Well, it’s that time again where most of us are in some stage of lockdown and the depression is well and truly starting to set in. And while exercise is probably the healthiest distraction we can have, I’m here to suggest some things to watch while we’re stuck inside.
Now wait, hear me out here. Love Island is truly the epitome of trashy reality television but that is what makes it so great. Watching some extremely attractive, but sometimes not so bright, attractive Britons in a million dollar villa in Majorca is a surprisingly good distraction. There is Hugo, the hopeless “nice guy”, Faye, the blond bombshell who doesn’t really “have a type on paper”, Kaz, who “just wants someone who will rail her”, Jake who is obsessed with feet and sucking toes, Sharon, the tough, no holds barred career woman who can’t be tamed, and finally Liam and Brad who you struggle to understand through their thick accents but luckily it takes them a solid ten seconds to form each word so you have time to decipher it. I really can’t hype this show up enough, despite it being a show of some serious toxic masculinity and some highly produced story lines, it is still great for a binge AND there is a new episode EVERY SINGLE DAY. You’ve got a text – it says “go and zone out and watch Love Island”
If for some reason you ever missed The Office train, now is your excuse to catch up. The Office was adapted for the US from Ricky Gervais original English series by the same name and it may be the only time that a US adaptation has been better than the original. Steve Carrell in the lead role is unparalleled as the awkward Michael Scott. You can feel the awkwardness seep into you through the screen; at some time, it is unbearable but overall it will give you a good giggle and truly suck you in. Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute has created so many phrases that have entered into our lexicon, it will make you realise just how prevalent The Office has become in our society. Or, if it’s a love story you’re after, you have the amazing Jim and Pam (I wanted to get two dogs and call them Jim and Pam but alas my husband wouldn’t let me) whose ever so relatable personalities and struggles bring down the intensity of this mockumentary to a believable level. I really can’t recommend highly enough. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
For those who are deeply missing the outdoors, I would strongly suggest you check out Alone. The basic premise is ‘how long can you survive on your own?’. The American production sends ten “survivalists” out to a harsh climate with only some essentials (not food or water) and cameras they have to operate themselves. The last man standing wins a cash prize. Not only is it interesting film making because these men who have never had to film themselves before are the architects of these stories, but it also shows how far the human spirit can push itself. If it isn’t looking for a way to filter water or catch food, it’s trying to stay sane when everything is working against you and you have no one to talk to. The natural predators, from animals to the weather, test every persons limits and seeing your favourites have to leave for circumstances out of their control is heartbreaking. This one is not for the faint hearted but will draw you in!
If you’ve never seen Drag Race, this is your opportunity. It’s always good to start with the original but if you want to watch the BEST, I would suggest starting with Drag Race UK. Their humour and drag are amazing and Bimini Bon Boulash from Season 2 will brighten anyone’s day! The currently airing season is a US All Stars season (not the place to start) but it is extremely current if you want to get invested and start following the media and podcasts to boot. RuPaul Charles, one of the “original” drag queen from New York has created an international drag spectacle (that even includes a 2021 Australian version) that will have you laughing, crying and sometimes yelling at the TV at the decisions the judges make. Drag Queens are hard up at the moment (as we all are in the arts) so your new favourites are probably regularly doing instagram live tip spots at the moment where you can go and watch a virtual show and chuck them a bit of cash to see what they do best. Standout seasons: Season 5, Season 7, All Stars 2 (US version), both seasons of UK, and then follow it up by watching UHNnnn on YouTube (that will make sense after you catch up).
There are several amazing creatives who make regular true crime content on YouTube FOR FREE. Each episode generally goes over a single case and gives you the visuals to go along with the audio. There are honestly too many to mention but some of my faves include Kendall Rae, Eleanor Neale, Danelle Hallan, Stephanie Harlowe, That Chapter and Fascinating Horror. If you are looking to zone out and hear some good story telling, you can’t go wrong.