Week one of the new year and you’re probs knee deep in resolutions involving green tea and rice cakes, wondering what the eff to do with yourself. Luckily for you I have been doing a lot of research on this over the past couple of weeks… my couch dent is well and truly established. 

A disclaimer so that you don’t think I’m a total hermit: The blonde kiwi and I did manage to venture out to Windsor castle on Saturday where we were shat on by the fattest, coldest rain all day. I would totally recommend a visit as it’s a delightfully British experience but choose a dry day for it yeah? Fair to say when we looked outside the following day all we could do was crawl back to our cosy nest of blankets, Peanut butter chocolate and old pal Mr telly...

Now we’ve all been in that place where you have an afternoon of nothing ahead of you but with the magic of the internet and pretty much any TV show or film at your fingertips what the hell do you choose? Your nothing-time is precious so don’t waste it, watch this stuff! 

Amy is the incredibly moving documentary that follows the rise and fall of the most recent member of the 27 club  - Amy Winehouse. I have never been a huge fan of her music but this film has totally changed my opinion. There is a big focus on her songwriting and it becomes clear that she really was a voice for a generation. What’s truly saddening and the thing that haunted me once it was over is how cruel the media were in their treatment of this vulnerable young girl. She became the butt of so many one liners by talk show hosts which could only have accelerated her addiction. I hope that all the Jay Lenos and David Lettermans out there felt really shitty when they heard the news of her death. 

In short: A fabulously put together doco that reveals a completely different side to the star. 

Where to watch it: If you're in the UK this is screening on Channel 4 this Friday - well it's not like you're going to the pub anyway right? Also available on Amazon Instant video and the likes.

Amy Winehouse Documentary

20 Feet From Stardom is another amazing music documentary that was recommended by a friend during our Christmas break in Hungary. This is the story behind those iconic voices we all know and sing along with on some of the biggest tracks of history....yet have never heard of. The infamous 'Alllll right' backup singers on Bowie’s Young Americans and the powerful female vocal on the Stones Gimme Shelter are just a couple of classics that you get behind the scenes of (and will never listen to in the same way again).  

Where to watch it: Available on Netflix UK

In short: As with Amy, there is certainly a heartbreaking element here but it’s worth it to hear these incredible voices. Y’know when you hear a voice that is so pure and on point that it makes you tear up? Be prepared to weep for more than one reason.

Twenty feet from Stardom

Master of none When you need some light relief from all the documentaries and heavy dramas out there... or simply don’t have the stamina for anything over 30 minutes, this is the show for you. Aziz Ansari (aka Tom from Parks and Rec) does the whole shebang by writing, directing and starring as the lead character ‘Dev’ in this sitcom set in New York. 

Where to watch it: A Netflix original series

In short: So so real. If you’re in your late twenties/early thirties you will totally find yourself going ‘yup’ and ‘uh-huh’ at all the silly conversations and awkward situations that Dev finds himself in. Also worth it for the Arnold lols (Dev’s gigantic best friend).

Master of None

Room  Warning: You'll have to leave the house for this one but it's worth it (and kind of apt once you see it). This is one of those rare gems where the film is on par with the original book version (Notes On A Scandal is the only other example I can think of!) I read the book a couple of years back and it really wowed me. What I like about the film is that it doesn’t try to replicate the book but instead delves further into what would have happened after the novel finished. I’m not going to give away any of the plot incase you haven’t read the book - trust me though, this is a gripping watch. 

Where to watch it: In selected cinemas across the UK and in most other countries later in Jan.

In short: If you have the patience read the book first then watch the film, it’s a nice progression and both are excellent.

Room film

Ex Machina I went into this with no expectations and no clue what it was about and think that made me enjoy it more so again I won’t say too much. Basically it’s about robots. It also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s geeky sidekick from classic 90’s rom-com 10 things I Hate About You if you ever wondered what happened to him… yeah didn’t think so. 

Where to watch it: Available on iTunes, Amazon video, Blink box and probably a load of other places online.

In short: If you like a good twist and enjoy your head getting messed with in a film then you’ll love this.

Ex Machina

And if all else fails to impress you - Peep Show. Always Peep show. It will make you lol and feel instantly better about your life… even if it’s three in the afternoon and you’re still in your PJs scoffing chips.

Late last year the blonde kiwi surprised me with the ultimate fan girl experience - a preview screening of the final episode ever (still in denial) followed by a Q&A with the writers and David Mitchell and Robert Webb (Mark and Jez). Needless to say I completely geeked out. Thank goodness you can still find all episodes on Channel 4 on Demand in the UK.

Peep Show

After all the chat I’ve heard around the office this week I’m thinking that Making a Murderer is next on the list for a binge watch. If you have any suggestions then please share - don’t let me get stuck in a Netflix vortex watching old That 70’s show episodes after an hour of searching for a gritty drama.

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