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Things To Make Isolation Marginally Easier: Movies & TV

With pretty much all of the nation spending their evenings in doors I can only imagine the volume of TV and movies being consumed. No doubt you’ve found yourself clutching the remote finding something new to amuse you for an evening or two.

I’m not going to insult your Netflix credentials by suggesting The Crown (seasons 1 & 2: incredible) or Sex Education (one of the best things on TV), you likely all know they exist and I’m sure you’ve seen them. Hopefully what’s included in the three lists below are things you might not have come across in your browsing. Where possible you’ll find them on Netflix or Amazon, though some of my big recommendations are unfortunately being held hostage by payment requirements. Now I would never suggest you do anything illegal to view them at all, but they are worth your viewing pleasure…

If you don’t have Netflix you can sign up a free trial period to see how you get on. Amazon Prime doesn’t offer anything similar unfortunately, but it does appear to be a little known fact that someone with Amazon Prime can actually share their account with you. You’re able to add a user to it; so if you find yourself with a lovely parent who’s already paying for Amazon Prime (me) then you’re in luck!

Enjoy.

6 Excellent Series You May Not Have Seen

 

The Newsroom
Probably one of my favourite TV shows and one that is criminally underrated. It’s an Aaron Sorkin piece (guy who did The Social Network and The West Wing among other things). It follows the crew of an American News Show as they deal with huge events like corruption and terrorism. Sloane Sabbath, played by Olivia Munn, is one of the best written characters ever. She has some fantastic one liners as she fights sexism and elitism at the network. Jane Fonda also has several guest appearances, so that’s pretty special. Criminally underrated.
Find on NOWTV

Happy Endings
This show was cancelled far, far too early. Genuinely, it’s about the only thing (bar Will & Grace) that’s ever come to filling a Friend’s shaped hole in my life. It’s got that same concept, a group of friends, some living together, some related; but it’s a bit ruder and a bit sharper. At times it’s hilarious and so observant. If you feel the need for a sitcom that’ll lift you up and give you a laugh, this is definitely it.
Find on Amazon

Fleabag
I thought everyone had seen this and realised its brilliance but these past few weeks have taught me that still an awful lot of people have yet to try it! There’s two seasons in total, the first being of a very different feeling to the second as the characters evolve. It’s so well written and the second series, as Fleabag deals with a difficult romantic situation, is without question some of the best TV produced in years. I don’t say that lightly. It’s brilliant.
Find On BBC iPlayer

The Bold Type
No brainer TV at its best. Think Gossip Girl but a bit less trashy and teeny. All three central female characters work for a fictional fashion magazine in New York. There are parties, nice dresses, relationship dramas and some very woke storylines you might need to jog around, but still. Excellent entertainment if you just need something to watch and not think about.
Find on AmazonPrime

The Morning Show
Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell. I mean, come on? It’s sharp and slick, and once it gets going it’s very good. The first few episode may be a little slow but by the end its found its grove and sets itself up for a very strong season two.
Find on AppleTV

The Fall
If crime dramas are you thing, give this one a try. It’s currently available on Amazon, though it’s a BBC series originally. It stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan as a police and killer locked in a three season battle. Despite being a ruthless killer, you can’t help but be invested in Jamie Dornan’s character. It’s a weird one that kind of plays with your mind and question your thoughts. There’s a theme here I know, but again it’s another series that I always felt more people should have seen.
Find on AmazonPrime

 

6 Excellent Things You May Not Have Seen On Netflix

 

 

Stuck In Love
By definition I’m going to say this is a rom-com, though it’s a bit more of a rom-dram-com, maybe. It has Lily Collins, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly and Kristen Bell in, along with some other familiar faces. It’s about a fractured family and their relationships with love. Some of them are stuck in it, some of them are resistant to it and some love the wrong people. It’s a bit lighter than it sounds, promise. I’ve actually seen this movie about 3 or 4 times now, there’s something comforting about it.
Find on Netflix

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
An excellent film adapted from an excellent book. Logan Lerman is in here too as a boy struggling to find a place he fits at school. If you haven’t read the book, I really recommend. It’s wonderfully written and Charlie is a character you can’t help but love. Emma Watson and Ezra Miller play his new-found eccentric friends and the soundtrack is all kinds of brilliant. Bowie, New Order… brilliant.
Find on Netflix

Julie & Julia
Maybe you’ve seen this one – it does have Meryl in after all. It’s based on a true story of a blogger who decided to work her way through every recipe from Julia Child’s iconic cookbook. The two women’s stories run in parallel throughout the film. Again, it’s a comforting film for me. I’ve seen it so many times now. Meryl is as always on top form and Stanley Tucci is in it too. I like Stanley Tucci, he seems fun.
Find on Netflix

What If?
Not to be confused with the awful What / If series Netflix did… I reckon most people will not have heard of this one at all. It weirdly had two names when it came out, being called The F Word in the US and then What If? internationally. If you like 500 Days Of Summer then you’re really going to like this. It’s funny, it’s sweet and Daniel Radcliffe is incredibly charming in it. The plot, of which the US title The F Word alluded to, is centred around asking the question can a guy and a girl be friends without any romance coming in the way. Adam Driver is in it too, another reason to watch.
Find on Netflix

Next In Fashion
Growing up I loved Project Runway. Heidi and Tim, amazing guest judges… it was one of the only reality shows I’ve genuinely loved. Next In Fashion builds on that concept and takes it to the next level. All the designers competing have their own labels or have worked for top labels, with the prize being a lump sum to fund their brand and the chance to sell their collection via Net-A-Porter. That’s pretty big. The guest judges are huge and thankfully it’s not naff in the slightest. The contestants are genuinely talented and sourced from all over the globe.
Alexa Chung and Tan France host it also, so you get some laughs and lots of bizarre outfits
Find On Netflix

Lovesick
Okay, bear with me on this one. Lovestick was originally shown on Channel 4 for its first season and was in fact called Scrotal Recall. Yeah, I know. But as I say, bear with me. When the central character is diagnosed as having chlamydia he has to go back and contact every woman he’s slept with to advise they get tested. Each episode in the first series focuses on a past relationship or situation he’s been in romantically. It’s funny, it’s smart and it’ll pass a good few afternoons. There’s three seasons in total, though it doesn’t look like we’re getting anymore sadly.
Find on Netflix

 

6 Excellent Things You May Not Have Seen On Amazon Prime

 

 

Hustlers
This one surprised me immensely and I am firmly in the camp of believing J-Lo was robbed of an Oscar nod. I went into this one thinking it was going to be some bold, brashy thing, a bit like Showgirls of Burlesque, but actually it’s far from it. Unbelievably it’s a true story about a group of strippers who managed to con countless men out of thousands during the recession. Suspend your initial judgement at the concept of it and have a look, it’s quite an interesting drama.
Find on AmazonPrime

Remember Me
I remember seeing this film way back in 2010, it’s a strange concept to try and explain even now. It’s romantic drama with the two leads (one of which is Robert Pattinson) working to overcome grief with the help of each other. I can still now remember being absolutely blindsided when I came out of the cinemas. Don’t watch if you’re feeling emotionally fragile, but at the same time don’t worry that’s another relentless attack of the emotions like Manchester By The Sea. It’s better than that.
Find on AmazonPrime

To Catch A Thief
If you’re pining for a holiday you had to cancel this film may likely not help to be honest. Set on the Rivera in the impossible glory of summer, it’s one of my favourite films ever. For a Hitchcock it’s surprisingly light in spirit, with the story focusing on a jewel thief who’s been robbing the diamonds from the social elite. Grace Kelly’s outfits are spectacular and if you ignore a now rather unrealistic car scene, it’s as stylish as you imagine a Hitchcock would be.  Grace Kelly will never not be one of the most beautiful people to have ever graced a screen.
Find on AmazonPrime

Two Night Stand
After having a one night stand a couple end up trapped together due to a snowstorm and have to spend another day getting to know each other. You can tell where it’s going I’m sure, but it’s quirky and fun. It’s not overly slick or glossy, again if you like 500 Days Of Summer, you’ll likely enjoy this.
Find on AmazonPrime

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
I came across this film when I was looking for something for my family to watch on holiday. It’s the kind of film you want to watch on a Sunday afternoon, it’s warm and cosy despite being set during WWII.  It focuses on a writer’s conversations with the residents of Guernsey and their experience of being occupied. There’s some strong eye candy in here too, so that’s always a plus.
Find on Amazon Prime

Hunters
By now it probably looks like I’m obsessed with Lohan Lerman. He’s on here three times, so perhaps I am. Unknowingly. Hunters is set in a very stylised version of 1970s New York. It had some mixed reviews about its content matter and it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. A group of assassins lead by Al Pacino hunt down Nazis living in America, picking them off one by one as a wider story unfolds of why they are all so invested in the mission. As I say, it’s not always light and some of it is harrowing, but it’s a very strong first season. There’s ten episodes in total, the first of which is well over an hour and a half, so it’ll keep you occupied for a while.
Find on AmazonPrime

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