21 Movies and TV Shows to Binge on Through the Lockdown

Let the binge begin with good ol classics, comedies and Bong Joon Ho's Oscar-winning film Parasite.

Suman Mahfuz Quazi

In face of the cataclysmic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, a conversation around what to shows to binge-watch on your favourite OTT platforms might seem banal. But with scores of people stuck at home in self-quarantine, one way to kickback, and divert your mind is to enjoy music, movies and TV shows.  Yes, with the nationwide lockdown now being extended for two more weeks till April 30th in several states of India, including Maharashtra, as you #stayathome, you can write that Pulitzer-winning book or become an overnight Instagram star, but if you’re looking at eating, sleeping, working from home and simply binge-watching, that’s ok, too. 


If you need to help curating your OTT libraries to keep you entertained, we've got you covered. Check out the ultimate lockdown binge-watching list that will help you sail through self quarantine. 


Modern Love


Released in October, Modern Love is a delightful anthology of sorts inspired from the eponymous crowd-sourced column on New York Times. The 8-part series throws light on different aspects of love in modern times and features several Hollywood celebs, like Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey and Ed Sheeran. Get under a comfy duvet with you lover for this one.  

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video


Parasite

Capitalising on the nation-wide lockdown – and curfews across the world because of the Coronavirus pandemic – that is keeping netizens home, Amazon Prime Videos bought the rights to Parasite, becoming the Oscar-winning film’s digital premiere partner. The South Korean flick that offers a narrative on the lives of those living in Seoul’s semi-basement structures, dropped on the OTT platform as recently as March 27 and is a must-watch. It didn’t become the first non-American movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars for no reason, right?

Watch on: Amazon Prime Videos




Mentalhood 


With a star-studded cast, featuring Karishma Kapoor, Sanjay Suri, Dino Morea and Sandhya Mridul, among others, Mentalhood is a new TV series created in a collaboration between Zee5 and ALT Balaji and touches upon motherhood and what it means in this era.

Watch on: Zee5


My Neighbor Tororo


In February, Netflix acquired the rights for a vast number of classics from the Oscar-winning Japanese art house, Studio Ghibli, dubbing and subtitling them in 20 and 28 languages respectively. The niche category of films will be available on a mainstream platform for the first time, providing a great opportunity to foray into the fantastical world of anime. You should begin with the heartwarming flick called My Neighbor Tororo, which originally came out in 1988 and has something of a cult following. 

Watch on: Netflix


Self-Made


If you’re looking for inspiration, turn on your screen tonight and tune into Netflix’s limited series, Self-Made, a brilliant show chronicling the life of Madam C.J. Walker, the first African-American millionaire, who rose to the top beginning with a local hair care brand, which has now turned into a huge beauty conglomerate called Madame C J Walker. Based on the biography penned by Madame Walker’s great granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles, this TV series offers a poignant narrative into the lives of African-Americans in the 1900s and their unending struggle in a country mired by racist pogroms. 

Watch on: Netflix 


Maska 


Maska is a short and sweet desi rom-com featuring tinsel-town newbies Prit Kamani and Shirley Setia, alongside Bollywood veterans Jaffed Jaffrey and Manisha Koirala. While Kamani, Setia and Koirala offer weak performances, craft-wise, the film itself tells a touching and relatable story of life in Mumbai. The best part? It’s subtle commentary on the withering away of this city’s Parsi cafes and the history and legacy entwined with them. 

Watch on: Netflix 


Fleabag 


For women across the globe, Fleabag is a breath of fresh air. The critically acclaimed TV series follows the life of Fleabag, a confused, sexual, somewhat obnoxious girl navigating London. In many ways, it tackles feminist themes without becoming preachy and by maintaining an overall comedic flavour. In it, the protagonist, portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is also the writer and creator of the show, often breaks the fourth wall to indulge audiences in thought-provoking, or simply rib-tickling thoughts, making it an engaging show, to say the least. 

Watch on: Amazon Prime Videos




The Man in the High Castle 


If true crime rocked the screen last year, alt history seems to be the flavour of 2020. As a genre, alt history involves movies in the speculative fiction genre, exploring stories set at time, where historical events occur differently. In The Man in the High Castle’s case, history is reversed such that the world depicted in the TV series is one where the Allied Powers i.e. Germany and Japan have won the World War II and America becomes an almost dystopian society under part-Nazi part-Japanese rule. It’s a tad slow, but interesting all the same. 

Watch on: Amazon Prime Videos 


Feel Good 


This new comedy-drama is a semi-autobiographical story that traverses the life of actor and comedian, Mae Martin, who plays herself in the TV series. A riveting watch, Feel Good touches upon issues such as addiction, gender and sexuality in the modern world and romanticism. 

Watch on: Netflix 


Morning Show


Starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, Morning Show is a 10-part drama series that premiered on Apple TV last year. Based on Brian Stelter's book, the TV series offers a peek into the world of morning television in the US. 

Watch on: Apple TV


Julie and Julia 



This one needs no introduction. Starring one of the finest actors of our time, Meryl Streep, alongside the lovely Amy Adams, Julie and Julia is a feel-good comedy drama – released originally in 2009 – that combines the real-life stories of culinary great, Julia Child and popular blogger from yesteryears Julie Powell, turning it into a heartening tale around two women whose lives are entwined with food. It’s now on Netflix, so if you haven’t watched it, jet set go. And if you have, then watch it again!

Watch on: Netflix


The Plot Against America 


Based on an eponymous novel by Philip Roth, The Plot Against America, is an original mini-series that released this year and explores a story – set in an alternative America where xenophobe and populist, Charles Lindbergh, rises to power – and narrated by a working-class Jewish family. Created by HBO, the series has garnered currency among binge-watchers and should be on your list, too.

Watch on: Hotstar Premium 


Kaafir 


A critically acclaimed TV series, Kaafir is an original Zee5 production that follows the life of a woman – Kainaaz, portrayed by Dia Mirza – imprisoned in India for being a suspected militant, who in fact, belongs to Pakistan occupied Kashmir and ends up on the Indian side unknowingly. The 2019-release traces a journalist’s fight to bring justice to Kainaaz and her daughter, who is born in prison. 

Watch on: Zee5




The Goop Lab 


Launched earlier this year, The Goop Lab is a six-part docu-series that explores the world of experimental wellness, which involves jumping into frozen lakes, accessing your past life and taking psychedelics. An extension of Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness and culture brand, Goop (which also has an Instagram handle, podcast, etc), The Goop Lab is funny, irreverent and comparatively, a lighter watch on the web today. 

Watch on: Netflix


Truth Be Told


This American thriller has an interesting (and relevant) premise hinged around the life of a true-crime podcaster who shoots to fame for the work she does around a case, until, some time down the line, new evidence emerges suggesting that her suspect could have been wrongfully convicted. 

Watch on: Apple TV


Miss Americana



You could be right to say that Miss Americana isn’t the best example of filmmaking out there. But the award-winning documentary-cum-autobiography on American singing sensation Taylor Swift has a riveting story to tell, nonetheless. From a naïve and bubbly teenage star to a disillusioned and out-spoken artiste, watch Miss Americana to get a sense of the going-ons of the music industry in the US. 

Watch on: Netflix   


Yeh Ballet


Thanks to Gully Boy, when speaking about Mumbai’s talented crop of teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds, the mind naturally levitates towards gully rappers. In that sense, Yeh Ballet, a Hindi drama and a Netflix original, stands out for tackling the story of two gifted dancers from the lower strata of our society and portraying their struggle in an empathetic manner. 

Watch on: Netflix


Afsos 


Afsos is a witty drama that follows the life of a man who fails repeatedly at committing suicide. So much so, that he hires an assassin to take his life. The story touches upon several facets of life in modern India: from a subtle dialogue on mental health to the country’s weird underbelly. It does feel like a slight drag towards the final episodes, but is worth a watch, all the same. 

Watch on: Amazon Prime Videos


Good Girls Revolt 


Inspired by Lynn Povich's 2013 book with the same name, Good Girls Revolt is a wonderful historical drama that unfortunately had a short shelf-life – as in, follow-up seasons got canned. Be that as it may, Good Girls Revolt is a must-watch if you dig newsroom dramas. The Amazon-original – based on true events – tackles the cultural revolution brought forth by female researchers at a publication who in their quest for equal treatment go on to sue their company, ultimately making bylines by women a reality. 

Watch on: Amazon Prime Videos


Visible – Out on Television


Lauded heavily by international media, Visible is a documentary that takes a sensitive-yet-educational look at the issue of representation in media. The docu-series brings together researchers and actors from the LGBTQIA+ community to tackle the issue (or lack thereof) of queer representation on television and how the media has repeatedly either under-represented or misrepresented the community. 

Watch on: Apple TV 


Next in Fashion 


Like reality TV? This one’s for you. Next in Fashion, which released this year, is a fashion design competition series hosted by fashion designers Alexa Chung and Tan France (of Queer Eye fame) that tries to provide a platform for newbies with a vision in the fashion biz. It’s feel-good, part guilty pleasure and purely entertaining. Tune in. 

Watch on: Netflix

0 Comments

Editor’s Pick

Recipes of the Day

Related Stories

To feed your hunger for more

Categories

Want more? Click on the tags below for more videos and stories