Let’s be honest it’s a pretty weird time at the moment. We’re all worried about family and what’s going on in the wider world. What has also become clear is that we are also watching the tele a lot more. Netflix subscriptions now seem well worth the money and big players like Disney couldn’t have launched their streaming service at a better time. So, we have looked at the best box sets you can watch whilst we are all indoors, in or out of our TV Beds or not.
Ozark could be like Breaking Bad for the ’20s. In a nutshell, Marty Bird (played by Jason Bateman) is a financial planner from Chicago. He also happens to be a money launderer for a drug cartel. He has to move his family very quickly to Ozark Lake in Missouri. Ozark really does have it all, murder, intrigue, opium-growing hillbillies. Series 1 and Series 3 are the best, we think the producers slightly lost their way in Series 2 but it’s worth bearing with it. Ozark really is very compelling viewing.
Also from NetFlix comes Tiger King. Where do we start with this? There are more wild cats in captivity in the US than anywhere else in the US. Tiger King was filmed over a five year period when the producer found the star of the show Joe Exotic had a snow leopard in the back of his truck. This is a true-crime documentary which is as frankly as mental as it is compelling. Broadly speaking the show focuses on the feud between Joe and animal rights campaigner Carole Baskin. If you like mullets, guns and high camp this is for you. Even if you don’t, just watch it.
True Detective is available on Now TV and Sky. There are three seasons, the first starring and directed by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, is undoubtedly the best. It set in the deep south and spans several decades, its very compelling viewing and, in our opinion is McConaughey’s best turn. The second series, starring Vince Vaughan is set in gangland L.A and is a little more rambling. Series three, starring Mahershala Ali, is also set in the deep south and like the first series spans a few decades and is an excellent return to form for McConaughey.
Another HBO spectacular, Chernobyl rightly won lots of plaudits during the awards season last year. In a nutshell, this is a dramatisation of the immediate fall out of the Chernobyl disaster and in particular the incredible human sacrifice of workers on the frontline trying to make the site safe after the incident. IMDB has rightly listed this show as the number 1 box set of all time and, in our opinion, this is very richly deserved. Some liberties have been taken with the characterisation but this, in our opinion, ads to the drama in the show. It really is excellent.
The Wire spans five series and focuses on the drug trade in Baltimore. Each season has a different perspective, from the police to journalists to unions. The primary character, Detective James McNulty played by Dominic West, is a flawed heavy drinking divorcee who has made it his personal mission to eradicate Baltimore of drugs. He is often hampered by politics, within his police department and the higher echelons of government. The first series was aired in 2002 and the final in 2008 but the fact that the show is quite old now doesn’t detract from the action. The quality of the acting is excellent and is also very true to what is happening to the ‘War-on-Drugs’ in deprived regions of the US.
We hope this little list helps during these trying times and as we said, they work in our out of your TV Bed!