The holiday season brings us together with friends, family, and mild acquaintances with whom we don’t always know how to make conversation. As always, Media Manda has come to the rescue with her latest TV trends. Keep reading to get the skinny on what to watch so that when your third cousin asks, “So what shows are you watching?” you’ll have an interesting answer.

By Amanda Thornton (aka Media Manda)

Unscripted Series to Watch for the Month

Unanchored – Bravo, premieres December 3

This series follows nine best friends as they embark on a life-changing journey filled with wanderlust and self-discovery. Led by their larger-than-life skipper, Captain Jack Royds, the crew set sail to breath-taking locales throughout the Bahamas. On this annual trip, these friends jump in feet first by taking on all the work of the crew; from hoisting their own sails and tending the lines, to managing 100% of the cooking and cleaning. Every day brings a new stunning view and a thrilling excursion as they take dips with stingrays and swimming pigs, ride rocket-power jet boards and spend their nights partying until dawn.


REVIEW: This reminds me of Below Deck, which is also on Bravo, except this show follows regular people as they work on a large boat rather than actual crewmembers experiences in Below Deck. This series is produced by the same producers of Vanderpump Rules so there is sure to be drama abound throughout the show.


Border Live – Discovery, premieres December 5

With the national debate focused on immigration, Discovery is heading to the U.S.-Mexico border for this timely live reality series. The six-part multiplatform series hosted by CNN anchor/special correspondent Bill Weir and investigative journalist Lilia Luciano. The live weekly series will document the work of law enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border as well as the real lives, real moments and stories of those that live and work along its remote stretches.


REVIEW:  This show will definitely be interesting to watch. With the success of A&E’s Live PD, more live shows are on the horizon in reality television. This topic is in the zeitgeist and on everyone’s minds now as well. This looks like a fascinating series to tune in for.


The Innocent Man – Netflix, premieres December 14

Innocent Man is a story that gained national attention thanks to John Grisham’s best-selling non-fiction book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town. The Netflix six-part documentary series based on it focuses on two murders that shook the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, in the 1980s — and the controversial chain of events that followed.


REVIEW: This series looks fascinating. Netflix has been stepping up their true crime genre options since the success of Making a Murderer. Because this is based on a John Grisham novel, I’m sure fans of the book will tune in.  All in all, it looks like an interesting series to watch out for.


Legends of the Lost with Megan Fox – Travel Channel, premieres December 4

Our ancient ancestors left behind mysteries that still perplex scientists and archaeologists to this day. Actress Megan Fox has peeked behind the curtain of some of these ancient sites, igniting an insatiable curiosity to learn more about these lost worlds. She embarks on an epic international journey to investigate and find answers to these enduring mysteries.


REVIEW: I’m glad Megan Fox is back on screen in some capacity. It’ll be interesting to see her take on mysteries and lost worlds from her perspective. Hopefully they discuss less-covered topics in this series and it’s not all about Atlantis or another commonly examined mystery. Overall, this looks like a series after my own heart. Who doesn’t love a good mystery?



Scripted Series to Watch for the Month

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Amazon, season two premieres December 5

In season two, after Midge’s triumph at the Gaslight, the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon looms large, making her climb up the comedy ladder more challenging than ever. As the actual grind of being a comic begins to take its toll on Midge, the pressure to come clean to her family weighs on her – especially as her choices have a ripple effect on everyone around her.


REVIEW: Winner of eight Emmy awards, this show’s first season is hilarious. Here’s hoping it won’t succumb to the sophomore slump some shows do in their second season after critically acclaimed first seasons. Judging by some early reviews, it looks like the new season will be just as funny as the first. Catch up on the first season on Amazon and don’t miss out!