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Entertainment in lockdown – What’s worth watching?

There is a ton of great content out there to binge right now – but what is actually worth the watch and what doesn’t live up to the hype? Our brave social media team take on the task of sorting the good from the bad to bring you some real recommendations.

Tiger King – Netflix
Of course, this is number 1 on our list of series to watch. Why? Because it’s absolutely bonkers and purely unpredictable entertainment. This is a 7-part documentary, each under an hour,  and considering the pace, you could watch the whole thing in a weekend. A host of characters involved in the wild world of exotic animal keeping in America are interviewed surrounding cults, murder, conspiracies and sexuality – to name just a few of the subjects covered.

+ Best Thing About It It’s unpredictable, riveting, and fascinating. Tons of meme material.
– Worst Thing About It Some scenes of animal cruelty.

 

RuPaul’s Drag Race – Netflix
First, it’s great. Even the show’s most lacklustre seasons are great. Second, it’s informative. That’s meant sincerely. Drag Race has always been an excellent place to listen to people talk about everything from rejecting the gender binary to battling depression, from grappling with addiction to surviving homelessness, and from coming out to learning exactly how to contour your nose. Yes, it’s funny and campy and an absolute treasure trove of GIFs, but it’s also honest-to-god more substantive than one might expect when all you know about the show is that there are huge wigs involved.

+ Best Thing About It You will so easily pick a favourite and become invested in their success.
– Worst Thing About It There’s lip-syncing.

 

Bob’s Burgers – Amazon Prime
At first glance, this is just another daft cartoon made for grown-ups like Family Guy, Bojack Horseman, Rick and Morty, etc. But what really sets Bob’s Burger’s apart from other shows is the lovable characters: Bob, Linda and their kids, Tina, Gene and Louise. The humour surrounding their family and the restaurant they own is relatable and insightful. The show also does a great job portraying its female characters at their different stages of life. In Bob’s Burgers, there is no dead weight. All five members of the Belcher family are hysterical in their own way – it’s never a shame that an episode is focused on one particular character over another – and the supporting characters are all hilarious and original, too.

+ Best Thing About It Great Jokes, Great Music. Absurd humour coating realistic day-to-day problems.
– Worst Thing About It Episodes are only 22 minutes long.

 

Love is Blind – Netflix
You will no doubt have heard people talking about this series already, so why haven’t you watched it yet? This 11-part “social experiment” is based on studies that say that couples form stronger bonds when they’re not distracted by the physical and just get to know each other on a person-to-person level. Ten men and ten women are allowed to date using their voices only and only get to see each other if they fall in love and decide to get engaged. The rest of the series follows their life as an engaged couple getting to know each other. It’s binge-worthy, slightly cheesy and very American but it’s real people and real feelings at play – so makes for an interesting show.

+ Best Thing About It Gorgeous participants, some humorous moments, reality TV with more class.
– Worst Thing About It Constant monologues off-camera narrating what’s going on.

 

The Righteous Gemstones – Now TV
John Goodman leads a dark comedy about a hugely wealthy, highly corrupt family of US evangelists, complete with marathon baptisms and perilous blackmail. As a concept, God, guns and theme parks should provide rich material. Across the US south, the Gemstones have built arena-sized places of worship and reaped the rewards, living in grotesque excess as the waves of cash and followers keep rolling in. It’s a wild ride with some touching moments and in our opinion, worth a go if you can make it past the uncomfortable pilot.

+ Best Thing About It Dysfunctional family making enticing drama.
– Worst Thing About It Short on laughs.

 

Sex Education – Netflix
It sounds like an awkward documentary but in fact, this British series (set in very American settings) is actually funny, poignant and unpredictably good. Sex Education follows Otis, an awkward teenager played by Asa Butterfield, whose mother is a sex therapist, brilliantly played by Gillian Anderson. Although Otis has his own issues to deal with, he soon discovers that living in a house filled with books on sex, gender, and resolving issues in the bedroom has made him an expert in all things sex. Together with the school badass, he sets up a “sex clinic” in his high school where he helps students with their problems and gives them advice, while also figuring out his own feelings and issues. All in all a delightful piece of television made with love and attention to detail and definitely worth a click on your next aimless scrolling through Netflix.

+ Best Thing About It The way it’s done let’s you get to know the core group of characters before introducing outsiders.
– Worst Thing About It Cringey sex scenes.

 

Messiah – Netflix
An interesting look at both sides of a man’s story as he claims to be the second coming of Christ. Is he a con man or is he really the messiah? Similar to Homeland in many respects, the show is filmed in war-torn Israel to begin with and watches the “Messiah” lead people to better lands while the CIA try to determine why it’s happening. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it that compelling to watch so this would go down on the skip pile but if you do give it a go, be prepared for a lot of blasphemy.

+ Best Thing About It Thought-provoking and interestingly portrayed.
– Worst Thing About It Lots of slow scenes. Ends rather abruptly.

 

Intelligence – Sky Comedy
A new workplace comedy set in the UK’s lamer version of MI5 starring David Schwimmer. His character Jerry, along with an inept and tactless computer analyst (Nick Mohammed), tackle cyber crime. Although it is billed as a sitcom, it is more of an odd couple situation, with the rest of the cast revolving around the Schwimmer-Mohammed double act. The shiny tech, running gags and a sense of action as things get complicated is enough to keep you entertained – but don’t be surprised if you’re the only one who’s watched this, it’s being overlooked.

+ Best Thing About It Unique, lovable side characters that develop as the story goes.
– Worst Thing About It Hard to shake the “Ross” feeling, you keep waiting for familiar lines but they don’t come.

 

The Witcher – Netflix
If you don’t have any prior knowledge of the novels, or indeed the games, then you will sit down and find this quite confusing or boring. It’s really, really hard for fantasy shows, even ones based on popular novels, to build a world from nothing – and it’s hard to learn who everyone is and what they mean to the plot. Basically, if you don’t have at least some familiarity with the story of The Witcher before going in, you’re going to spend a lot of time waiting for things to come together. If you do know of the backstory then this series commissioned by Netflix won’t disappoint. The framing, cinematography, dialogue and characters are all fantastic, and the action scenes are exhilarating.

+ Best Thing About It Eye candy for all tastes. Brilliant main storyline.
– Worst Thing About It Requires a lot of patience.

 

Big Little Lies – Now TV
You might have heard of “Big Little Lies,” that big little show so many people are talking about, and so many stars are in. If you’re not watching, you should be. It’s a compelling murder mystery and every episode is beautifully directed. The show focuses on four female leads and follows their lives in Monterey, California, as working mothers or stay-at-home moms struggling in their relationships. All the while, a murder mystery is slowly unfolding. The audience gets very small bits of information about the murder throughout every episode, but not enough to put any of the pieces together.
+ Best Thing About It Incredible cast dealing with real women’s issues.
– Worst Thing About It Disappointing second series.

 

Atypical – Netflix
This dark comedy tells the story of a teenager living life on the autism spectrum, including relatable family drama and tackling important mental health topics. The first season of this inspiring show consists of eight half-hour episodes that will leave you wanting more. This show does a great job reminding us that we are all different and what seems to be normal may not be what’s best for you. It’s everything you want in an interesting new dramedy. And honestly, it’s not a huge time commitment. You’ll want to binge all eight episodes in one night! I mean, what better way to spend four hours of your life? Trust me, it’s worth it. The characters, storylines, and life lessons presented throughout this series will have you begging for Season two.

+ Best Thing About It Absolutely heartwarming. Insightful yet humorous look into autism.
– Worst Thing About It Some cringey typical “teen” behaviour.

 

The Mandalorian – Disney Plus
Now that the hype has died down, let’s take a look at the first live-action Star Wars series. It’s about a yet-as-named Mandalorian, who, like his people, is an expert bounty hunter. Luckily the show is directed by a big name who has done a number of Marvel Universe creations so the action and pace will not let you down, in fact, it does actually feel like you’re watching a movie. However the storyline isn’t great, you don’t get a ton of background on who The Mandalorian is —we don’t even know his name yet— or how he fits in with his fellow Mandalorians from the beginning so be patient with this one as it plays.

+ Best Thing About It Kids as young as 6 or 7 can enjoy this.
– Worst Thing About It If you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan you will find some flaws.



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