Lockdown Lunacy – What Are You Watching?

If I’m honest I probably don’t watch any more TV than I did before the quarantine was imposed on 20th March, probably because I work from home anyway and my routine, unlike for others, has not been greatly affected. When I’ve finished a day’s run of motorcycle courier work I’m generally pretty whacked, so I usually spend an hour or so on a PC game and then light up Netflix or Prime. Luckily, I have Bluetooth headphones so, not only can I block out ambient noise, the rest of the household doesn’t have to listen to zombies moaning and gurgling. I can honestly say that headphones are one of the best tech investments I’ve ever made, especially if you live in a small house and the payoff is privacy for all. It’s also worth mentioning that we cut the cable last year and rely solely on Netflix and Prime over 100Mbps (fiber optic) WiFi to the Smart TV.

Currently Watching On Prime

Watching alone

I like to have a series running that I know my other half probably doesn’t like because it saves any disagreements over whether she’s missed any episodes, so I’m re-watching The Walking Dead (TWD) for about the third time now that Prime is almost up to date on the series. You know when you are gripped by a TV show and TWD keeps me watching for the diverse characters, the story-line and the struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, a scenario that has always fascinated me.

I also started The Man In The High Castle which is based on another idea that intrigues me– a world where the Nazis won the Second World War. For some reason, I didn’t become completely engrossed in the series, got distracted by something else and Prime seems to have reset my viewing position. Either way, I’ll be returning to it eventually.

Jack Ryan is worth a watch if you enjoy subterfuge and plenty of 4K action, lots of shooting, and some remarkable vistas.

Watching together, sort of

There are several that we’ve started together but haven’t finished for various reasons:

Goliath – the first season was excellent with Billy Bob Thornton as a struggling, down and out drunken lawyer going up against mighty corporations and mega legal firms. The second season went way off track with very little actual lawyering and too much sick and gratuitous violence. Season three is now available, but I’m not in a hurry to tune in.

Fleabag – more women behaving badly, with plenty of language, nudity, and not much more. My eyes glazed over after the second episode and I’m scratching my head wondering what all the fuss is about.

The Office (US version) – My stepson recommended this to us as he found it laugh-out-loud funny. We weren’t rolling on the floor, the excellent Steve Carrell was way over the top of course, but I’m hoping it moves along and gets better in season two. Brit humour vs American humour?

Hunters – Al Pacino leads a group of ‘superhero’ style Nazi hunters in New York and reaches a new low in dramatising the entire subject of Jewish Holocaust victims. This series just rubbed me up the wrong way and I kept wondering why the producers felt the need to parody such a delicate subject. Abandoned.

The Good Wife/The Good Fight – I generally love legal dramas and whilst both of these are immaculately produced and enjoyable, they’re not really gritty enough for my tastes. But I now know what a female power-walk looks like, especially when the handbag/purse is dangled from the arm as a weapon of choice.

Currently Watching On Netflix

Watching alone

Breaking Bad – I’ve just finished watching the entire series for the second time, yo bitch! What more can I say?

Designated Survivor – Kiefer Sutherland whispers his way through three seasons of this preposterous, pretentious, and jingoistic claptrap which I oddly enjoyed and I’m not sure why.

The Last Kingdom – a superbly produced series based in medieval times at the time of Alfred the Great (King of Wessex, England from 871 to 899). Much of it said to be based on real history and I find it fascinating and beautifully filmed. The battles are incredibly realistic.

Spartacus – Plenty of gladiatorial action and soft porn nudity, but even those two elements couldn’t get me to episode two since the acting was dire, to put it mildly. Abandoned.

Watching together

Outlander – A married woman in London at the end of World War II finds a mysterious stone circle and transports herself back in time to early 18th century Scotland (1743) where she meets and falls in love with a hunky Scottish warrior not long before the battle of Culloden. It’s a captivating storyline, especially when you consider the possibilities of our heroine being able to change the course of history, bearing in mind that the British defeated the Jacobite army quite decidedly at Culloden. Naturally, the couple has a steamy, passionate courtship and there are some scenes of violence and male rape that I found very disturbing and out of place. On the whole, though, it’s an entertaining romp, if not a little corny and soppy for my tastes.

Money Heist – a disparate group of Spanish robbers led by el profesor who manage to break into the Spanish mint in Madrid was excellent in the first three series and certainly helped me brush up on my Spanish. However, the fourth season suffers from far too many flashbacks, which I find intensely irritating anyway. Fortunately, the series has English subtitles so it’s definitely worth watching for the excellent performances from actors you wouldn’t normally have heard of.

To be honest, cutting the cable was a sensible move on our part, not only from a cost-saving point of view but also the fact that so much content is now streamed that we’re spoilt for choice. Perhaps I’ll pen another article on the cable cutting debate in the near future.

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