5 Shows to Watch When You Need a Break From Reading

I realize this might be a confusing post title since this is a book blog!

I try to cover all aspects of my reading life here and this is one that isn’t talked about often: burnout.

Because I read and write as my job, several days can pass in a row where those are the only things I do with my brain. Sometimes when I’m up against a deadline for book club or a review, I either have a book in my hands or an audiobook in my ears for most of my waking hours.

I’m listening to an audiobook here!

This gig is a dream come true and I’m not complaining. What I’ve found can happen (is happening to me right now) is that my brain gets too full and flat out tired when it’s filled with words 24/7.

I have to be intentional and give it a break, which isn’t easy to do considering we’re living through a global pandemic and I have an anxiety disorder!

So when I want to rest my brain I’ll do something quiet, like color or arrange flowers. Other things I do are listen to music or watch engaging TV shows.

Taking a break.

I’m not looking to zone out when I watch TV. I want a show to be interesting so I have to pay attention and it takes my mind off everything else.

Here are a few I’ve watched recently that were definitely worth my time.

5 Shows to Watch When You Need a Break From Reading

Derry Girls (Netflix)

 This is a British sit-com set in DerryNorthern Ireland, in the 1990s. It follows a group of teen girls as they navigate the normal trials of adolescence with the backdrop of war and violence. It’s absolutely brilliant, funny and touching. I found the coming of age theme relatable while learning a great deal about Irish history.

Image from Imdb.com

Barry (HBO Max via Hulu)

Bill Heder plays Barry, a military veteran turned professional hitman who is feeling burned out by his life. While following a mark, he stumbles into an acting class and decides the stage is his true calling. The humor is dark and there’s a lot of violence. But overall it’s a brilliant look at a man who is just trying to figure out what he wants in life. All the of the characters are fantastic, my favorite is Barry’s acting teacher played by Henry Winkler.

Image from Imdb.com

Eureka (included with Amazon Prime)

My sister-in-law turned me on to this show recently, it’s one of her all-time favorites. I’m still on the first season but there are a ton of episodes and six seasons total. The premise is that the government has been keeping a town full of geniuses under wraps, to work on top secret projects. It’s a little cheesy at times, though it works. It’s smart and funny, and I’m always thoroughly engaged in each episode’s storyline.

GLOW (Netflix)

My heart broke a little when I found out this show was cancelled. There was supposed to be a fourth/final season but due to the COVID pandemic, Netflix decided not to continue. This is a drama based on the creation of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling show in the 1980’s. A group of misfit actresses learn to wrestle and become a cultural phenomenon. I started this show mostly because I watched the actual GLOW show as a kid and loved it. I was super impressed by this new show and fell in love with all the characters.

Image from glow.fandom.com

Shrill (Hulu)

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but this show is much better than the book it’s based on. I read it then started the show based on my friend Amber’s raving recommendation. I’m in the middle of the first season and can’t get enough. Aidy Bryant plays a writer trying to break out at the small magazine she works at. It’s about her experiences as a fat woman in the public eye but also as she navigates family, friendships, and romantic relationships.

Image from themarysue.com

I’d love to hear what you think of these shows. What do you do when you’re feeling burnt out on reading?


  1. Stacy Nelson

    March 8, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Eureka is one of my favorite shows that I have binge watched!!! Love it:)

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