I’m not sure why anybody would care what I’ve been watching but it’s an excuse to talk about some of my favourite programmes and with the Winter nights drawing in what could be better than snuggling on the sofa to watch something brilliant.
Regular readers of my blog will already know about my frankly stalkerish love of all things Nigella. I know it’s all somewhat contrived, what with her cooking in a satin robe with a fully made up face, but I JUST DON’T CARE.Well, the domestic goddess has just returned to our screens with her latest series Nigella: At My Table which accompanies her new book of the same name. I consider Nigella the very essence of comfort food in televisual form!
Don’t fear if you’ve missed out, all aired episodes are currently available on BBC iPlayer.
Stranger Things 2
Unless you’ve been hidden under a rock you’ll already know about this supernatural series set in the early 80’s. I mean if you haven’t then like, ermigawd where have you BEEN?
Something strange is happening in the sleepy Indiana town of Hawkins, where people still leave their doors unlocked and kids roam about on their bikes (sans helmet) without smartphones or hovering helicopter parents demanding to know where they are 24/7. Some school friends armed with a compass, walkie talkies and overactive imaginations set out to find out what’s going on when one of their friends goes missing and nobody could have predicted what they’d find!
As a child of the 80’s I absolutely love the theming. The clothes, the music, the nod to the most famous movies of the time… it even stars 80’s It Girl Winona Ryder. And she’s great in it! It’s enough to make you forget about all that weird shoplifting business.
My daughter and I binged on both box sets on Netflix and are craving more. Think The Goonies meets Stand By Me meets Gremlins… sort of.
Written by the fabulously talented Sharon Horgan Motherland follows the trials and tribulations of working mum Julia, played by the equally fabulously talented Anna Maxwell Martin.
Julia is accompanied with her misfit school gate friends (and frenemies!) as she battles to balance motherhood and career all the while being supported, from afar, by her devoted husband. He might be my favourite character for his sheer pointlessness.Like Catastrophe and Fleabag this comedy has you rooting for the flawed characters whilst also hiding behind your hands due to the sheer cringe worthiness of it all as you simultaneously snort and laugh your head off. We devoured the entire first season one Sunday afternoon. Never let it be said that we’re not a family of couch potatoes (it was raining to be fair). Pilot and Season 1 currently available on BBC iPlayer.
I may have mentioned this before but for those that don’t know, my mum is from the North of England which for those international readers who may be unaware, has the reputation for being a gritty, no nonsense sort of place. They generally look down on Southerners, mostly because of geography, but also because we generally have a reputation for being less… well… less Northern. They might say things like “Ey oop! You’ve gone right soft since you moved down South” or some such equivalent.
Well, nothing sums up this wonderful stereotype more than Happy Valley. A no-frills drama starring angel of the North herself, Sarah Lancashire. Even her surname swears its allegiance. And this BBC production with all its Northern soul, stormy grey filter and working classness really is brilliant.
Sarah Lancashire shines as a police sergeant with a troubled past who must confront her demons, some mental and some very much living and breathing. I don’t want to give anything away, bearing in mind it’s a crime drama and there are plots to uncover and bad guys to catch but it’s well worth watching. I absolutely loved it and needless to say so did my mother! Season 1 and 2 currently available on Netflix.
Blue Planet II
As a nation we generally get very very excited when anybody says the words “David Attenborough”. We just do. David Attenborough is a British institution, a bit like the BBC itself. He’s been there forever. Now in his 90’s David is more likely to simply narrate the wildlife documentaries than make them but it makes no difference. Jaw dropping never-seen-before footage combined with David’s familiar voice is always a recipe for success!
The sequel to Blue Planet has been years in the making and carries the important conservation message that’s been common in nature programmes in recent years. It’s incredible viewing. Everything from the usual dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles to the less well known creatures of the deep such as fish with transparent heads, neon glow-in-the-dark jelly fish and bobbits (think sea worm with needle teeth hiding in the sand!).
All aired episodes currently available on BBC iPlayer. Don’t miss it!