Phoebe Waller-Bridge / Fleabag Season 2 - Official Trailer / YouTube
We’re all stuck in our houses, which leaves plenty of time for... not much, really. Instagram influencers and online listicles will be telling you to use this time wisely - work out, knit a scarf, write a song, paint a portrait. I’m here to say sod it. If the most productive thing you do during this lockdown is binge watch everything on Netflix, I think it was pretty much a success. (Stay home, save lives.)
If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of TV shows out there, and don’t know where to begin, I’ve got a list of what’s worth watching right now.
Full disclosure, I binge watched all three seasons of Elité this week, and I had an excellent time doing it. Elité is a Spanish high school drama/thriller, following the events that take place when three working-class kids from a public school are given scholarships to an elite private school, full of the richest kids in town. There’s murder, there’s drama, there’s romance, there’s angst. Everyone is extraordinarily beautiful. What more could you want?
The Good Place (Netflix)
Any list of TV show recommendations would be lacking not to include at least one show from the Mike Schur universe (The Office, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine). And while any Schur creation would be a good lockdown pick, none are as good as The Good Place (it’s the shortest, it’s all on Netflix, and it has Ted Danson). The Good Place is a comedy set in the afterlife, which poses many ethical questions. (What does it mean to be a good person? What do we owe each other? Who deserves a second chance? Who is Blake Bortles?) It also contains more laughs per minute than any other show on TV.
If you missed jumping on the Succession train, now is the time to do it. Succession follows the ruthless dynasty that is the Roy family. The Roys are the heads of a conglomerate media company, and all of its twisted siblings are fighting for the right to succeed their ageing father. It is the most sharp and surprising show you’ll watch this year, and although every character is objectively a terrible person, you’ll be ready to lay your life down for at least one of them by the end.
Feel Good (Netflix)
There’s nothing I love more than a British rom-com, and Feel Good did not disappoint. This short and sweet first season (six episodes, averaging half an hour each) follows Mae, a Canadian stand-up comedian living in London, as she falls in love with George, a posh English girl who has previously only dated men. Though it’s not all smooth sailing, as Mae struggles with addiction and George struggles with coming out, the story is as warm, funny and light as it is heart wrenching.
Only the two most recent seasons of the brilliant comedy panel game show Taskmaster are available on TVNZ OnDemand. But, if you do get desperate for more, you can find a lot of the show on YouTube. And you might be desperate for more because Taskmaster is one of the most laugh out loud funny shows on television. Plus - Rose Matafeo in a corduroy suit. Need I say more?
As a terrified audience member, Euphoria felt, to me, like an examination of how incredibly messed up high school must be for Generation Z. Their every move documented, deconstructed and destroyed by the pervasive horrors of social media and modern technology. The stuff these kids go through is dark, scary and often difficult to look at directly, no matter how visually beautiful the cinematography, outfits and make-up may be. Despite all that, the show has a lot of heart and I found it impossible not to fall in love with its cast of misfit teens. If not for anything else though, do watch for the make-up.
Catastrophe is a British sitcom that follows the tumultuous relationship and eventual marriage of an Irish woman and an American man who are forced together via accidental pregnancy. Its characters are deeply and often unforgivably flawed, its storylines are sometimes dark, but Catastrophe’s observations and relationships remain funny and charming throughout.
Fleabag (Amazon Prime)
If you’re the one person on the planet who is yet to watch Fleabag, do it now. Right now. Why are you even still reading this? Fleabag is an incredibly British, incredibly horny, irreverent comedy with a heart of gold. It will make you gasp, it will make you laugh and it will twist, break and shatter your heart into a million pieces. We are lucky to be living the same timeline as someone as talented as Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Also, it would probably take you about four days max to binge the whole thing. Do it. Now.
Yup. Another British romcom. Do I have a problem? It’s just that, when distracting myself from a global health crisis, I feel like light, warm, empathetic TV shows are what I need, rather than zombies and slaves and war and death. Is that just me? Lovesick follows the life of Dylan, who has just been diagnosed with chlamydia, as he goes through his contact list to tell all of his exes that they should get tested. It’s sweet and funny and everything you need right now, I promise.
Happy bingeing!Support Villainesse