28 May 2020

Self-confessed binge-watcher Barbara Calosso shares her favourite TV series for lockdown viewing. Try not to watch them all in one go...

2:00 Min

Like me, I’m sure many of you have taken advantage of the lockdown to immerse yourself in some quality TV series.

To be honest, I’ve been doing it long before the lockdown started. In fact, long before the days when digital streaming platforms made it easy. Yes, I’m a binge watcher! TV shows are a great pastime and allow me to disconnect my brain after a long day of work. But they’re not just a great way to have a good time, I think they’re also great for learning or perfecting languages. Years ago, I watched a six-season TV series in Spanish (a language I never studied) without subtitles and learned to speak it very well!

I know that one of the problems of being a TV fan is finding new series to watch. This often results in spending an unsatisfactory evening going through a seemingly endless list of opportunities and watching nothing good. So here are five TV series (not too mainstream to avoid that you’ve already seen them) that have made my quarantine much more enjoyable. I want to share them with you!

1) „The Office“ — Comedy

If you miss your office then this is the show for you! It’s a mockumentary that shows the daily life of a company’s employees. A series without anxiety or particular dramas that makes you laugh (and cry) a lot, whose tragicomic characters will remain in your heart.

Typical themes of a company are treated in an absurd but effective way for the viewer and it contains the most beautiful love stories and friendship ever. Also … it’s nine seasons! Definitely a plus for those who are looking for a series to get passionate about.

In short, my favourite show of all time and I watch it at least once a year. A tip: the first season can be a bit difficult (it’s only 6 episodes) but after that you won’t regret it, I promise!

2) „The Boys“ — Science fiction

What would superheroes and their lives be like if they really existed in our world? What can I say — I found brilliant the idea of this TV series, taken from the comic book of the same name, that makes irony about how the superhero metaphor is often used nowadays and tells a story in which marketing and politics get the better of the sense of justice and charity, and in which kryptonite is no longer represented by a green stone, but by the incessant thirst for power.

It’s a story of abuse of superpowers that results in a fight between the powerless and the super-powered. But who will prevail? If you haven’t seen it… it’s time to find out!

3) „After Life“— Drama

A bit of black humour, infinite delicacy and the comedian Ricky Gervais as a leading actor and director. In short, all the ingredients for a great success!

And so yes, I would say that this TV show is very beautiful and presents a perfect alternation between comedy and drama (in a moment you laugh and after a second you find yourself crying). After Life, deep and funny, tells the story of a man who tries to deal with the immense pain that pervades him caused by the death of his wife who decides to say everything that goes through his mind without any inhibitions, so as to keep away the people around him.

According to the protagonist himself, it’s a „superpower“ that offers him the possibility to live above everything, including himself and his dark thoughts. The beauty of this series? The ability to deal with a delicate subject like death without ever falling into the banal, the usual clichés or something already seen.

4) „Orphan Black“ — Thriller

Definitely a must-see in the serial universe. Five seasons (a pleasure for any binge watcher!) that revolve around a mysterious government cloning programme, in which science and religion stand against each other.

Orphan Black is a compelling series that focuses on individual determination and the strenuous defence of personal differences. It’s a series in which tension, action, science fiction, drama and intrigue are the basis of a solid intriguing plot that will keep you wanting to move to the next episode.

In addition, the whole series rests on the shoulders of a single actress who is amazing as she plays all the clones in the series, giving everyone a distinctive trait!

5) „James May: Our man in Japan“ — documentary

Maybe it’s because I visited Japan last year and I fell deeply in love with it. Maybe it’s because the way James May describes and lives this experience is so hilarious. Or maybe it’s because the direction shows the different aspects of the country with such breathtaking landscapes. The fact is, this travel documentary was fantastic for me!

Now that traveling is so much harder, it’s great to have a little taste of another country and its aspects of life. From the most bizarre costumes to characters who preserve solid and ancient traditions, is certainly a great way to discover new places while staying at home!

James May’s journey is extremely respectful of the culture he encounters and tells us the history of the country, both ancient and contemporary, and how this is still perpetrated through artisans and renewed in the technological avant-garde. In short, if you have never been to Japan, you may find yourself including it in your next travel destinations. If you have been there already, you will want to return!

A end note from Barbara: I am not going to lie, it was really hard for me to choose only five shows! I could give you so many more! But being a serial critic for a few minutes has been really fun. And now it’s your turn! What do you suggest we should watch? Send your tips to onebank@unicredit.eu with a short review and we’ll gladly take advantage of it… well, I will for sure!