Since we’re now firmly in the grips of the colder autumn months, lightyears away from summer heatwaves (remember that?), we could all do with a little pick-me-up to get through the shorter days of seemingly endless cloud and drizzle. And what better way to laze away the time than with a marathon of Netflix’s latest and best offerings? Whether it’s mindless reality TV, a thought-provoking documentary or an addictive comedy series, the mountain of options means there’s something for any taste or occasion. These are a few that we’ve been loving so far this autumn.
Created and written by Michaela Coel, the star of this year’s smash-hit BBC series I May Destroy You, Chewing Gum first debuted on E4 in 2015 and but is also available on Netflix to binge to your heart’s content. Over the course of two six-episode series, the sitcom follows Coel’s character, Tracey, as she navigates life as a naïve, childlike 20-something living on a London council estate. The series tackles issues of sex, religion, money and relationships through a lens of comedy and satire, and with episodes around 25 minutes each, it’s perfect for a quick fix on your lunchbreak or a binge-watch marathon on the weekend. It’s no surprise that Chewing Gum is responsible for shooting Coel to superstardom, making her one of today’s most lauded actors on television for both her screenwriting and acting talents.
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet
It goes without saying that David Attenborough is a national treasure and one of the UK’s greatest sources of pride and joy. The internet went into overdrive recently when Attenborough joined Instagram for the first time (breaking the record for gaining more than 1 million followers in less than four hours) and equally so upon on the release of his Netflix documentary, A Life On Our Planet. The documentary has left viewers across the country in tears as it reveals the destruction of the natural world that has occurred throughout Attenborough’s lifetime. Featuring both archive footage of Attenborough’s older work as well modern scenes from more recent projects, the documentary presents a less optimistic outlook on the issues our planet faces compared with Attenborough’s other programmes, forcing viewers to seriously consider the impact we all have on the world around us. Not to be missed.
Million Dollar Beach House
If you raced your way through Selling Sunset earlier this summer but you’re still craving some of that real estate fantasy and reality TV drama, then look no further than Million Dollar Beach House. Essentially an East Coast version of Selling Sunset, this six-episode series follows a group of five young, ambitious real estate agents from Nest Seekers International, based in the affluent, upper-middle class area of The Hamptons. Expect multi-million-dollar properties with stunning views, intense competition, and almost enough drama to rival the women of the Oppenheim Group. But be warned: this one is definitely more guilty pleasure than blockbuster material.
The Social Dilemma
This eye-opening documentary explores the dark side of social media and the technology industry at large. Are we in control, or even aware, of the direction in which such technologies are heading? Do we truly understand the damaging effects that social media has on us as individuals and on society? Can we trust the largest companies in the world to remain ethical? The film focuses mainly on how social media exploits its users for financial gain through surveillance capitalism and data mining, and by making it extremely addictive with huge implications and effects on our mental health. Featuring interviews from former Google designers, social media founders and presidents, and specialist academics, this one is a more serious watch, but a must-watch nonetheless.
Emily In Paris
If you’ve been on the internet in the last week, then you’ve probably seen or heard people talking about Emily in Paris. Starring American actress Lily Collins, this ten-episode series created by Sex and the City’s Darren Starr follows the titular Emily as she moves from Chicago to Paris to work for a big-time marketing agency in a social media strategy job. After breaking up with her Chicago boyfriend shortly after arriving in Paris, Emily, who has hitherto lived a small-town, sheltered life, embarks on a journey of self-discovery, embracing all the magic that Paris has to offer. Although Emily’s unrealistic outlook on life and inability to learn French earns her some stick from her stereotypically Parisian colleagues, she nonetheless manages to overcome the obstacles thrown her way. The series has earned some seriously mixed reviews, so expect plenty of clichés, a number of cringeworthy moments, but lots of fabulous fashion and escapism for anyone in need.
Starring Stranger Things Millie Bobby Brown, as well as the likes of Henry Cavill (Superman), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) and British acting royalty Helena Bonham-Carter, this made-for-Netflix film follows the teenage sister of the famous detective as she tries to solve the mystery of her missing mother, Eudoria. Brown is brilliant as the free-spirited, rebellious youngest sibling of the Holmes family, escaping the clutches of eldest brother Mycroft who insists she be sent away to a finishing school, while Sherlock quietly supports her investigation of their mother’s disappearance. If you’re looking for something light-hearted and full of fun, don’t miss this one out.
The only thing better than a night in on the sofa watching TV is watching other people have a night in on the sofa watching TV, right? If that sounds like your cup of tea then you’re in luck as Gogglebox seasons 9-12 are now available on Netflix for you to sink your teeth into, with all your favourite families making appearances. At first, many of us found the prospect of watching other people watching TV a little odd, but the show’s millions of viewers each week have proved that it’s the nation’s guilty pleasure, bringing us a healthy dose of laughter whenever we need it (and what better time than now for some distraction?)
Got any other suggestions for things to watch this autumn? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.