Top TV to Binge in Lockdown


Running out of shows to watch in lockdown? Here are some recommendations for you to stream right now.

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Image by Channel 4 Television Corporation

By Kristina Wemyss

Better Call Saul (2015 - )

If you were a fan of Breaking Bad’s visual storytelling, tense cliff hangers, brilliant pacing and dark humour, then this show is the one for you. Set six years before Jimmy Mcgill (later known as Saul) meets Walter White, the show predicted to be a cash cow rip-off of Breaking Bad, definitely stands on its own two feet.  Plunged into the world of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s neo-noir New Mexico, we start to understand the origins of our favourite anti-heroes such as Jimmy Mcgill, Mike Ehrmantraut, Hector Salamanca and Gus Fring. However, the show does not just rely on the familiar faces of Breaking Bad. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould introduce characters who we quickly love to hate and hate to love. Every bad or good deed contributes to an interesting and tense story arc that leaves cliff-hangers that get paid off in ways that you do not expect.
Available on Netflix.

Race across the World (2019 - )

We might not be able to travel during lockdown but this programme allows you to experience the wonders of South America vicariously through five pairs of inexperienced backpackers. Series 2 of the BBC show sees the teams race across the continent in a bid to win £20,000. Their travels are complicated by the fact that they are unable to take planes, trains, and cannot use smartphones or credit cards. Instead, they only receive a map and the equivalent of their airfare in cash. To top this up, they are able to find work along the way but if they run out, they will be forced to pull out of the race. This series sees lovable pairings such as mother and son duo Sam and Jo and estranged uncle and nephew Emon and Jamiul trek from Mexico to the most southerly city in the world, Ushuaia in Argentina. Along the way, they explore the diverse culture and stunning scenery of a range of countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru. Despite the fast pace of the race, the teams get an insight into the local culture as they are often forced to rely on the kindness of strangers due to their low budgets and lack of technology.
Available on BBC iPlayer.

Money Heist (2017 - )

Described by The Guardian as a “cultural juggernaut” of a TV show, Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel, has taken the world by storm and become Netflix’s most watched show not in the English language. It follows two heists led by the criminal mastermind ‘the Professor’, one on the Royal Mint of Spain and the other on the Bank of Spain. Part one sees the Professor’s code-named gang break into the Royal Mint of Spain with a plan to print billions of euros and take 67 people hostage. The incredible intricacies of these two long-prepared plots make each episode more captivating, as the Professor is able to anticipate each of the police’s next moves and stay one step ahead of the game. As the seasons progress we get to know and love the criminals and their journey becomes even wilder as the heists are “spiced with Latin emotions”, namely, love and fraternity, as the show’s creator Alex Pina describes.
Available on Netflix.

Orphan Black (2013 - 2017)

This Canadian science-fiction thriller rose to fame in its run from 2013 to 2017. It opens with wild-child Sarah witnessing her doppelganger jump in front of a train and from there the story only becomes more intriguing. Sarah sets out to discover who this woman was, in turn uncovering huge revelations. As she battles with police forces and others operating above the law, Sarah’s exploits to protect herself and her family will have your heart in your throat. If that is not reason enough to watch this show, Tatiana Maslany’s ability to convincingly play so many different women, each very individual and believable, is a testament to her skills and makes for a fantastic watch. Arguably, her versatility is even more impressive than that of the actress Jodie Comer who has gained attention recently in Killing Eve.
Available on Netflix.

The IT Crowd (2006 - 2013)

If you are looking for something to cheer you up in the midst of all of the doom and gloom at the moment, The IT Crowd is guaranteed to give you a giggle. This is, in my opinion, one of the finest examples of classic British comedy. A pair of introverted IT technicians- Moss, a very intelligent but naive man, and his lazy and irritable counterpart Roy, work in the forgotten depths of the basement of a big company. They find themselves landed with a new team leader, Jen, who scores the job despite knowing absolutely nothing about computers. As she tries to steer them towards normal lives, the trio face a series of faintly ridiculous, but absolutely hilarious situations, due to their questionable morals and incredibly bad luck.
Available on Netflix.