Lockdown was the way of life for most of 2020 in Melbourne, including now – much the same as it was across the world. We had to get creative about how to spend all the extra time at home. There was the walking, cleaning, baking, reading, video calling, craft projects and home repairs. What next? It’s no surprise that a lot of us turned to Netflix as a safe haven from lockdown blues. With an infant at home, I was also up at odd hours in the night. Netflix kept me company when I couldn’t get back to sleep. Here’s the top 5 binge-worthy TV shows I watched on Netflix (Australia) over the last few months – fair warning that there maybe a few spoilers. If Netflix isn’t your cup of tea, maybe I can interest you in this post instead: 3 reasons why air-fryer cooking is obsessively good.
Where to begin with this one. Let me start by saying that it deserves all the Emmy awards it got this year – every single one. It’s a fantastic watch for when in lockdown because there’s 6 plentiful seasons with 80 episodes. The Canadian sitcom begins with a super-rich family becoming bankrupt and being forced to move to the only asset they are left with – a run down, remote town which they once bought as a joke – Schitt’s Creek (great play on words with the Schitt, right?!), .
Schitt’s Creek will have you chuckling and laughing the whole way through. All the characters are unique, well written and complement each other so well. My favourite is David – played by Daniel Levy, who is in fact one of the writers of the show. David is sarcastic, entitled and loves his designer clothes. His constant bickering with sister Alexis (Annie Murphy) is priceless, and will bring back memories of your own sibling rivalry.
Each episode of the show is original and entertaining. It’s an easy watch for good a laugh after a stressful week.
Emily in Paris
This feel-good American comedy drama is pretty new to Netflix. Emily (played by Lily Collins), who is a Chicago-based marketing executive, is the star of the show. She gets the opportunity of a lifetime – to move to Paris and work at a marketing firm that’s just been acquired by her American employer. She doesn’t speak French, but she thinks that’s a minor detail. Emily is bubbly, ambitious and a social media queen. Everyone likes her. Everyone except her new French colleagues, that is. She will have you hooked as she battles to win over her devil-wears-Prada French boss. And you’ll find yourself rooting for her chance at romance with the handsome neighbour, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo).
Emily in Paris has the right mix of romance, drama and comedy. Chances are you’ll even pick up a few hints on social media marketing. It’s a great binge watch with 10 episodes – so won’t take ages to get through either.
Umbrella Academy is a brilliant superhero fiction mixed in with science fiction, action, drama and dark comedy. At the center of it all, is a family of adopted children who all have different superpowers. Then there’s time travel – a lot of it too! The story begins with the death of the father, which reunites the now adult children.
The 2 seasons and 20 episodes will have you engrossed because the plot thickens at every turn. The sibling rivalry on this one makes David and Alexis (on Schitt’s Creek) look like well-behaved kittens – which is really saying something! Both seasons have the siblings trying to ward off an apocalypse with the cause of it right within the family. Then there’s the house butler (sort of) who is a talking chimpanzee. And the mother whose actually a robot – and a very lifelike one at that.
Umbrella Academy is riveting. It’ll have you you guessing who the villain is right to the very end. The only problem was the ‘unfinished’ ending in season 2, which leaves you craving to find out what happens next.
I’m not typically in to reality shows but something about Selling Sunset reeled me in (don’t judge me!). It’s about a group of real estate agents working for Oppenheim Group, a real estate brokerage, in Los Angeles (LA). Sounds pretty basic and boring? Not at all. All the agents are stunning, ambitious women who sell multi-million dollar properties to super-rich buyers, some of whom are celebrities. I was drawn to the show at the start, just to look at the luxurious mansions, often with great views of LA sunsets (hence the name of the show, I’d imagine). Another thing that had me gaping was the size of the commissions the agents made – quite often much more than my annual salary in a single deal! Now that’s living the dream, right?!
Selling Sunset is full of drama and Christine is often at the thick of it. The first episode starts with a new agent, Chrishell, joining the group. Christine seems to have it out for Chrishell from the start – a clash that continues across the 3 seasons and 24 episodes.
Selling Sunset isn’t your everyday reality show. Yes, it’s got drama and plenty of it. But you can also learn a thing or two about the real estate game of selling luxury living to the affluent.
Good Girls will have you giggling and full of suspense, right to the very end. It’s an American comedy-drama of 3 working moms going rogue in order to provide for their families. It’s a serious story in that sense but one that’s easy to relate to (obviously just the working parent part, not the crime!). Annie (played by Mae Whitman) is my favourite character. She’s irresponsible and reckless but always has the snarkiest things to say.
The 3 moms attempt a heist on a local store, thinking it will be a one-time thing. To their dismay, it then leads them to a series of crimes, as accomplices to a gang leader – Rio (actor Manny Montana). Despite the light-hearted comedy in the show, it also conveys an important message – once a criminal, always a criminal. Which is the fate of many people who commit a crime out of necessity and then find themselves with no way out.
The 3 seasons and 34 episodes of Good Girls will keep you entertained. You’ll be laughing, gasping, biting your nails and hoping the girls aren’t biting more than they can chew.
Lockdown living is pretty tough and at times you just need something to take your mind off it. These are the top 5 shows on Netflix (Australia) that helped me get through the last few months. They helped me take a break, laugh a little and de-stress to keep going.
What TV shows did you binge recently? Did you like any of the above?
© Jan Perera 2020. All rights reserved.