It’s difficult to share a bathroom with someone you don’t share anything else with, and one of the easiest inroads to friendship is television. One of the joys of living with others is introducing them to the shows you love, and vice versa. Watch With Roommates watch Carrie meet Big for the first time was exhilarating. (I told them not to get too excited for And Just Like That…) But even more fun is when you can explore something together for the first time, and it becomes your thing: a reason to spend time together, a shared language, a domestic ritual.
Of course, there are a lot of different kinds of roommate relationships, and they each necessitate different viewing tactics. What you’re flipping on with a bestie is different from the show you’re hoping will provide common ground with someone you found on Craigslist. But, if your home is anything like mine, the TV is the hearth, and the perfect way to a roommate’s heart. So, we put together a list of shows to look to when you need a little inspiration for a roommate night in.
Quintessential roomie time. You’re newly independent and loving it. You’re gonna throw parties every weekend! While you recover, huddle around your laptop for these picks celebrating friendship.
We Are Lady Parts
“We Are Lady Parts follows Amina, a socially awkward microbiology Ph.D. student who desperately wants to find a husband. When she joins an all-female Muslim punk band, it changes her entire perspective on life. With just six episodes at half an hour each, it’s easy to breeze through this series in one sitting, but try and take your time with it. This is a funny, endearing, fresh show that demonstrates what proper representation looks like. Watch it with your close friends. We Are Lady Parts truly celebrates the bonds of friendship. If you’re in a band, watch it with your band.” – Sarah Mina Osman
“Sometimes a show comes along and transports you to a certain time and place with such specificity it gives you a whole new understanding of what it was like to be there. Derry Girls is that kind of show. The place is the city of Derry in Northern Ireland, the time is the ’90s, the waning years of the violent political conflict quaintly referred to as “The Troubles.” Bill Clinton is on the TV, arriving to great fanfare and hope that he’ll bring peace to the land. But the history and headlines are merely a backdrop to the hijinks of a group of teenage girls (plus one boy) up against relatable high school problems: school, crushes, dating, friendships, and family quarrels. They manage it all with a rebelliousness that seems to course through their Irish veins.” – Cindy White
Big City Roomies
You’re in the thick of the hustle and bustle. Maybe they work nights and you work days, and you want to make the most of the hours you’re both home. These picks are worth your precious time.
“A subtle twist on the classic good cop/bad cop routine, Minx pivots around an earnest aspiring writer and her unsavory, swashbuckling publisher. Both are looking to find some middle ground as they create an erotic magazine solely marketed for women’s pleasure. Short but meaningful, lighthearted but still punchy, and no, we’re not talking about the array of shvantzes in Minx. The streaming series about the intersection between feminism and smut could endear even the most skeptical. And what it might lack in delicacy, it certainly makes up for in swagger.” – Lauren Venderveen
I May Destroy You
“The episodes are only 30 minutes, the length of comedies, and the show is set against an escapist backdrop: mesmerizing dance clubs, glamorous trips to Ostia, handsome Italian boyfriends, and a sunny version of millennial life in London. But the story pivots when its lead, a famous millennial author, Arabella (played by Michaela Coel, also the series creator), is haunted by flashbacks after her drink was spiked during a night out. The viewer is left to process what happened as she does, in fragments, doubts and denials. What unfolds is a series that explores power, consent and sexual exploitation in its many forms—and from many different points of view, including that of the falsely accused.” – Melissa Roth
Perpetual Sleepover Roomies
You’re obsessed with living with each other. Maybe things are fresh. Every day feels like a sleepover, and you’re ready to lose a couple of hours to a binge-watch.
“Set in a world where everyone gets a superpower when they turn eighteen, 25-year-old Jen is a “late bloomer,” still waiting for her powers to kick in. In this bawdy but sweet new British series, Jen and her pals are each embroiled in super-sized versions of the post-grad crisis. Jen works at a costume shop, still powerless, as her best friend Carrie worries that the world only values her for her ability to channel the dead. Jen’s roommate Kash, feels like a shiftless moocher, so he puts together a scrappy vigilante group to compensate. Unlike all the Marvel and DC superhero shows, though, there are no crafty villains or battle scenes and outfits. Extraordinary is just a laugh-out-loud, irreverent comedy about recent grads trying to be people while also being able to fly.” – JR Atkinson
“This new take on a reality dating series finds three women looking for love among 24 hot, eligible bachelors. The twist is that half of them are self-proclaimed “FBoys,” who are only there for the money … and, you know, the other thing. FBoy Island is a sexy summer treat and a fun take on a reality dating series that says the quiet parts out loud. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, so you don’t have to either. This would make for a perfect summer girls’ night watch. Make some tropical drinks, cue up a few episodes, and play along at home.” – Cindy White
Roomies You’re Getting To Know
The ice needs breaking, but what better way to do that than with a water cooler-worthy show? These shows will get you talking, giggling, and sending each other memes. Bonding!
“Nathan Fielder (Nathan for You) sets up “rehearsals” for everyday people to practice different ways to handle a significant problem they’re facing. The rehearsals vary from confessing a secret to a friend to making a major life decision. Nathan Fielder has often been referred to as the “king of cringe,” and The Rehearsal proves once again he is worthy of that title. What begins as a simple concept slowly unravels into a strange meditation about human nature.” – Sarah Mina Osman
“Like all great premises, Netflix’s Sexy Beasts is very simple and borderline crazy. It’s a reality dating show where the participants are dressed in elaborate special-effects-makeup-enhanced costumes that turn them into animals and mythical creatures. This is ostensibly so that they can get to know each other for their personalities without their looks being a factor, but really, it’s so we can laugh as we watch people try to drink wine and make out and carve ice sculptures while dressed as dolphins, scarecrows, weirdly realistic beavers, etc. More than anything else, Sexy Beasts is fun. It provides some good laughs and some surprising reveals and doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s as nourishing as a bag of Cheetos, but it’s as cheesy, light, and consumable in one surprising sitting, too. If you’re looking for something that scratches your itch for The Masked Singer and Love Is Blind at the same time, this should do it. Or just fast forward to the reveals.” – Liam Matthews
Home Decor Obsessed Roomies
You had a joint Pinterest board long before you moved in together. You’re constantly surfing Facebook Marketplace for the perfect end table. This pick provides a little inspo.
The Home Edit
“With a goal to make the tedious tasks of organizing and containing clutter manageable and even fun, Nashville-based organizational gurus Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer transform chaotic rooms into clean and orderly spaces. With an element of interior styling, they work with a distinct fervor and enthusiasm to revamp stress-inducing and messy homes into calm, aesthetically pleasing sanctuaries that are functional and inspirational. Many of us using our homes as a gym, movie theater, and office space these days, this show inspires viewers to transform their spaces into something they’re proud of and look forward to spending time in. Though organizing and tidying can be stress-inducing, Teplin and Shearer demonstrate that the key to taking control of your space again is to have a system that works for you and your workflow.” – Vivian Chung