11 top streaming tips for isolation

From children to grown-ups, serious documentaries to frivolous fun, Des O'Driscoll offers viewing suggestions from Netflix, Now TV, and other streaming services.
11 top streaming tips for isolation

From children to grown-ups, serious documentaries to frivolous fun, Des O'Driscoll offers viewing suggestions from Netflix, Now TV, and other streaming services.

Hustlers

Amazon Prime Video

This was the film that proved the doubters wrong about Jennifer Lopez. At 50, Jenny's been around the block a bit, but the former pop princess shows her real acting credentials as one of a group of ex-strippers who get involved in a scam. Based on a true story, it's presented as a black comedy that will be one of the most enjoyable films you'll watch during lockdown. Available from Wednesday (April 8).

I, Tonya

Netflix

Don't let the ice-skating theme put you off. Margot Robbie gives a career-best performance as Tonya Harding, the ice-skater who was convicted in relation to a vicious attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan. While many are familiar with the story of the attack, there's also a fascinating tale here of Harding's emergence from a difficult background to shine in the well-heeled world of skating.

Save Me Too

Sky Now

The entire sequel of Lennie James' gripping drama is available to stream. His character is still looking for his kidnapped daughter, and his ongoing search brings him to new places in London's sleazy underworld. Of course, you can also watch week-by-week on Sky Atlantic, but it really is difficult to resist a peek at what happens next.

National Geographic

Now TV

This new channel has replaced Nat Geo Wild, and is available on the Entertainment Pass (€15 pm) on Sky's streaming service. As well as Bear Grylls and a flock of wildlife documentaries, you'll also get the likes of space series Cosmos: Possible Worlds, and US prison doc Hard Time: Locked Up.

Sunderland 'Til I Die

Netflix

The second instalment of the look behind the scenes at the troubled football club. Apparently it was made despite the objections of several of Sunderland's players, as they fear their reputations are being tarnished. They probably have a point.

The fall of the formerly Irish-owned club has been the most spectacular collapse since Leeds United, and it doesn't look like things have been getting much better, either on or off the pitch.

New owners have meant last season's star, chief executive Martin Bain, has departed, but he does get a mention when it's revealed he was the only person to use the expensive cryo chamber rented for the players. It's all very sad to see, but at least it might provide some viewing options for the sports-starved.

Lion King

Sky Cinema/Now TV

Grown-up critics scoffed at this remake and its photorealistic animation, but its main target audience won't carry the same baggage into the story of Simba, Scar and King Mufasa.

Vivarium

Apple TV, Amazon, Sky store

If you like films that feel rather original and left-of-centre, this creepy tale from Irish director Lorcan Finnegan should be high on your list. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg star in a story that has obvious references to ghost-estate Ireland, and the 97-minute movie was also shot in this country. The current crisis scuppered a proper cinema release, which is a pity as the film had got good reactions at Cannes and the Dublin film fest.

Offspring

Netflix

All six seasons of this Aussie comedy-drama are now available for your bingeing delights. One of the most endearing lead characters on either hemisphere, with a stellar support cast, Dr Nina Proudman's family capers, love woes and work travails may get you laughing and weeping. It's a gem, with particular appeal for a female demographic. Set in Melbourne, it's always sunny there, the doctors are gorgeous and Nina's wardrobe has ensured she's something of a fashion icon. Perfect binge material.

Tiger King

Netflix

If we still gathered at water coolers, this show would surely be one of the main topics of conversation. The documentary series about private zoo owner Joe Exotic has become one of Netflix's buzziest releases in quite a while with its tale of an inter-facility rivalry that escalated into a murder plot.

Das Boot

Sky Now

A story of characters who are cooped up in a small space, seeing the same people every day, and ever fearful of the dangers lurking outside. Sound familiar? Yes, this WWII submarine series has become more relateable than ever. If you don't mind subtitles, the German show is a really decent drama, and watching it now ensures you'll be ready for when the second season launches later this month.

Ponyo

Netflix

The final batch of animated films has dropped from famed Japanese studio Ghibli, with this 2008 classic sure to be among the most popular. It revolves around the friendship between a goldfish and a five-year-old boy, and the combination of top-class story-telling and incredible hand-drawn animation ensuring it will also appeal to grown-ups. The other biggie in the latest Ghibli arrivals is Howl’s Moving Castle.

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