Film Review: My Top 3 Mommy Shows to Binge


cover: what to watch when the kids go to bed. My top 3 mommy guilty pleasure shows to binge

When it comes to guilty pleasures, binge watching a television series is perhaps my biggest weakness.

This was especially the case after I became a mother since my early days of motherhood revolved around sitting as still as possible, cradling my daughter to my chest as she went from sleeping to suckling and back again all day and all night long. If I dared to put her down—even for a minute—she would wail inconsolably for hours on end. 

Therefore, my greatest guilty pleasure became my sole source of sanity as I was suddenly confined to a seat on the couch for the first few months of motherhood. I binge-watched A LOT of shows during this time so you can consider me your expert on all things Netflix (a Nexpert?). 

Although my binge watching slowed down a lot once my daughter became more independent and I had free hands again, I still occasionally cave to the urge to waste away an evening lost in the fictional worlds playing out on my television screen. My interests vary depending on my mood, but I’m typically drawn to characters I can relate to—which often involves mothers.

The following shows are my top three guilty pleasures that revolve around stories of motherhood and have taught me something valuable about myself and/or motherhood in the process.

1. Jane the Virgin

If you haven’t seen it yet, you absolutely must watch it now! Even if you have seen it, WATCH IT AGAIN. It’s that good.

The series follows a young woman named Jane, a devoted Catholic who is saving herself for marriage. Far from being a religious prude, however, she is also driven, ambitious, and compassionate with a fierce loyalty to her family and a passion for living life to the fullest. When we first meet her, she is in a spicy-sweet relationship with Michael, a detective with a big heart who shares her values in life. Their chemistry is undeniable, and their commitment and respect for one another is nothing short of #relationshipgoals.


In a telenovela style twist of events, Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated by her GYN during what was supposed to be a routine PAP-smear, and thus she ends up impregnated by the man (Rafael) who owns the hotel she works at, a man she once had a fleeting but intense connection with. To complicate the matters even further, the sample was Rafael’s last before he was rendered infertile by the chemo from his previous bout with cancer.

Therefore, for many reasons, Jane struggles to decide what to do, but ultimately settles on the decision to have and raise this baby planted inside her–even though it completely derails the plans she and Michael had for their future. 

And thus begins the central conflict of the story that quickly ramps up throughout the series with an extra dramatic, classic-telenovela flair that is both heartwarming and humorous.


What I loved most about the show was how it demonstrated the messy, unpredictableness of life. It’s been years since I binged this show, but certain scenes are still fresh in my mind, their lessons an invaluable part of my perspective on life. Through Jane, I learned how to let go of my need to control every single detail and situation and instead, to go with the flow of what life throws at me (though this is definitely more of a practice than a destination). I also learned the power of courage; to trust in my dreams and follow my heart even when it doesn’t make much sense. Reality, or what is practical, isn’t always mutually exclusive to fantasy. Life isn’t either/or; it’s both/and.

Overall, how Jane navigates the highs and lows of unexpected motherhood is nothing short of inspiring. So, if you’re a sucker for love triangles, relatable yet quirky characters, and epicly cheesy love stories, this is your show. 

Now go stream the full series on Netflix right now!

2. Ginny & Georgia

This one is pretty recent to the Netflix scene and as such, it’s not a full bingeable series. However, it does have three seasons currently available on Netflix and it is definitely worth catching up on before the new season comes out sometime next spring (fingers crossed). 

The series follows single mother Georgia and her teenage daughter Ginny as they adjust to their recent move to an affluent suburb in the fictional town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts. Although Georgia is always trying to do the best she can to provide the best life possible for Ginny and her younger half-brother, Austin, her methods tend to be illegal at best and borderline insane at worst. When Ginny starts to discover Georgia’s secrets, she starts to rebel in a classic teenage fashion as she struggles to figure out what the right thing to do is.


For fans of Gilmore Girls, this show is a modern alternative that navigates the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship, what it means to be a family, and the difficulties of being a marginalized woman in our society. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned from the show is that it’s not always a good thing to be the “cool friend” instead of the “parent.” It’s important to have a relationship with your children, but kids also need structure and guidance—things that are hard to provide when you aren’t taken seriously. It also showed me the importance of leading by example. Kids are more perceptive than we give them credit for, and will likely do what they’ve been shown through our actions rather than what they are told with our words. 

Overall, the show provides an unflinching glimpse at the consequences of bad choices that stem from the best of intentions and how the role of a parent is always far more complicated than it seems.

You can watch it on Netflix now.


3. The Handmaid’s Tale

This is a Hulu original adapted from the novel by Margaret Atwood of the same name that currently has five seasons available to binge before its sixth and final season airs sometime in 2024. On the surface, this show might seem to be about sexist ideologies running rampant in a religious dystopia. However, it’s my belief that the concept of motherhood is very much the lifeblood of the show.

The series follows a woman named June who has been renamed “Offred” in the post-terrorist overtaking of the United States (now called Gilead). In this religious dystopia, society is controlled by men who are called Commanders with the women divided into the categories of Wives, Aunts, Marthas, Econowives, Unwomen, and Handmaids. 

June is a Handmaid, which means that her sole role in society is to be repeatedly raped by her assigned Commander so that she may birth a child for him to raise with his chosen Wife. Naturally, June does everything she possibly can to free herself from this situation and reunite with the daughter who was stolen from her when they were caught fleeing the country by Gilead guards. Her fight for survival—and later for revenge—is an inspiring example of the resiliency and power of a mother’s love for her children.


In case it wasn’t already obvious, this show is pretty dark and twisted—but that’s exactly why I love it. It doesn’t shy away from the ugly truths of what it means to be a woman and a mother, and it definitely serves as a warning to the dangers of the kind of elitist thinking religious communities often evangelize. This show made me a stronger feminist and often gives me the motivation to fight against the patriarchy another day every time I watch it. It also prompts me to hold my daughter close and let her know how much I love her—lest she ever be ripped from my arms and taken somewhere I would undoubtedly spend my life trying to reach as June does for her daughter Hanna.

If you haven’t already, give this show a watch on Hulu. You won’t regret it!

Which one of these shows have you seen before? Which one is your favorite? What other shows about motherhood would you recommend?

As always, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

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