For a “non-viable” industry, we’ve done alright entertaining the entire country throughout COVID-19 with the various incredible series, programmes and films that have been available at their fingertips right? Thought so!
As mentioned in my previous blog, we have to say such a huge thank you for the amazing back catalogue of programmes that have been at our disposal throughout this shitter of a year. There have been some fantastic series released this year (and previous years) that we’ve all really been able to get our teeth into – a welcome distraction for many!
I thought I would take the time to give some recommendations for things that I’ve watched this year and thoroughly enjoyed. I won’t mention everything, because as you can imagine, there is A LOT. I will however, try to make a list of everything I can remember that doesn’t get a featured shout-out. To be honest, I probably can’t remember everything anyway, it’s been a long year!
‘The Act’ – StarzPlay
I can’t actually remember if I watched this when we were in lockdown, or if I watched it just before. To be honest, do you blame me? – this year requires no explanation. ‘The Act’ had Bobby (my fiancé) and I absolutely HOOKED. This is the series based on the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee. There is a documentary all about this entitled ‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’ and I urge everyone to watch it. When I saw that they’d made the series, I nearly exploded with excitement. I don’t want to give too much away, but it all revolves around the mental health condition munchausen by proxy. It is utterly unbelievable viewing (I am referring equally to the documentary and the series.) The role of Gypsy is played by Joey King, who in my opinion, is so bloody accurate with her portrayal – that woman needs an award! The story draws you in from the outset and there are so many twists and turns that keep you very much on your toes. Remember, THIS ALL REALLY HAPPENED.
‘I May Destroy You’ – BBC iPlayer
Good god. Where do I even start with ‘I May Destroy You’? This has to be one of my most favourite things that I’ve watched this year. I rode the waves of emotion throughout this series and I didn’t want to get off. Michaela Coel is a genius. ‘I May Destroy You’ is a British (yay!) comedy-drama which focuses on writer Arabella as she tries to rebuild her life after being raped. Michaela Coel has written, co-directed and executive produced this show. She is an absolute powerhouse of talent and deserves all of the recognition she can get. It is so intelligently written and despite not having been through an experience like Arabella – I really felt every emotion. What Michaela isn’t afraid of is tackling subjects that make the general public feel uncomfortable. She writes and performs bravely and demonstrates things that may be taboo to watch, but genuinely do happen in real life (e.g. removing a tampon from her vagina whilst on the toilet – it happens!) I blitzed through ‘I May Destroy You’ like a hungry viper. I’ll definitely be re-watching it. I would also urge you to check out ‘Chewing Gum’ by Michaela Coel, its a very different series but I enjoyed it very much.
Schitt’s Creek – Netflix
When I was first told to watch this, I wasn’t 100% sure about it after watching the first episode, buy my God am I glad I stuck with it. ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is sensational. I was definitely too quick to judge. It’s written, produced and created by Dan and Eugene Levy and follows the Rose family as they suddenly find themselves bankrupt with one remaining asset to their names – a small town named Schitt’s Creek. The characters are absolutely genius and the show really does take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. Each character follows their own emotional journey and the developments of these characters is a spectacle to watch. I cried so hard at the final episode and then found out there was a documentary episode, ‘Schitt’s Creek: Best Wishes, Warmest Regards’ also on Netflix, that I found myself sobbing through too. If you haven’t already watched this, then where have you been?! Get on it – you won’t regret it.
Save Me – Sky Atlantic
‘Save Me’ and ‘Save Me Too’ are absolutely gripping. (‘Save Me Too’ is the aptly named second installment to the series). When you have a phenomenal cast line up like Lennie James, Suranne Jones, Stephen Graham and Lesley Manville – you can’t really go wrong can you? ‘Save Me’ is written and created by Lennie James himself. It’s about a man whose estranged daughter suddenly goes missing and it’s GREAT. The plot is constantly leading you in different directions and it’s hard to put a finger on what’s really going on and who to trust. They leave off at the end of ‘Save Me Too’ with the potential for a third series, but nothing’s been confirmed yet. Fingers crossed!
I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic
What an absolute joy to see Billie Piper back on our screens! Now, I’m a fan of Piper and I was delighted when I saw this series released back in August. Piper plays actress Suzie whose life spirals out of control when her phone is hacked and inappropriate images of her are leaked online. I’m sure you’re thinking “Oh, that old chestnut with the images being leaked”, but no, fear not! ‘I Hate Suzie’ is incredibly sharp and witty and provides you with content that you might not have been expecting. Billie Piper’s portrayal of Suzie is bold and reminds you of how good an actress she really is. She also has the longest masturbation scene I have ever witnessed on any TV programme – so hats off to her!
So there’s a few things that I’ve really enjoyed this year. Like I said above, I have watched an awful lot this year (I tend to watch a lot anyway). I have my solid staples that I always watch and anyone who knows me knows I love a true crime documentary, but here is a list of a few others that you might want to check out if you haven’t already.
- Life – BBC iPlayer – Four people in different stages of life and how they’re dealing with it. (Is a lot better than my terrible short description!)
- Noughts + Crosses – BBC iPlayer – Was desperate to watch this after reading and loving the books when I was younger. I enjoyed it, but it was a little different to what I expected.
- Normal People – BBC iPlayer – Yes, yes and yes again.
- The Fall – BBC iPlayer – The only words you need to hear – Gillian Anderson.
- The Secrets She Keeps – BBC iPlayer – Slightly predictable, but an easy and enjoyable watch.
- Virgin River – Netflix – Eggy storylines but if you don’t fancy Jack or have a burning passion for who he should be with, then you’re not ok.
- Gangs of London – Sky Atlantic – Violent and gripping with an excellent cast.
- White Lines – Netflix – Critics weren’t keen, but it made me want to party in Ibiza and I liked the cast choices too.
- The Haunting of Bly Manor – Netflix – Wasn’t as good as ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and I was surprised by the twist, but I stuck with it anyway. “Truly Splendid.” (If you know, you know.)
- The Crown (Series 4)- Netflix – If you don’t watch The Crown, you are incorrect. Wait for Diana, you won’t be disappointed.
- Dare Me – Netflix – Teen angst, potential murder and cheer-leading.
- The Undoing – HBO – Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant team up for this gripping thriller.
There are numerous things that I need to watch that are definitely on my list! If you have any recommendations, then do let me know! Happy viewing!