Balance Restored: What I’m Watching while avoiding the rest of the unpacking

Netflix Picks October 2015

Balance has been restored to the Four Walls, Rainy Days household. It may have taken 21 days, three phonecalls ending in crying with rage, two failed installations, one failed activation, and learning a whole new definition of morning (apparently 9.30-1.30, but potentially can go on up to 5pm) but we have broadband in our new house. Not only that, but thanks to our new place having a TV that has a HDMI slot (yay for entering the modern era), I can finally get to use my Apple TV and watch Netflix on a screen that is bigger than my laptop.

There’s been a lot of kids tv. I’m not proud, but solo parenting while moving house and balancing a toddler means that sometimes, Peppa has to give Mammy ten minutes of peace from “No!” and “Mama! Mama! *scream*”. We’re managing to get back on our feet though (happily welcoming Dada back from his work trip, getting a bit more settled into our new home) and the child has started actually going to bed (and staying asleep) at a reasonable hour. Which means we’re actually able to sit down and watch things, in full, and be able to follow them. The novelty. So, after my month of deprivation, of not being able to depend on 90210 to make me feel better about life, I’ve accumulated quite the list of things I’m looking forward to enjoying (and have started on some of them). 

I’ve gotten really into TED Talks at the moment. Yes, I realise it’s about 2 years after everyone else, if not more, but it does help with the lessening of the mind numbing sensation that listening to the child’s toys singing stupid songs on repeat (and unfortunately singing along as a muscle memory) is giving me. They’re great to stick on while I’m doing something else, so that I’m able to just listen (many of them don’t require much watching of the screen so I can feel like I’m fuelling my brain while I’m loading the dishwasher or picking up toys for the millionth time that day. On screen sudoku. My brain has literally been expanded by some of the things I’ve come across, and it’s gotten me interested in things I never would have considered in the past.  I’ve been learning new bits of Economics while my degree languishes in the drawer, psychology of cult leaders and psychopaths, discovering mathematical equations that lead to happiness and I’ve a tonne of others lined up in my To Watch pile. My favourite this week has to be from Jane McGonigal, entitled “The Game that can give you 10 extra years of life”. After suffering a brain injury, the game developer had to figure out a way to heal herself, and she’s sharing her method to hopefully enhance other people’s lives. It’s interesting, funny and captivating, while being very down to earth.

A close runner up was definitely Amy Webb’s “How I Hacked Online Dating” which was insightful and funny, definitely worth checking out.

Aside from being inspired by the thoughts of super smart and relatable people around the world, I’ve also been accumulating a pile of different shows and movies that I’m spotting and going “Ooh, definitely need to watch/re-watch that!”. Some of them have been on that list for quite a while; things like An Inconvenient TruthThe FirmGone Baby Gone and others. Series-wise, I’m making a resolution to try things like HomelandThe Bridge, The Killing and perhaps a re-watch of Downton Abbey from the start. Am open to suggestions as well (really milking this sleeping child/ignoring unpacking thing, I know).

It now being October, I might indulge in a few horror films in the spirit of all things Halloween. I’ve just spotted that Netflix have got the UK rights to the series Scream which is from the same people who made the film franchise of horror movies – definitely going on my must-watch list. It’s been ages since I’ve gotten to watch a decent horror film, as himself isn’t a major fan of the genre, and I’m not the biggest fan of watching them by myself (because clearly watching with someone else will protect me from the monsters. Yeah. Real smarts there Lisa!). Ones on my list currently (and again, open to suggestions) are the Blair Witch ProjectThe Omen, Case 39 – the first two are absolute classics which I’ve not seen in full, so definitely needing to tune in, Case 39 I’d heard about – a foster family where something isn’t quite as it seems (after seeing Orphan that description leaves me feeling unsettled!), starring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper among others. Reviews look favourable, so I’m looking forward to that!

Of course, I do need to let Peppa retire her puddle-jumping boots yet keeping the tiny man entertained – I’ve been looking at the kids selection and am thrilled to see the first two Toy Story films have been added to the viewing – while he may be a bit young to follow the story, at least I won’t find myself shouting at the screen like I have with other kids tv shows (ahem, Fireman Sam, I’m looking at you). I’ve hopefully moved on from bawling when Jessie sings in the second one… it was just that one time, in college, in public, promise. Ahem.

So, that’s me set up for my viewing for the next month (I may not be leaving the house, but thats a battle for another day).What have you been watching lately, and have you any recommendations? Looking for must-watches and should-avoid suggestions – let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a Netflix subscription and an Apple TV in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own, and I already had a personal subscription before joining the Stream Team.


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