We’ve all been there… Whether it is because of a financial decision, or because you are just not up to hearing your mother complain about your sister who never phones home, you decided to just stay home this Easter. So now it is all about some much needed R&R, which means a whole lot of wine and a whole lot of binge-watching golden oldies, as well as brand new finds on your favourite streaming channel. We’ve made a list of some watchables for you to enjoy this Easter.
The Netflix Bunch
OMW, can I quickly just gush over the nihilistic pleasure that is Ricky Gervais?! The short description of this is that it’s a show about a suicidal man who “decides to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever the fuck he likes”. Intrigued yet? I not only laughed out loud during this show, but I also cried earnestly. This is a beautiful, heartfelt and honest look at grief and its impact on nearly every aspect of your life. I would definitely recommend this to both Gervais and non-Gervais fans alike!
The Legend of Cocaine Island
Do you ever watch something and turn to your partner afterwards to ask: “What the hell did I just watch?” This unbelievable story of adventure, betrayal, treasure and family will have you nailed to the screen for its sheer unpredictability. The story is set in Florida and the entire look and feel of the film is reminiscent of Dexter. If you love treasure, treasure maps, journeys to the unknown and the intricate workings of the import and export market across borders, this documentary is definitely for you!
Brie Larson’s directorial debut was recently released on Netflix to some mixed reviews. The story of Kit and her travels to the Unicorn Store is a classic feel-good tale. Much like a Christmas movie, it does enough to warm the heart, without being a cinematic achievement. It’s all about childhood dreams, colours, believing in yourself, and retaining some of that childhood spirit. This movie is so innocent that it will certainly move some part of you. Larson’s Short Term 12 is one of my favourite films of all time, and to me it was certainly in the same range.
So we all know the story of the Depression-era bank robbers that terrorised the American midwest in the thirties? It’s the story of Bonnie and Clyde, of course. The two of them became folk heroes after some romanticisation of their adventures by Arthur Penn in the 1960’s. But the heroes of this film are actually Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, and therefore the films play out more like a buddy cop movie than a Wild West adventure, and just because it’s Woody Harrelson, you get those True Detective vibes as well.
The Showmax Assembly
Speaking of True Detective, its third season was recently added to the Showmax library. It is once again a dream-like exploration of memory, of time and dwindling relationships. The show has had some mixed reviews, with some coining it the best season yet, while others still cling to the wonder that was True Detective’s very first season. To me it does have a slow start, but lead actor, Mahershala Ali, plays his part brilliantly and just giving it a go for his brilliant portrayal would be worth it. Although this season tries to hint at some of the mysticism that made the first season so popular, you should not expect to hear of the Yellow King anytime soon.
Let’s just start by agreeing that Tom Hardy is such a hunk! But other than that, he makes for pretty good television too. If you’ve seen Peaky Blinders you’d know that he is also quite good at period dramas. Taboo is exactly what the title says it is; it is a mix of all topics deemed taboo, set in the 1800’s. If you are interested in colonial histories and like the moody undertones of the period and the little hint of occultism, you’ll love to binge this miniseries. Hardy definitely succeeds in playing the moody, and sometimes just downright strange character of Delaney.
The Night Of
Damn, I love a good murder drama! If you are a fan of the podcasts, Serial or S Town, you’ll love this highly realistic drama of Nasir Khan whose entire life changed in a single evening. The initial innocence of Khan, played by Riz Ahmed, is so profound that the events that follow are quite astonishing. What really gives the series some additional depth is its anchor in the realities of post-9/11 Islamophobia in the US. I promise you, this drama will have you nailed to the screen because you’ll want to know the fate of Nasir Khan.
Game of Thrones
Yes, yes, we know – Winter is Coming, but it’s just that we are so damn excited. The entire seven seasons (and season 8 as it premieres) are available on Showmax. If you are anything like me, you will try to watch all seven seasons before season 8 starts, which is an impossible task, but you’ll still try. What I’ve also found quite rewarding is to look up those friends who have never watched it before, and go through the motions with them again. The reactions, the loves and the hates, it just takes you back to the very first time you travelled to Westeros.
Amazon Prime Video Action
Although I am not as big of a horror fan as I used to be, I’ve always loved the concept of The Purge but have found the execution lacking when it comes to the films. The series, on the other hand, has more character development, the storylines are better thought out and the overall look, in terms of camera work and editing, is much better than the films. As long as you look at this series for what it is, a 12-hour annual killing spree, you will like it for its post-truth realities and unedited look at the human condition.
To me, Julia Roberts is still the ultimate girl-next-door, but as of late she has ventured into more serious projects and the Prime Original, Homecoming is most definitely one of my favourites. The entire series is shot in the classic Hitchcock look and feel, which means that there are impossibly long shots and heavy orchestral music that certainly transport you to a different era and adds to the mystery. This series is best described as a mystery, and because of this, it is important that the imagery, music and characters all blend to both hide facts and reveal them. In that sense, this series does all it is suppose to and will keep you engaged throughout.
I love Dick
Nearly all feminist literature discussions of the 2000s will make some reference to Chris Kraus’ pivotal novel I love Dick. The story revolves around a love triangle between a husband and wife, and their colleague, Dick. When I first heard of the series adaptation, I was immediately alarmed; who would they cast as the sultry, impossibly distant Dick? They settled on Kevin Bacon, who I’ve always thought was crazy hot, and he really portrays Dick perfectly. The series does not mirror the novel, so even if this is the first time you’ve heard of either, you’ll find this series entertaining.
We haven’t included a lot of golden oldies on our list, but The Big Lebowski recently popped up on my feed and I once again thoroughly enjoyed this classic. From the very iconic lines to the bizarreness of the entire situation, this film makes for great comedy and is such a great film to rewatch. The movie was released in 1998, but because it sparked such a specific genre of films, that it actually still feels fairly new. So, channel your inner dudeness this Easter and rewatch this classic!
Youtube Premium’s here!
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, YouTube Premium was recently launched in South Africa which means hours and hours of ad-free viewing as well as YouTube Original content. Although the South African library of originals is not greatly populated just yet, we do look forward to some exciting content. But in the meantime, we’ve made a list of our favourite YouTube channels that are certified ready-to-binge;
Sam the Cooking Guy
What’s not to love about an extremely sarcastic older guy that cooks greasy American favourites and regularly breaks the fourth wall to comment on mundane consumer behaviour? And did I mention that he wears the most amazing t-shirts? My personal favourite is ‘Make America Cook Again’. Sam posts a new video nearly every other day and usually around breakfast time, just when I am the hungriest, so I cannot wait to wake up on Saturdays with a new video! My absolute favourite is his breakfast burrito:
At varsity, I studied film theory and practice, and I often miss the stimulating discussions on new and old content and especially the philosophical and psychological motivation behind characters and stories. If that seems like something you’d enjoy, you need to the Wisecrack channel right now. Their research is sound and their knowledge on the different philosophical movements and psychological greats are quite extensive, so the videos are extremely informative. My favourite video is The Philosophy of the Joker:
What can be greater than our favourite blogger trying out random online items and weird products from places such as Wish? Safiya used to work at Buzzfeed and left to start her very own channel where she and her fiancee tests out products and fads, much to the delight of her 7 million subscribers. She is not afraid to get down and dirty, and more importantly, she is not afraid to give her dead honest opinion – which I love! Her very unique sense of humour makes her channel very watchable and I get lost in her channel quite often. My favourite video is ‘I Built An At-Home Spa From Amazon Products’.
Featured image courtesy of WUWM