Collage created by Sadie Souter with images from Pixabay
From scary drama to light-hearted comedy, Shivam Chowdhary shares his top telly distractions
Although not quite at the end of the lockdown tunnel yet, the light is closer and we must start reflecting on the tumult we’ve all experienced.
Living through incredibly stressful times, stuck indoors more than ever before, with not much to do and little to think about, at least I’ve always had TV to inspire me!
In light of this, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the television shows that have kept me engaged and entertained. I hope they provide you with enjoyable escapism from the chaos this coronavirus pandemic has created.
Ozark is a Netflix crime drama, starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner; about a family who have to relocate after a money laundering scheme goes horribly wrong.
This riveting thriller is not only engrossing, full of serpentine narratives, and twists and turns around every corner, but features a career-best performance from Laura Linney, who plays the matriarch of the family with elegance and decorum.
Not only is Ozark a deliciously satisfying thriller, the show also works on a very human level, with surprisingly heart-wrenching drama that is emotive and relatable.
The show has run for three seasons, with the final fourth due to come out next year. This is a show not to be missed if you’re a fan of dialogue-driven, gritty dramas with intellectual narratives.
Many critics have compared it to ‘Breaking Bad,’ so if you’re in need of a fix for strong, powerful television, Ozark is the show for you.
Dubbed by NME, The Guardian and The Rolling Stone as one of the best television shows ever made, Twin Peaks is a psychological horror mystery concerning the murder of teenager Laura Palmer.
It includes multiple storylines set in many locations across the globe concerning cults, mafias and parallel universes. Made in 1990, the show attracted a cult following for its blend of crime drama and supernatural horror, creating a surreal and creepy atmosphere.
The extremely complicated, maximalist narrative with over 60 main and 200 supporting characters is driven by David Lynch’s frightening direction. Lynch broke conventional television tenets, landmarking the show as being of the most original, complex and ambitious pieces of fiction ever to be put on screen.
The original two season run in 1991 was so popular that the show spawned a prequel film, ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me’ in 1992. Due to popular demand, a third season was produced in 2017, 25 years after the release of the first.
With an all-star cast: Monica Bellucci, Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Heather Graham, Amanda Seyfried, Laura Dern and David Bowie amongst others, this is a show not to be missed if you’re a fan of unconventional, zany horror.
Here is non-spoiler clip for you, from 2017, to get a feel of the surrealist and experimental tone of the show. In these clips, we see FBI Agent Cooper, played by Kyle Maclachan, go in search for David Bowie’s character, Phillip Jeffries, who has vanished under mysterious circumstances.
During lockdown, one thing I really needed was a heavy dose of laughter, and this show truly provides it! The IT Crowd is a cult comedy show written and directed by Graham Lineham, who brought us Father Ted, and concerns the mishaps of a small IT department in a large corporation, headed by the brilliant Katherine Parkinson.
Starring Chris O’Dowd, Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade, the show is a piece of classic British comedy, satirising workplace relationships and the general idiocy of living.
The show was critically acclaimed and very successful for Channel 4, going on to spawn some (not very good) American and German adaptations.
Above is a hilarious clip, hopefully providing you some insight into the absurdist style of the show.
Silly, joyous and stupid fun is how I’d describe this magnificent show, satirising the lives of the royal family and politicians.
The show deals with cultural and social issues with a razor-sharp comedic edge, poking fun at some of the most important issues dividing the country, such as the legitimacy of the monarchy and the effect of Brexit in Britain.
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I hope these recommendations inspire you to watch something that you might have not considered watching before!
Ozark is perfect for if you’re looking for a crime drama, Twin Peaks is the best choice if you’re looking for something scary and thought-provoking, and The IT Crowd, as well as the Windsors, is perfect for some light-hearted hilarious entertainment.
Whatever mood these difficult times have put you in, I hope you find something to suit your tastes. What else is everyone else watching? Let us know what you think of these shows if you’ve already watched them!
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Shiv is from north-west London, currently studying English Literature, Politics and Film Studies at A-Level. His hobbies include writing and watching lots of films! His favourite director is Darren Aronofsky and his favourite films of all time include ‘Mulholland Drive’, ‘Festen’ and ‘Mother!’
Shiv is from north-west London, currently studying Film Studies at University of St Andrews. His hobbies include writing and watching lots of films! His favourite director is Darren Aronofsky and his favourite films of all time include ‘Mulholland Drive’, ‘Festen’ and ‘Mother!’