OK, two months into 2017 – so far, not so good.
The apocalypse is continuously threatening to be nigh and so there’s still little reason to go outside. Instead, draw the curtains, sink into your sofa’s warm embrace and indulge in some satisfying TV.
And what better way to do that than with these recently-added Netflix treats?
Ryan Gosling’s character Driver is around 90 per cent responsible for the satin jacket trend, we’d say. And the music is also what we wish was the soundtrack to our lives 90 per cent of the time. Fast cars, iconic scenes, murder and nods to the films of yesteryear earned it a few BAFTA nominations. All fairly impressive when you realise director Nicholas Winding Refn is colour blind. Once you get over the fact it came out in 2011, you can settle into enjoying it all over again.
Nothing to do with the holy land and all to do the biblical level journey England took to win the Rugby Union World Cup in 2003. As England continues in this year’s Six Nations, remind yourself of how far the team have come while indulging in some throwbacks to one of the best wins in British sporting history – plus some emosh moments like Johnny Wilkinson being told he’d never win a world cup and proving to world wrong. You’ll be left feeling dangerously patriotic and ridiculously determined.
The People Vs OJ Simpson
He did it, didn’t he? It was him. No doubt about it. Yep, Cuba Gooding Jr really did deliver one of television’s great surprise performances as OJ Simpson, the American footballer-turned actor potential felon trialled for the murder of his wife Nicole in 1995. In this criminally good account of the ensuing media circus, Gooding Jr steals the show. Far from the only actor guilty of a great performance, however, David Schwimmer proves a shrewdly excellent casting as Simpson’s defence lawyer Robert Kardashian.
NSFW levels of food porn here. For the uninitiated, Chef’s Table worms its way inside the kitchens of the greatest restaurants in the world, poking and prodding all the finest recipes and delicious tricks of the trade out of culinary giants, each episode focusing on a different chef in a different part of the world. Imagine a universal spin-off to Jiro Dreams of Sushi and you’d be right. Season three is now available.
Every once and a while a film comes along to make you stop grumbling about the price of Freddos on Twitter and know how good you have it. Like Precious, a thought provoking drama about an overweight, abused teen pregnant with her second child who gets a new chance at life after enrolling to an alternative school in Harlem. Truly one of the most absorbing dramas you’ll have seen in a long time, abetted by the triumphant breakout role of Gabourey Sidibe, and a near unrecognisable turn from Mariah Carey as Precious’s social worker.
We Were Soldiers
Nobody directs battle scenes like Mel Gibson. From wild-eyed, kilt-waving Scotsmen to machine gun-waving US marine grunts, the man’s brutal attention to detail has resulted in some of the most unflinching scenes in cinematic history. If you haven’t yet caught his searing WW2 drama Hacksaw Ridge on the big screen, remind yourself of his brilliance, both as actor and director, with this underrated ‘Nam actioner telling the true tale of one the conflict’s bloodiest sieges. War may be hell but it looks flipping great in HD.
Edge of Darkness
Listen, we get it. One newly added Mel Gibson isn’t enough and Netflix understands that, adding this lesser known gem as well. Directed by 2006 Casino Royale’s Martin Campbell (adapted from his own British political-thriller 1985 miniseries no less), Gibson stars as a detective on the trail of those responsible for the death of his political-activist daughter’s death. Conspiracy abounds and he gets to shoot people as well. What’s not to like?