We have watched a lot of telly recently. Yes, we did binge watch much of what I recommend. My memory is not what it used to be and I prefer not having to wait a year to watch the next series. And there is some seriously good viewing out there. I know many of you enjoyed the three series I recommended last year so here are some more to enjoy.
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
It is said that you need to give a series at least two episodes, maybe three before you give up on watching it.
That was true of ‘Schitt’s Creek’. But then we were addicted. It definitely helped to get us through the first lockdown we had here in Ireland. I think the name put us off initially, but this is a riches-to-rags story that pulls at the heart strings while making you laugh. And will be the perfect antidote to ‘The January Blues’.
It has clever writing and excellent acting. The Rose family – Moira, Johnny, Alexis and David – are each on a personal journey. Once they were part of the mega rich set. I fell a little bit in love with each one of them as they adapt to their new reality, living in a motel. Do yourself a favour. Binge watch.
Yellowstone (Amazon Prime)
Now we watched it on RTE2 (Irish viewers) but if you have Amazon Prime you can see it there. This is a soap opera and modern western. If you want to see a dysfunctional family, then look no further than The Duttons. Patriarch John (Kevin Costner) will stop at nothing to make sure that they keep their land and ranch intact. The problem is that most of the characters are difficult to like and there is quite a lot of violence which can be a little difficult to take at times. But what you will like is the wonderful cinematography and the backdrop of the open plains in Montana.
This is on a completely different level to the tame and somewhat boring ‘Sanditon’ earlier in the year. Set in the Regency period in England, the debutantes and their mothers are determined to make good marriage matches. But a society scandal rag written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown seems to know everybody’s secrets. Intrigue reigns supreme.
Costumes, characterisation, plot, casting are excellent. And the gorgeous Rege-Jean Page is very easy on the eye, too. Irish actress Nicola Coughlan (‘Derry Girls’) also features.
The Undoing (Netflix)
This divided opinion. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant play a married couple who are embroiled in the murder of a mother from their child’s school. But nothing is as it seems. I liked it and had my own idea of who committed the murder. But I was wrong. Nicole Kidman’s coats deserved a show of their own. For me the star of the show was the son of Kidman and Grant, a super little actor.
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, the Netflix limited series drama ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius. Abandoned to an orphanage in the late 1950s Kentucky, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilisers used as sedatives for orphans. Haunted by her personal demons and fuelled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into a skilled and glamorous outcast while being determined to conquer the boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess. The clothes, particularly in the latter episodes, are fabulous. Watch out for the chess board patterns.
Another dysfunctional family drama, Logan Roy and his four children control one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. The father is supposed to hand over the reins, but changes his mind following a near-death experience. The result is addictive watching.
Tin Star: Liverpool (Sky Atlantic)
We had watched the first two series and this time the Worth family return from the Canadian Rockies for the third and final series to settle a few scores in Liverpool. Tim Roth is excellent as Jim Worth as is Irish actress Genevieve O Reilly as Tim’s wife. Gritty and realistic with black humour throughout, this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but we loved it. The second season was a little uneven and confusing in parts, but it is definitely worth sticking with it.
David Tennant and Michael Sheen play themselves. Their West End play ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Their director Simon Evans (also playing himself) wants them to rehearse online. But their egos, families and constant interruptions stop this happening. In 15-minute snippets, this is a must watch. You will love the banter and the petty jealousies. Prepare to laugh out loud.
Hope you enjoy our recommendations. Plenty to binge watch for the next few months. What have you been watching? Next week I will be sharing my favourite books. Here are some from last year
Stay safe my friends. Happy viewing.