Okay, this is it again … it can be hard to keep your spirits up as the weather gets colder and wetter as you wake up at night but this winter in particular is a real rotor as we enter the third national lockdown in an effort to tackle the coronavirus epidemic.
What else to do but bend over the TV for comfort? Small-screen entertainment has provided some much-needed escape for many during this difficult time – especially when the movies were shut down, denying the same pleasure from our movies – and will certainly do so again.
To help you, RadioTimes.com The team has put together good TV picks that feel at our top. Dive down to increase guaranteed mood!
Watch on Netflix
A Canadian comedy that, with a small but dedicated fan base, Shits Creek exploded on the world stage when it landed on Netflix when it became the third series a breakout hit of recent years, hitting the board in 2020 in primetime.
The father-son writing team from the pen to Dan and Eugene Levy (dad from American Pie) show once followed the fate of a fertile-rich Rose family they lost everything and were forced to start living in a motel again in a small town they once bought as a joke.
Like any great comedy, Sheets Creek brings you a fantastic balance of razor-sharp scripts, fantastic performances and the main character’s main character so you can take root for the protagonist. With six seasons to watch on Netflix right now, 80 episodes of your entertainment await if you have some more time on your hands this January. – Tim Glanfield, Editorial Director
The floor is lava
Patrick Weymour / Netflix
Watch on Netflix
The first landing on Netflix in June 2020 (aka The Summer which never was), Floor is Lava is the entertainment we need, the entertainment we need.
Based on the kids game of the same name, teams of budding adventurers must work together to navigate the obstacle course flooded with “lava” (bright red guns) and the end result is both ridiculous (yes, facial plants funny) and surprisingly compelling – you You will see them screaming in terror, for their teammates tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble, tremble.
After all, the show was fully aware of how ridiculous it was, the winners were presented with a Lava Lamp Trophy (including a পুরস্কার 10,000 cash prize) and the host Rutledge Wood was aptly compared to the insanity in manic fashion. – Morgan Jeffery, Executive Editor
Watch on Netflix
In a turbulent year, a (somewhat unlikely) show helped lift me out of the global darkness: The Titan Games. There’s nothing quite like looking at the physical challenges of cleverly imagining the most fit-minded people to keep their way comfortable with a huge pile of snacks to drown out the reality.
Packaged in a way that risks and nds itself to produce TV in the full moment of victory, Dwayne Johnson’s muscle-bound competition series has become a combination of my therapy, entertainment and tonic. Now, if only The Rock could literally lift me out of this epidemic. – Mini Wright, news editor
Two doors down
Watch BBC iPlayer and Sky Got
The Scottish comedy Joke to Door Down has a common premise – Alex Norton and Arbela Ware, two middle-aged cerberites, constantly find their home being attacked by hungry, annoying neighbors – but the Beards and the ongoing clash have turned off the TV gold.
There’s nothing too surprising with the repeated gags, catchframes and setpieces, but that’s part of her comfort. While there’s another lockdown, there’s something weird about seeing Beth and Eric desperate to get everyone out of their house (to them, social distance can only be a good thing) and finally get some time alone. If only they knew … – Hugh Fullerton, Sci-Fi + Fantasy Editor
See all 4
Many of us wish we could go back to a time when social distance was not firmly embedded in our everyday vocabulary and did not affect the COVID-19 news cycle, the next best thing being to watch the old episodes of Googlebox – the Channel 4 reality series that ordinary families film The film shows the reaction on TV of the week
With 10 entertainment programs available for streaming on All4, you can be a wall-on-wall in the top-bottom houses of the country as a favorite Googlebox cast commentary about old episodes of Danton Abbey 2016 Iconic EastEnders Moment. – Lauren Morris, author-researcher
Watch Amazon Prime video and now on TV
Need a good all? Okay but the modern family is the perfect show for you!
Based on three different groupings in Los Angeles, all connected to the patriarchal J. Prichet, the joke shares each group’s own modern family story.
You have the gay couple Cam and Mitchell Prichet who have just adopted a baby girl from Vietnam, Mitch’s sixty-year-old father Jay and his much younger (and warmer) Colombian wife Gloria, who is a wonderfully mature young son of Manny. And then there’s Joy’s pediatric daughter Claire – who is just one year older than Gloria (Adox) – her husband Phil and their three grown children.
If you are looking for a break from Sirius, Cam, Phil, Gloria and Co’s Shennigan, this satire is sure to make you laugh. – Grace Henry, Entertainment + Actual Editor
Chris Heston / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank
Watch on Netflix, TV now, Amazon Prime Video and Sky Go
If you take the plunge and dive into the office (in the US) you are ready to laugh, cry, unrest and everything in between are out of the first season – a middle copy of the UK original – Steve Carell, John Krasinski and Gang make the series their own And the office comes to life.
Read about falling in love with Carroll’s magician Michael Scott and regional manager Dwight Srut’s assistant and developing romance in and around the increasingly chaotic office Shennigan. If you forget what a real office looks like, this is not it. – Michael Potts, Sports Editor
Mortimer and the White House: Phishing is gone
Watch on BBC iPlayer
A few years ago when favorite comedian and old friend Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer both had heart-related health problems, the former decided to get better as promised for a long time: to teach Mortimer the art of fishing.
The result is this delightful gentle program, which spans three series and takes an enthusiastic special pair to the country’s various riverbanks, living in somewhat luxurious habitats and eating plenty of heart-healthy food along the way.
While outwardly about fishing, the series is as much about friendship and camaraderie, and the equal parts are colorful and life-recognizing – a perfect combination to lift spirits during another lockdown. – Patrick Cremon, author-researcher
They are the United States
Watch the Amazon Prime video
In the United States they kept me informed during one winter lockdown after another with her fascinating and completely forceful story about the Greason family. Actor Tony Colette (Knives Out) plays the role of Tara, a woman who tries to lead a normal life while awakening to an extraordinary case of unhealthy identity disorder. It’s a Tour de Force performance that sees Collett fully realize and flip into a distinct personality, ranging from a cute Vietnamese veteran to a rebellious teenage girl.
Although it deals with some sensitive themes, the United States never loses its sharp intellect (courtesy of Juno writer Diablo Cody) and packs up some incredibly raised stories. Tara’s health journey is undeniably interesting, but she doesn’t let her illness define her and doesn’t even show up. Supporting characters are equally enchanted and given just as much time to develop, a young Bray Larson (Captain Marvel) and Kyrgyz Gilchrist (Atypical) standouts – this is the best gay character I’ve ever seen on a TV show. – David Craig, author-researcher
Watch on Netflix
One day in December, when I spent quite a bit of time in bed thinking about how much sucking something was on, Netflix’s new drama Bridgegarten previews pinned my inbox. So I watched an episode. And then another episode. And suddenly I felt cheerful? Happy? Which is to say that Bridgeton is the best kind of escapist television.
This romantic period drama is a cross between Jane Austen and Gossip Girl, with many more genders and a modern feeling (think: String Quartets playing Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank You, Next’ and the girls dreaming of going to the railing against sex roles and dreaming) University). The original story follows Daphne Bridgegarton (Phoebe Dinever) when she starts the serious business of finding a husband. However, as you can imagine, not everything goes according to plan … So he devises a new plan, involving a dashing duke (Reggie-Jean Page) who is a determined bachelor. It’s pretty stupid and it exploits it perfectly. – Eleanor Bly Griffiths, Drama Editor
Watch on BBC iPlayer
BBC / GCB Films / Infinity Hill / Simon Ridgeway / Paul Stephenson
In the midst of Britain’s exhausted art scene, the BBC One lockdown joke was staged and is a perfect example of the stimulus innovation in mainstream telecom. Pre-Kavid, director Simon Evans was in South London for a play called Hellman. Instead, he created and starred on stage with David Tennant and Michael Sheen.
Now in the second season, the two quarrelsome Good Women co-stars are back, but with a bold twist. And if you thought that last season a hilarious idiot Judy Dench had a brilliant celebrity cameo, just wait and see what the latest episodes have for viewers. – Flora Carey, playwright
All 4, watch on Sky Go and Netflix
Five fairly perfect (and mostly relative) North Irish teens rushing around the dairy are the right remedy for lockdown blues and it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
This hit Channel 4 series follows Erin, Orla, Claire, Michelle and James as they go through life in the Deries in the ’90s, facing all sorts of problems. Whether they are in a Catholic dilemma or worried about the test, the team always gets humor in the dark – which we can all take for granted.
Producer Lisa McGee maintains a fine balance between gentle slapsticks and sharp comedians. With the promise of another series, there has never been a better time to enter the world of Derry Girls. – Helen Daly, Assistant Editor
To see more, check out our full TV guide