Actual Netflix and Chill, not the other kind…
Obviously, times are tough right now and we all need a little escapism. I’m a terrible sleeper and what really helps me is at least an hour of something on TV in the evening. I absolutely love a ‘9pm drama’ as I term them, always have. If they’re particularly gripping, I enter someone else’s world which helps me mentally switch off from my own. I also love what I have often referred to as ‘guilty pleasures’ – except lately – I have a problem with that term. Why do we have to feel guilty about something we enjoy, just because it might not be intellectual, educational or highbrow? So, from now on, for me, they are just ‘pleasures’. In these times, I think we can allow ourselves that. This week I’m sharing things I have watched recently that I loved, a mix of drama and ‘pleasures’… let me know any of your recommendations, I need an upcoming list of what to watch!
Emily In Paris
I started this last Saturday night and had finished it Sunday evening…
It’s kind of Ugly Betty meets Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City, it’s frothy, frivolous, silly, predictable and so addictive! And the clothes….the colour punchy outfits of Emily and the sexy, sultry dresses of her ‘Miranda-esque’ boss Sylvie are to lust over, all against the beautiful backdrop of Paris. You don’t need to know the plot, just watch it. I literally can’t wait for season two. Oh, and it pleased me immensely to see that Lily Collins who plays Emily, (daughter of Phil for those old enough to know,) is a producer on it.
Complete gear switch, one of my all-time favourite dramas. I watched it when it first aired on BBC 2 and is now available on both Netflix and Prime. I have the DVDs of all series and I watched it again recently, it’s that good. I was obsessed with Gillian Anderson which was my original reason for watching – at the same time this came out, I had been lucky enough to see her play Blanche in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ at the Young Vic and you could not get two more diverse characters than Blanche and Stella in The Fall – which illustrates how amazing she is, (she is also fantastic in Sex Education if you haven’t seen that.) I also quickly became obsessed with Jamie Dornan as well…I’ll leave that there as it is troubling to fancy a serial killer. The Cat and Mouse nature of this, the extreme sexual tension between the two and the icy, brilliance of Stella make it so compelling. When it ended I really wanted another season, but now I think it was perfect as is, so probably wise to leave it. There are three seasons in all, but all only 5-6 episodes in each.
Starring Alison Steadman, (who doesn’t love her?) Life is a gorgeous drama, literally about the lives of four different characters who all have flats in the same house on BBC I and I player. Their stories interweave, brilliantly evolve and crescendo as it goes on. A little predictable in places, but a fantastic cast including Victoria Hamilton and Adrian Lester, and is gripping and emotional, I really enjoyed it. It’s still on ‘live TV’ but I watched it all on I player.
This one I am watching ‘live’ on BBC 1 and the final episode is tonight, (though also on I Player). I had read the book by David Nichols and loved it. I’ve read every novel he’s written, (his most well-known is probably One Day,) he captures the different stages of life and a point in time so well and articulates emotion and atmosphere with such detail and care. The nuances of that are not lost in this adaptation. Us is pretty much Douglas’s mid-life crisis moment, (played by Tom Hollander,) he is trying to save both his marriage and his relationship with his son, so plans a trip round Europe for them as a last family holiday. He is repressed, anal and organised, whereas his wife, (Saskia Reeves,) is an artistic free spirit with a sense of adventure. It is poignant and touching. I have watched in ‘real time’ as it’s perfect Sunday viewing.
Gear change alert again! I may be too late including this one, as is there anyone who hasn’t seen it? I was hooked from the very start and watched season one when it first came out on Netflix. If you’ve been under a rock, it’s a reality show about a ‘realtors’ agency, (American estate agents,) who are all women, except the two male, twin owners Jason and Brett. They are all impossibly glamorous, wear towering heels and Hervé Léger style dresses every day to work. Several bitchy characters in the mix who pile on the drama for our viewing, (because, you know, it’s probably scripted,) make it addictive viewing. The added bonus is we get to see the LA mansions they’re selling and bask metaphorically in the gorgeous California sunshine that we can’t fly to in real life right now. Three seasons and I can’t wait for the fourth.
This Is Us
This is another of my all-time favourite dramas. The first episode I think is one of the most perfectly written pieces of TV ever and from that moment I could not stop watching. It’s an American drama about a family who have triplets. It spans a time period with flash backs, from present day and the future to the 70’s, and is that perfect combination of laughing out loud one minute and full on blubbing crying the next. The characters are brilliantly formed and the plot twists and turns keep your interest. There are four seasons in all and I have two episodes left of season four which I am trying to savour as I don’t want it to end! There is a season five to come, but it airs in the US long before we get it here in the UK on Prime. Incidentally the actor who plays Kevin in this, (Justin Hartley,) is the real life husband of Chrishell who is in Selling Sunset, (keep up,) and he ended their marriage via text in Selling Sunset…! And finally, it stars Mandy Moore who’s renovation of her home is well worth looking at on Instagram.
Get Organized with The Home Edit
Obsessed. I went on a huge organising mission earlier this year and I am still doing and need to do more of my flat. These two ladies I have followed on Instagram for a long time and they now have their own show on Netflix. More realistic and accessible than Marie Kondo, this show is two parts per episode, one celebrity client and one ‘normal person’. They declutter and edit, choose ‘product’ (the containers, drawers etc they use – oh how I wish we had The Container Store in the UK,) and then put it all back together in a very neat, organised and visually pleasing way. I just love it; I will probably watch the whole season all over again for inspiration.
That’s it for now, I need some new things to watch, so please add any recommendations you have in the comments below!