The best TV series to binge-watch in lockdown

As many of us face quarantine, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong picks the world’s most diverting shows, including a Japanese romcom and a drama from Brazil.


By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

A third of the world’s population is now living in lockdown with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, searching for hope and ways to connect – but also just something to do besides follow the news. When watching TV to fill our time, we can also build our empathy with other countries going through the same thing: closed borders don’t apply to culture. Here are 11 shows to watch in quarantine that will uplift or distract you, while also opening your mind and heart to other cultures.

(Credit: Netflix)

Call My Agent! – France

A group of Paris talent agents scramble to keep their business alive after the unexpected death of their firm’s founder, while also competing with and betraying each other, in this three-season dramedy that premiered in 2015. There are fun machinations, office politics, and inside-showbusiness references (a plotline in the pilot hinges on a Quentin Tarantino movie). Call My Agent! is frothy while still being engaging, with plenty of beautiful shots of Paris. Available on Netflix. Continue reading

Derry Girls Orla and Erin have a special message from their “bunker”

Two of the stars of the hit sitcom released a short video in character

Two of the stars of Derry Girls have released a hilarious new lockdown video — playing their characters from the hit sitcom.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland, who play Erin and Orla on the show, were able to make the video without breaking social distancing measures because they live in the same household.

The video was set in 1996, with the two characters reporting from an “underground bunker” that they had set up in an airing cupboard following orders to stay indoors from “the authorities” — or their “mammies”, as Orla puts it.

Rather than being a global pandemic that forces them to remain housebound, it is the political situation in Northern Ireland, with rioting occurring in the streets of Derry.

But the results are similar — with the pair forced to look for alternative means of entertainment given their inability to go outside, and Orla particularly fixated on eating Coco Pops.

The short clip contains much of the same humour that has made the sitcom such a huge hit with audiences and critics, with the pair squabbling and making references to the rest of the family, who are apparently upstairs watching Family Fortunes.

The clip went down a storm with fans on social media, with one viewer writing “First time I’ve laughed this week” and another tweeting “Can we get this as the official government message?”

Derry Girls has run for two critically acclaimed series, which are both currently available to stream on All4, while a third has already been commissioned and is expected to air later in 2020.

Source: Derry Girls Orla and Erin have a special message from their “bunker”

Outlander triggered more interest in Scotland than ‘any other cultural artefact in recent years’ 

Outlander

The historical roots of the hit television series Outlander and its cultural impact on Scotland will be examined in the first major academic conference of its kind next year.

The University of Glasgow will host the Outlander Conference 2020 in June with the history, customs, politics, culture, clothes and music featured in the phenomenally successful television series which is based on the novels of Diana Gabaldon [ . . . ]

Continue at THE SCOTSMAN: Outlander triggered more interest in Scotland than ‘any other cultural artefact in recent years’ – The Scotsman