As we continue on in our strange new world, the internet and its various streaming services continue to provide us with welcome distractions to the outside world. Over the last 3 months I’ve found myself struggling to commit to shows and abandoning them sometimes mid episode. It struck me as first odd, and then very logical, that those shows I’ve not only stuck with, but in some cases devoured, have all been around intense relationships – platonic and otherwise. As someone who lives alone and has had 95% of human contact removed from my life, it makes sense that I have become so drawn to these intense, ride or die, nothing else matters but you type relationships.
Whether you’re lonely like me, or you’re just interested in some new (or old) shows to chill to, here are 4 current streamers that have kept me going.
Normal People (BBC iPlayer)
Yes, I am one of those annoying people who became utterly obsessed with Normal People for a few days there. I watched all 12 episodes in one sitting, live tweeting along the way and likely infuriating everyone who follows me. Even at 4.30am, faced with my 8am work alarm, I didn’t regret it. Much like Marianne and Connell find themselves intoxicated with each other, I was quickly intoxicated with the show. Spanning what starts as a teenage fling across numerous years as the young lovers grow in to young adults, I found it hit every nostalgic note of school and University. It had me longing to revisit those times, it had me screaming at Connell to not be an idiot, and it had me wishing they could both overcome their fears and communicate with each other. It’s rare a show around so small a subject can become such a big talking point, but as all our worlds have grown smaller, these simple issues feel so much bigger.
Why you should watch: Come for the wistful, longing looks. Stay for the amazing and raw therapy episode and the outstanding acting of the two leads. My only hope is that they do not touch this perfect time capsule of a show for a second season.
Catastrophe Seasons 1 -4 (Amazon Prime & All4)
Another show I binged in a matter of hours was Catastrophe. What happens when you have a wonderful holiday fling and find out a month later that you’re pregnant? Catastrophe is definitely a word for the situation that stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney (who also co-wrote the show) end up in. But throughout the four seasons (which I spread across 36 hours) you feel the palpable chemistry of their love, and the pair are just so watchable. I didn’t think it would be for me, as I’ve typically avoided British comedy in the past, but apparently the combination of American and Irish sensibilities and the beauty of a once crowded London is what I needed all along.
Check it out if: You want a LOT of laughs, to remember love takes many forms, and if you need a reminder of how annoying dinner parties were.
Broad City Seasons 1 – 5 (Amazon Prime)
Sliding away from Europe and back over to the states, Broad City has been a surprising joy in my life for the last fortnight. I’ve found it easy to accidentally finish a season in a day and have had to become very strict with myself to make it last, but I’ll be finished season 5 in a matter of days. Following 20-something best friends Abbi and Ilana, it appeared on many best of the decade lists at the end of last year and having finally given it a chance, I understand why. It’s very much a show for the millennial generation and even I struggled with their early 20’s wildness at the start – there’s a lot of gross out humour, a lot of sexual talk and just some general insanity. But as the show matured, I found myself in love with it and I truly regret not watching it as it initially aired (the show finished in 2019 as the main characters hit their 30s). Created by the stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, I can’t wait to see what they get up to next, and I only wish I could have found a female friendship as fierce as theirs… though I don’t think I’d ever love anyone enough to duct tape their poo to my chest to help them out (Season 1, Episode 7).
You’ll love it if: You enjoy wild, wacky and modern comedy, with a fun feminist twist.
Dead To Me Seasons 1 & 2 (Netflix)
The first season of Dead To Me blew me away last year, so I was delighted to see a second season appear on Netflix last month. Whilst it doesn’t quite match up to the first season, it develops in its own way and the relationship between Jen and Judy continues to be at its core. It’s brilliant to see such a female heavy show, that allows women to be angry, to cry, to swear and y’know, to cover up murders. Christina Applegate continues to anchor as Jen, but this season Linda Cardellini’s Judy steals the show. No-one can cry insanely like that girl, and we’re all lucky to have her.
Watch if: You enjoyed the first season. Haven’t seen the first season? What were you doing in 2019?! It’s funny, dark, camp and clever. Get on it!