Weekend Wanderer: What to Watch When You’re Alone

personal growth for all

It is the very nature of fall that brings about my complete abandonment.

As October unfurls each year, my husband fades from my world, like Marty McFly playing the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in Back to the Future. By November, he is completely gone, as though his parents never shared that first kiss ultimately leading to his existence.

He is in the woods. Mostly in Pennsylvania. Sometimes elsewhere. He is hiking. He is hunting. He is chopping wood.

I like the chopping wood part. Sometimes he takes off his shirt.

It’s hard explaining to regular people when a man isn’t at his own birthday celebration because he’s in the forest like he’s Robin Hood.

These excursions — where he’s gone for hours, days, weeks even — could make me bitter.

I’m not bitter. At all. Having a husband on sabbatical from your marriage is probably the best thing he can do for you.

Why? Why do I think three months apart is just the matrimonial way to go? Well, part of it is his — I don’t know — glee at being one with Mother Nature.

I try not to take it personally that she makes him happier than I do. I get it. She may be older, but she’s less work than me.

And he understands there is very little in this world that makes me as happy as Halloween Ends. Or hot yoga. Or cookies.

Which brings me to my point.

When you’re alone for three months, you’re not shaving your legs or exfoliating or doing crunches.

No one is seeing you naked. You can skip all of that.

And use that time to get things done.

No. I’m not talking about cleaning the oven or touching up paint or exploring your feelings.

I’m talking about entertainment.

I mean, of course we’re all watching Ted Lasso and Yellowstone. Of course we are. And we’re all listening to Dr. Death and Serial.

I’m not talking about those. You don’t need me to tell you that Roy Kent and Rip are adorable curmudgeons reminiscent of the husband abandoning me for the woods. You don’t need me to tell you leaving your house only gets you tangled in cataclysmic surgery.

So if you, like I, find yourself alone on Friday nights, or driving solo to a birthday party for a husband not in attendance, I have your entertainment all lined up.

Here we go.

Candy. Jessica Biel transforms into a real-life ’80s homicidal housewife like Optimus Prime transforms into a car. Equally unrecognizable is her husband, Justin Timberlake, in a small but important role. It’s on Hulu, which is free for a month. But let’s not pretend you don’t already have Hulu. How else are you watching The Handmaid’s Tale?

Breeders. Martin Freeman — yes! From Sherlock! — and Daisy Haggard are raising their children in London. Freeman’s character is frequently caught between the demands of his elderly parents and the emotional needs of his kids. So you know, my life. But funny. And in London!

She-Hulk. It breaks the fourth wall, a ploy that Bruce Willis proved so engaging on Moonlighting. The cameo in episode eight made me happier than cookies and hot yoga put together. If, like my husband, you are Marvel-ed out, I’m sure there is a forest somewhere with your name on it. You can go while the rest of us bundle Disney+ with Hulu.

The Orville. Listen. I would love to tell you Star Trek: Picard is the best Star Trek show on TV right now. But that moniker goes to The Orville. Seth MacFarlane’s loving tribute to the original series — TOS for us nerds — hits just the right spot. And would you look at that? It’s right there on Hulu!

Welcome to Wrexham. Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought a failing soccer team in Wales. The team, the townies, even Ryan and Rob themselves, are flummoxed by the purchase. Nothing goes right and everything goes right. It’s free On Demand and satisfies your Ted Lasso appetite while you wait for a new season. So you have no excuse.

Yellowjackets. This is, hands down, my best recommendation. Remember Lord of the Flies? What if they were all ’90s high school females? Yeah. Streams on Showtime. It’s free for a month. You’ll only need a night. Even though it’s 10 episodes.

Unsolved Mysteries. Since you’re all keyed up after Candy and Yellowjackets, settle in for the ’80s crime show, rebooted for Netflix. No Robert Stack, but you do get …

Unsolved Mysteries. The podcast!

The Evolution of Horror. If you love horror, this podcast will have you discussing the genre right along with the host and his guests. Even though they can’t hear you. Or even know you exist.

If you don’t love horror, you probably feel good about walking through the woods at three in the morning. But when something gets you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I did. With this podcast.

Cobra Kai. Everything you want from this sequel to The Karate Kid franchise.

Okay. See why you need some time away from your spouse? No way are they hanging around for all Unsolved Mysteries all the time. You have to bang that stuff out while they’re gone, you know?

And if their plane crashes in the Canadian woods and they get eaten by the next generation of Beverly Hills, 90210, you tried to warn them, right?

Text me when you’re done watching and listening. We’ll have so much to talk about! And I won’t have spoken with another adult in months!

Huh. I think I’m my own horror show.

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