After developments over the weekend, it looks like most of us will be staying home when not working thanks to the thing.
Yes, even when I blog, I’m going to use our special codename to refer to… well, you know what I’m talking about. That thing that is all over the news and is constantly changing. We’re avoiding using the name simply because we’re all over hearing the name.
So, with our self-isolation kicking in, we’re all either signing up to Netflix or reacquainting ourselves with it.
So I thought, why not provide lists of our top five shows to watch.
And let’s keep it to shows because, well, there’s so many movies that are just one off two hour spots, that those reviews will be keeping us going for a day at best.
So let’s get into the television shows, that can keep us going for days on end!
I want to hear your suggestions too, but first, we’ll count down my top five shows, starting at number 5:
5. High Seas
A Spanish language drama, set during the aftermath of World War II, sees a pair of sisters heading to Brazil along with other family members of an assorted nature.
Things turn strange after not long as a series of events confuse people and start to make the very traditional captain suspicious.
Throw in the usual shipboard romance and, even though this is a more traditionally feminine storyline (and yes, a lady friend suggested this show to me), it stands up pretty well for those of us not into girly romances.
Of course, there’s still the romantic side of things as well, which means this is a solid series catering for both the romantics and cynics amongst us.
4. House of Cards
This series attracted plenty of controversy after Kevin Spacey was charged for sexual assault and a variety of other crimes and expelled from the cast as a result.
Post Spacey House of Cards… well, let’s just say I wasn’t alone in feeling it was a bit of a letdown.
WITH Spacey, however, this was a masterpiece.
Having worked in politics previously, I can tell you that, aside from the criminal aspect of things, it was a reasonably accurate representation of the political world.
And, most refreshingly for Hollywood, they weren’t afraid to paint the Democrat as the bad guy for once, although the Republican Presidential candidate didn’t exactly cover himself in glory either just quietly.
Intrigue, drama, lies, blackmail… well, what else do you need in a series to keep you glued to the edge of your seat?
3. Designated Survivor
Ok ok, I’m getting political, but I promise this is the last political show on my list!
Kiefer Sutherland is masterful in the first season of this dramatic thriller, as Tom Kirkman becomes US President by virtue of being the designated survivor, the sole member of the US chain of command kept away from the State of the Union.
After the murder of the remainder of the chain of command, Kirkman runs into his own self doubts as well as a host of people who think he’s not up to it.
I won’t spoil the ending of the story, needless to say watching the transformation of the protagonist in not only his mannerisms but his methodology is a lesson in the handling of power.
And, for those of you who want the romantic story on the side, the interaction between the incoming Chief of Staff and his successor is quite the narrative.
2. The Blacklist
I realise you may already be up to speed on this one, but for those of you who haven’t followed it through, you don’t know what you’re missing.
If you’re like me, you weren’t a big fan of James Spader in Boston Legal. He was smarmy, arrogant and wanted to be the centre of attention.
In The Blacklist, James Spader’s character is… smarmy, arrogant and wants to be the centre of attention.
However, whack 15 years on his face and hairline and the irritating kid of Boston Legal becomes a captivating story of humanity gone belly up.
How best to describe the storyline of this show? Well, to steal a line from a friend of mine, it has more twists and turns than the entire back catalogue of Agatha Christie doing laps of the Nurburg-ring.
Spader’s character, Raymond Reddington, is an international criminal of such high standing that he is immediately whisked away to an FBI black site.
Special Agent Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone, is requested by Reddington for reasons which take a long time to be uncovered.
If you want simple directions around the neighbourhood, don’t ask the production team of The Blacklist, because they send you on so many tangents it isn’t funny.
However, that talent becomes most endearing in one of the best television series I have ever seen.
1. The Good Place
After four rather heavy series when it comes to themes, we end on a fun look at…. Wait, that can’t be right.
The series that contemplates the afterlife is the lighthearted comedy?
Strange as it may seem, yes, yes it does!
Kristen Bell, of Veronica Mars fame, dies in a rather comic situation and is welcomed to the good place by Michael, played by Ted Danson.
Bell’s Eleanor Shellstrop is relieved to find out that she made it upstairs and not downstairs, until it becomes apparent she doesn’t belong.
Confiding in her “soulmate” Chidi, played by William Jackson Harper, that she doesn’t belong, Shellstrop sets off a series of events that will have you in tears and fits of laughter before the twist comes and sets the series on a most different path.
It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s heartbreaking, it’s touching, it’s enlightening, it’s refreshing. It’s even painful when you get to the part set here in Australia, and have to deal with the WORST AUSTRALIAN ACCENT I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS!!!
Ahem… now that I’ve got that off my chest, I can wholeheartedly recommend The Good Place for an uplifting show in a moment of toughness.
Now, I’ve shown you mine. You show me yours.
What Netflix series do YOU recommend? And I’ll take movie suggestions too!