Why does it always seem like there's a million shows to watch, but nothing you actually want to watch?
If you're looking to chase away the wintertime blues with some quality content while you wait for Netflix's August releases to hit screens, here are our recommendations. This is what we're watching, reading and listening to this month.
Watch… I watched the Naomi Osaki mini-series on Netflix in (almost) one sitting. It’s so good – I didn’t actually know much about her before now, other than that she is an amazing sportswoman. Her charisma, leadership and wisdom are beyond her years, she is an inspiration on the court and off. Learning the story of her childhood and the bond she shares with her parents and sister will make you feel good.
Read… I am not reading much at the moment. I would say it mostly consists of the news (which of course isn’t super cheerful and sometimes feels like a novel in itself) and articles on cooking, as I am really enjoying learning to cook more often and slower these days, in lockdown.
Listen… I have been loving Connan Mockasin’s latest release Ade. I am a big fan of all of his work and love the story/ sentiment behind this album – Connan recorded it with his father after a near death experience seemingly brought a new level of depth to their relationship. It’s funny and beautiful at the same time - Connan’s unmistakable guitar, overall sound and wit meeting the humour of Ade’s lyrics are a good mix. I have also been loving a deep dive back into BBC’s Desert Island Discs – the Richard Attenborough episode is a standout!
Digital content director
Watch… I’ve started watching The White Lotus and I have to admit I’m completely hooked to the point that I’ve been hanging out for Mondays to roll around so I can watch the next episode. I’ve also just finished watching all the Fear Street films on Netflix. They were great, I highly recommend.
Read… I’m actually not reading anything for pleasure at the moment. Oddly enough, I haven’t found the time. But I am dying to pick up A Court of Thorns and Roses. I am such a sucker for Young Adult novels.
Listen… I’m not a big podcast listener. But music wise, I still have Chemtrails Over The Country Club on repeat.
Brand & Art Director
Watch … One of my favourite comedians Aisling Bea has written a series called ‘This Way Up’, playing a teacher (Aine) who like many of us, are just doing their best. The beginning of the series sees her checking out of a wellness centre, after a “teeny tiny nervous breakdown” (spoiler alert, it wasn’t as tiny as Aine would like to let on). What truly stole the show for me is the relationship and banter with her sister, Shona (played by Sharon Horgan). They are both brutally honest, hilarious and approach even the most serious life matters with humour and my gosh, so much witt. The perfect ‘heavy-but-light’ show.
Read … Luster by Raven Leilani. Without giving too much of the story away, a quick summary … a woman in her twenties becomes involved with an older man in an open marriage. What stood out for me in this book is how Leilani writes, without hesitation. A brutally honest commentary of the character’s thoughts, feelings, insecurities. There is so much power and strength in admitting and putting into words what none of us would even dream of saying out loud. I found myself laughing out loud and clenching my whole body in suspense, the kind of book you can easily get lost in.
Listen … Elle Músa's ‘Mango Pops’ for a 3pm lift, Orchestra Baobab and Cesária Evora's 'Petit Pays' for something mellow and Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa for a lunchtime dance break.
Watch… I know I am far too late to the party here, but I recently started watching Money Heist on Netflix and I can’t get enough. The storyline is almost so absurd, so sensationalised that you’re left wondering, “could this ever actually happen in real life?” Of course not, it’s a show, but the fantasy of being a highly-skilled robber is keeping me occupied in lockdown all the same.
Read... The past week, I have been strictly enforcing a ‘reading time’ into my daily schedule – usually right before bed which can sometimes be counterintuitive if it’s been a big day in the home office. I normally like to stick to one book at a time, but I’m currently juggling two; Anthony Bourdain’s insider’s edition of Kitchen Confidential and Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdad’s Sing (essential reading ahead of the film adaptation release).
Listen… Doja Cat’s latest album, Planet Her, obviously?
Brand & Campaigns Coordinator
Watch… I had low expectations for the new Gossip Girl (on Binge) and still was disappointed, so when Editor In Chief, Jess Blanch recommended Young Royals (Netflix) as ‘what you might have hoped for in Gossip Girl’ I had to give it a watch. Other than that it’s been an endless loop of Gilmore Girls (Netflix) and Wellness TikTok (got to keep those baked oat desserts coming).
Read… Last week I started and finished Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays, great book but not quite great at uplifting spirits. I’m also intermittently reading Eastern Body, Western Mind lent by Market Editor, Angel Jhang, attempting to up my wellness knowledge. Though, to this day I’ve yet to find a book that hits the spot quite like The Faraway Nearby - and so I continue my search for just the right book, good thing I’ve got plenty of spare time right now..
Listen… As lockdown looms over us indefinitely, I’ve decided it’s now or never and have committed myself to French lessons at The French Learning Institute - so I’m rehashing old basics with a bit of Pimsleur. It’s easy enough to listen to whilst cooking, vacuuming the house for the 90th time or any other lockdown life admin task.
Digital Operations Manager
Watch… The Mare of Easttown on Binge is the latest series my housemates and I got really into. Not only is the story line completely captivating, but my main reason for loving it was Kate Winslet’s performance. It’s refreshing to see a female character this raw and unfiltered - would highly recommend.
Read… my goal this year has been to really get my finances sorted (what the hell is this mystical thing called the share market and how do I get involved?) After attempting numerous podcasts and even chatting to a financial planner I felt like I was no closer to achieving anything and as a last resort I decided to purchase The Barefoot Investor. I don’t want to be this person but also I’m going to be - read this book!
It’s super easy to read (I read it cover to cover whilst following all the steps in about 5 hours) and has some jargon free tips which will potentially save you thousands. More importantly it made me feel like I finally had the information I needed to be in control of my money and I can’t even explain how empowering that feels. Get on it ladies, you owe it to yourselves.
Listen… If you looked at my Spotify account right now you would understand the full array of my lockdown emotions this week. My favourite find however is this playlist my housemate’s yoga teacher made. Ideal for any time you’re trying to relax - bathtime, bedtime or my personal favourite a 30 min stretching session with it turned up loud enough to block out the brain chaos that lockdown has created for me. You can thank me later.
Watch...Over the weekend, I have fallen down the rabbit hole that is the Dr. Death story. Starting with the podcast (more on that, later) and becoming so enthralled by the absurdity, I binged the entire dramatised Stan series (based on the true events) and have not looked back. If anyone needs me, I will be talking about it for the next week, maybe month.
Read... I recently finished M.F.K Fisher's Consider The Oyster, which was an excellent, if not brief tribute to the mollusc. Sounds obscure, but if the most romantic of food writing is for you, I would recommend. Now, I am lucky enough to be reading Tilly Lawless' stunning debut novel, Nothing But My Body, ahead of its release. While I can't spoil much, I can say that if you lap up Lawless' lyrical Instagram captions like I do, this novel will have you drunk. You can preorder it here.
Listen... So much to be said. Firstly, circling back to Dr. Death, the podcast follows the investigative journey of a reporter who is determined to get to the bottom of the case of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a neurosurgeon who was famed for gross malpractice, resulting in the maiming and death of several patients. Duntsch was accused of injuring 33 out of 38 patients in less than two years before his license was revoked. This podcast takes a deep dive into his terrifying case. A friend also put me onto the Conspirituality podcast, which is an insightful "weekly study of converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism", and it is excellent.
As for music, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's latest album, Butterfly 3000, has been rhythmically taking me on the journey that is lockdown.