11 streaming shows that are unexpectedly great for when you’re sick

A classic teen drama, an anthropomorphic egg’s big adventure, an animated Star Trek series and others that will help you feel better

Ramón Rodríguez in “Will Trent.” (Matt Miller/ABC)
7 min

The tripledemic threat has (thankfully) gone away, but for some people cold, flu, covid and other viruses are still making the rounds. We’ll leave the medical advice to the doctors, but we can make some recommendations for what to watch if you find yourself in bed for a few days. The list below includes a little something for everyone, including new shows, hidden gems and treasured throwbacks that will make you laugh, cry and/or embrace whatever fever dreams come your way.

‘Will Trent’

Ramón Rodríguez shines as the titular special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations in this brand-new ABC drama adapted from Karin Slaughter’s series of novels set in Atlanta. In the pilot, Will — who hides a learning disability from the majority of his colleagues — is paired with Faith (Iantha Richardson), a promising officer who is candid about her experience as a Black woman in the Atlanta police department.

Will’s work frequently finds him navigating the same mired systems he encountered growing up in foster care, and just as often reunites him with his childhood sweetheart, Angie (Erika Christensen), a troubled police detective. The jury may be out on Will’s Southern accent but the show — which also features Sonja Sohn as Will’s boss, Amanda — is charming enough to make you forget about it, along with whatever is ailing you. (Streams on Hulu; airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC)

‘The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’

We’re all for multigenerational content that the whole family can enjoy while recovering from whatever illness the kids brought home from day care. This revival of the animated early-2000s sitcom places teenager Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt) firmly in Generation Z — influencers included — while staying true to the heartwarming and realistic family dynamics that attracted a loyal fan base. The update has welcomed guest stars such as Lizzo (as herself) and Cee-Lo Green (as a soul-singing, bamboo-eschewing panda named Shuggie), while showcasing the best of its ensemble voice cast (Tommy Davidson, Jo Marie Payton and Cedric the Entertainer, to name a few).

The show’s second season, which premiered in February, features an episode in which Penny’s debate team triumphs in a competition by exposing their California town’s grim connection to slavery. At the height of the episode, Penny, Dijonay (Karen Malina White) and their friends make a solid argument for reparations in a scene that riled Megyn Kelly and other conservatives who completely missed the groundbreaking show’s point. (Streams on Disney Plus)

‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’

In other multigenerational options, this beautifully animated new Marvel show follows Lunella Lafayette (Diamond White), who lives a double life as a teen genius and superheroine and finds a sidekick of sorts in a red Tyrannosaurus she names Devil Dinosaur. The series, which counts Laurence Fishburne as an executive producer (and a member of the voice cast), is for kids but entertaining enough for adults to want to watch, too. Even better: It’s set to a score by prolific composer (and Tony! Toni! Toné! alum) Raphael Saadiq. (Streams on Disney Plus)

‘The Law According to Lidia Poët’

This Italian-language period drama is based on the life story of Italy’s first modern female lawyer, whose disbarring — at the gavels of sexist men — helped galvanize a movement to allow women to practice law there. The best thing about the recently released show isn’t the cases, which are interesting enough, or even the will-they-won’t-they romance between Lidia and a journalist named Jacopo Barberis (Eduardo Scarpetta) — it’s Matilda de Angelis (“The Undoing”), who makes a charismatic lead as the pioneering avvocata. (Streams on Netflix)

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‘Crash Landing On You’

This tender, extremely popular 2019 Korean drama follows the unlikely romance that unfolds when South Korean business executive Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) inadvertently paraglides into the Korean demilitarized zone, where she meets Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin), a handsome captain for North Korea’s army. It’s worth every minute of its 16 episodes, and is a perfect to binge when you need a pick-me-up. (Streams on Netflix)

‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’

Long before there was “Euphoria,” teens across Canada (and, later, the United States) saw their lives reflected in the melodrama on this cult favorite, which aired for 14 seasons following its 2001 debut. The fourth series in a sprawling franchise, “Degrassi” introduced the world to Drake before he was Drake and captured the dawn (and evolution) of the internet era. If nostalgia is your best medicine, this is a good bet. (Whatever it takes!) (Streams on HBO Max)

‘High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America’

Starve a fever, feed a cold — as the adage goes — but if you want to truly nourish yourself, consider this three-part docuseries from 2021 that details the sweeping history of Black American cuisine. With stops in Benin, Texas and South Carolina’s Lowcountry, the Peabody Award winner — based on the book of the same name by historian Jessica B. Harris — captures the integral contributions of African Americans to the nation’s culinary identity. (Streams on Netflix)

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‘Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure’

If a loved one calls to check on you and you report that you’ve become absorbed into this oddly delightful Netflix show about a lethargic and miserable anthropomorphic egg, they may wonder if you’re delirious — unless they are already familiar with Gudetama, a fan-favorite Sanrio character whose cookbook (natch) includes guides to making “why wake up waffles” and “couldn’t care less cupcakes.” In this 10-episode series, which arrived on the streamer last year, Gude reluctantly teams up with a newly-hatched chick who hopes to find their mother. (Streams on Netflix)


It’s understandable to be somewhat action-averse when you’re feeling crummy, so we highly recommend seeking out thrilling shows that are slower-paced (but not boring!). The police procedural goes into hyper focus in this Netflix anthology, which debuted in 2019 and brings viewers into the interrogation room as investigators attempt to get suspects talking. Each episode is devoted to one often-complicated crime, and the workplace drama between the interrogators and their bosses is just as compelling. And because the show (co-created by “Lupin” showrunner George Kay) has installments set across Europe — in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain — there are cultural nuances that make each series unique. (Streams on Netflix)

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’

This cheeky animated series that began in 2020 pays homage to the Star Trek franchise — with a slice-of-life view of the support crew on the USS Cerritos — without taking itself too seriously. Whether you’re a Trekkie with sniffles (or just mourning the cancellation of “Star Trek: Discovery”) you’ll almost certainly feel better after watching ‘Lower Decks,’ which has three seasons under its belt and (fingers crossed) a fourth on the way. (Streams on Paramount Plus)

‘Abbott Elementary’

We know this is one of the more obvious entries on this list but we’re including it because Quinta Brunson’s mockumentary sitcom about the dedicated teachers at a Philadelphia public school (an ensemble featuring Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tyler James Williams and Janelle James) is hilarious and delightful — the television equivalent of comforting chicken soup. (Streams on HBO Max and Hulu)

A short documentary that uncovers the hidden dangers of movie and TV production. (Video: Lindsey Sitz, Ross Godwin/The Washington Post)