As we settle into a new way of life post-pandemic, there are, thankfully, are a number of different streaming services offering a variety of content – films, exclusive TV shows and boxsets – should you want to diversify your at-home viewing after months of likely binging Netflix alone on a loop. We've rounded up some choices from RTÉ Player, Amazon Prime, NowTV, Netflix and one to rent from iTunes to kick off options for your weekend viewing. Some are old, some new and some absolutely worth re-watching
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
It's 1770 on a French island and female painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned by a countess (Valeria Golino) to secretly create a portrait of her daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), while pretending to be her companion. It all must be done in secret: Héloïse knows that completion of a portrait will mean she must be married, so she refuses – marriage means she will lose the freedom she craves. It's not long before the secret is out, both women grow close quickly – though the eroticism, when it happens, never feels rushed – and can keep nothing from the other. The outrage when it comes isn't from the deceit, but the lack of any personality or presence in the portrait. Marianne starts again. They have five days only. Beautifully shot, writer-director Céline Sciamma takes her time and the result is one of the best films I've seen in so long.
Available to rent on iTunes/YouTube
This somehow evaded me when it was first released, and only a couple of episodes in, I'm hooked. The series seemingly about awful rich people has something else at the heart of it: abuse. Kendall Roy, the would-be tycoon and once most trusted son of Logan Roy, the media titan whose family sits at the centre of the series has a drug addiction that consumes his life and results in a number of schemes to try to oust his dad as CEO, which never goes well. And that's just the beginning. Power, money, notoriety. It's funny how all that can't help you escape your demons. One of Sky Atlantic's best.
Available now on Sky Atlantic/NowTV
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
By now, we all know that disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein would stop at nothing to use his wealth and fame to lure young girls to his home and abuse them as he saw fit. This Netflix documentary delves into the darkest details of his lurid deceptions and actions, which were investigated for years with little personal consequence – until he could get away with it no more. Most striking here is the powerful testimonies of each of his survivors, who refused to give up or stay silent until action was taken.
Available now on Netflix
Take a walk down memory land with the entire boxset of the now-cult series available to watch on the RTÉ Player. Set in Chicago, this medical drama deals with the personal and professional crises of the doctors in the emergency room at County General Hospital. We've got Geroge Clooney before he became a bonafide superstar and Julianna Margulies pre-The Good Wife. Think Grey's Anatomy, but with a nineties vibe. Still worth binge-watching.
Available now on RTÉ Player
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer stars as Madam C.J. Walker, the trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire. Inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground, written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, the Netflix original series brings the uplifting story of this cultural icon to the screen for the first time. Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionised black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change.
Available now on Netflix
The Good Fight
Great news for fans of The Good Wife its spin-off series, aptly titled The Good Fight is just as watchable. The new series picks up one year Diane Lockheart (played by the ever-charismatic Christine Baranski) decided to part ways with the Florricks and is poised to enter retirement. However, life sees her take another path thanks to a scheme that seeks to destroy both her reputation and that of her goddaughter (played by Rose Leslie). The show was helmed by Good Wife creators Michelle and Robert King and will see a familiar face or two make an appearance throughout. Underrated and excellent.
Available now on Amazon Prime
In the Canadian Rockies, a recently emigrated, former undercover police sheriff (played by a superb Tim Roth) and his family try their best to survive in a charming mountain town. Sheriff Jim Worth struggles with the ghosts of his past – and a dual personality he calls Jack – as he attends AA meetings, and his wife, Angela, tries to integrate into the town of Little Big Bear. At the same time, a massive oil company, North Stream Oil, opens a refinery just out of town, bringing with it a swath of migrant workers, rising crime levels, and pollution. Tragedy strikes and the Worth family's idyllic new life is that no longer. Gripping and brilliant.
Available now on Sky Atlantic/NowTV
Making The Cut
The highly-anticipated fashion competition series Making The Cut hosted and executive produced by Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, will fill the fashion-shaped hole in your life. The 10-episode series, which brings together a diverse group of 12 talented entrepreneurs and designers, will premiere two new episodes each week, with the finale on April 24th, 2020. During the course of the season, those who do not “make the cut” will be eliminated, with the winning designer from the finale receiving one million dollars. A dozen designers featured will visit three of the world’s fashion capitals – New York, Paris, and Toyko – and face challenges and assignments that will test not only their design skills but also their ability to run all aspects of a business.
Available on Amazon Prime
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