What We’re Watching: The MSA Team’s Picks for Summer Streaming & Snacks!
Who else has ripped through their entire watchlist in recent months, crunching on popcorn or pretzels all the while? The MSA team has diverse cinematic interests—while some of us are binging every horror offering out there, others of us are escaping into comedies; a few are still are lapping up true crime series—but one thing we have in common: all of us are eating while we’re doing it. Below, the team shares what we’re streaming online right now, and our favorite snack subscription boxes to enjoy from the couch. Get ready to up your watch game!
Our Favorite Movies and Series Streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO NOW or HBO MAX.
Universal Yums + 90 Day Fiancé on Hulu
Recommended by: Nicole, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: Before Big Rona struck, I had friends talking about this show called 90 Day Fiancé. Even with all their inside jokes regarding the show, I wasn’t intrigued enough to give it a viewing. However, with the pandemic came all these memes of a fella named Big Ed from 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days. My curiosity was piqued: who was this human slathering his hair in mayonnaise?! I must know everything about this person! I initially watched the wrong show (the regular 90 Day Fiancé and not the Before the 90 Days) because there are about forty different spin-offs– but I was addicted and completely hooked! In a time of uncertainty, I can’t help but enjoy being distracted by the sensationalism these couples bring. It is fascinating to see what people will do for love, and like Wreckless Eric once sang “I’d go the whole wide world just to find her,” these people do! It goes to show that love/lust knows no bounds: miles, languages, and cultures won’t prevent these folks from daring to find the loves of their lives! Plus, the Tell Alls remind me of old school Ricki Lake Show– it is pure entertainment.
Snack Box Pairing: Other than a huge bag of popcorn, I would strongly suggest Universal Yums to represent the variety of countries, backgrounds, tastes, and flavors the casts represent!
The Cost: Choose between the Yum Box for $15 a month, the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month, or the Super Yum Box for $39 a month. Sign up here!
Check out our Universal Yums reviews for more info!
Umai Crate + Russian Doll on Netflix
Recommended by: Savannah, Editor
Why They Recommend It: After having an absolute ball reading Nicole’s Stitch Fix review where she requested a Natasha Lyonne-inspired delivery, I knew I had to dive into this series. Of course the styling was spot-on as I anticipated, but what I didn’t expect was the perfect marriage of dark 4th dimensional theory and the importance of helping others. The pacing was great (each episode is about 30 minutes) and the plot was bananas. It was a ride unlike any other TV series I’ve watched this year, and believe me, there have been many.
Snack Box Pairing: I’ve been a dedicated Umai Crate subscriber for awhile and sitting down with a bowl of salty, piping-hot noodles before committing to an evening of great TV has been one of my greatest quarantine joys.
The Cost: $30.00 per month. Save with longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!
COUPON: Use code MSADD3 to save $3 off your first box.
Check out our Umai Crate reviews for more info!
Thrive Market SmartSweets + Search Party on HBO Max
Recommended by: Sarah, Channel Manager
Why They Recommend It: I found out about Search Party in 2018 and quickly binged the first two seasons. This series follows Dory and three of her friends from college. When another acquaintance from college is reported as missing, Dory starts an amateur investigation. I enjoy true crime like the rest of the world but it was really fun to watch a fictional story about people who probably shouldn’t be living out their true crime fantasies. The four friends get deeper and deeper into the story of the missing woman and it leads to some really funny, scary, and wild places. The mystery is intriguing but it’s the dynamics within the friend group that really keeps you coming back. The entire cast is great but John Early is the standout for me. I recommend watching anything/everything he’s in. The third season was caught in limbo for a couple years but debuted on HBOMax in June. There’s a planned fourth season and, while I hope it gets here quicker than the last season, it will definitely be worth the wait.
Snack Box Pairing: Over the past couple months, I’ve made a few Thrive Market orders and I always include a few SmartSweets items – Sweet Fish and Peach Rings are my favorite. I also love Revive Sparkling Kombucha (sometimes available through Thrive Market).
The Cost: Annual subscription fee is $60. Sign up here!
Check out our Thrive Market reviews for more info!
Japan Candy Box + The Witcher, Disenchantment on Netflix
Recommended by: Jessica, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: I never played the video game, but this show gives off big Game of Thrones vibes and Henry Cavill does a great job of being both eye candy and a monster fighter with a moral compass. The first episode was the worst of the bunch, and once I started the second I was absolutely hooked.
There are only 8 episodes of the Witcher, so I went through that pretty fast. Lately, I’ve also been watching the show Disenchantment. You might be familiar with the work of the producer, Matt Groening, since he’s worked on both The Simpsons and Futurama. Normally I don’t relax with the raunchy animated shoes, but something about the pessimism and clever wit leave me laughing during the entire show.
Snack Box Pairing: Lately I’ve been missing my Japan Candy Box subscription. In our world full of uncertainty, I miss the monthly surprise of sweet treats from across the world. Also, I’ve recently discovered the cut rock candy sold at StickyUSA.com, and I have stalked their past two recent restocks just to make sure I have those little bags of joy. Don’t ask me how much I’ve spent on candy recently- it’s not a flattering number.
The Cost: $24.90 per month. Save with longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!
Check out our Japan Candy Box reviews for more info!
Bar & Cocoa, Jackie’s Chocolate + Parks and Recreation on Netflix
Recommended by: Brandi, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: I have seen this show a million times, but it’s one of those shows that you can watch over and over again. At the end of the day when my kids are finally asleep and I want to unwind and not do any heavy thinking, this is the perfect familiar show. This quirky comedy features a range of characters who are all so incredibly different yet equally hilarious. The show centers on public servant Leslie Knope who loves everything about her small town and the government work she is so passionate about. Stylistically, it’s similar to The Office, but I find this to be a much lighter show and Leslie is much more likable than Michael Scott! The other characters come together to form an incredible cast that is witty and dynamic – even the fringe characters who have repeat appearances are pretty amazing (Mona Lisa Sapperstein, anyone?). If you are one of those people who have still never watched this one, give it a try! Season 1 is a bit of a dud, but by the end of Season 2 this show really finds its stride…it does help that this is when both Adam Scott and Rob Lowe join the cast!
The Cost: Subscriptions to Jackie’s Chocolate are $19.95 per month. Save with longer commitments. Subscribe here!
COUPON: Use code WINTER10 to save 10% off your first box!
Check out our Jackie’s Chocolate reviews for more info!
My Keto Snack Box + Don’t F**k with Cats on Netflix
Recommended by: Naomi, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: I binged this entire true crime docuseries in two days! It’s a thrilling story about a group of amateur online sleuths launching an investigation to catch an animal abusing murderer! These were legit everyday people that saw someone abusing animals online and united from behind computer screens all over the world to track down a future serial killer. People standing up for what is right has always been truly inspiring to me. It kept me on the edge of my seat and my heart pounding but in the end, good was victorious. I love the intense mystery wrapped in a happy ending!
Snack Box Pairing: Recently I’ve jumped on the low carb train to try and combat my quarantine pudge and it’s been working marvelously. So I have been wanting to try the My Keto Snack Box so I can snack my little heart out without the guilt.
The Cost: $38/month + free US shipping. Subscribe here!
Bokksu + The Good Place on Netflix
Recommended by: Lacey, Product Manager
Why They Recommend It: I’m a little late to this series, to be sure–but once I realized it was created by Michael Schur from The Office, I knew I’d have to give it a shot. As a comedy, it gives you just a little bit of everything: some romance, plenty of pop culture jokes with a few lewd ones for good measure, and a mix of well-known actors and actresses with some new faces, too. I was very drawn into the general idea of a comedy that grapples with some really big questions about life, which seems very apropos for 2020 so far. (If you gave me a “Which Character From The Good Place Are You” quiz, I’d be a Chidi, in case you were wondering.)
Snack Box Pairing: I don’t receive it currently, but I’ve really enjoyed the treats from Bokksu in the past! They always have a really great presentation and theme.
The Cost: $39 per month, with discounts for longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!
COUPON: Limited Time Only! Use code MSA10OFF to save 10% off on your first box!
Check out our Bokksu reviews for more info!
Love With Food, NatureBox + Indian Matchmaking on Netflix
Recommended by: Haley, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: I binged this original series so quickly! I found it so interesting. If you liked Love Is Blind you’ll probably like this, too. It’s about an Indian matchmaker named Sima who gets to know her clients and sets them up with someone to date (but very seriously from the start, with a generally quick marriage in mind if you vibe well together). I was actually quite surprised at how empowering it was for women because it features very educated, ambitious, and career-oriented women who have high standards for their partners and the way they are treated by them (and even some who just choose not to prioritize finding a match after all!). Another thing I really liked about this show was how pro-therapy it seemed. The matchmaker sends some of her clients to professionals that encourage a close look at one’s own baggage, defense mechanisms, fears, and core desires (such as life coaches, therapists, and astrologists). I can see it feeling like a bit of a culture shock, but I found it fascinating and enjoyed the witty editing. It displayed both healthy and unhealthy dynamics within the families and clients, and overall I felt the narrative was strongly rooting for each individual’s happiness (with or without a partner, be it through love or matchmaking) and personal growth. ALL this, of course, with all the fun and drama of seeing people looking for love on blind dates!
Snack Box Pairing: In the past, I’ve tried both Love With Food and NatureBox. I like that they both send a mix of new healthy snacks, but also some chocolate or treats to try. I especially like the customization of NatureBox because I can pick what I am sent, be it dried fruit and quinoa clusters or cookies and pretzels! (They also recently started offering teas and snacks with hemp extract/CBD if that’s something you’re into.) Honorable mention: Vegancuts Snack Box.
The Cost for Love With Food: Plans start at $9.99 per box. Subscribe here!
COUPON: Get your first Tasting box for $5.99 No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Cost for NatureBox: $5 a month for membership. Sign up here!
COUPON: Get a 30-day free trial membership when you join! No coupon needed - just use this link.
Jerky Snob + 30 Rock on Hulu
Your Name: Carlos, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: 30 Rock is the best TV show ever made. I’m currently on the fourth season of another binge. It’s perfectly cast and the ensemble stays intact for each of the seven seasons. It’s sweet, goofy, and constantly and consistently hilarious. It is so chock-full of jokes that you find new ones every watch-though. I really enjoy its portrait of corporate America and the idea of what it means to be successful. I particularly like Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin. 30 Rock is a show I can watch over and over again or just throw a random episode on while I’m eating lunch. Honorable mention: Community (Netflix)
Snack Box Pairing: Jerky Snob sounds like my style.
The Cost: Plans start at $15/month. Subscribe here!
COUPON: Use code ADDICTION to save 10% off of 1, 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions and/or gifts! .
Check out our Jerky Snob reviews for more info!
Mochidoki + I’ll Be Gone in the Dark on HBO Max
Recommended by: Megan, Senior Writer
Why They Recommend It: I love true crime docs and this 6-part series follows crime blogger turned detective Michelle McNamara as she tries to track down The Golden State Killer (she created this moniker). This suspect terrorized California from the 1970s to the 1980s with at least 50 home invasions, assaults, and 12 murders that were all unsolved until Michelle decided to take a closer look with her crime blog. Sadly, McNamara passed away before he was caught and before her book on him could ever be published. Her husband (Patton Oswalt), friends, and detectives all came together to eventually finish her work and bring justice to over 50 victims. This is a rather dark series but it is very well done. I always follow this show up with HBO’s new Perry Mason reboot and it is noir crime heaven on Sunday night!
Snack Box Pairing: All I care about right now in my snack life are mochi, and I am dying to try a variety box from Mochidoki!
The Cost: Buy a box of 4 for $10 or a box of 24 for $60 here!
Red Velvet NYC + Sex Education on Netflix
Recommended by: Christen, Copywriter & Editor
Why They Recommend It: Okay, first of all, be warned that true to the title of this series, there is a lot of talk about sex and many intimate scenes. But what I absolutely love about it is that it takes place in a world where consent is commonplace (but is otherwise much like ours). The characters are flawed humans like the rest of us, but show great growth, and there are some genuinely funny moments that made this show fun and easy to watch. Also, it takes place in the UK, somewhere where a couple of the characters ride their bikes to school along the most gorgeous nature-lined roads, live in really cool houses, and wear colorful clothes, making it visually enjoyable, too.
Snack Box Pairing: Cookies are snacks, right? I’m that guy who hurries up and bakes before sitting down to watch something if I can spare the few minutes. My pick is the Red Velvet NYC baking subscription!
The Cost: $49.99/month. Save with longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!
Check out our Red Velvet NYC details page for more info.
Candy Club + Baskets on Hulu
Recommended by: Sara, Content Manager
Why They Recommend It: While I patiently wait for Big Brother to start this summer (August 5th!!), I’ve been binge watching Baskets. Originally because I generally like Zach Galifianakis, but now because I’m 1000% obsessed with Christine Baskets. She is the matriarch of a rather dysfunctional family, but her sincere love for her family, Arby’s, and Costco is beyond endearing.
Snack Box Pairing: Christine has a sweet tooth and so do I! Candy Club isn’t the most bang for your buck but it is a summer splurge-worthy treat – especially since it is completely customizable.
The Cost: $39.99 per month. Subscribe here!
Check out our Candy Club reviews for more info!
NatureBox + High Maintenance on HBO NOW/HBOMax
Recommended by: Andy, Photography Director
Why They Recommend It: High Maintenance is one of those shows I can pick up and watch over and over again. Every episode is it’s own little vignette into someone’s life in New York City, loosely tied to the main character of the show, known only as The Guy. It was once a web series on Vimeo and then HBO bought it and turned it into a full series. There are a few recurring characters but for the most part it’s just this beautiful anthology of character studies that gives you a glimpse into worlds you may know nothing about. It’s easy to watch it for several hours and not know where the time went. Honorable mentions: Barry (HBO) and Dave (FX on Hulu).
Snack Box Pairing: You can never go wrong with NatureBox – some of the best snacks we’ve ever had at MSA and I miss photographing (and munching on) them every month! I also highly recommend Kettle Head Popcorn out of Denver (Jalapeño Cheddar is 🙌) and I’m eagerly awaiting some kind of subscription option from them. Honorable mention for snacks: Vegancuts Snack Box.
The Cost: $5 a month for membership. Sign up here!
COUPON: Get a 30-day free trial membership when you join! No coupon needed - just use this link.
Check out our NatureBox reviews for more info!
Universal Yums, USA Snax + The Kissing Booth on Netflix
Recommended by: Becca, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: I am such a sap! I fell in love with this teenage rom-com when it first debuted in 2018, and I am almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve watched it more than just a few times. This movie brings me back to my “She’s All That” and “Never Been Kissed” obsession, and I find the basis easy to watch and fun. The cast is new and fresh, and I find the premise just overall sweet. Last year they announced that “The Kissing Booth 2” will be released on July 24, 2020, and although I have been counting down the days to its release, I haven’t had the time to check it out, but am hoping to sneak it in tonight after putting the kids to bed!
Snack Box Pairing: I love a good snack box, and my current favorite is Universal Yums. I love experiencing new treats, and because each month is from a different country, I have yet to come across a treat I have tried before! While I love trying snacks from other countries, I do have my eye on USA Snax which sounds similar to Universal Yums, but sends snacks from a different state! How cool!
The Cost for Universal Yums: Choose between the Yum Box for $15 a month, the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month, or the Super Yum Box for $39 a month. Subscribe here!
The Cost for USA Snax: Plans start at $35/month. Subscribe here!
Check out our Universal Yums reviews for more info!
Graze + The Terror on Hulu
Recommended by: Laine, Contributing Writer
Why They Recommend It: All I’ve wanted to watch this summer is a whole lot of true crime, and when I binged through “Mindhunter,” finished “Criminal Minds,” and ran out of “Dateline” episodes on the DVR, a dear friend of mine suggested this AMC series that’s available on Hulu. I am crushing through the first season, totally addicted! This is an anthology series that explores historical speculative fiction based on true events, which is such a unique genre for the television season/limited series format. The first season examines the true-life British expedition through the Arctic, where sailors tried to find a fabled Northwest Passage that would have been a major shortcut for their usual trade routes. The two ships (one of them named The Terror, get it?) left in 1845, and while there has been speculation in the years since, no one really knows what happened to those men in the time they were frozen on the ice of the Arctic, trying to find a way through the glacier banks. Through modern science and discovery, we know today that the mission failed, and that all the men died, but we don’t know how. While this all sounds like a tedious history lesson, there’s plenty of tension and mystery in the ten well-crafted episodes of the show. I’m particularly drawn to the moody cinematography, excellent acting, and the spooky air of menace around every corner, as the explorers encounter the wildest of conditions in the frozen tundra, accidental lead poisoning (!), and even a supernatural force that seems to want them all dead.
Snack Box Pairing: I received a number of snack subs over the years, and these days, I tend to enjoy snacks that either skew on the healthy side, or have small portions of really high-quality ingredients. I’ve really enjoyed Graze boxes in the past (now only available in the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands), for both their creative inclusions and low calorie counts. For this show, I think the perfect snack would be chocolate-covered dried fruit – the sailors talk about scurvy a lot!
COUPON: Use code MSA to save $5 off your first box!
Universal Yums + Succession on HBO Now or HBOMax
Recommended by: Dan, Lead Engineer
Why They Recommend It: I love the view into the inner workings and drama that comes with being, what I assume is supposed to be, one of the richest families in the world. The show is full of personalities and is constantly taking twists and turns, going in directions you never expected. All characters are, in any other situation, incredibly unlikeable, yet the writing and interactions with others make all of them have their moments where you are rooting for them. I am eagerly anticipating season 3. Honorable mentions: Billions (Showtime) and Ozark (Netflix).
Snack Box Pairing: My family has subscribed to Universal Yums and we really enjoyed it.
The Cost: Choose between the Yum Box for $15 a month, the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month, or the Super Yum Box for $39 a month. Subscribe here!
Check out our Universal Yums reviews for more info!
Have you watched any of these series or movies? Have you tried any of the snack boxes? Which are on your list to try? Tell us in the comments!