Lifestyle

The Best Bingeworthy Netflix for Lockdown Life

WARNING: READING THIS LIST OF BINGEWORTHY NETFLIX WILL DEFINITELY SEND YOU DOWN A RABBIT HOLE OF GOOD TV AND YOU WILL LOSE HOURS OF YOUR LIFE

With the pandemic putting travel aspirations on hold and forcing me to work from home, it’s been a prime time to catch up on all those Netflix shows that have been on my Watch List for as long as I can remember.

The downside; I have been binging the hell out of some amazing (and also pretty terrible) shows. Which has made me super unproductive when it comes to getting stuff done around the house – but we all need a little downtime, right?

So now I think I’ve got most of it out my system, here are my best bingeworthy series:

Gotham

Source: Fox

Long before he was commissioner, rookie cop James Gordon takes on Gotham City crime and corruption to avenge the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Where do I even start?

Batman is my favourite superhero, always has been. It literally doesn’t get better than Adam West – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not sure we can even be friends.

But I loved Gotham because it wasn’t about Batman. It was a super clever prequel/origin story that is mostly about Commissioner Jim Gordon when he’s a lowly detective.

It was clever, witty, gripping and addictive to say the least.

Snowpiercer

Earth has frozen over and the last surviving humans live on a giant train circling the globe, struggling to coexist amid the delicate balance onboard.

I didn’t really know what to expect with this one but if you liked Hunger Games, this is a sure winner.

The whole concept was just mind boggling. Living on a train with 1,001 cars, that can’t ever stop otherwise everyone on board will die…sheesh. And I loved it. The drama, the fight between the class systems, the crime mystery, the revolution, all of it.

Dear White People

Source: Netflix

Students of colour navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as ‘post-racial’ as it thinks.

With the BLM movement still going strong, I felt it was high time I actually educated myself a little more. And this is a great place to start. While identity politics can be confusing and complicated, this was a great way to focus on racial identity and racism, especially when it came to highlighting how blind white people can be to racial injustice.

What I loved most was how much fun this was to watch, while also being educational in the wider context of real life. And it just made me want to go back to Uni.

Hollywood

In post-World War II Hollywood, an ambitious group of aspiring actors and filmmakers will do almost anything to make their showbiz dreams come true.

Another good one for racism, this was totally not what I expected it to be. But I loved it. It’s more about race and homosexuality than the description lets on but don’t let that deter you. It gives you an inside glimpse of Hollywood film production, and how glitz and glamour treated those from the working class or with different racial backgrounds.

Dead to Me

Source: Netflix

A hot-headed widow searching for the hit-and-run driver who mowed down her husband befriends an eccentric optimist who isn’t quite what she seems.

It might not seem it, but this was actually hilarious. I already can’t wait for the next season. I love the friendship, the sense of danger, and the thill. This seemed to have everything, and was incredibly raw – by that I mean, emotionally. It covers grief, betrayal, friendship, family and so much more.

After Life

Struggling to come to terms with his wife’s death, a writer for a local newspaper adopts a gruff new persona in an effort to push away those trying help.

If you like Dead to Me, then you’ll probably also like this. It’s a little morbid but actually quite endearing and heart warming. I’m also not a huge fan of Ricky Gervais so was surprised I liked it so much. And the dog, oh my goodness she is so sweet. I lost count the number of times this made me cry.

Hannibal

Source: Netflix

This drama series focuses on the early years of the relationship between FBI criminal profiler Will Graham and homicidal cannibal Dr Hannibal Lecter.

Okay so this one appeals to the psychological thriller in me. This is like an early prequel to the Hannibal movies where he’s not yet been caught and it is creepy. But oh so clever. You obviously know he eats people. I know he eats people. But the series never actually explicitly says so until season two – now that’s impressive. And it’s so clever. Each serial killer is a whole new kind of crazy – I’ve never seen such elaborate murders in fiction and it is on a whole other level.

Impractical Jokers

Four comedian bussies engage in an ongoing series of outrageous dares. And if they fail to meet the challenge, the penalty is even worse.

Don’t hate me for adding this in. And I’ll be the first to admit that bingeing Impractical Jokers is nothing new. But I’ve definitely watched all 4 season on Netflix at least 3 times over since the beginning of lockdown. It’s the perfect easy-going mood booster that we all need every now and again. If you’ve never seen it before, I promise you will never laugh as hard.

Floor is Lava

Teams compete to navigate rooms flooded with lava by leaping from chairs, hanging from curtains and swinging from chandeliers. Yes, really.

Okay, so this one is actually terrible. You know, the good kind of terrible we all secretly love but is just downright awful. If you want to watch something that is probably the worst thing on TV< then you definitely need to give this a go. It’s hilarious and so entertaining. I mean, who on earth thinks up this rubbish?!

Raising Dion

Source: Netflix

A widowed mom sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her young son’s emerging superpowers while keeping his extraordinary gifts under wraps.

I kind of didn’t expect the comic book angle with this but actually really loved it. And loved it even more for including the reality of Black children needing to learn about racism from an early age – it didn’t have anything to do with the actual story, other than the fact that the main characters where Black. And I think it was all the more beautiful because of it.

Reckoning

As dead bodies start showing up in a quiet, suburban community, the ensuing investigation has dire consequences for two fathers and their families.

Ooh, this one gives me shivers just remembering it. A great crime thriller, with enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a little slow at times, but it’s a great watch.

Cuckoo

Source: Netflix

Rachel shocks her proper British parents when she marries an American hippie, but it’s just the first in a series of surprises for the family.

So I don’t really like these types of British comedies, and I don’t really like most of the actors in it, but decided to give it a go because I enjoyed Andy Samberg in Brooklyn 99. It had me literally laughing out loud – this show is hilarious!

There were some major cast changes that would have cancelled any other show, so the abrupt changes between seasons was super disappointing, but then you kind of got used to the new normal and it picked up again.

Glitch

Source: Netflix

A police officer and a doctor face an emotionally charged mystery when seven local residents inexplicably return from the dead in peak physical form.

Totally not what I expected. I don’t even know why I started watching it really, because it’s not the sort of thing I go for – I guess the trailer must have been good. Either way, I wasn’t disappointed and got totally sucked into the story and the characters. It does get slow in some places which requires persevering but overall I really enjoyed it.

The Big Bang Theory

Physicists Leonard and Sheldon find their nerd-centric social circle with pals Howard and Raj expanding when aspiring actress Penny moves in next door.

I added BBT to my list for no other reason that I sat and binged it while feeling pretty glum and it did wonders for lifting my mood. So if you find yourself in a slump, it’s a great bingeworthy series to put on in the background, or to curl up and watch in the evening.

Tiger King

A zoo owner spirals out of control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding.

Okay, so if you’ve not seen this yet, I don’t know where you’ve been. This one should probably come with an animal cruelty warning too – I couldn’t watch the first few episodes and only came in later on when it was less about the animals and more about the people.

Travel

Travel Gone Wrong: Holiday Hiccups and their Lessons

Let’s face it; we’ve all been there. Sometimes no amount of planning can combat a travel hiccup. But the important thing is to remember the lessons so you can hopefully avoid a similar fate in the future.

Granted, I haven’t found myself stranded in the middle of a country (except that time when I was 8, had no money and no phone, and was on a school trip to the Netherlands…) and luckily I’ve never been mugged or a victim of a tourist crime – so in that sense, my holiday hiccups aren’t all that extreme. But chances are, I’m betting a few people out there have done something similar.

I hope some of these stories make you laugh – or gasp – and I hope you’re able to learn from them so you don’t make the same mistake.

Croatia Europe

Why Your Next Trip Should Be to Croatia’s Istrian Coast

These days, my destination wish list is longer than ever. At one point, I had the next 4 years’ worth of holiday destinations planned and scheduled…yeah, thanks COVID.

But back when I was just beginning to get a taste for adventure, the world was such a big place – add to the fact that I’d never been abroad without my parents, it was a pretty scary concept.

Where do you go when suddenly you have the pay check to go anywhere*?

* by anywhere, I mean somewhere low cost and probably in Europe

Hotels Nevada

Hotel Review: Bellagio, Las Vegas

Probably THE most iconic hotel on the Vegas strip, the Bellagio is famous for its elegance, luxury and dancing fountains. And I’m sure we’d all love to stay there too, right?

It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go – the Bellagio that is, not Vegas. If I could just spend one night there, I’d be a happy gal.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when Lee gifted me the booking confirmation for Christmas!

It did not dissapoint.

Hotels Nevada

Hotel Review: The Strat, Las Vegas

If anyone tells you Vegas is expensive, they lied.

Okay, so they only lied a little bit and yes, it does depend on what you want to do. But we categorically proved that a 2-week trip to Vegas doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Lee had been to Vegas before – twice – so we had expert insider knowledge on where to stay and what to do. If you’re looking for a budget option, there are a few hotels available:

  • Circus Circus – comes with free circus acts daily and is a great family option (circa $16 per night)
  • The Luxor – a little more expensive but still a budget option and closer to the main part of the strip (circa $32 per night)
  • Flamingo – one of the oldest hotels on the strip and has its own flamingo habitat (circa $35 per night)
  • Excalibur – if you love King Arthur and want to experience daily medieval tournaments (circa $27 per night)
  • The Strat – of course – (circa $28 per night)

Now if you really want to do Vegas on a budget, the Downtown hotels are so much cheaper but you’ll have to work out how you’re getting to the strip, although Downtown definitely has it’s perks and own entertainment too.

Africa South Africa

Finding the Big Five: A South African Safari

A trip to South Africa wouldn’t be complete without a safari. Not wanting to miss out on a true African experience, we booked a day at Aquila Private Game Reserve.

When researching nearby safaris. Aquila was one of the closest and one of the more affordable. Many other reserves were quite costly, and were easily too far for a day trip.

There was so much we wanted to do in Cape Town, which meant that we didn’t want to be travelling too far, and Aquila was the perfect place. We had an amazing adventure, one I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Nevada USA

Why Vegas should actually be on your bucket list (And it has nothing to do with partying)

Clubbing. Partying. Unlimited alochol. The Hangover movie. Strippers and Magic Mike.

I’m pretty sure this is the stereotype of Vegas we all have in our mind. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not far off…if that’s what you like. 

For me, I’d never had any interest in visiting Vegas. I don’t drink much and I’m not a party animal – so why on earth would I go to the party capital of the world, and love every second of it?! 

UK

The Purrfect Treat: Afternoon Tea at Paws for Thought Cat Cafe

You should know by now that I’m a huge animal lover – my post on alpaca walking in Hampshire is a great example of this – and a couple of years ago, we discovered the Paws for Thought cafe in Romsey.

After seeing photos and videos from animal cafes around the world, I was thrilled to discover there would be one just 15 minutes down the road!

This was our third trip to Paws for Thought and I was so excited. Our previous two trips has been great; our first had been for the afternoon tea experience and the second time, we took some friends with us.

We simply fell in love with the place, and this trip was a long-awaited birthday voucher from my mum.

Hotels Jamaica

Hotel Review: Secret St James, Montego Bay

All-inclusive can be a great option for those who love to relax, enjoy the beach and really take time out from their busy life – after all, that’s what a holiday’s about right? (*the first time we’ve ever relaxed in our lives!)

The downside of all-inclusive is that sometimes it can be EXPENSIVE. And you feel like you need to drink your body weight in alcohol every single day just to make up for the cost.

And you’re not wrong.

When my best friend told me she was getting married in Jamaica, and their chosen destination wedding was going to be on a 5-star, all-inclusive resort, I think my bank account started crying. To make things worse, it was going to be peak summer holiday prices…

But the big question – was it worth it?

I won’t lie, I had HIGH expectations and boy was I going to be unhappy if standards slip.

UK

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah at the Saatchi Gallery, London

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Saatchi Gallery is currently exhibiting a wide collection of artefacts, many of which have never before been outside of Egypt.

It will be the last time these priceless exhibits will tour internationally and so for many, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them. Previous exhibitions have showcased 55 of King Tut’s funerary artefacts, but the Saatchi gallery is proud to display 150.

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