudes are weird, as in not so hot.

The Wire. Often hailed as the best TV series ever, this show tracks the Baltimore drug scene through the points of view of the drug lords and law enforcement, and is overflowing with hot guys.

Boardwalk Empire. A violent period piece set in Atlantic City, it stars Steve Buscemi as a corrupt politician who plays both sides of the law. Buscemi is not hot.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. The title says it all, and the serial killer is kinda hot . . . but he’s a serial killer.

Jack Ryan. John Krasinski, best known for his role as Jim Halpert on the television series The Office, stars as Jack Ryan (based on the character from the John Clancy novels) and, surprisingly, we buy it. And he’s hot . . . in a “Jim” way.

Show me something beautiful

Godless. A fave: in an old western town, all the men are killed in a mining accident, and the town is left with only women (who rock) . . . and one hot guy.

The Leftovers. Justin Theroux looks super-hot as Kevin Garvey, navigating the world after half the human race mysteriously disappears into thin air. Heart-wrenching and one of my all-time favorites.

The OA (Season 1). Although this show, about an interdimensional traveler named OA (which stands for Original Angel), is confusing at first, stick with it as it gradually unfolds because it ultimately will leave you breathless. Trust me. And it has one hot dude.

Deadwood. Depending on your tastes, you’ve got sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and surly saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) running around in Deadwood, South Dakota, as it grows from a mining camp into a town.

I need a laugh

The Office. Just watch it . . . over and over and over.

Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler (as Leslie Knope) and all your favorite comedians work in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. Chris Pratt plays a shoeshine boy who eventually becomes Knope’s assistant and is funny and hot, even when he’s chubby.

Grace and Frankie. After being left by their gay husbands, former frenemies-turned-best friends Grace and Frankie (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, respectively) navigate being newly single in their 70s. No hot dudes.

Arrested Development. The show follows the completely dysfunctional Bluth family, and Jason Bateman (who plays son Michael Bluth) is hot.

I’m feeling better and want to kick some ass

Jessica Jones. After the loss of her superpowers, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) tries to build her career as a private detective and has sex with hot dudes.

Hannah. A kick-ass young girl, raised in the forest, evades an evil CIA agent as she tries to figure out who she is. Her dad is played by the hot dude (Kinnaman) from The Killing.

GLOW. This series follows the lives of a group of female wrestlers (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) in LA in the 1980s. They sometimes date hot guys.

Killing Eve. This series is so good. Sandra Oh plays a British intelligence investigator obsessed with Villanelle, a beautiful, psychopathic assassin. Hot girls.

I’m feeling horny

Ray Donovan. In this crime drama, Liev Schrieber stars as Ray Donovan, who does the dirty work for LA’s rich and famous and, Oh My God, is so hot.

The Night Manager. Described by AMC as a “contemporary interpretation of John le Carré’s best-selling spy novel,” it stars Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine, the night manager of a hotel who gets caught up in the intelligence community and international arms trading. He is amazingly hot and, Oh My God, the sex scenes!

Luther. Idris Elba plays a cop. Need I say more?

The Affair. Hot dude and hot chick have an affair resulting in dual hotness.

Bodyguard. The very hot and British Richard Madden plays David Budd, a war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who is assigned to protect British Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), whose politics he despises. We want to take him home and feed him chicken soup because he’s damaged . . . and hot.

And I thought my ex was a douche

You. A bookstore manager becomes obsessed with an aspiring writer and uses all sorts of technology to stalk her. He’s hot, but a total douche.

Big Little Lies. The “perfect lives” of indulged Monterey, California, mommies completely fall apart when a Solo Mom (Shailene Woodley) moves to town. Lots of hot dudes because that’s how those ladies roll.

Narcos. Drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) murders a whole bunch of people and cheats on his wife. He’s a douche and not hot at all.

The Good Wife. She was a good wife, but he sure as shit wasn’t a good husband: Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is behind bars after a sex and corruption scandal, leaving poor Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) to provide for their family. Noth is way older than he was in his Sex and the City (Mr. Big) days, and his character is a douche, that is, not so hot . . . though still a little hot.

Sweet escape

Gilmore Girls. Thirtysomething Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) is Solo Mom to her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel). The show follows them and their many hot suitors around Stars Hollow with cups of coffee. If being a single mom were only this easy and sweet (sigh) and my makeup and hair and clothes looked as awesome, 24/7 (sigh).

How I Met Your Mother. Poor Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) is looking to find the love of his life in Manhattan. (Aren’t we all?) With the help of his four best friends and through a series of flashbacks, Ted recounts to his future kids the story of how he met their mother. Not hot . . . but cute.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. From the minds of the same duo who created Gilmore Girls comes this hysterically funny 1950s housewife, Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), who decides to become a standup comic when her not-as-funny husband leaves her for his younger secretary. Relatable.

Sex and the City. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and friends explore the fabulous trials and tribulations of being single thirtysomethings in Manhattan while dating loads of hot guys. I couldn’t help but wonder—while sipping my Cosmopolitan—am I more of a Samantha or a Carrie?

Friday Night Lights. Follow the stories of a Texas high school football team as the players, coaches, and families tackle the day-to-day struggles of modern life. Kyle Chandler, who plays coach Eric Taylor, is, per usual, hot. So are some of the players. Is that weird? But they are all in their 20s playing high school students. (Still, emotionally confusing for this mom.)

I need female inspiration

Happy Valley. The show follows the life of Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), a plucky, exhausted, jaded, single-mom police sergeant, as she solves crimes and deals with the complications of her funny and often bittersweet life in West Yorkshire, England—which, by the way, doesn’t have a lot of hot dudes.

Black Earth Rising. Kate (Michaela Coel), a striking, kick-ass survivor of the Rwandan genocide, tries to solve the mystery of her youth. John Goodman, who plays prosecutor Michael Ennis, is a great actor but not a hot dude.

Orphan Black. OMG. Tatiana Maslany brilliantly plays seven clones of herself. We love them all, and they know a lot of hot guys.

Marcella. A stoic, smart, and driven London detective (Anna Friel) catches killers. Her husband is hot, but he cheats on her and we hate him.

Dead to Me. A friendship between straitlaced Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) and eccentric Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini) begins in a grief support group. Shocking secrets and hot guys ensue.

I’m feeling romantic

OK . . . I’m bitter. I never feel romantic.

And I thought I had it bad!

Seven Seconds. Latrice Butler (Regina King) won’t give up on finding the person who killed her 15-year-old son in spite of a corrupt police cover-up. No hot guys, but great performances so you don’t notice there are no hot guys.

The Sinner (Season 1). Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) murders a man she doesn’t know and doesn’t know why she murdered him. Of course, her poor husband is hot and now has to raise their kid alone.

Bird Box. Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) tries navigate her children to safety while blindfolded because sight can turn you into a zombie. Trust me, it makes sense when you watch it. And there is one hot dude. Because, of course, when the human race is almost extinct, Bullock would find the one hot dude.

A Quiet Place. This movie shares the same premise as Bird Box, but in this one, nobody is allowed to speak. Lee and Evelyn Abbott (played by Krasinski [Jim from The Office] and his real-life wife, Emily Blunt) try to navigate their children to safety. Krasinski plays a total dad-stud—so hot!

I’m a good mom

Bates Motel. We all know Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga), and who knew? Lots of hot guys like hanging at her motel.

Nurse Jackie. Badass drug-addict Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco) gets shit done. This series is not overflowing with hot dudes . . . but you don’t miss them.

The Sopranos. Carmella (aka Nurse Jackie) is married to Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and puts up with his “Mafia issues” in order to maintain her lifestyle—and she screams at her kids a lot. Dudes are generally covered in blood, so it’s hard to tell if they are hot.

Game of Thrones. Some of TV’s worst moms live in the mythical lands of Westeros, where, for eight seasons, nine families fight for control of the kingdom. There’s an abundance of dragons and too many hot guys to count.

Dear Netflix,

Thank you for being there for me, through the laughter and the tears; for trying to get my mind off my problems. Thank you for trying to please me Every Single Night. Sometimes you were wrong. But we got past it—with just a click of the remote control (or a fling with Amazon). Through thick and thin, sickness and health, forever, my one true love. (Now if only I could get you to rub my feet.)


P. Charlotte Lindsay

P. Charlotte Lindsay is a middle-aged Solo Mom. She shares her newfound expertise as a user of a dating app that can help you meet guys, get laid, and maybe even find love. She is a real person, though her name has been changed to protect the innocent, namely her children and parents. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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