As I mentioned in my gingerbread pancake post yesterday, I DO have the sniffles (code for I’m totally wiped out), and I would totally be watching these shows if I didn’t have to work my caboose off so I can go on holiday for two weeks. Ok, one week – the following week is a work trip so it won’t be total vacation time, but it’s in Portland so everything’s a holiday if it’s in another country, right?
Ok so picture yourself on the couch/in bed/somewhere comfortable, warm, and with arm’s reach treats.
1. The Fall
I cannot speak highly enough of this show. I just about beat people over the head with it, much like I did with True Detective. I feel like it’s not getting the undying devotion it deserves (although I had a go here), and its utter brilliance compels me to continue roping in watchers.
I love it because it’s intelligent, it’s extraordinarily well-written, it’s beautifully shot, and Gillian Anderson is absolutely kickass in it. Her lines about prostitues, female sexuality, and how women are portrayed in the media made me just about want to reach through the TV and give her a fist bump. After a while I realised many of the powerful roles in the police hierarchy and indeed in the show itself are filled by women. When a door needs kicking down – it’s a female police officer that does it. I don’t even think I’ve ever even seen that before (but with full disclosure: I don’t watch much TV!) It just kind of quietly, subversively turned the powerplays in every crime drama I’ve ever seen totally on their heads.
The Atlantic called it the most feminist show on television even though it’s full of dead naked girls, and its creator, Allan Cubitt, has mentioned that he wanted to explore this kind of serial killer experience from a feminist perspective. I knew none of this before I watched it, but I certainly noticed the theme along the way. It’s by far the best thing I’ve watched this year. By far.
See also: Irish accents.
2. The Original House of Cards Trilogy
Ok so we’re all obsessed with Frank Underwood, his scheming wife, and all the bullshit that happens in Washington. Take all of that, throw it back to 1990 (hairstyles included), give everybody English accents, put them in Westminster, and make Francis ultra-ruthless. It’s brilliant. And much, much shorter than the American version so you can power through and feel accomplished!
Oh shit. What do I say about Derek? What do I say about Ricky Gervais and his brutally funny, yet meaningful themes? What do I say about the wit, the sarcasm, the clever jokes, and the cringeworthy moments that usually teach us a valuable lesson?
Actually, I did pretty well with that, so go, read it, and come straight back and put Derek on. Then watch all of Ricky Gervais’s stuff that’s on Netflix. Make this a Ricky Gervais weekend. Hell, make it Ricky Gervais School Holidays. I’ll cheer you on from Bali.
One of the few movies I’ve watched recently because I a. don’t have the time, and b. don’t have the patience. But Lunchbox was watching it, and I love sci-fi, so I found myself sitting down to see Matthew McConaughey never get old (that’s the thing about high school girls…). I really, really liked it. I like that the physics (and indeed astrophysics) were legit, and overseen by the Caltech physicist Kip Thorne. I mean, there is some artistic licence (you don’t want the audience to fall asleep), but mostly an accurate representation of space, planets, lightyear travel, and black holes.
I got a bit lost with the space-time continuum, but then again, I’m not very bright.
I also think Matty Mac wasn’t particularly the right person to play an astronaut, as much as I love him desperately (particularly after True Detective). But on the whole it was a really good movie that was both entertaining, and made you think.
After you’ve watched, go here and listen to my favourite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discuss the science of Interstellar with filmmaker Christopher Nolan, or you can even go here and read Kip Thorne thrashing it out with science journalist Lee Billings.
5. Dragons: Race to the Edge
Or you can do one of my favourite things ever and put the kids in front of the TV while you read a book or doze in a cosy bed somewhere dreaming of the days when it’s not winter any more.
Bigs and I took a short jaunt to Sydney last week to see the premiere of Dragons: Race to the Edge at a party at Taronga Zoo. We saw reptiles, ate food, oohed and ahhhed over the best view in town, and settled into the coolest beanbags I’ve seen in a long time to watch the first two episodes. It’s heartwarming and funny, and although Bigs was a little bit scared in some parts, on the whole she said she really liked it and she asked for it again when we got home.
Truth be told, it’s a nice interlude from endless Doc McStuffins and Care Bears, Care Bears, we wanna care and share, Care Bears, Care Bears, we’ll always be therrrreeeeeeee.
Dragons is available from yesterday, so if you’ve got some kids that will like it (or have seen How to Train Your Dragon), get them onto it and you go make yourself a nice cold and flu tonic. Chuck some whiskey in.