Watching Tv has provided me with total escapism I have needed especially during the past few months.
I do try and box set binge on a Saturday night.
I like to encourage everyone to watch my recommendations so we can have a good natter about what we think and how it left us feeling.
So, what is the perfect binge worthy box set for me? Firstly I’m rather picky when it comes to the casting. If the actors aren’t a completely convincing fit for the characters they are portraying, its game over for me. I do like a slick and glossy produced series, visually and the music has to fit the scenes. And I can’t cope with muffled audio where I miss half the script because the sound is impossible to hear. I’m also known for watching quite intense dramas that push boundaries. Whether its a fast or slow paced story, period or current, I enjoy the ones that leave me on the edge of my seat with my hands over my eyes. I don’t quite know what it says about me, but thats another post all together.
So here are my current top 5 binge worthy box sets
1 | I May Destroy You [BBC]
Ok so, I cheated with my first choice as it is currently airing and I don’t believe its available on box set yet. However, I Could not leave it off my top 5.
Michaela Coel’s new series is an extraordinary, breathtaking exploration of consent, race and millennial life.
The insanely talented Coel not only stars in this already predicted drama of the year but has written and part directed this beautifully, exciting and mind blowing production.
Coel plays Arabella, the author of a bestseller, Chronicles of a Fed-Up Millennial, based on her popular Twitter account, and now struggling to finish the first draft of her follow-up book on time. She takes a break which leads to the night out in question. The next morning she has little memory of how she got home but has a hazy memory of a sexual assault. She does realise her drink was spiked.
The other main characters are her closest friends Terry an aerobics instructor and aspiring actress and Kwame who relies on Grindr to meet desirable men. Each have their own emotionally and physically complicated millennial lives and each episode tells their story.
2 | Gangs Of London [Sky Atlantic]
The basis of Gangs Of London is the murder of kingpin Finn Wallace. Finn’s son Sean goes on a emotionally charged violent mission to find his fathers murderer.
For years Finn and his main man and close friend Ed Dumani kept the London underworld in their control. And therefore , Ed and his son Alex want to keep things running as normal.
However, Sean has his own ideas and declares that all criminal activity must cease until his father’s killer is found.
Sean meets an unexpected ally Elliot. Who is Elliot and where does he come from?
Who murdered Finn and why? This box set is full of twist and turns, criminal gangs all with their own agendas and unique mind sets of how to run their business.
Packed with fight scenes, twisted family codes and passionately complicated relationships it truly has it all.
I was hooked right from the get go and I cannot wait for series 2. I won’t tell you too much as I wouldn’t want to ruin the thrill.
3 | I Know This Much Is True [Sky Atlantic]
Based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Wally Lamb. Mark Ruffalo stars in two roles, identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey.
The novel is featured in Oprahs book club and my daughter has studied it in her English literature class.
I was familiar with the story and I have been meaning to read it. However, this amazing adaptation beat me too it.
The story takes place in Three Rivers, Connecticut in the early 1990s. Dominick Birdsey’s identical twin, Thomas Birdsey, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. With medication, Thomas is able to live his life in relative peace and work at a coffee stand, but occasionally, he has severe episodes of his illness.
Ruffalo first shot all of his scenes as Dominick, requiring him to lose 15 lb. After finishing his scenes as Dominick, Ruffalo took a six-week break to gain 30 lb and then shoot his scenes as Thomas.
There are so many layers to this emotional tale of mental health and I would say immigration and its affect on family life through the generations. Each viewer will take something different from the story.
Tom believes his family is cursed as they have suffered years of extreme problems and unrest with no sight of ever experiencing contentment.
Tom is his brothers keeper and he seems to believe he doesn’t do enough in his commitment to keep Dominic safe and support his mental health and the challenges it brings within the family unit.
The incredible all star cast also include Rosie O’Donnell and Juliette Lewis and Kathryn Hahn.
4 | Temple [Sky One]
Crime medical thriller Temple stars Mark Strong, Daniel Mays and Carice Van Houten is based on Norwegian scripted format Valkryien, which aired on sky one.
I began watching Temple after casually scrolling through the sky box sets during the early stages of lockdown. I have to say I hadn’t heard of the series prior but it completely took me by surprise.
Temple tells the story of Daniel Milton, played by Strong, a respected surgeon who finds himself drawn into a criminal underground world literally, as a result of trying to save his wife’s life.
He sets up an underground clinic within the tunnels underneath Temple tube station with the help of an underground transport employee ‘Lee’ played by Daniel Mays. His wife’s friend and work colleague unintentionally finds herself involved coming to Daniels aid as he needs her help.
Daniel does his best to juggle his family life as his moral boundaries as a husband, friend and doctor are pushed to their limits.
Full of twists and turns Temlpe has a dark but humanistic message based around love, family, relationships and morals.
I don’t want to say too much as again I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. However, this highly accredited box set ended with a surprising cliffhanger and series 2 is on the way.
5 Save Me Too [Sky Atlantic]
Written and created by the highly talented Lennie James Save Me Too was the much anticipated second series of the original Save Me.
Both series are set in locations across London, particularly in south east London on the estates and areas around Deptford, Lewisham and Greenwich.
The story of missing teenager Jodie, not only takes the viewers into some horrifyingly dark places. It also took the all star cast actors to their emotional depths too.
Lennie himself broke down on set as he was brought to tears from emotion. He admitted: “There is one particular scene, even though I wrote it and created it, every read through and rehearsal, every time I read it out loud, I found it very hard to control my emotions.”
He added: “I don’t have any desire whatsoever to put the actress through that, let alone the audience, but this is grown-up telly for grown-up people.”
This must see box set is completely and utterly gripping.
Starring Lennie James as Nelson “Nelly” Rowe, Suranne Jones as Claire McGory, Stephen Graham as Melon, and Jason Flemyng as Tam.
Will there be a Save Me series 3? Lennie James always envisioned Save Me as a returning drama series and is confident the show can be turned into a trilogy. But the plot for series 3 is not fully formed yet. “I’m putting it all together, or trying to in my head,” said Lennie.
Personally I can’t wait.
So there we have it, my top 5 binge worthy boxsets
Have you any recommendations I could watch?