What I’m Watching – February 2020

It’s official – “what to watch” is going to be a monthly series because I LOVED writing January’s one and have had a few people asking for more recommendations! Plus, well, watching junk TV is my escapism and there’s just so much good stuff to not share the love (and by the way I use TV all-encompassingly, even though I watch most of it on my ipad)

I’m going to expand it to include Amazon Prime and Sky as well as Netflix but it’s unlikely you’ll ever see me recommending anything on any standard TV channels. I don’t do soaps, ITV or reality TV. Or pretty much any terrestrial TV at all to be fair. I still don’t think Pete believes me when I say I don’t spend my days lounging round in front of day-time nonsense but I genuinely couldn’t think of anything worse…

Let’s go!

Cheer – Netflix, 6 episodes, documentary

There is very little that I binge, ever. I’m pretty disciplined with TV watching, one or two hours a day maximum. I watched all 6 episodes of Cheer inside 24 hours and it is one of the best docuseries I’ve ever seen. Following America’s best junior college competitive cheer squad Navarro College as they prepare for the national championships, you quickly become hooked on knowing whether Jerry will get his chance to shine and SO invested in this group of sometime underprivileged kids. I’ve studied in the US and quickly had to find my voice to keep up. We (Brits) typically mock their competitive fire but there’s no denying that OTT approach to life is also totally compelling.

The Alienist – Netflix, 10 episodes, period crime thriller

Returning from my New York trip it’s no surprise that I immediately started looking for New York set shows to watch. Based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr, The Alienist explores a series of gruesome murders in late 1800’s NYC. It’s not for the faint-hearted but newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans), criminal psychologist Dr Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) and police secretary Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) make a winning trio as they try to track down a serial killer praying on young boys. Watch for Luke Evans looking v handsome and Dakota Fanning’s fabulous Victorian outfits.

Suits – Netflix, 9 seasons, legal drama (with a bit of comedic effect)

Yes, I’m 1,000 years late to the party but for some reason I settled on Suits as my latest compulsion and I LOVE it. You’d have to have been living in a cave not to know that this is the show which starred Meghan Markle prior to her becoming the Duchess of Sussex, and me being the nosy Nancy that I am couldn’t resist a bit of voyeuristic viewing. It’s exactly as silly as you’d expect a US legal drama to be and I’m about half way through Season 4 but I know I’ll definitely finish it. Expect infighting, backstabbing, lots of GODDAMN and BULLSHIT, spending the rest of your days wondering if you’ll ever meet a woman as fabulous as Donna, wanting to squish Louis’ cheeks and knowing you’ll never find a man who’ll make a Tom Ford suit look as good as Harvey Specter. Actually, scrap that, Tom Ford suits ALWAYS look amazing. 100% worth getting in for the long haul on this one.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Amazon Prime, 3 seasons, period comedy-drama

Now I feel a bit cheeky adding this in there because I’ve actually only watched the first season but it’s just. Glorious. Viewing. Mrs Maisel is a young Jewish housewife in 1950s New York who has to reconsider her future and her prospects after a change in her personal circumstances. She discovers she has a talent and love for stand-up comedy and sets about juggling a new career as a department store salesgirl, moonlighting comedy at nighttime and her hilarious but interfering parents (her father in particular is SO funny). It’s just brilliant on so many levels – warm, poignant, funny and the little nods and nuances to 1950s life are so attentive to detail. Watch for Miriam’s incredible outfits – especially the aerobics scenes.

Honourable Mentions:

The Stranger, Netflix – intrigued by all the hype I started this a few weeks ago to mix up my Suits watching a bit. It’s an adaptation of a Harlen Coben novel, The Stranger being a mysterious young woman who goes around telling people personal things about their lives and I imagine at some point everything will link up. I’m 3 episodes in but gosh it’s a STRUGGLE and I’m starting to wonder if I’m watching something different to everyone else. I’m including it here because I know it’s been so popular and I’ll probably finish it but well, right now it’s just a bit dire.

If you like Harlen Coben however I can highly recommend looking out a French adaption of his novel Tell No One. It’s maybe around 10-15 years old now but it’s excellent.

The Walking Dead, Fox (Sky) for Season 10 and catch up the lot on Sky Boxsets – my ride or die returned for the second half of season 10 last night and it’s the only programme in recent years I’ve watched right from the very beginning, 10 years ago, patiently waiting each week for a new episode. You probably know the premise – Egg from This Life and the dodgy moron who tries to woo Keira Knightley in dross of all dross films Love Actually – is our hero Rick Grimes, awaking from a coma to find his friends and family gone and the world overrun by zombies. Thanks to strangers, a new community forms and through the seasons you see the band of renegades expand, lose key characters, build new shelters, fighting the zombies and more importantly other human survivors who are threats to what they’ve built.

As with most series that have gone on this long it’s had some dark moments and I’ve thought I should stop watching SO MANY TIMES. But Seasons 9 and 10 so far have been back to the very best (new female show writer, natch) so this little zombie fan is going nowhere fast. If you’re looking for a new meaty series to get stuck into this is the one.

That’s all for now, I’ll be back with more in March. If there’s anything you think I need to check out, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list.

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