What to Binge Watch over the Holiday Break
If you’re like me, then you spend most of your holiday weekend or break glued to the couch vegging out on life. It’s the kind of days where I just want to relish the end of the year and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I am not going to recommend any Christmas movies because of course I am sure you have all seen them. Instead let’s talk about some shows you can totally binge watch. Prepare to gain a few pounds and not move a muscle, anyways you can always work it off in the new year. These shows will be worth it.
Narcos: Mexico (Netflix)
I binged this season of Narcos in a weekend; my body hurt, I lost sleep, but it was well worth the pain. This is probably one of my favorite shows of the year. This season of Narcos deals with the burgeoning Mexican cartels in the early 80’s and how the war on them by the DEA began. To put it into perspective infamous drug lord, El Chapo, was simply known as Chapo, one of the underlings who worked for the Arellano-Félix brothers. His rise to power, I am sure will be detailed in upcoming seasons. As for now, we get to see the rise of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo’s (Diego Luna) cartel and how their dirty deeds got infiltrated by the DEA who was working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico at the time. We also see the story of DEA agent Enrique“Kiki” Camarena (Michael Peña) unfold and how his involvement and investigation of them eventually catapulted the drug wars in Mexico.
What I love about the show is the authenticity of how Mexican culture is portrayed, so many times I watch movies or shows and half of the time they are played by non-Mexican actors and the tone of the language is never right. This season got it 100 percent, down to the nuances of how the Spanish language is spoken. If you do not speak Spanish, don’t be afraid to watch it, they weave in between English and Spanish quite a bit, so don’t let that deter you from missing out on a great show.
Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)
The world has come to know Ben Stiller, as the funny Zoolander actor, yes, he has been in many kinds of movies and directed many of them as well, but I have never really thought of him as a serious director. All of that changed for me, after watching his new mini-series about the 2015 prison break at the maximum-security prison in upstate New York and the manhunt that ensued afterwards. Stiller astounds as a director and shows us his true talent is behind the camera.
The seven-part mini-series gives us the viewpoints of the two convicted killers who escaped, Richard Matt and David Sweat, played by Hollywood heavy-weights Benecio Del Toro and Paul Dano, and the woman who helped them escape Tilly, played almost too freakishly good by Patricia Arquette. The story unravels gently and slowly, and we are never forced into knowing what is going to happen next, even though we know how the story ends. There are no fillers and each detail that is shown has been highly thought out. The characters themselves are fleshed out and deep, so much that I find myself rooting for these guys to escape. I haven’t seen anything come along like this in a long time, in fact after each episode I find myself nerding out and wanting to discuss all the intricacies of the show with someone. I can guarantee that Arquette, Del Toro, and Dano will come away with some awards next year. Put on your pajamas and binge this sucker.
Outlander: Season 4 (Starz)
Cue the oohs and ahhs, yes, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are finally back. All my Outlander freak fans, know what I am talking about? We have been waiting patiently to see them return to the small screen, after all Sam Heughan is now sort of becoming a huge star, and I worried that he might try to trail off this show, but he has not disappointed me just yet. I have been letting this show build up, so I can sit down and properly binge it because after each episode I always want more.
The two are right where we left them last season, stranded ashore a strange land called America. The show has taken them so far, what feels like around the world, and now Jamie is on US ground. He is now on Claire’s territory. Where for years, he knew more than her and how to handle the land, she was a foreigner, now the tables have turned. What will she teach him and how will he be able to assimilate into American culture? I can’t wait to find out. And if you have watched this show, start from the beginning, you will not be disappointed.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to lose your worse memories? It sounds appealing, who wants to remember the bad things that happened to us in life, but if taking those bad memories away also erased your good ones, would you do it? Homecoming breeches this topic and expounds on it to the minds of newly released soldiers who have just come back to the United States after being in Afghanistan for years. These men have experienced and witnessed terrible things and must now come back to reality and function in society.
The show is about Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts), the therapist who oversaw rehabilitating soldiers who had just come back from the Middle East. She works for the center called Homecoming, a sterile and friendly environment where soldiers can relax and learn how to assimilate themselves back into society after having been gone for so long. The men are a bit shell shocked and still trying to get their bearings back, but the Homecoming program promises that they will come out successful. What they don’t know is that their food has been doctored with medicine that will help them forget their memories in hopes to underscore the number of soldiers who return home with PTSD. Heid’s boss Colin (Bobby Cannavale) has his own agenda as well and what transpires from here is engaging and enthralling to watch. It is a superbly and well-done show that is shot and edited in a manner that hearkens back to The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. It vacillates from the past to the present and sometimes it feels as if we are spinning out of control, not knowing what is really going on or who to believe, and that it is precisely what makes it such a unique and interesting show to watch.