So, you’re stuck at home, in lockdown and not sure what to do with your time? Well, I’m here to provide you with some great viewing options. Check out my list of 5 TV shows you can binge this lockdown as you cope with isolation, boredom and your loved ones driving you nuts. These reviews were originally posted on our Instagram page, and now consolidated here. To get more reviews, memes and cinematic appreciation posts, follow us on Instagram.
It took me a while to get around to this one, and I’m not even sure why. I mean, even Leo DiCaprio said the show was amazing. And it stars Zendaya, who seems to be knocking everything out of the park. Also, this is an A24 production, and if you know me, you know I’m all about those A24 vibes. So anyway, I finally came around, and I’m really impressed with this show. The cinematography is out of this world, so is the direction; but what really stands out: the characters. Euphoria takes place in a town that’s likely in California but it seems like they didn’t want to say exactly where, to make it more universal.
The thing that struck me the most is, apparently I was a really late bloomer. Either that, or the kids in this school are WILD. The amount of sex, drugs, feuds, manipulation and general debauchery that goes on in the story is… a lot. Overall, it’s got a fascinating narrative. We (mostly) follow Rue, played by Zendaya as she battles addiction, and navigates the general madness of high school.
However, it becomes clear quite quickly that the show is way more of an ensemble piece as we spend more and more time with the rest of the characters. Look, I know we’re in the midst of a pandemic right now, so overall it’s tough to recommend a show that actually seems quite heavy in its tone, but if you can handle that, it’s worth it to experience the visual journey and the captivating characters. Euphoria doesn’t hold back, so if you’re triggered by sex, language, nudity, self-harm, and so on, maybe give this one a miss.
Pitter patter, let’s get at er! Set in a remote little town in Canada, this show provides a look at the daily lives (and problems) of a weird group of people including hicks, skids, hockey players, frisky bartenders, oblivious preachers and more.
Letterkenny boasts a range of comedic approaches, from wholesome and slapstick to dark and dirty; using situational and dialogue-based comedy. The show straddles the line between PC and offside pretty well, but maintains a strong sense of self-awareness. Prepare for quick, witty banter, rhymes, puns, awesome catch phrases, copious amounts of alliteration, and of course very lovable characters. Better make sure you can keep up!
3. I May Destroy You
It explores consent and exploitation from various perspectives and in different situations. It doesn’t show a constant frame of reference (even with the same character). It’s so nuanced and really makes you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
In fact, I’d argue that while consent is a huge theme in this series, there is also a very big focus on changing perspectives on a single situation or event. This ties in to the plot itself, but also the broader character arc as Arabella examines her own trauma, from the past and present, building towards a better future for herself. The show is unrelenting, unapologetic and uncensored. Trigger warning: Discussion and depiction of sexual violence. I May Destroy You is available on HBO or BBC.
Great show by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation). 3 episodes in. It’s a trip! Stunning performance by Sonoya Mizuno, with Nick Offerman in a very different role to what you’re used to. There’s drama, mystery and lots of intrigue.
A bit on the violent side, but it’s not gratuitous. Devs is, as expected, a cerebral experience. Alex Garland never holds back when exploring a variety of theories and ides on life, the human condition, science and technology, and that’s once again made clear in Devs. I highly recommend that you put your phone away and follow this one closely because it’s dense and detailed.
Another element of the show that really worked for me was the vulnerability portrayed by Sonoya Mizuno. Looking at her earlier roles in Ex Machina, and more recently Crazy Rich Asians and Maniac, it’s safe to say that she has range. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next (The Flight Attendant and Mouse Guard, apparently).
I absolutely love this show, Ramy. It’s about a young Muslim man in the US trying to walk the line between his faith and his life as a modern millennial. But the show doesn’t start and stop with him; we also get a look into the lives of his family, with some episodes dedicated to his mother, father, sister, and even his weird uncle. This show takes you into not only the Muslim experience in America, but the immigrant experience there as well.
You can tell that it’s a very personal story for the creator, Ramy Youssef and one that showcases the duality of human beings so well. There’s a certain episode, and it’s the lowest rated episode on IMDB, that really showcased how bold the storytelling is.
For most of the series, the show walks a thin line, but in this one episode (Atlantic City), it definitely just goes overboard and is willing to alienate part of its audience, and the fact that they were willing to do that is quite ambitious. The show also features a number of Muslim and/or Middle Eastern celebrities with cameos or larger parts. Ramy is an A24 production, streaming on Hulu, and has 20 episodes out so far; and has just been renewed for a 3rd season.
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