Our top 5 binge-worthy shows, including Call My Agent for the warm and fuzzies

Plus It's A Sin: it is jaw-dropping the way homosexuals were treated at the start of the AIDS epidemic in early 80s Britain (not to mention Ireland)
Our top 5 binge-worthy shows, including Call My Agent for the warm and fuzzies

Sigourney Weaver in Call My Agent! for Caroline Delaney

Christmas TV isn’t what it used to be. There’s still some good stuff lined up for the run into 2022, I’ll get into that next week.

But this wee k it’s Top 5 Binge- W orthy shows, in case you f eel the need to escape from Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs at Christmas.

1: Quarry, Sky and Now TV

This is a strong contender for the best show you’ve never heard of. At least I hadn’t until a friend with good taste told me to give it a shot. Mac Conway returns home to Memphis from his Vietnam tour of duty in 1972. Himself and his friend Arthur (recognisable to fans of The Wire) can’t get a job because they are linked to a notorious massacre while on duty, so they turn to this dark, devilish character who pays them to bump off various other devilish characters. The clothes, the music, the mood, the story — it ticks all the boxes. Best of all, they went out on a high after one superb season.

2: Call My Agent, Netflix

The French are hilarious — who knew? This rollicking comedy-drama set around a Parisian talent agency has outrageous cameos from stars such as Juliette Binoche and Sigourney Weaver; it will make you laugh, it will make you cry; it has Paris, and we could all do with a bit of Paris over Christmas. This is one for the warm and fuzzies.

3: Downton Abbey, Netflix

Downtown has a bad name now, because in the back of our minds it makes us think of Boris Johnson. In fairness, it also has a bad name because we tend to focus on the later seasons of any show, and the later seasons of Downton were one step away from dogshit. We rewatched in our house a few weeks back and it’s astonishing to see how a sharp, funny ding-dong drama about posh people degenerated into Corrie-with-a-crunch-of- gravel- on-the-drive. But you only need something to keep you going until they start showing good new telly in the New Year. So watch the first two seasons and remind yourself why we got a bit giddy when it first came out.

4: It’s a Sin, All 4

This sweet 5-parter got us through lockdown in January 2021. It’s bittersweet of course, charting the story of a bunch of friends living it up in early 80s London just as the AIDS virus was starting its deadly spread. It’s not unusual to hear Daily Mail types fuming that we pay too much attention to the gay agenda. They should look at the way homosexuals were treated at the start of the AIDS epidemic in early 80s Britain (not to mention Ireland.) It’s jaw-dropping

5: Band of Brothers, Sky and Now TV

If your partner makes you sit through all of Downton guys, she owes you a bit of wartime. And there is no better binging than this 10-part World War II gem which first introduced Damian Lewis to the world.

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