It’s holiday season and you might find yourself having a couple of hours to binge on a show guilt free. Here’s five series to have a look at:
1. The Queen’s Gambit
The hype behind this limited series is worth it. It’s about chess but not entirely, it’s more about life’s journey and how we can be the protagonist or antagonists of our stories. I absolutely love that it is based on a book.
I should warn you bingeing this one won’t be easy because there’s so much emotion that is evoked in the world of the chess board. Seeing Ms. Harmon from a child with a suicidal mother, to one who learns how to play chess as an escape and one who finally becomes a world champion after wins, loses, a tranquilliser and alcohol addiction takes a level of personal understanding of her struggles.
This series dropped on Christmas morning and I was immediately nauseated by the thought that it was another Christmas movie. What got me to try it is the high ranking here in Kenya.
It is definitely for the hopeless romantics with all the ingredients: gossip from Lady Whistledown; patriarchy in the marriage system; classism; royalty and all the good stuff.
What you will love about it, aside from the steamy scenes, is that love though a mindless emotion that drives you to madness, ends up being a daily choice made by people as different as night and day.
Shondaland wrote this one beautifully, what may catch your ear is the fuse between classical music and modern pieces by artists such as Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. Further, episodes spanning for an hour are very easily watchable, every character has a deeper story and there’s always a scandal waiting to happen.
3. Virgin River
This is a small town series that made it to it’s second season this year. It is primary one for the hopeless romantics but covers such deeper issues like living in a sense of community, dealing with loss, rebuilding after a tragedy and how we all need someone to walk this journey of life together.
It has a couple of slow predictable episodes and your usual culprits in every written romantic movie but that’s just what you need sometimes. The writers have managed to keep up on our toes waiting for season three.
4. Tiny Pretty Things
The lovers of the ballet will enjoy this with a modern touch. I saw a review that said it was like Pretty Little Liars with dancers and I am inclined to agree. The backstabbing is elite in this show it keeps you guessing all through. The story starts with what appears to be the murder of a star in a prominent school that immediately goes into defence mode and gets a new dancer to save face.
From it, it’s easy to pick out from the narrator that ballet is not just smiles and twirls, if anything the pain endured by the dancers to achieve perfection as depicted gave me a new found respect for every dancer. The series is very progressive with modern themes and is definitely written for a 21st century audience.
5. Emily in Paris
This series reminds me of the Bold Type but with a solo act. It is about a modern day woman who has to travel to Paris on behalf of her boss to take on a job, and she does not speak the language! She’s overly ambitious and optimistic which is good and bad.
The recurring themes are work place politics, particularly the thin line between sitting still and obeying orders and taking risks that look to guarantee huge returns. There’s a beautiful fashion sense and you can tell there was a huge budget spent on the show since it gives you the best of Paris in the comfort of your home.
There’s five not overly Christmassy series you can binge watch while you enjoy your holiday and await the new year. Remember to be kind and stay safe.