Keen for a new on-the-screen series to binge-watch, or something to listen to on your phone during your daily commute? Try one of these binge-worthy TV, Netflix, movie and podcast recommendations from EL editors and readers.
I love watching cooking competitions (The Final Table and The Big Family Cooking Showdown, anyone?) so Crazy Delicious caught my eye when it was released on Netflix recently. Set in a magical edible forest, the British series features talented self-taught cooks who go all out to please the “food gods” and win the golden apple. The whimsical elements of the show can get a little over the top but the creations you’ll witness are amazing, so it’s totally worth it. Don’t watch too late at night though as your stomach will start to rumble!
– Lindsay Yap
The Night Manager
This is one of those shows I tripped over while scouring Amazon Prime, and boy am I glad I did. It’s a six-episode BBC series based on the 1993 novel of the same name by John le Carré and stars the delicious Tom Hiddleston and impeccable Hugh Laurie. Hunky Hiddleston is a former military man working as a night manager at a hotel in Cairo when a guest comes to him with some papers to copy. Soon, he’s entangled in an international ring, smuggling arms headed by Hugh Laurie’s character. It’s a wonderful game of cat and mouse and both my husband and I really loved it. There are just enough episodes to entertain, but you don’t have to commit hours and hours to finish the story arc. I hope the rumoured season two comes to fruition.
– Melinda Murphy
Brilliant! This 2003 movie tells the story of an introverted young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is sent to live with his eccentric great-uncles (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) on a farm in Texas.
– Franci Malan
Miracle in Cell No. 7
A remake of the original South Korean film from 2013, this movie set in Turkey is truly heartwarming and will definitely tug at your heartstrings. It has a very interesting storyline about the relationship between a daughter and her autistic father who gets accused of a crime. Please be ready for a good cry!
– Siti Shahirah
Just like almost every other human in the English-speaking world who carries two X chromosomes, I have just finished binge watching Normal People (on BBC Player with a VPN). Oh god, it’s good. It’s just so, so good. Trigger warning: it can and will bring up any and all feelings of young adult anguish that you may have successfully repressed – just with a lovely saturated Instagram filter.
The show centres around Connell and Marianne who have a clandestine affair in high school in their bleak, Irish county town where they’re both misfits in their own way. The ripples of their relationship follow them onto university in Dublin – and it ain’t all roses. In fact, it almost never is. And it’s glorious. Normal People has been carefully adapted to screen from the novel of the same name. You become so invested in this relationship – whether you want to or not! It’s wonderfully painful and human. And it’s just so beautiful to watch. I can’t stop thinking about it. (But be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest. Just sayin’…)
– Kate Marsden
Restaurants on the Edge
I’ve been hooked on this Netflix show lately! It’s a feel-good series that follows a team of three professionals – a chef, a restaurateur and a designer – who help to transform the space of struggling restaurants around the world. The experts also tap into the local community and natural surroundings, and come up with a plan to create positive change in the business strategy. Think home makeover, but for restaurants instead! These restaurants are tucked away in some of the most idyllic places on earth. The scenery is to die for, and will feed your wanderlust for now. My favourite episode so far is Hawaii.
– Anthia Chng
This show is light-hearted and I just love it. It’s about a Toronto-based Korean-Canadian family who own a corner store. It’s similar to Fresh off the Boat, so those who like that would probably enjoy this one too. It offers a good mix of funny and relatable societal issues so it’s not a heavy watch. I’ve been following the series since the beginning and was super excited that Season 4 came out on Netflix!
– Lindsay Yap
The Last Czars
This Netflix series/ docudrama is short and succinct with just six terrific episodes. Part reenactment and part documentary, the show takes you to the world of Russian palaces, aristocracy, crown jewels, Rasputin’s influence and the looming revolution. The question of whether Anastasia survived the brutal execution of the Romanov family is finally answered. How? Through DNA findings from 2007. The series is well worth it (if you can get through the odd scene of Rasputin’s orgies in the early episodes!).
– Lara Sage
New shows to check out
This five-episode thriller on BBC First is about a wealthy couple and a teenage girl who agrees to carry their baby. It feels like they were meant to meet – but was it really by chance? Who is Kaya and what has brought her to this couple? Catch it on StarHub Channel 502.
We Hunt Together
When Freddy, a troubled young woman, is nearly assaulted outside a nightclub, the toilet attendant steps in to help and there’s an instant connection. Soon they set about exacting revenge on people from Freddy’s past. Baba’s skill for violence and Freddy’s tinge of psychopathy prove a lethal combination. But they’re not the only ones on the hunt in this six-episode series that premieres 21 August on StarHub Channel 502.
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