Welcome to the very first chapter of StreamChat, where we talk about what we’ve been streaming at home recently. If you’d seen any of our Quaranstream Diary posts, then it’s a similar format, but renamed now that lockdown is easing. Have anything you’d recommend we watch, based on any of the shows in this post? Feel free to get in touch and let us know.
Bonding – Season 1 (Netflix)
Clare: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Bonding, and binged it in two evenings. A lot of the show centres around the BDSM/Dominatrix world, but I found that element of the show to be very PG, so don’t let it put you off. There are 7 12 minute episodes and I found the central relationship between two lifelong friends to be so charming – plenty of rom-com elements in the season, so it hooked me. It reminded me in some ways of the first season of You Me Her, despite having little in common. A cute, quick and pleasant show, and a second season is on the way.
Outlander – Season 5 (Amazon Prime)
Lee: I covered season 4 of Outlander in our last Quaranstream diary, and have now managed to finish season 5, bringing myself right up to date with all episodes. While season 5 didn’t feel quite as strong as seasons 3 and 4 overall, it did manage to pack in a few pretty intense episodes and storylines. By now, poor Roger Mackenzie must surely be regretting leaving his cushy job as Oxford professor in 1968 to travel back in time 200 years, as he endures even more pain and misfortune this season. Meanwhile, the hunt is on for dastardly criminal Stephen Bonnet, the man responsible for either beating, robbing or raping most of the Frasers, and who seems to have escaped certain death for a second time! Will they hunt him down and get their revenge? Such a great show – roll on season 6 and I might even have to take up reading so that I can catch up on the books that it’s based on!
Defending Jacob – Season 1 (Apple TV+)
Clare: It’s been over a week since I finished Defending Jacob and I still find myself mulling over the ending. The 8 episode season was perfectly eked out and every time I made my mind up about the case, they threw in another detail that had me change my mind again. Brilliantly acted, beautifully filmed and ultimately an engaging story. I just wish more people were talking about it. I don’t follow the Crime or True Crime genres, but I can now understand why so many do. (Also, Chris Evans has a beard.)
The Alienist – Season 1 (Netflix)
Mary: My Husband and I are rewatching the first season of The Alienist in anticipation of the second season which starts in a week.
It struck me when I first watched it and I feel exactly the same this time around how magnificently it has been put together. The performances are top notch from Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning. They all shine in their performances and are fantastic to watch. The script is brilliant, adapted from Caleb Carr’s book which I have recently read, it is extremely faithful.
But the thing that astonishes me most is the amazing production design. It feels like you have just turned back the clock to 1896 New York, it is so realistic. It is beautiful work whether in the fabulous houses of the upperclass or the seedy streets of the points.
Another note is the music, not something you usually distinguish in television. But is is used brilliantly here, adding a menace and foreboding.
We have three episodes left, have thoroughly enjoyed it again and can not wait for season 2.
The Secrets She Keeps – Season 1 (BBC)
Lee: Supermarket shelf stacker Agatha (Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael) has a troubled past, and an unhealthy interest in mummy blogger Meghan (Jessica De Gouw) in this six-part Australian drama based on a 2017 novel by Michael Robotham. It’s predictable at times and characters make some very questionable decisions, but there’s something about the tight writing and direction that made for compelling viewing. It takes a couple of episodes to settle in and take hold, but this was one of those shows where at the end of an episode, I just wanted to dive straight into another. Some brilliant performances from the lead women and a slow, chilled out version of Kylie song ‘Can’t get you out of my head’ for the theme music too!
I May Destroy You – Season 1 (BBC)
Clare: Michaela Cole’s show deserves a post all of it’s own, only I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said by others.
A hard hitting drama, a raw and unflinching look at modern sexuality, a hilarious comedy about lifelong, codependent friends and an accurate representation of 21st century London.
Opening with young author Arabella being drugged and raped in the first episode, the show portrays the ripple effect this has on every aspect of her and her friends life. But it’s not a show about rape. It’s a show about a woman who lives through a violent experience and has her worldview changed.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more raw and true to life portrayal of the complex world we live in and the complex creatures human beings are.
It will have you thinking and questioning, and I’ll be very surprised if it’s not on every end of the year ‘Best of’ list.