Thursday, April 9

What To Watch When You've Watched Everything

After you've exhausted all your crafty projects (or before - or during! I'm not judging), you may want something on in the background. I like to go for something soothing, repetitive and kind of inspiring but in a nonconfrontational way - not sure about you, but when I'm sat in my pjs monging out I don't really want to watch someone scaling Kilimanjaro. Let me be inadequate in my own home in peace.

(A recurring bit from the Fringe of It is something called "Figgy Pudding TV" - sugary-sweet shows that you can relax into like a hot bath and totally gorge yourself on. All of these recommendations are all very strictly in that category - sort of like sticking your fingers in your ears and going La La La).

Escape to the Chateau 1-6 (All4)
Quirky British husband and wife duo head to rural France where they refurbish a fairytale pink castle with shouldn't-work-but-they-do touches like teacup flowerpots and antique taxidermy.

Secrets of the Museum (BBC)
A documentary from the Beeb behind the scenes of the V&A museum in London - everything from restoring Renaissance masterpieces to artfully stomping on a Stormtrooper mask to make it look "just seventies enough".

Elvis: The Searcher Documentary (HBO/Amazon rental £7.99)
A great documentary about the rise-and-rise-and-rise (and demise) of Elvis Presley - great to swot up before the new Biopic starring Austin Butler is released.

Parks and Recreation (Amazon Prime)
This is my ultimate "Figgy Pudding" program. It's what we put on when we can't decide what to have on while we eat dinner or just for background noise. It never fails to get a laugh out of me within the first two minutes - my friend Georgia has a similar experience with Peep Show - but if you didn't already know that Peep Show is funny then I can't help you.

The Imagineering Story (Disney+)
I'm anticipating a deluge of #conspiracytheory videos on Youtube in a few months about how Disney managed to launch their new streaming platform at the precise moment a global lockdown began, but for the meantime I'm happy to bask in cheery Disney goodness. This is a look behind the scenes of how and why they built the first Disney theme park and all the internal politics that paved the way.

The Mandalorian (Disney+)
I've already fallen out with one friend over this- yes the Baby Yoda memes are tired but you know what, so am I. It stars Narcos/Game of Thrones' Pedro Pascal as a space cowboy and I heartily recommend it.

 ✰ The Repair Shop (BBC)
People bring their heirlooms, antiques, and beloved broken family treasures to be fixed by a rag-tag team of artisan craftspeople in a Medieval barn in the Sussex countryside - can be weepy, can be wonderful.


Brooklyn (Amazon Prime)
Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen (Homer from The OA, also a great show but maybe not great if you're trying to avoid entrapment themes as the main characters are caged in an underground bunker for years on end) meet in post-war Brooklyn and soothe your soul with their heavily accented love story.

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (Amazon Rental £4.99)
"Frost yourself" in inoffensive noughties romcom sunshine with the seminal McConaughey-Hudson chick flick that has it all: the working woman in the city who doesn't need a man to complete her and the macho guy's-guy that prides himself on knowing what woman want. Sometimes you just want schtick (and a floor-length yellow dress).

10 Things I Hate About You (Amazon Rental £3.99)
Another listicle-themed romcom, but one that also serves as a perfectly crystallised 90's time capsule. (Floral maxi skirts! Wide-leg jeans!) Birthplace of the timeless quandary, "I know you can be overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?". It's also based on Shakespeare, so... useful in a pub quiz. Heath Ledger's tour-de-force singing Can't Take My Eyes Off You will be staged at at least one 90's-child wedding you attend so you may as well see how it's done.

Paddington 2 (Amazon Prime)
The original "Figgy Pudding" (see 'Ear Candy' blog post for more on this) movie. Perfect for that "I think it's Wednesday but it feels like Sunday" crash.

The Harry Potter Series (you already own this on DVD, surely)
You don't need me to tell you why. How do Pumpkin Pasties sound so great when they are surely disgusting? (Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite - no Voldemort, just Alfonso CuarĂ³n cinematography and Halloween vibes all day long)

The Star Wars Saga (Disney+)
My dad shielded me from episodes one and two growing up but now could be a great time to stage that "watching all the movies in correct chronological order" session you've always considered as a last-resort good time. You could even interject the Mandalorian for full intergalactic commitment to the cause.

And if all else fails, there's always Tiger King again.

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