There’s one thing that drives humanity’s talent for creation, destruction and exploration, and that’s a simple need to not be bored. Boredom is the mind-killer, and when you’re stuck at home for the next three weeks chances are that you might succumb to the mental scourge and do drastic stuff. Like make TikTok videos.
Fear not! Here at the Critical Hit Institute, we’ve got our top guys working around the clock to keep your brain-space occupied. We’ve gone deep into the Internet, sat through countless hours of entertainment and come up with a few recommendations for stuff that’s worth a binge or two. Here’s what the gang recommends is worth spending several days watching until you’re allowed outside again.
The Tiger King – Netflix
Animal documentaries: They’re normally pretty, plenty peaceful and fronted by a kindly British chap who lives to protect the environment. And then there’s The Tiger King, Netflix’s wild mini-series on Joe Exotic and his saga to run a massive big cat sanctuary that eventually ends up with the charismatic animal lover serving time in the big house. There’s drugs and murder for hire, drug kingpins and tiger piss, animal rights activists and a story so unbelievably crazy that it has to be true. I’ll do a write-up on it soon, but here’s a great write-up by NAG’s Tarryn.
Picard – Amazon Prime Video
In an age where the world is more cynical, hope is in short supply and tomorrow looks bleak, it’s amazing just how much inspiration a retired Starfleet captain can provide in these dire times. After Star Trek Discovery reignited a franchise that had been left floundering for far too long, Picard arrived hot on the heels of the Star Trek rebirth and provided something that fans hadn’t seen in many an age: A beacon of positivity in the form of Jean-Luc Picard, setting out into the darkest reaches of the cosmos once again, boldly going where no one has gone before.
With a final episode of the first season now available, Picard is a breath-taking tour across the galaxy that is worth watching not only for its high production value and stellar cast, but as a reminder that tomorrow will always be better if you’re ready to fight for it. Engage!
Kingdom – Netflix
Look, I know that the reason why most of you may be looking for stuff to binge is so that you can take your minds off the pandemic raging across the world right now, so you may probably not be looking to watching a series about a zombie pandemic. But you should be, because Kingdom is just that damn good!
As mentioned the other day, South Korean cinema is incredible and Netflix has a huge library of some of the best the Asian market has to offer. And one of the best of the best is this “political period supernatural thriller”. That’s the official Wiki description and it’s actually perfectly on point. Set primarily in the Korean royal court during the nation’s Joseon period in the 16th century, Kingdom follows Crown Prince Lee Chang who has to fight off shadowy conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy after a mysterious plague turns the Emperor and many of the country’s inhabitants into undead. With an incredibly balanced mix of political intrigue, historical drama, and supernatural thrills, Kingdom is like nothing else you would find in your traditional western zombie stories. And with a second season just released two weeks ago, it’s the perfect time to get stuck into it.
Glow Up – Netflix
None of the team are particularly keen on reality shows, but if there’s one show Tracy won’t shut up about, it’s Glow Up. In a similar vein to America’s Next Top Model or Project Runway, Glow Up pits makeup artists of various skill levels against each other in professional challenges, from editorial looks, red carpet celebrities, runway makeup all the way to body paint and special effects. For anyone that’s trained as a makeup artist, casually into makeup and SFX or just curious, it’s a fascinating and incredibly inspiring show.
At the moment, in lockdown, we’re probably more aware of our neighbours than ever before. So here’s a British crime drama focused on a pretty coastal town full of secrets. The rock on these secrets is lifted when an 11-year-old boy is found dead, and suddenly even the most benign community members are under suspicion.
From current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall, Broadchurch isn’t exactly new. Season 1 dates back to 2013. It does however feature a powerhouse trio of David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker, and it’s a great series to leave on in the background if you’re crafting, doing a puzzle or generally pottering around. Broadchurch Season 1 can be found on Netflix.
If crime and murder is too tonally dark for you right now, you can watch one of the most buoyant TV romances of recent years on Showmax. Released last year, Season 1 of BBC and HBO co-production Gentleman Jack looks at the fascinating true story of Anne Lister, an eccentric 18th Century landowner, adventurer, entrepreneur and, oh, lesbian on the hunt for a wife.
Period love stories may be an acquired taste, but this eye-opening one comes with fourth-wall-breaking, dramz, sweeping romance and Suranne Jones giving a jaw-dropping (and weirdly overlooked) performance as Anne.
Last Updated: March 27, 2020