It’s been a month or so since my first binge-worthy Netflix recommendations post and I’ve watched a lot in that month! This time I’ve cast the net a bit wider and have included some of my favourite watches from a mixture of iPlayer, Now TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime…that’s right, lockdown has driven my husband and I to sign up for just about every TV subscription service available.
There’s a mix of genres included here, some shows that are pretty mindless and require very little brain engagement, and others that are thought provoking and, in my opinion, really important watches.
1. I May Destroy You (BBC iPlayer)
An absolute must-watch, we’re loving I May Destroy You. There are two episodes released each week so there’s some suspense built, which is a nice change as we’re so used to binge watching a series and then moving quickly onto the next without much thought or reflection. Michaela Coel is incredible in this, the stories she’s able to tell and the emotion she brings across is amazing. I didn’t realise until I read her interview with Stylist that I May Destroy You is based on something that happened to Michaela. Reading about her inspiration and her passion has made me respect her even more. If you haven’t started watching this yet, do. Here’s the link to the Stylist interview with Michaela which is well worth a read, too.
2. Dear White People (Netflix)
I love how this show delves into deep-rooted issues with an element of lightness and comedy. It tackles story lines of systemic racism, white privilege and sexuality in a way that is easy to understand and digest and really watchable. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters, with each episode giving the opportunity to discover a different person’s point of view, the personal struggles they face and how they deal with them. I’d definitely recommend watching this, it’s relevant, educational and entertaining all at the same time.
3. Little Fires Everywhere (Amazon Prime)
Wow, I absolutely devoured this new series. I got totally hooked and watched the whole thing in just a few days. I love Reese Witherspoon and pretty much everything she does, so I knew I’d like Little Fires Everywhere. It’s got a lot of twists and turns, most of which I didn’t see coming. I’m a bit gutted as I didn’t get round to reading the book before the series came out, I usually prefer the book version of things but I’ve added it to my list so will have to try and forget what I know from the series before reading it!
4. Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
This was a nice, light watch. It tackles some important issues and has a good storyline but is an easy watch. I really enjoyed it. I thought John McEnroe as the narrator was a bit odd to begin with, but stick with it – it’s lighthearted and funny! Have some tissues ready for the last episode though, I sobbed!
5. When They See Us (Netflix)
I had wanted to watch When They See Us for a while but knew it wasn’t going to be an easy watch so waited until I was feeling up to it. It’s a shocking story, so shocking that you’d hope it was fiction but unfortunately it’s not. The story is really well told and although it’s a difficult watch, I think it’s an important one. I’d recommend watching this when you’re feeling strong, don’t compromise your own mental health to watch it. After finishing the four part series, I watched Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now. It’s definitely worth watching after you’ve watched the series, hearing Ava DuVernay (writer & director) speak about the importance of telling this story and how she made sure it was told in a respectful way was really interesting (and very emotional).
6. Queer Eye Season 5 (Netflix)
The Fab 5 are back and I couldn’t be happier about it! If you haven’t seen Queer Eye, where have you been?! In each episode, Antoni, Tan, Bobby, Jonathan and Karamo meet someone who needs a whole-life-makeover. Generally, the people they meet are doing amazing things for their communities and their families, but not giving themselves enough love. It’s life-affirming, heart warming and wholesome. I can’t get enough!
7. Rob & Romesh vs… (Now TV)
I haven’t laughed so much at a TV show for ages. Proper belly laughs! In this series, Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan take on various challenges – learning ballet, becoming DJs, taking on Usain Bolt’s world 100m record and, my personal favourite, playing cricket in South Africa. It’s not just the challenges that are hilarious, but all the stuff that comes along with them. It’s honestly hilarious. Please watch!
8. The Big Flower Fight (Netflix)
I’ve never really been that into flowers but after one trip to Kew Gardens and arranging a couple of bouquets we were sent for our first wedding anniversary, I’m now considering myself a florist! The Big Flower Fight follows exactly the same format as The Great British Bake Off (which I love!) but with flowers instead of cake. It’s eccentric and creative and has the typical “are they going to finish in time” drama. It’s pretty amazing what the contestants can do with flowers and plants, it puts my bouquet arranging to shame!
9. Floor is Lava (Netflix)
Ok, Floor is Lava is not educational, nor relevant, but it is entertaining. It’s “take your brain out” TV, it’s silly and pointless but somehow really addictive. It’s one of those shows that when you watch contestants try and fail, you can’t help but think “Oh come on, that looks easy!” And with a $10,000 prize at stake, my husband and I have already chosen our team for when it (hopefully) comes to the UK…watch this space!!