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Your July Binge List

Let’s be real. This summer has been a complete and utter let down. All year long, we look forward to trading the rise-and-grind for three months of long, laidback, carefree days spent at the beach, BBQs and hanging out with family and friends. And let’s not forget the coveted summer vacations, some of which we plan our whole year around. Well, our bubbles have certainly been burst and instead of galivanting through new cities, sailing the Caribbean or just wining and dining at our favorite local spots, we’re barely even able to leave the perimeter of our home. While the amount of time we’re spending in self-quarantine is actually absurd (just wear a damn mask, okay?!), we do have something to be grateful for – streaming services. From Netflix to Hulu and everything in between, the content options are truly endless. Only one problem – sometimes I feel like I spend more time browsing than actually watching. Luckily for you, I’m a giver. So, to help weed through and narrow down your options, I’m sharing some of my personal faves that are currently streaming on Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

Hulu

PEN15

Seriously you guys, you HAVE TO watch this show. Like, have to. Especially if you were in middle school in 2000. The series is created by, written by and stars comics Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, who play fictionalized, teenage versions of themselves in seventh grade. It’s the most accurate portrayal of middle school I’ve ever seen. From awkward and confusing experiences to intense personal realizations, the show depicts those moments in our lives that shape who we are with a perfect blend of humor, whit and emotion. Legit laugh out loud funny and so relatable. The first season debuted last year and is currently streaming, and the second season is set to premier this fall. September 18 to be exact. Mark your calendars!

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme 

If you loved Hamilton and have a taste for improv, rap and Broadway, then this documentary is for you. We Are Freestyle Love Supreme tells the story of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop group made up of many of the faces that would go on to star in Miranda’s Broadway hits In The Heights and Hamilton, including Christopher Jackson, Thomas Kail, Anthony Veneziale and more. It’s shot over the course of 15 years, it chronicles Freestyle Love Supreme‘s journey from a game played by Miranda and his collaborators in the basement of the Drama Bookshop to its Broadway run at the Booth Theatre. Incredibly inspiring, triumphant and a must-see!

Disney+

Waking Sleeping Beauty

So, this documentary was originally released in 2009 but thanks to Disney+, it’s out of the vault! Packed with archival clips and interviews from company animators and executives, Waking Sleep Beauty documents the history of Walt Disney Feature Animation from 1984 to 1994 and, as perfectly stated in the description on Disney+, is an unprecedented eye-opening look at the conflict, drama and tension that ushered in the second chapter of Disney’s animation legacy – a decade of unparalleled creativity that included The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. Insanely gripping and fascinating, I highly recommend!

The Imagineering Story

As someone who grew up in South Florida and attended college in Orlando, I have such a love and appreciation for Disney World. From frequent visits as a child to my high school grad night, some of the best memories I have were made at Disney World. Excuse me for sounding like a complete cheese ball, but there really is something magical about it. I can’t really put it into words but when you watch this 6-part docuseries, which takes you behind the curtains of Walt Disney Imagineering, you’ll get a glimpse into that it took to create, design and build the twelve Disney theme parks around the world and see what I mean.

Prime Video

Mad Men

I gotta be honest, I was a late to the game with this one and only recently watched the series all the way through but even so, Mad Men is one of my all-time favorites. So, when it was announced that the show was leaving Netflix, I may or may not have had a mild meltdown. There’s nothing like a Don Draper pitch meeting or booze-filled brainstorm to get your creative juices flowing, and the thought of not having that at my disposal literally pained me. But just as it always does, Amazon Prime saved the day and added Man Men to its collection of streaming content on Prime Video. If you haven’t watched, please do yourself a favor and start today. The show ran for seven seasons so it’s definitely a time investment, but I promise you, it will be worth your while.

Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway

When Hamilton was released on Disney+ earlier this month, it was like we all got front row seats for the original Broadway production at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York City. I was lucky enough to see the show when the tour production stopped in South Florida but seeing it up close on the screen and with the original cast was a completely different experience. Regardless of when, where and how you watch Hamilton, I can promise you the show is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This documentary spotlights the brilliance of Hamilton’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and details the remarkable journey of the show that would change the face of Broadway forever.

Netflix

Down to Earth with Zac Efron

A trip around the world with Zac Efron? Yes please! The docuseries was released earlier this month and explores healthy, sustainable ways to live in various countries across the globe. Who knew Zac Efron was a guru of healthy living and superfood?! Not me, but I’m honestly here for this. While I don’t think it’s the most educating of travel shows, the mixture of adventure, cool sites and good eats, topped with a little Zac Efron charm, makes for a pretty entertaining show.

The Last Dance

This 10-part docuseries originally aired on ESPN in April/May and centers around Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls. Besides filling the void left by the cancelled NBA season, the series gave us a glimpse into Jordan’s historic career, as well as the key relationships that shaped him. I watched this when it aired live and now that it’s streaming on Netflix, a re-watch is at the top of my binge list. But warning to all – a complete viewing of the series might lead to a strong desire to watch Space Jam (available to rent on Amazon Prime). If this happens to you, just go with it. You won’t regret it.