Putting lockdown to good use: TV shows to binge watch NOW
It's got to be said, what with lockdown happening again, there's not a whole lot to do right now beyond a family walk, some craft activities at home or a movie afternoon or two. Luckily though, there is a bucket load of awesome TV shows to binge watch. Here's what's keeping us gripped right now...
Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings is about all you need to know about Bridgerton. Google him. But aside from this fine figure of a man, the show also comes with a side order of Regency plotlines, fancy frocks, chivalry, gossip, intrigue and sex. Lots of sex. #blush
Gillian Anderson is superb along with the rest of the cast in this coming of age series set in a sixth form college. If you loved Inbetweeners (who didn't) then you'll love this slicker, more grown up comedy that will dredge up your emotions and make you eternally thankful that you are no longer a teen yourself.
The Queen's Gambit
Stylish and utterly binge-able, this seven-part series is based on a novel of the same name, and follows chess prodigy Beth Harmon along her life path from an orphanage in Kentucky to duelling with Russians in Moscow. Never has chess been so gripping!
Netflix, Amazon Prime
If you liked Black Mirror, then it's well worth trying Charlie Brooker's earlier work: Dead Set. It isn't quite as polished as Black Mirror, but this 2008 five-part mini-series is just as dark and twisted, and follows the contestants and producers on a fictional series of Big Brother, who become stranded on set as a zombie outbreak spreads across the world outside. It's worth a watch for zombie-fied Davina McCall alone! And while we're talking Charlie Brooker, if you watch anything anytime soon then you need to make it Death to 2020: hilarious satire at its finest. It's a one off so you can easily binge it in one evening.
We're just a few episodes into this cheesy fun-fest and it's set decades after the tournament that changed the lives of Johnny and Daniel in the original Karate Kid, and we're loving it. Okay, so childhood crush, Ralph Macchio, does look like a withered old prune these days, but the high kicks and nostalgia will definitely keep you gripped.
Now, to be honest, the superhero stuff isn't really our bag, but it's got to be said that The Boys is surprisingly good. Based on the comics of the same name, it take place in a world where superheroes are real and they're mostly egotistical, power-hungry secret villains who are drunk with power and commit atrocities just for fun, unbeknown to their human fans. It's dark, it's violent, it's funny, one of the characters has a 'British' accent that will make you want to throw shoes at the TV, and we can't stop watching it!
Netflix, Amazon Prime
Not to be confused with the trashy Whitney and Kevin movie, this is one thriller that had us on the edge of our seats the whole way through. Richard Madden (of Game of Thrones fame) as brooding Sergeant David Budd has been assigned as a personal bodyguard to a high profile politician. It’s not long before the clothes are off and the assassination plots are coming thick and fast…
Back to Life
Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime
After 18 years in prison, Mirri Matteson returns to her hometown, Hythe in Kent, with rather awkward, and often comical, consequences. Watch it: you'll love it!
Chewing Gum is wonderfully rude, seriously awkward, and always funny. Created by and starring Michaela Coel, the genius writer behind I May Destroy You, it follows Tracey, a young, black, Londoner who is desperate to escape her Christian upbringing and to lose her virginity. Expect to cringe and laugh a LOT.
If you like your binge watches brooding and moody then sci-fi series Dark is the series for you. Fair warning, it is sub-titled (it's the first ever German-language Netflix Original number) and it involves a secret liaison, a missing teenager and a spooky-looking cave. A fab mystery well worthy of its title.
BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime
We love a gripping drama and this one pulls out all the stops when it comes to thrilling entertainment with a solid cast and plot. Doctor Foster is a well respected and popular doctor in a small town, and seems to have it all. Then she starts to suspect her husband of having an affair, cue her whole life unravelling pretty speedily.
This comedy/romance/mystery takes place in a near future (no covid there: hurrah!) where humans have the ability to have their consciousness uploaded into a digital afterlife... so long as they can afford it. When a programmer dies and uploads, he's having a little trouble getting to grips with his new afterlife, while also having to deal with his not-so-nice and very much alive girlfriend AND figuring out his big crush on someone who is absolutely not his girlfriend. Oh, and he also needs to work out whether he was murdered or not. Heads up: it ends on a massive cliffhanger BUT it's been renewed for a second season so all is not lost!
With two seasons under its belt, which we've already binge watched, we can't wait for season three (no news on when that might be yet) of You. If you liked Dexter, then this will be right up your street: it has a similar ‘nice guy on the surface’ feel to it, but it gets, we think, wayyyy darker! Beware the handsome serial killer.
BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime
We just re-watched both seasons of Fleabag and it was just as fabulous the second time around as it was the first. Starring its creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, we follow her as she tries to conquer the London dating scene, deal with the death of her best friend, and work out what to do about her infatuation with a rather hot priest. You'll laugh and cry in equal measures watching this clever, witty and rather dark comedy.
All 4, Netflix, Amazon Prime
We just finished watching all six seasons of this endearing comedy and we challenge anyone to watch it and not want to have David and Patrick as their best friends, Stevie as their drinking buddy and Mr Rose as their father in law. The outfits are insane, the characters fantastic and the script witty as hell. More, pleaseeeeeee, Eugene Levy!
All 4, Netflix
Set in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland, Derry Girls follows Catholic secondary school student Erin Quinn and her small group of endearing if slightly odd group of friends as they navigate teenage life during the Troubles of the 1990s. Every episode will make you laugh without fail, and we love every single character. Even Sister Michael.
Whilst learning difficulties and special needs are not subjects to be treated lightly, Atypical has brought autism to the screen in a heartwarming, often funny story that introduces us to Sam, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum. When he decides that it is time he had a girlfriend, we’re totally with him (and his parents) every step of the way. Also, it makes us want to adopt a penguin.
Ricky Gervais is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but love him or hate him, this is by far his most gritty series yet. After Life follows Gervais' character, Tony, during the aftermath of his wife’s untimely death from cancer. Tony is an angry, bitter man who has decided only to stay alive for the sake of his dog, but life has a funny ol’ way of pulling him back from the brink of despair...
If you're easily offended, this may not be the binge watch for you!
With kick-ass acting and a hard-hitting plot, this US drama follows the fall out that comes about after a white cop ploughs down and kills a black child in his car. Essential viewing, if you ask us.
Happy binge watching, folks!
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