By Lauren Basra
The longer winter nights and miserable weather are quickly forgotten when you turn on a great tv show. My top picks are perfect for getting lost in another world or escaping the cost of living crisis to a place only full of joy and colour.
So here goes:
The Cool Viral One
If you haven’t had the chance to dive into the morbid and sumptuous world of Tim Burton’s Wednesday, you are most definitely missing out.
Wednesday’s quirky dance has gone viral on TikTok, and the virtuoso performance of Jenna Ortega has transcended generational lines. But the superb cinematography and costume design also create a beautiful and mesmerising world that is too good only to watch one episode!
The show follows the adventures of Wednesday (of the famed Addams Family) as she is sent to a boarding school and falls into solving a monster mystery.
Unfortunately, one aspect of the show that disappointed me was the focus on her love life. It is a significant departure from the films and tv shows where Wednesday is still a child and, even at pre-adolescence, is decidedly asexual. The inclusion of a love story seemed trite to me, but it doesn’t detract from the show’s genius.
The One You Sacrifice Your Sleep For
The Recruit is a perfect example of a slick thriller series that pulls you into the murky and unethical world of intelligence agencies, namely the CIA.
This series follows Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo) as he navigates the vague legality of CIA operations and the bureaucracy of DC, a world he is woefully unprepared for.
The charming Hendrickx is delightfully comic as he makes mistake after mistake and is at the mercy of his senior colleagues. The show’s relationships are perfectly balanced and developed to further the story. They add character depth, making you care for their fates and delivering something essential to the thriller genre: a protagonist who elicits the sympathy and interest of the audience.
Hendricks becomes an unlikely and slightly naive ally to Max, the perfectly amoral and mysterious former CIA asset who leverages her existence against the US government.
This is a slick example of the spy genre but with a hapless male protagonist and a killer female anti-hero, bringing a twist to the male-dominated spy genre. It’s the perfect show to watch with a partner, as it is filled with intrigue and action.
The Sword-Slinging Period Drama
The latest offering of the popular show Vikings can be found on Netflix as Vikings: Valhalla. This show continues the tales of the mythical King Ragnar Lothbrok and the raids on Britain, yet can stand alone from the previous series.
Whilst the same world exists within the show, the characters from the PBS show are long dead, and this story focuses on their descendants. The sublime costuming will have you wishing for animal pelts and leather armour to experience only a fragment of the power that the characters on the show exude.
It is expectedly violent, with aspects of sexual violence. However, it is done with respect for the context, tastefully and doesn’t glamourise it, unlike other shows like Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.
I loved the relative gender equality shared between the warriors in the Viking age. If you could fight to protect the kingdom, then you were a warrior, even if you were a wife or mother.
Watch this show to escape the monotony of daily life. Charge into battle, and the thrash and clang of broad swords will replace the quiet of ordinary life.
The One That Has You Reaching For Your Passport and Duolingo
The third season of the smash hit Emily in Paris brings us more awkward shenanigans from the eponymous character as she tries to navigate love and Parisian life, inevitably leading to many laughs and cringe moments.
Lily Collins returns as Emily, an American in Paris (without the singing and dancing talents of Gene Kelly), struggling to conform her gaudy new world optimism to the chic and cool detachment of her French colleagues at the Ad agency where she works.
It may have rather trite storylines with some exasperating relationships, but the setting is sublimely beautiful and filters out any aspects that seem lacking in the show.
This series is the perfect escape for dark, rainy, miserable nights. Whilst Emily’s bold, colourful fashion is not chic or understated in the least, the aesthetic of her french friends and colleagues satisfies this writer’s obsession with the French girl look.
Warning: Watching this show will have you booking a trip to Paris and desperately trying to improve your school french!
These are just a few of the thousands of fantastic shows on Netflix in 2023, meaning whatever you are in the mood for, you will find something binge-worthy to watch. Happy viewing!