5 engrossing Netflix picks worth watching this weekend

These will keep you distracted as you plan your next Zoom gathering – why not start tonight? – and some are especially worth watching a second time


Dolly Parton's Heartstrings 

Because everyone should have more Dolly in their life, especially during a lockdown. Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is an anthology series that showcases the stories, memories and inspirations behind her most beloved songs. New and classic Dolly music will score every episode. Songs include Jolene (episode 1), These Old Bones, If I Had Wings, JJ Sneed, Two Doors Down, Down from Dover, Sugar Hill and Crack Jack. Colin O’Donoghue from Drogheda also stars in the JJ Sneed episode.

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How to Fix a Drug Scandal

This four-part true crime series tells the tale of Sonja Farak – who in 2013 was revealed to have been using the drugs that she was supposed to be testing. Addicted to drugs including liquid meth, Farak would falsify the results of the drugs she was supposed to be testing It later emerged that Annie Dookhan, another chemist at a nearby drug lab, had also been faking the results of tests she’d been employed to make. The story of two drug lab chemists' shocking crimes cripple a state's judicial system and blur the lines of justice for lawyers, officials and thousands of inmates – and it makes for a gripping watch. Readers, I watched the whole thing in a single sitting.

Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator  

This one slipped under my radar until very recently. It explores the dramatic rise and fall of Bikram Choudhury, the controversial founder of Bikram yoga. Known for pacing around the room during class while wearing nothing but black Speedos and a large Rolex watch, Choudhury had an unforgettable presence. In his 90-minute classes, attendees would go through a cycle of 26 strict postures and two breathing exercises, all in 105-degree heat. Choudhury's classes were said to foster a cult-like atmosphere, according to the documentary.

Who Killed Little Gregory?

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Another which didn't get a lot of press but was engrossing for myriad reasons. The five-part series examines the 1984 murder of 4-year-old Gregory Villemin. On October 16th, 1984, Gregory was found dead in the Vologne River near Docelles, France. The little boy’s mother, Christine Villemin, told police that her son was playing in the front yard of their home when he vanished. The investigation has taken many twists and turns over the years and the true-crime series is disturbing, yet its layers are fascinating.

Evil Genius

So many in my circle hadn't seen bizarre true crime docu-series. This four-part, addictive docu-series investigates the murder of Brian Wells, the so-called 'pizza bomber', in 2003. Wells, a pizza delivery man from Pennsylvania, USA, was seemingly coaxed into a dangerous scheme by money-hungry criminals. Two men apparently instructed him to rob a bank of $250,000 with a bomb wrapped around his neck. Before Wells could complete his task, the bomb detonated and he died in the middle of the street. Police describe it as America's "most diabolical bank robbery" and you won't believe the saga uncovered as the police try to piece together how exactly the robbery came to be - and who was behind it. Even re-watching it a second time as I did, you'll pick up details you didn't even realise were crucial.


Main photograph: Netflix

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