What to watch in week two of lockdown
...and other recs this week!
Kia ora, welcome to this week’s newsletter.
I hope this edition finds you in good health and with an ample stock of home entertainment options. If your supply of the latter is dwindling, this newsletter exists to remind you of all the excellent video series on The Spinoff you can watch any time you like for free – titles like Youth Wings, Alice Snedden’s Bad News, Scratched: Aotearoa’s Lost Sporting Legends, 100 Year Forecast, The Single Object and more. Or, for your daily walk, podcasts. See below for all the new episodes out this week, and, as always, other stuff that’s been keeping us sane this lockdown. You will notice, perhaps unsurprisingly, that a “comfort viewing” theme has emerged this week.
This week’s new podcasts
What do National Party MP Simon Bridges and the drummer from Wellington psych-fuzz duo Earth Tongue have in common? Probably not a lot. In fact, maybe just the one thing: they both had a pet axolotl. In his episode of FIRST, Bridges confessed to accidentally killing his pet axolotl Aristotle by feeding him a big sliver of meat. Earth Tongue’s Ezra Symons’ first pet was also an axolotl named Charlie McDoovidson, and met a similar fate after being left in the sunlight. Who knew axolotls were such a common pet, and so difficult to keep alive?
Last week’s episode of Extremely Online explored the blockchain, this week it’s time to talk about bitcoin. What is it and why, is it the future of money or is it all just a phase? Let the Shit You Should Care About team explain.
Sam says: “The Chair, which dropped on Netflix last Friday, is a smart, funny, chill six episode series about the new English department chair at a prestigious American university. Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh, the most watchable human alive) immediately has to deal with the shitstorm that is academia while also managing her own personal life. While it’s really easy to watch, it still manages to really thoroughly wrangle with the struggle between old institutions and new ideas, and you’ll breeze through each half hour episode without ever feeling bogged down.”
Leonie says: “Nuku is a podcast series profiling 100 Indigenous women. Creator Qiane Matata-Sipu (who jumped on The Fold with Duncan Greive recently) and her team are up to 82, which is plenty of comforting, challenging and plain fascinating listening to get through. It’s a free ticket to hang out with 82 of the coolest wāhine ever (83 if you include Qiane). A great place to start is some of those that deal with orangatanga (wellness, but not in the western sense tyvm!) such as rongoā expert Donna Kerridge, psychiatrist Dr Diana Kopua, or the amazing Dr Ngahuia Murphy, whose research and mātauranga around women’s health and knowledge will blow your mind.”
The Great British Sewing Bee
Stewart says: “In times like these, we all need comfort viewing and that’s exactly what The Great British Sewing Bee provides. It’s exactly the same as the incredibly wholesome British Bake-Off, just with amateur sewers in place of amateur bakers. There’s even a camp comedian host (Joe Lycett) and a seemingly mismatched but somehow successful pairing of judges. Most excellently, just like Bake-Off, some of the sewers are quite shit at sewing! So pour yourself a large glass of wine, sit back on the couch and enjoy watching a happy bunch of people attempt to make women’s swimwear out of a towel.”
Tara says: “My lockdown recommendation is the wonders of Below Deck, the reality franchise that puts awful rich people on fancy yachts and makes not-rich people look after them. It's like Upstairs/Downstairs at Sea, and even though every episode is almost the same, I cannot get enough of the escapades of the people who live below deck. They work hard and play hard, but who knew serving meals and changing sheets could be so compelling? Everyone apparently, because there's Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, Below Deck Sailing Yacht and soon, Below Deck: Down Under to choose from. Both ThreeNow and Netflix have box sets aplenty.”
Amber says: “I recommend Fantastic Fungi, a Netflix documentary about the magical world of mushrooms. It’s a relaxing watch, perfect for consuming in 20 minute instalments before you nod off – i.e. the perfect content for lockdown. NB: the film makes some bold scientific claims that I want to be true but, please, don’t listen to me.”
Bachelor in Paradise
Jane says: “With Love Island UK drawing to a close, the new season of Bachelor in Paradise couldn't have come at a better time. If you’re not familiar, BIP is a spinoff of The Bachelor franchise and is a glorious mix of the best bits of Love Island (resort living and coupling up ceremonies) and Bach (roses and pashing). If, like me, you found the sheer volume of Love Island episodes a bit exhausting, the great thing about BIP is you only have to commit to two episodes a week.”
Reading a book 📚
Alice says: “I recommend diving into a chunky fantasy or sci-fi novel to get your brain well and truly off this silly little planet. I’ve been reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and my bubble-mate has made a significant dent in the newest Hunger Games book this week. If you needed a sign to put down the non-fic and give your brain the interplanetary vacation it deserves, this is it.”
An inspiring video
Sam says: “I would like to recommend this video of a drag queen in the Philippines (and her amazing sidekick) performing ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. It’s the only Frozen content you’ll ever need, and from this day on I will refuse to enter rooms unless unaccompanied by somebody spraying fake snow behind me.”
That’s all for this week! Please reply to get in touch and share with anyone else who might like to subscribe too. See you next Wednesday 👋