Hira on the SU Welcome Desk recommends her fave shows...

Hello, hello! While we ALL (hopefully) self-isolate, it’s great to remind ourselves that being super productive doesn’t have to be a main goal for these next few weeks. One of the silver linings in this unique time is being able to just chill and, if you’re a student like myself who still has exams and assignment deadlines, supremely procrastinate. With that in mind, I took the liberty of making a list of my top ten recommendations for Netflix shows to binge-watch!

I’ve tried to incorporate different genres and add a little bit of info so anyone can find one or two things they’d be interested in watching. These are also only shows, not movies, but let us know if you’d like a list of movies too! Shout out to all my amazing friends who recommended so many of these to me! 

1. The Tiger King

You’ve probably already heard of this docuseries about Joe Exotic, one of America’s most notorious tiger breeders, because of all the memes and articles online. In case you haven’t, some themes of the series include the ‘big cat’ breeding and entertainment industries, complicated polygamous relationships, a failed murder plot and an allegedly successful one(?) With conspiracy theories galore & more twists than I could ever imagine, no wonder it’s become everyone’s favorite distraction in these stressful times! 

2. Dirty Money

Care to know what Volkswagen & Hitler may have in common? Or a connection between HSBC & the drug cartel? I promise you; these aren’t conspiracy theories. This series is where you’ll find all the information about many recent (and ongoing) financial scandals worldwide. It’s a great shortcut for someone that doesn’t want to read The Financial Times but still may need to write about these things (maybe for assignments?). Get ready to watch this & totally impress your Economics lecturer the next time you’re in class (online), contributing to the discussion. It’s also actually super interesting, with a second season just released. 

3. Planet Earth

If the above docuseries are both not your jam and you just miss The Great Outdoors, this series may be the one for you! With episodes based on different regions all over the world (one of the only ways to satisfy my wanderlust currently), amazing panoramic shots and super cool instances of animals’ interactions, this was a great way to understand more about different species and phenomenon on our planet. In a way, it was kinda like I was learning something even when I was procrastinating so I took that as a win-win! This also just had a season two released, if you’re interested in watching more. 

4. The Witcher

Consider the educational (ish) docuseries part of this article now concluded! This show is basically a mixture of Game of Thrones- meets- Lord of the Rings- meets- an eastern European narrative. The show already has pre-existing novels & a video game so it’s safe to say it’s pretty popular and very well-received. If the fantasy genre, different storylines and an impending war for magical world domination isn’t enough for you, consider Henry Cavill’s abs as a reason to watch. Don’t blame me if you end up desperate for a season two like the rest of us…

5. Peaky Blinders

This show is based on a notorious urban street gang that operated in Birmingham after the First World War. With several seasons to watch and a storyline loosely based on an actual gang, it was one of the most recommended suggestions I received to watch from my friends & it did not disappoint! The only warning I received, which I shall pass on to you, is watch out for being left with a desire to drink copious amounts of alcohol & chainsmoke, once you’re finished watching. 

6. Schitts Creek

Based on a riches-to-rags story, this show follows an American family forced to move to the middle of nowhere and attempt to rebuild their lives, post-bankruptcy. There’s dry humour, sass, wigs and something new happening every episode. The last season of the show has, sadly, aired but at least that means you won’t be left hanging once you finish that last episode! Also, if you like this show, similarly sweet, comedic series to watch on Netflix include Kim’s Convenience and Grace & Frankie. 

7. Queer Eye

If you’re in the mood to watch some lovely people learn to reinvent themselves with five amazing gay guys, this is the show for you! Get ready for heartwarming moments, very interesting backstories & easy to make food, as well as home renovations, all tied together with the Fab Five. The show’s so good, it’s already got multiple seasons, as well as a special one filmed in Japan. Be warned, there will be moments where you may tear up, but it’ll only be for wholesome, happy reasons!  

8. Nailed It!

If you’re like me & you’ve been trying out new recipes (with sometimes not-so-great results), this show is a great way to feel better about your baking skills or just get some laughs! It is based on having contestants with no prior baking experience attempt to make desserts. The results are anywhere from mediocre to downright disastrous, but the episodes are always entertaining. Plus, the show now has various European versions as well as celebrity guest appearances. You can find all these different versions on Netflix. If you’d like to see actual proper desserts being made competitively, check out Zumbo’s Just Desserts. It’ll leave your mouth watering, for sure!

9. Sex Education

With two seasons under its belt, Sex Education is about two high schoolers that end up running an underground sex therapy clinic for their peers, because one of their mothers is a working sex therapist. My favorite parts about the show include some comedic relief, but also its storylines & the fact that it reinforces the importance of- you guessed it- sex ed! 

10. Friends 

Because the UK is lucky enough to have Friends still available on Netflix, of course I had to mention this iconic show. Whether I need something to do in my study breaks or if I’m just watching it before I go sleep, this show always comes through and is still a classic. Now, if you’re one of those people that unfortunately aren’t obsessed with Friends (can’t relate), its more recent successor How I Met Your Mother is also available on Netflix. Or, if you’re looking for another cute throwback show, let me suggest Gilmore Girls. Watch these and enjoy a world where everyone didn’t have a cell phone and made slightly terrible fashion choices. 

Because it has a new season coming out very very soon, I also wanna briefly mention Money Heist. That’s also a show definitely worth watching!

SO that’s my list of recommendations but I know it’s nowhere near complete or exhaustive. Are there other shows you think I should’ve included? Shows that you think don’t get enough attention? Please feel free to let us know so we can add to this list and, more importantly, I have some cool new stuff to watch soon (and continue not-studying). Please stay safe & indoors. 

Happy watching!