The Streaming Lockdown List Week 3… or is it Week 33? Week 333? Who knows?

The Streaming Lockdown List Week 3… or is it Week 33? Week 333? Who knows?

Judy Davis and Aaron Pedersen in Mystery Road

A few more highlights from Netflix and SBS On Demand, but also expanding to include a few things from Stan, which may have the best range of really good feel-good TV series (including things like Friends, Community, Parks and Recreation and the OC, which are all great for instant escapism), and also has a good range of films, both serious and feel-good too. I’ve focused on things some may have missed, or forgotten about, but there’s a lot to see beyond this list. All of these are what is available from Australia, so it may vary in other parts of the world. Still heavy focus on light escapism, but also the best of what to watch if you’re not needing to self-sooth quite as much. I’m also going to assume everyone has already seen things like Fleabag, Black Mirror and Stranger Things and all the hit shows that have come out in the recent past.

Feel good and escapist films and TV

The Windsors (Netflix TV series) One of the funniest shows out there, and a new season has just been released. This is an inside look at the private lives, with all the dramas and scandals of the royal family, starring some of Britain’s funniest comedic actors. I find this is a good antidote to The Crown, which I enjoyed, but then would follow each episode with an episode of the Windsors to put things in some kind of perspective. Hilarious, seriously watch it if you haven’t already.

From Alexander Payne's Election
Reece Witherspoon in Election

Election (Netflix) Now a movie classic from 1999 by Alexander Payne (who has directed a bunch of fantastic films since) starring Reese Witherspoon as the ambitious and motivated Tracy Flick who is running for Class President, and Matthew Broderick the sad middle aged teacher who resents her and wants to bring her down. A few lines of dialogue and plot points that probably wouldn’t make it into a post-metoo version, but a brilliant movie anyway.

The Good Fight (Stan TV series) The spin off to the other great series The Good Wife, I consider this a great feel-good show because it’s about people taking control of the crazy world they live in, even when everything is out of control. Season 1 is good, but this is one of those shows that has gotten better with age. It has great characters and great stories. The Good Fight is even better than the Good Wife in some respects, mainly because it broadens the story to cover a lot of really interesting characters. The next season is coming some time later this month.

Corporate (Stan TV Series) Very funny comedy about corporate life. Pretty much anyone who has every worked in an office, or known someone who has, will enjoy.

Geraldine Viswanathan and Daniel Radcliffe star in Miracle Workers

Miracle Workers (Stan TV Series) Silly, irreverent, hilarious. Stars a host of fantastic comedic actors who have appeared in hits shows like 30 Rock (also on Stan) to Shrill (on SBS) and also stars Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi and Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan. This show has a (very) different story for each of its two seasons, and is a lot of fun.

No Activity (Stan TV Series) It started as a very funny local cop series with a lot of famous guest-stars, and is now also being made in the US. Both versions of the series are available on Stan, and both are very funny, following the same formula (and a couple of the same actors) but different story lines.

(Some of) the best of the rest

Jackie (Netflix) – About Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman), and her experience of the assassination of her husband and what happened immediately after. An interesting take on an already very well-known story. It’s pretty emotional, as you can imagine.

Thoroughbreds (Netflix) – a fairly dark but entertaining thriller of two teenage girls from well-to-do Connecticut who reconnect after a time apart and hatch a dark plan to get what they want. 

The dark world of BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman (Netflix) – If you haven’t seen this series yet, which ended recently after 6 seasons, this has to be one of the most poignant and emotionally insightful series created in the last few years. Yes it’s animated, but haven’t you heard, animation isn’t solely for kids these days, and certainly I wouldn’t recommend you watch this with your kids. Because it’s set in a fantastical animated world where animals live like people, it can explore things that would be too much for live action. It is pretty dark, with a lot of adult content, but also funny and uplifting and heartfelt with one of the most satisfying endings I’ve seen in a long time.

The Piano (SBS on Demand) So some might find this more escapist, but it’s high drama. This was one of the best movies the year it was made, and still today it holds its own. Set in a very beautiful 19th century New Zealand, a widow and her daughter are shipped across the seas to start a new life in a distant and wild land with a new husband she’s never met. It’s beautiful, dramatic, romantic and earned Jane Campion many awards and even a best director nomination at the Oscars (an honour that has only been bestowed on 5 women even to this day).

Couples Therapy (SBS on Demand TV series) Depending on your own experience, some may find this triggering (especially under lockdown conditions), so approach with caution if that applies to you, while others will love watching other people’s problems play out, so probably escapist for some, while not so much for others. Either way it’s a fascinating and insightful show about people and relationships.

Dr Foster (Stan TV Series) Top quality English melodrama you can get caught up in. Is she paranoid, or is Doctor Foster’s husband up to no good? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Cary Mulligan, James Badge Dale and Michael Fassbender in Shame

Shame (Stan) One of the best films of the past 10 years, this film by now iconic director Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan doing some of their best work, is everything.  Watch it, but be prepared for adult content and a heartbreaking story. Not to be confused with the other Australian movie Shame from 1988 which is also on Stan, and also very good, but completely different.

Mystery Road (Stan and ABC) This started as a movie starring the brilliant Aaron Pedersen as outback detective Jay Swan, then they made the second film Goldstone (also on Stan), and now  a TV series with it’s first season on Stan and second series about to come to ABC soon. All worth watching, and while you don’t strictly speaking have to watch the movies before the TV show to follow the story, you’ll understand more of the backstory if you do, so why wouldn’t you?

If you haven’t already seen my previous posts making both Netflix and SBS recommendations, take a look at the various links below:

10 Films you shouldn’t miss on SBS on Demand

Films you can stream on SBS right now

Netflix Lockdown list (the original)