Keen for a new on-the-screen series to binge-watch, or something to listen to on your phone during your daily commute? It’s been a while since Game of Thrones finished with that tiny, disappointing fizzle, but if you still can’t find something to fill that Jon Snow-sized hole, try one of these binge-worthy TV, Netflix, movie and podcast recommendations from EL editors and readers.
Maybe it’s something about living in a hot, tropical place that makes me feel drawn towards shows set in bleak locations. Frankly, the colder and muddier it is, the more I’ll like it. Throw in some crime and mystery, and that’s my formula for good telly. It doesn’t come much colder or muddier than Wales, which is why I’ve been enjoying the three-part series Hinterland. It’s not new (the series aired between 2013 and 2016), and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (sometimes even I feel like yelling at the screen, “Lighten up, folks!”). But the storylines are tense and intriguing, and the police-procedural elements convincing. Interestingly, the shows were all filmed twice, once in Welsh and again in English, and you can take your pick of which language you watch them in; I watch in Welsh with English subtitles. There are no Welsh subtitles for the English version, presumably because they couldn’t fit all those double L’s across the screen.
– Shamus Sillar
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
I’m 24, so I probably haven’t been as aware of all the details of Bill Gates’ success as many others – though I did know he was the richest man in the world for a while, that he was extremely clever and that he ran Microsoft. So, when Inside Bill’s Brain popped up, I thought, “Let’s do this”! The three-part Netflix documentary is fascinating and, frankly, not what I thought it was going to be about at all. Of course, the show tells you about Bill and his family, but it also focuses heavily on his humanitarian work. Three main topics are covered: sanitation, polio and climate change. I won’t tell you much more, but it’s incredible to see the way Bill processes these issues. I highly recommend it!
– Michaela Bisset
After hearing a colleague rave about Money Heist, I recently binged all two seasons of the Spanish TV series on Netflix. The first two parts (Season 1) of the crime drama revolve around a well-planned heist of the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid. Every episode is exciting, with the built-up tension between the mastermind, the team of robbers and the hostages inside the museum, as well as within the police force while they’re dealing with negotiations and external pressures. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but they do eventually succeed – not without losses, though. I couldn’t stop at one episode and now I can’t wait for Season Three!
– Anthia Chng
I’ve just started watching this medical mystery series on Netflix. The patients featured on the show are at their wits’ end: they’ve visited countless doctors, but are still unable to find a cure for their ailments. That’s where Dr Lisa Sanders, author of The New York Times column “Diagnosis”, comes in. She crowdsources for diagnoses all over the world, and it’s pretty amazing how far it goes!
– Lindsay Yap
Any film that starts with what looks like a disco minotaur in orange polyester, jewel-encrusted devil’s horns and blood-red angel wings walking into a drab, community hall rehab meeting is alright by me. It’s the perfect tone to set for Rocketman, the 2019 Elton John biopic by Dexter Fletcher. It’s full of these impressive contrasts; eye-watering glitz ascended from buttoned-up 1950s suburban repression and finding love in an unlikely partnership after being starved of any from the places where it’s most expected. It’s a surprising, yet unsurprising access-all-areas retelling of how Reginald Kenneth Dwight emerged from his rhinestone chrysalis to become Sir Elton Hercules John OBE. It was an absolute joy to watch and I would happily do it again.
– Kate Marsden
The Good Habit Guide: Being a trailing spouse – Anne Morgan
Anne Morgan is the author of The Good Habit Guide: Being a Trailing Spouse. She’s also a good friend of mine. I always worry a little when a friend writes a book. What if I hate it? Thankfully, that is not the case with this little gem! Anne’s book is the perfect read for anybody new to Singapore or for somebody about to relocate somewhere else. She gives you seven actionable steps to make life in a new place a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. At 43 pages in length, the book is more of an essay really, which means it’s a super quick read, filled with all sorts of useful insights. And, even though I’ve been living in Singapore for a long time now, I still gleaned a few kernels of wisdom I can implement myself. Download it from Kindle and be enlightened.
– Melinda Murphy
The Sun Is Also A Star – Nicola Yoon
I really wanted to read this book before I saw the movie (it has one of the hunks in it from Riverdale!), but, hey, who has time for reading these days?! Audio books give me a quick fix, without having to carry around a heavy book when I’m on the go. It took me a while to settle into the voices and the narration style of this audio book. The story definitely didn’t hook me to start with, but the intensity of the love between the main characters and the underlying commentary of immigration and cultural struggles, make this a beautiful and touching love story. Suitable for adults and teens.
– Kel Flanders