With January payday two weeks away and the weather outside feeling like the dictionary definition of “grim”, I’ve been spending my weekends either embarking on some DIY tasks that I had put off for the entirity of 2015 and swathed in a blanket watching back to back episodes of one thing or another and drinking leftover Christmas alcohol (sorry Dry January, I’m not putting quality gin and Prosecco to waste especially when that warm glow feeling after a 3rd glass means I can turn off my heating for an hour or so and not freeze to death).
I’ve always been a long time lover of Netflix, especially since I managed to find a backdoor through their servers in order to tap into American Netflix (I did this purely so I could bulk watch Dawsons Creek, no judgement!) but my affections have recently been stolen somewhat by Amazon Prime Instant Video after suffering from the dreaded “spend an hour scrolling through Netflix only to watch something you’ve watched 10 times before”.
I decided to freshen things up because a bit of spicing up a relationship never hurt anyone right? (isn’t that what swinging and sex toys are for?) & so entering an open relationship with both Amazon and Netflix seemed to offer me the best of both worlds. Amazon took over (the now seemingly old school) Love Film a good while ago, but rather than make people watch a DVD, post it back and then wait for the next 5 episodes of their beloved series to drop onto their door mat before they could find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT (I don’t know about you but I can barely wait 12 hours before my next fix) they made the decision to go instant. You want to know if whosit knows about whatsit and whether you know who is still sleeping with whatchamacallit? Then Amazon has got your back. And if like me you have a back to back binge of the latest and greatest series, then there’s a library of suggestions just waiting for you to push the button on.
But exactly what have I been binge watching over the last few months?
If you spent New Years Eve excited for the clock to strike 12 not for the prospect of a New Year but instead because 2016 signified the day of a new episode of Sherlock, then you’re my kind of person. If you’ve not watched Sherlock then I implore that you do. A modern day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories, Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as John Watson, the series is made up of three seasons comprising of three episodes each. With only 9 episodes in total plus a one off special (set in Victorian times), it’s hard to believe that I’d become so attached so quickly but the ingenious writing, clever Cumberbatch quips and comedic comebacks makes this an unmissable series. Series four is due in 2017.
If you’re into gory crime series with a dark undertone, screaming outaloud at your TV and not wanting to go to the bathroom alone half way through your back to back viewing spree then Luther is for you. With Idris Elba playing John Luther, a good cop/bad cop/bad ass all rolled into one this is most definitely on the edge of your seat viewing. With bite size seasons of 4-6 episodes each, you’ll find yourself chomping at the bit come Season 4 episode 2 and hungry for more.
If you’re looking for serial killers, bloodshed, cult worshipping and psychological crime then the big KB (Kevin Bacon, obv) has it in abundance with his three season show, The Following. This show focuses on the relationship between Ryan Hardy (Bacon) and notorius serial killer Joe Carrol ( James Purefoy) who Ryan put behind bars. Hardy also slept with Carrol’s wife and for this Joe seeks revenge. Bloodshed, gore and tension aside, the biggest lure of this series for me was the integral relationship between the two lead characters. The first season is much better than it’s counterparts and it’s no surprise that Fox cancelled the show after the third season as the show seemed to run out of steam during season two. Don’t let this put you off though, it’s still very much worth watching.
The Man in the High Castle is an Amazon exclusive which tells the story of an alternate history of the world where Axis powers won World War II. The story is set in 1962 United States and the country following the win has been partitioned into three parts: The Japanese state, a Nazi state and a neutral zone which buffers between the two. The story revolves around the Grasshoper newsreels which depict the world had the Allies won the war and the efforts which go into protecting these videos from falling into the wrong hands. If (like me) you’re a bit rusty on the ins and outs of the World Wars then this story could take a while to get your head around but once you do it’s a good watch. A little slow in places but the pace is soon picked up in the later episodes.
After the brutality and full speed ahead gore of The Following, continuing my viewing pleasure with The Killing felt as though I’d suddenly put the breaks on a high speed car. It takes a while to get going (I watched the first two episodes and almost gave up on it) but soon picks up around the 4th or 5th episode in.. around the same time you develop a crush on homicide detective and ex addict, Holden. The Killing is based on the Danish TV series Forbrydelsen (The Crime) and was cancelled by AMC after it’s third series but the lovely folk over at Netflix ordered its fourth and final episode to complete the series.