What I’ve Been Watching Lately

I really enjoy sharing my “what I’m watching” posts and promised at the start of the year to do them monthly…and then things went a little bit to hell in a handcart. I’ve never felt guilty for indulging in a bit of downtime but in the beginning of Pete being at home full time, I thought I should be uber-busy all the time and my TV viewing initially stopped altogether.

Now though I’ve got a comfy routine of heading to bed around 9.30 to get in a cheeky episode (or two sometimes) of whatever I’m watching at the moment and it seems to work. I think some people find it strange that we don’t sit down and watch a boxset together but I like a real mix of things and Pete has the attention span of a poleaxed flea so the only time we ever watch together is a cinema trip, and well there aren’t going to be any of those for a while.

So here’s what I’ve been watching since February and my last post:

Unorthodox – Netflix, 4 episodes, loosely real-life based

One of my absolutely top recommendations from Netflix this year, Unorthodox tells the story of a young Hasidic Jewish woman who escapes her arranged marriage in Williamsburg, New York to flee to Berlin. Taken in by a group of musicians she looks to be starting her life over until the past comes to find her. This series absolutely captivated me, by and large from the absolute powerhouse of a performance by Shira Haas who plays Esty. Her expressiveness, her determination, her awakening, it’s utterly absorbing and you’ll find yourself gobbling it all up in double-quick time. There’s also an interesting short documentary about the making of, also on Netflix which shows a behind the scenes look at how the Orthodox Jewish community was recreated.

The Last Kingdom – Netflix, 4 seasons, historical drama

If you still have a Game of Thrones-shaped hole in your life, then The Last Kingdom may well fill it. Fictionally set around the time of King Alfred, The Last Kingdom tells the story of Uhtred, son of Uhtred, who losing his family as a child is then taken captive by the Danes and in being raised by them, becomes one of them. His allegiance is tested though when he ends up protecting the Saxon King Alfred and Wessex from invaders and he has to decide who’s side he’s really on. I won’t lie the eye candy is immense and I do love a bit of swash to my buckle so this is an easy win for me. It’s the show that when new seasons are announced everything else gets ditched in favour of it. A definite winner.

Normal People – iPlayer, 12 episodes, young adult

Well. I don’t really need to explain this one do I? I read Normal People last year and absolutely loved the bones of the book. It’s soooooooo real to anyone who has ever had one of those intense young-love relationships, the will-they-won’t-they that stretches over years and in my case even over different countries. This is probably one of the best book-to-TV adaptations I have ever seen – both Marianne and Connell are played to perfection by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescall and so beautifully represent the awkwardness, angst, sensitivity of young love. It really is exquisite and probably the fastest I’ve watched a show like this in a really long time. Do yourselves a favour and fall in love.

Self-Made – Netflix, 4 episodes, period drama based on real life

I found this show so inspiring and uplifting. A re-telling of the life of Madam CJ Walker, who was America’s first female self-made millionaire, Octavia Spencer is incredible in the titular role. The story takes us from Sarah’s beginnings as a washerwoman to reselling a haircare product that she then builds a multi-million dollar empire out of, ending up being neighbours in New York with JD Rockefeller. I don’t know how much of the story is true to the real Madam CJ Walker but it does a great job at depicting the many highs and lows of stopping at nothing to follow your dream.

Frontier – Netflix, 3 seasons, historical drama

Another swashbuckler and quite violent historical drama, this tells the tale of the Hudson Bay Company in the late 1600s and early 1700s and a tit-for-tat between renegade outlaw Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) and the evil governor determined to track him down. It’s really quite silly and a proper leave your brain at the door nonsense but I watched all 3 seasons without getting bored or taking a break to watch something else in between so it makes the cut. Jason Momoa is just as bonkers and typecast as he was in GoT but well, we love him for it don’t we.

Honorable Mentions:

Killing Eve – iplayer, currently on third season. I’ve started watching the new season of Killing Eve and am enjoying it but I’ve realised that it is starting to feel less original than the first series did. I loved Eve for being this smart, down to earth, married but not a mother detective and for some reason she feels weaker and more fragile now. I’ll see how we go and review at a later date. It reminds me a bit of Luther that started on a very silly premise and then go so stupid by the end as to be unenjoyable. Please KE, don’t lose your way!

Holiday – Netflix. Just started watching this and I think I’ll be hooked. Set in 1950s post-war Hollywood as young somethings try to make their way in the acting world. From the sets to the costumes, I think it’s going to be a favourite of mine

Toy Boy – Netflix. I’m about two-thirds of the way through this Spanish drama about a male stripper who is imprisoned for 7 years and on release sets out to prove that his lover framed him for her husband’s murder. I love it but the episodes are long (most just over an hour) and subtitled and involved so it requires a lot of concentration. To be continued…

Suits – Netflix. Yep, I’m still going! I feel like I whizzed through Seasons 1-5 but Season 6 and the whole prison thing got quite silly so I still haven’t gotten further yet. But I’ve started so I’ll finish.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re watching or have loved lately, I’m always looking to add to my list.

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1 Comment

  1. May 22, 2020 / 12:08 pm

    You’ve just reminded me about watching Unorthodox! There’s been so much good stuff on TV lately hasn’t there? I’m really looking forward to watching Little Fires Everywhere that is now on Amazon. I loved the book so have high hopes for the TV show.

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