When my toddler’s bedtime hits, it’s MY turn to watch TV. Unfortunately, I usually realize this I have been chugging sipping an adult beverage and watching Heidi… alone… for the last 20 minutes. I have Netflix to thank for helping me feel like an adult again and removing (however temporarily) The Wiggles earworms from my brain.

We need things smarter than a little girl with a talking monkey and a map to stimulate our senses, and sometimes we just need to watch something with more visual appeal than a school of fish go to school. So, my mamas, I give you my list of sanity savers that are  guaranteed to pair nicely with your beverage of choice.

Ray Donovan

Full disclosure: Leiv Schreiber is not my jam. It took a friend a while to convince me to watch it, and I should probably buy her a nice wine basket because this show is awesome. Liev plays Ray Donovan, a Hollywood “fixer” who has no shortage of tricks up his sleeve to get stuff done for his wealthy clients. Turns out that even though Liev isn’t on my freebie list, Ray Donovan just might be. Also weirdly enough, I have never been more attracted to Hank Azaria.


I watched this on a whim one night while my husband was at work and I watched the whole first season in two nights. Thank god for vacation days. It’s about a dysfunctional Florida family that comes together after a death in the family. It is a creatively woven story that unfolds as unexpectedly as the calm after the storm of a tantrum, and you’ll appreciate the love-hate relationships you’ll have with all the characters.


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The Good Wife

I wanted to be a lawyer so badly when I was young, but life made other plans for me, as it is wont to do. This smart show is about a woman (Juliana Margulies) re-joining the workforce after her politician husband (Chris Noth) is sent to prison, and it is everything I need to imagine my life as a lawyer, even if just for an hour. It’s funny, dramatic, and intelligent all at the same time, though I will confess that I enjoyed earlier seasons much more than the current one airing on television.

House of Lies

Recommended by the same friend who sent me Ray Donovan (she’s going to need a bigger wine basket, I think), House of Lies is about a management consultant firm run by Marty Kaan, played by the incredibly talented Don Cheadle. Kristen Bell is amazing as Jeannie, Marty’s business partner, but I must warn you: if your child is obsessed with Frozen like mine is, you may have some trouble hearing Jeannie’s voice talking to Olaf, considering the show should probably carry an R rating.


This was a sleeper hit, if that means what I think it means.  Starring Matt (how YOU doin’?) Leblanc as himself post-Friends, it’s the funniest little show you haven’t heard of. Episodes follows the lives of two British screenwriters whose show was wildly successful in the UK, and after being wooed by Hollywood they are paired with Matt, who is the reluctant and badly-cast star of their latest creation.


Dean Winchester. That is all you need to know.

These shows have ben my late-night saviours, and my 4 a.m. feeding besties. Now that my toddler’s vocabulary and behaviour has reached epic tween levels of sarcasm and resistance, they also provide me with witty comebacks and briefly restore my plan to not sweat the small stuff.

Until 6 AM comes, at least.