Despite the emotional rollercoaster of being in isolation, there’s one positive we’ve all unanimously agreed on, it’s giving us a lot of time to watch/listen/play/read all the content we’re usually too busy for. So if you’ve cleared out your backlog (or you don’t trust your own content judgment) trust me and my organised guide to all the different types of entertainment you can enjoy during the lockdown. It’s even categorised by Mood, so each of you can be entertained no matter how you feel.
I feel like some Spooks: Alien
Available on VOD, Your Housemates DVD Collection (maybe)
As much as the real world may spook you, sometimes you just need to watch something that makes the hair on your neck stand out. So why not treat yourself to the most allegorical horror film ever made, smothered with a healthy coating of Sci-Fi style. Watching the G.O.A.T. Sigourney Weaver systematically survive an un-killable menace is a thoroughly engaging romp that still holds up after 41 years of frights.
Spooks suck, I need to kick-ass: Aliens
Available wherever you found Alien
Remember how I just said sometimes you need to watch something that makes the hair on your neck stick out? Sometimes you need to watch something that takes that fear and gives it a proper kick in the teeth. Sigourney returns to overcome the terror of Alien and to become the most badass protagonist of any action film, period. Helmed by the guy who made Terminator & Titanic, this film is so big, it’s impossible not to be awestruck. It’s a film that has you feeling like a boss in whatever space you’re quarantined in.
I need a grounded/reflective chuckle: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Available on Netflix
I love comedians because for every brilliant idea they turn into a joke, they have five other ideas that are not as funny, but just as interesting. And watching comedy veteran Jerry ‘Bee-Movie’ Seinfeld take your favourite comedian around their own neighbourhood, in a car with as much personality as they have, is not only a fascinating insight into the people who make us laugh but also how they look at the world around them, albeit in a very casual/social-distancing-friendly manner.
I need a comfy/heart-warming laugh: Community
Available on Netflix & Stan
What may seem like generic, broad American sitcom at first, evolves into a hilarious and heart-warming examination of TV tropes and friendship, with one of the most insanely charismatic ensemble casts in all of TV. Community plays well and hits hard, whether you’re watching for the first time or the fifteenth time.
Some news to brighten the darkest timeline: every season of Community is streaming now on Netflix. Cool cool cool. pic.twitter.com/3m2HXo2qnE
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) April 1, 2020
I need a nonsensical/I-hate-logic/hysterical breakdown: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
Available on Netflix
This recommendation is not for the faint-hearted. You’ll either think this is the dumbest show Netflix has ever funded, or you’ll think it’s one of the greatest sketch comedy shows ever made. Created by SNL staff using scripts that were deemed “too weird for SNL”, The Lonely Island gang have produced a rollercoaster ride of a sketch show that is almost indescribable. If you’re feeling brave, and you feel like there’s too much logic in your life, give this show a watch.
I miss sport: YouTube
Available… on the internet
Just like a lot of you, the impact of COVID-19 on the sporting community has bummed me out. The AFL and NRL seasons suspended, the Olympics delayed by a whole year, and the most anticipated fight in MMA history has been cancelled… FOR THE FIFTH TIME (in the UFC’s defence, COVID-19 is more understandable, and doesn’t sting as much as Tony Ferguson tripping on a cable a week before the fight).
So in such a sport deprived landscape, there’s been a pretty unanimous effort from all codes and sports to increase the accessibility of old events and broadcasts. Making a wealth of old matches available. You can go from watching Allan Iverson scoring 60 points against the Orlando Magic in the NBA, to watching Peter Siddle get his first-ever hat trick on his 26th birthday during the 2010 Ashes test. It’s a warm reminder of why you love your select sports, during a time when you never really realised how much you missed your sport until it was gone.
I need to Hope: The Dark Knight Trilogy
Available on VOD, Your Housemates DVD Collection (hopefully)
When I watched Batman Begins on a whim a week or so ago, I was expecting to have a fine time re-watching a pretty good movie about a guy who fights crime dressed as a bat. What I forgot was that The Dark Knight trilogy was the single greatest story of heroism ever told. Not because the main character is a philanthropic billionaire playboy who feels a moral obligation to do good for the disenfranchised (though it does look like that). Not because the main character has a wondrous, god-like strength. And not because it has epic battle scenes, bursting with cutting edge CGI. It’s because The Dark Knight trilogy is about a group of human beings, working together because they believe in an idea bigger than themselves; they believe in justice.
A justice that doesn’t come from simply beating the bad guys, but a justice that comes from the people, that no matter how bleak things may seem, People can come together, stand strong, and prove that the people can be incorruptible if they keep believing. So after some very therapeutic tears (facilitated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), I cannot recommend watching or re-watching these films enough.
I need to laugh so hard, I let some tears go in the process: My Dad Wrote a Porno
Available on All Podcasting Platforms (and technically HBO)
Some of you readers are probably feeling… how should I put this, ~sexually rambunctious~ at the moment? So while you may go into listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno feeling a certain way, what you’ll find is a gut-bustlingly hilarious podcast, delving into the poorly written world of erotic literature specifically penned by the father of one of the show’s hosts (hence the title). The worldwide podcast phenomenon is five seasons deep, with the sixth expected to release around September, so now is as good a time as any to join the massive hordes of listeners, and laugh along with the misadventures of the Belinda Blinked “novels”.
I need to belt out a song in the Shower: Higher Love by Steve Winwood
Available on all music streaming platforms
Sometimes the echoed atmos of water hitting shower tiles is a little maddening. But it’s also a great chamber for karaoke practice, and absolutely the first thing I’m doing when I can stop social distancing is going out for karaoke. So when I do eventually get to go, I’m bumping Higher Love. A song that’s had many a moody acoustic cover in the near 40 years it’s been out. But its original recording, pulsing with a pop melody, and satisfying drum fills (I knocked several shower products off in the process of an air drum solo) has such positive energy that has helped contribute to my wellbeing.
I feel like getting Funky: Donald Glover Presents
Available on Most streaming services (but not TIDAL, you hate to see it)
The ever-popular and always mildly mysterious Donald Glover has dropped the latest project under his ‘Childish Gambino’ moniker, and it’s a hyper funky record, full of synth influence and pumping drums. If you haven’t already heard this album, put it on, maybe dance a little to it, vibe out to it, make a Tik-Tok to it, do whatever you do when you listen to music.
I think I want to read a comic book, but superheroes are kind of lame and I need something with pizzazz: Dragon Ball Super
Available as Hardcopy on Amazon/Booktopia, e-book version on Kindle/ComiXology
I’m sure most readers may have a passing knowledge of Dragon Ball, and that passing knowledge is probably that it’s all about buff dudes screaming and power levels (which to be fair, it does feature a bit of). But Dragon Ball, and whatever letters of the alphabet follow it, is a fun and colourful fantasy that always feels like a joy to see. So recently I’ve been reading the continuing adventures of Goku, Vegeta, and their colourful friends and family, and can highly recommend them if you’re looking for something with gorgeous art, fast-paced adventure, and a fantasy story that isn’t just people in capes. Most chapters are easily found online, and a Volume of multiple chapters can be found on Amazon for as little as $8.
I want some Fictional Tea spilled: China Rich Girlfriend
Available at all good book retailers, Audible.
The sequel to Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel Crazy Rich Asians is packed full with more of the sharp humour and international family drama that made the original such a smash. Whether you’re reading a hard copy lounging around, or listening to the audiobook while washing dishes or jogging laps around your living room, the continuing adventures of Rachel and Nick are just as messy and (somehow) relatable as the first entry. AND with the film adaption looming over the horizon, get in on drama now and become THAT person who claims the book is better (because 9/10 times it is).
I need to Relax: Animal Crossing (any of them)
Available on Nintendo Switch, 3DS, Wii, DS, GameCube
Let’s start with what you’ve most likely seen plastered all over your timeline for the last two weeks. Nintendo’s popular life simulator is providing comfort to millions of people around the world. The newest entry in the series New Horizons couldn’t have launched at a better time – letting players relocate to an excessively pleasant deserted island, where you (a human) work together with your new neighbours (who happen to be talking animals) to build a village community from scratch.
It’s a soothing slice of comfort every time you boot it up and I can’t recommend it enough. HOWEVER, money doesn’t grow on trees, and a brand new Nintendo Switch won’t grow from one either. What I can suggest though, is any of the previous games in the series can provide the same warmth and comfort, for a much cheaper price tag. Whether you dig out your old Nintendo DS and a copy of Wild World. Or more likely; you pull out your old Nintendo Wii (because let’s face it if you didn’t own one, someone close to you did) and buy a copy of Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the City for $25 online. Wherever you chose to get your Animal Crossing fix, you’ll have a much brighter day as a result.
I have to go on an Adventure: Uncharted 4/The Lost Legacy
Available at Retail stores & the PlayStation Digital Store
If you or your housemates have one of those PlayStation thingamajigs sitting around, then for $24.95 you can go on a globe-trotting, treasure hunting adventure all from the comfort of home. With award-winning writing and fast fun action gameplay, join a cast of charming characters in the modern equivalent of an Indiana Jones or National Treasure type film. If you prefer a fast-talking male protagonist, play Uncharted 4. If you prefer a fast-talking female protagonist, play Uncharted The Lost Legacy.
(P.S. If you or your housemate have an Xbox, the modern Tomb Raider series will work just as well)
Almost everything I’ve recommended has been positive stories because that’s what’s helping me get through. So I hope by watching/listening/playing/reading some of these recommendations, you’ll feel that extra positivity.