Tired of the craziness of the holiday season? Or have a little time off and you want to hide and binge-watch something but you have no idea what to watch? I have a few recommendations, especially if you are looking for an escape and something not holiday-ish. Holiday movies and shows have their place, but sometimes you need to escape completely. *There are affiliate links in this post.
Since I work mostly from home I do have the TV on a lot. I listen to music sometimes, but I really enjoy watching TV (I’m a child of the 70’s — we watched a lot of TV). I have the Amazon Fire TV Stick which I love. We have subscriptions for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime and have ditched our cable (more on that another time). My point is I have plenty of options to choose from, but I’m going to focus on Netflix programs for now. Here are a few of my top picks for viewing through the holidays. I have a wide range of shows and movies I watch, so hopefully there’s something in my choices that resonates with you.
- The Crown — This show is amazing. Based some on real events, The Crown focuses on Queen Elizabeth and the monarchy following the death of her father, King George. I can’t say enough about this amazing show. The music is by Hans Zimmer and is riveting, the cinematography is beautiful as are the costumes. The cast does an excellent job and are so believable as the real-life characters they play. In the first season, I was surprised to find John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and considering he’s not a short portly man, he actually pulls it off!!! Season 2 of The Crown just came out, and there are only ten episodes per season so it’s not too difficult to catch up. If you’re into the whole royalty thing, history is your jam or you appreciate all the different elements involved in theatre and the movie-going experience, I think you’d like The Crown.
- Santa Clarita Diet — I DO NOT LIKE ZOMBIE SHOWS OR MOVIES. There. I said it. Now that’s out of the way, I LOVE THIS ZOMBIE SHOW!!!!! Seriously, I am not a fan of the whole zombie revolution taking hold of the planet right now. But I do love dark humor, Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore. The writing in Santa Clarita Diet is simply fantastic. The characters’ comedic timing and often dry senses of humor make the show. Timothy and Drew (who incidentally have great on-screen chemistry) are a married couple with hum-drum lives until Drew’s character begins to develop some unusual dietary habits followed by some serious changes in behavior. The ensemble cast does a wonderful job as well and if I were a betting woman, I would guess this crew had a blast while doing this show. If you haven’t seen it, you’ve only missed one season and Season 2 is coming sometime 2018 (not sure of the actual date on that). Each episode is only 30 minutes, so catching up would be easy. One note: If you get grossed out easily, Santa Clarita Diet may not be the show for you. It’s gross at times, but not scary.
- Stranger Things — I am not a huge science fiction nerd (not judging, nothing wrong with it), but this show, oh, this show, IS SO GOOD!!!! Season 2 was just released over Halloween weekend, so you have a little catching up to do, but it’s so worth it. Stranger Things takes place in the 80’s and has so much nostalgia and all the feels that even if you aren’t a big fan of science fiction, you may enjoy this show. It has a lot of Stephen King tips of the hat, along with Stephen Spielberg. The story revolves around four friends coming-of-age and along with some twists and turns of being a preteen, these guys have a little more than the average bike-riding preteen encounters. Millie Bobbie Brown makes her big debut and she is outstanding as “Elle”, or “Eleven”, the quiet but ever so powerful girl that appears seemingly from thin air with a lot of drama surrounding her. The kids do a fantastic job of acting and Winona Rider plays a mom of one of the boys (Will, who goes missing), and she’s her wonderful self. There are a few characters who have some small but pivotal roles who you will recognize if you were around in the 80’s, which I for one, love.
- The Five — I stumbled onto this show and so glad I did. If you are a commitment-phobe like me, this is an ideal show. While it’s a complete season (10 episodes), it’s not an ongoing show. Everything is nicely tied up at the end of the season and you aren’t left hanging, which for some people is a bonus. The Five is written by a French author and the characters are all British. The story begins with a four preteen friends and a much younger sibling of one of the friends (which for those of you counting, makes five). The four friends ditch the kid brother (age 5ish) because he was too little to hang out with them while they’re being cool in the woods. The child goes missing and is never found. The story picks back up in the present and shows how this event has affected all of the players involved, including the parents of one of the boys and also the child who went missing. Three of the friends have kept a pretty close relationship, while one separates but becomes reunited with the group. One of the friends grows up to become a detective/investigator in the police department. He gets called to investigate a homicide of a suspected prostitute and after collecting evidence at the crime scene, a sample of DNA is matched to the little boy who went missing so many years ago. If you’re into mysteries, watch this show. I can always see a plot twist coming a mile away and it even caught me by surprise — this is the only time in life I enjoy being wrong about something! I binge-watched this show from start to finish. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it takes you on a wild ride.
If you do choose one of these Netflix shows to watch, I hope you like it as much as I liked all of these. Happy binging!