With any luck, some of the restrictions will lift over the next couple of weeks but until then, you may have some spare time over the Easter holidays that you’re not quite sure how to fill. Don’t worry, OTB Sports' Sue Murphy has you covered.
It will take a while to climatise but this is worth the investment – Wanda Maximoff is back as the star of Wandavision with her husband, Vision. It kicks off in the I Love Lucy/Dick van Dyke era and takes us all the way to modern times. But why can’t they remember anything? And what is exactly going on in this weird little town that has just appeared out of nowhere?
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
I’ll admit this didn’t grab me straight away but it’s finding it’s groove – it’s just taking a bit of time to get there. However, if you are missing the Marvel universe and just generally sitting in a cinema, it’s nice to have an old style superhero series in the mix.
You could be forgiven for thinking, they just cannot get anything else out of the Star Wards universe. This will pleasantly surprise you. Five years after Return of the Jedi, a lone bounty hunter goes on his travels far outside the authority of the New Republic. That’s it, that’s the pitch. Enjoy.
Perhaps the greatest proof that Donald Glover is not only a talent to watch but a real star, Atlanta tells the tale of an up-and-coming rapper trying to make his way in the world. And it manages to fit that into about 30 minutes.
There are probably about 25 hospital dramas we could recommend but the real reason behind the brilliance of Scrubs was its ability to make you laugh in one scene and punch you in the gut in the next.
If you’re really missing your office space, let’s take you back to a time when you were tied to your desk and had the worst boss in the world. Remember that? Here they used hypnotism instead of a pandemic to get out of it. An underrated gem.
Probably one for the rewatch list but here’s you friendly reminder that 7 seasons of Mad Men is up on Prime. If you haven’t got to it yet, we’re eternally jealous – beautiful sets and costumes, a main character who is constantly on a path to self-destruction and, of course, some great ad campaigns.
Without trying to insult this show, I’d almost recommend you check out the Modern Love podcast before you sit down to this series - contributors pen beautiful love letters for the New York Times Modern Love column and they are read out by various celebrities. The show takes the best of those pods and turns it into an episode. A nice easy way to lose a few hours!
This is crime drama at its best – a 5-year-old boy goes missing on a family holiday and it is up to Detective Baptiste to find him. The second series has a different story, just as good as the first, and will constantly keep you guessing. On one side there’s a family’s desperation and raw grief, on the other, a race against time to find their child.
The Night Manager
The greatest audition for Bond, Tom Hiddleston plays a former soldier turned hotel night manager who gets recruited as an undercover agent to investigate a corrupt businessman involved in secret arms trading. Lashings of tension and a brilliant performance by Hugh Laurie will make this worth your time.
I Care A Lot
If you’re thinking, I’d love to watch a film that’s incredibly dark and will make me laugh at some points where I probably shouldn’t be laughing because I’m a human being, then I Care A Lot is for you! Rosamund Pike plays a corrupt court guardian who cashes in on the elderly people she gets placed in care homes – that is until she messes with the wrong lady.
It probably hasn’t made it to the top of a lot of people’s lists in terms of, that’s the film I’d love to go back and rewatch but Margin Call, despite dealing with the crash of 2007 and a lot of, some might say, mundane number stuff is fabulously entertaining. And what a cast!
Fyre – The Greatest Party that Never Existed
What do you say about this documentary? If you haven’t seen it, get ready for a revelation that will leave you scrambling for the remote to check, did he actually just say what I think he said. Also, it will make you feel better about any of the stuff you’ve done wrong in your job. “Well, at least it’s not Fyre.” Nothing is.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Worth your time for the performance of Sacha Baron Cohen alone, this has rightly muscled its way on to the Oscar lists for this year. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, it tells the story of the Chicago Seven who were charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting riots at the Democratic Convention in 1968. Legal dramas are exceptional when they’re done well and Sorkin certainly knows how to write one to keep you keen.
One room, one tape recorder and one person telling their story to the police. The ability of this show to keep you interested with just that is astounding but the story takes so many twists and turns with only the accused as your narrator, you never really know where you might end up – and what a journey to get there.
Based on the book of the same name, Mindhunter is based on the true story of how the FBI began to investigate a new phenomena they recognised as a repeat killer – the Serial Killer. Disturbing and fascinating in equal measure, it can move a bit slowly but if you are into true crime, you will love the explainers and random inclusions of famous serial killers.
More well known for Line of Duty, Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard proved a real hit with audiences who lapped up the tension and a Richard Madden turn as the bodyguard charged with protecting the Home Secretary.
Allen vs. Farrow
If you’re full of the joys of spring, delighted with your Easter holidays and looking forward to a nice break for your brain, this is not the place to go. If you want to watch something documenting how someone deals with the abuse and the fallout thereafter, then this is it. Difficult to watch in parts, this 4 part doc gives Mia and Dylan Farrow’s side of the Allen v Farrow story.
A refreshingly honest music documentary about a genuine star who overcame every single odd to become the biggest female star on the planet, Tina doesn’t hold back on the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband and her extremely tough upbringing. Also, there’s some great concert footage.
Again, avoid if you’re looking for something that’s a little lighter but this series is exceptionally well made with brilliant writing and a great cast. It’s real achievement is it manages to really get across the seismic impact of the Chernobyl explosion.
Mad Max: Fury Road
On the other hand, if you do feel like getting on a rollercoaster for 2 hours, Mad Max is the way to go. Starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, this is relentless action and endlessly enjoyable.
It’s A Sin
A devastating watch in many ways, It’s A Sin tells the story of a group of gay men and their friends who lived through the AIDS crisis. Brilliant casting, an exceptional script and a spotlight on a real issue that was largely ignored by mainstream society, It’s A Sin will break your heart.
The West Wing
Season 1-7 of West Wing are available on All 4 and may need a huge investment but we challenge you to find better writing in a network show. Sorkin skillfully uses the White House to make you fall in love with each and every character across the seven seasons.
15 seasons seems like a mammoth task but you probably only need to watch about 7 to really get the best of ER. George Clooney’s career kick off and a reappearance from the great Alan Alda are just two of the reasons to revisit or start.
Spaced is one of the series I go back and rewatch regularly, particularly the Phantom Menace episode. A huge in-joke for geeks and nerds, Pegg and Frost’s early work is some of their best.
The Tommy Tiernan Show
All good ideas seem blindingly obvious when you first encounter them but only Tommy Tiernan could carry off doing an interview without knowing who his guest is. His natural inquisitiveness, wit and kindness really bring out the best from his interviewees. Michael D. Higgins is a particular favourite.
We just miss Nidge, let’s face it. Nothing like Love/Hate had been seen before on Irish TV or really since. The entire country watching one show on RTE every week was a revelation but did we get lost in trying to figure out what was going to happen and forget how good the writing and characters were? Worth a rewatch for that alone.
No need to bother with the second season of Killing Eve, everything you need is in the first season and maybe the first episode of the second. Jodie Comer’s turn as Villanelle is hugely entertaining – she revels in the madness of it. Unfortunately, by the second season, some of the charm wears off.
This is just your friendly reminder that every episode of one of the best comedy series ever is on RTE player.