Showing posts with label What to Watch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label What to Watch. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What To Watch While You Are Sheltering in Place (Coronavirus 2020)

First and foremost, in this time of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, I hope you are all safe and doing your part to keep others safe.  That means "sheltering in place," washing your hands and keeping a "social distance" when you are with others.  This is a challenging time.  Our lives are disrupted, we are anxious, we are lonely and isolated.

So what to do?

I know what I do.  I go back to those old standbys - movies and TV! 

So I want to do my part to help keep you all sane during this difficult time by sharing what to watch while you are stuck at home.

First of all, movies.

The movies and I are old friends.  Movies have power and have gotten me through some tough times. I have written about that in the past in my blog post "Why Movies Matter."

I know you can't go out to the theatres right now, but you can actually catch some first run movies at home On Demand, movies you might be going to in the theatre right now if you could.  You can watch several first run movies like "The Hunt," "Emma (which I reviewed last Friday - got into my local theatre right under the wire)," and "The Way Back" and "The Invisible Man (both of which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago and both of which I loved!)." 

Comcast's Xfinity has them listed under "Movie Premieres" in its On Demand section. You will have to pay $19.95, which seems like a lot, but if you consider that's less than the price for two people to go out to the theatre not counting popcorn and drinks, it's not that bad.  You can also buy "Onward," the new Pixar animated film for $19.95, a good choice if you have little ones at home.

But if those films don't interest you, most of the Oscar nominated films from last year are out on DVD or on Netflix as well as "Rosy the Reviewer's Favorite Films of 2018" and Rosy the Reviewer's Favorite Films of 2019.  And if I had seen "1917," "Jexi," "Jojo Rabbit," "Little Women" or "Pain and Glory" before I went to press with my 2019 list, those would have been on my list too.

And I know you sports fans must be freaking out.  I know I am so disappointed that the World Figure Skating Championships won't be on.  So here is a recent list of the "50 Best Sports Movies of all Time."  Perhaps you can get your sports fix from some of those. And when you can go back to the theatre, don't miss "The Way Back."  That one is right up there too as one of the best.

So even though it's no fun to be stuck at home, there is plenty of content in the movie realm to keep you busy while you shelter in place, and now is your chance to get caught up on your movie watching so that when you get out of confinement and back to socializing, you will be in the know about all of the latest films. 

But if, like me, you also enjoy television, there is plenty to watch on TV as well.

I am a big movie fan but I am also a huge TV fan.  In fact, I'm a bit of an addict.  I have a long fascination and association with television that goes back to my childhood.  I remember as a little girl, before my family had a television, standing on a neighbor's porch watching their TV through their front window.  I was probably four.  When we did get a TV, I realized my Dad also had a fascination with it and, I have many happy memories of our time together watching TV.  Later in life, as a young married woman in college, my husband was drafted and sent to Vietnam for two years and after a long day at school followed by theatre rehearsals, I would come home to an empty off-campus apartment and Johnny Carson would keep me company.  And through the years, television has been there through thick and thin, taking my mind off of my divorce or becoming a family activity.  Television has always played a role in my life. TV snobs try to shame those of us who enjoy television, but I am unashamed (have you ever noticed that many of those folks who say "I never watch television" seem to know an awfully lot about it?  I'm just saying). I remain unashamed.  In fact, so unasahmed that I even immortalized my enjoyment in this blog post:  "Confessions of a TV Addict." 

So moving on, in this time of social distancing, here is a chance for you to binge-watch some of those famous series that you are embarassed to say you never saw.  For example, recently someone gave me hell for not having seen "Breaking Bad." It was something about my life wasn't worth living if I hadn't seen it.  I'm not going to go that far, but, yes, I plan to get on the "Breaking Bad" wagon and get that out of the way so I don't have to get a lecture like that again.  I also plan to watch "Mad Men," to see Elisabeth Moss in the early days of her career; "Orange is the New Black;" and "Succession," since it cleaned up at the last Emmy Awards. 

But if those don't interest you, there are tons more:

51 Best TV Shows to Binge Watch While Self Quanantining...

And if you are missing some of your favorite shows that are no longer on or have no new episodes, I have some recommendations:

It's a documentary but plays like a drama because in the House of Windsor, there is, well, lots and lots of drama!

It has all of the sex and excitement of GoT but with some time travel thrown in.  (However, I can only recommend the first three seasons.  I thought after they left Scotland it went off the rails a bit).

No clothes and no Jeff Probst. Yes, the "survivors" are naked, but in a pixalated way (except for butts - showing butts on TV doesn't appear to be a problem), and sometimes they are afraid because it's just two people (sometimes just one), but it's real survival and sometimes one or both don't make it for the 21 days they are out in the middle of nowhere in some unforgiving landscape. Well, it's as real as you can get with a camera crew and a medical team who helps you when you have to tap out because you ate too many wild berries or you just happen to be starving to death.  And if you want a chuckle or two (and don't we all need that?), check out my blog post where I wondered how I would do on "Naked and Afraid" - "How Would I Do on 'Naked and Afraid?" 

(Note: the best of the best survival shows is "Alone" on the History Channel.  On that show,  the participants really are alone. They are in very harsh environments, they have no camera crew (they film themselves) and have absolutely no amenities as in medical help.  However, it's not on right now and probably won't be again until around June, but past seasons are available On Demand).

 Some of your favorite chefs are pitted against each other!

It's an Australian show modeled after Willy Wonka. I know. And it's just as zany.

  • If you like documentaries, you can't beat "Hillary." (Hulu)

No matter how you feel about her, this wonderfully presented mini-docuseries will change your mind.

If you liked "Big Little Lies," "Little Fires Everywhere" (Hulu) has the same vibe and even stars Reese Witherspoon.

Question:  Does Reese ever play a role that isn't an upper class uptight tightass?

It's almost exactly the same show as PR, but actually a bit more fun.

Based on a Japanese hit show, it's a competition amongst famous singers and celebrities who wear elaborate disguises while they perform and the celebrity judges try to guess who they are.  It's silly and zany but just goofy enough to take your mind off what is happening in the real world.  And Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight have all competed---and lost!  Enough said.

  • If you like romantic comedies with a twist, try "Catastrophe." (Amazon)

And I mean a twist.  Two kind of unlikable characters get together and chaos ensues. It's British, so that kind of explains it.

  • If you crave comedies that appeal to us "older folks," try "Grace and Frankie." (Netflix)

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda have a lot of fun with this and it's fun for us to try to see where Jane Fonda's facelift line is.

  • If you like true crime, you can't beat "Dateline." (NBC)

Okay, we know the husband did it but it's worth it just to hear Keith Morrison's unctuous voice say "Could it be...muuuuuurder?"

  • And if you are really down and really need an escape from this coronavirus thing, you can't beat those old standbys - Lifetime Movies - another bit of entertainment I am known to partake in from time to time. (Lifetime Channel and Lifetime Movies Channel)

I recently enjoyed "Killer Dream Home" and "My Daughter's Psycho Friend."  C'mon, don't you want to find out how your dream home could kill you?  And haven't we and our kids had at least one psycho friend? But if you can't bring yourself to actually watch one of these, scan through the guide on your TV and check out the titles. The titles alone will make you laugh. Better yet, check out my blog post - yes, I actually wrote a blog post about Lifetime movies.  I guarantee it will make you laugh. "Lifetime Movies: A Baby Boomer's Appreciation..."  

Now, okay, I hear you.  "I don't get Netflix."  "I don't get "Hulu" "STARZ" or "Amazon Prime." Well, try this.  Sign up for a free trial with Netflix and Hulu (Hulu also provides the premium channels like STARZ and HBO) and then cancel them.  The free trial will probably get you through the sheltering at home thing. And if you don't have Amazon Prime, all I can ask is "Why?"

So I hope this helps fill up some of that alone time and that you have some fun with it. Hopefully, I have piqued your interest and you will try something new. And if ever there was a time to do that, this is it. And you can trust me.  I have been a lifelong movie and TV lover.  See this little girl?  She has been watching TV and movies since she was five. She knows her stuff!

But more important than what you do with your time while staying home, just know that staying home is doing the right thing all by itself.  Staying home might not only save your life but the lives of others.  And remember, in this time of uncertainty, there is always one thing we can count on. Change.  At some point, this will be over.

Sending out love to you and stay safe, my peeps!

Thanks for reading!

See you soon


"Love in the Time of Coronavirus, or How to Stay Together When You Have To Stay Together!" 

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Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database).

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.