Wholesome streaming content we need right now
Author: The Simple Bit
Category: Short Cuts
With all of this isolation, we could all use a hug. And if that’s not available, here are the streaming equivalents.
- There has never been more content to stream
- Some of it is even free
- Here are some recommendations that might be good for your brain
Napoleon Dynamite (Stan)
Debuting in the pre-social media world of 2004, Napoleon Dynamite became a viral hit before they were a thing. (People of a certain age fondly remember their Vote For Pedro t-shirts.) Made on a budget of $300,000 by recent college graduates, with op shop costumes and unprofessional choreography, the film possesses a ramshackle charm that big studios can’t fake. (But oh do they try.) Weird, funny and nice at its core. Also, the actor that played Kip is posting some bonkers ‘tips’ on Insta right now.
Bonus Points: Learn the entire closing dance routine for your next Zoom date.
The Wedding Singer (Netflix)
Nostalgia has been found to actually make us want to reconnect in the present. So if that sounds like a good thing right now, then this flick is doubly good. Set in 1985 and released in 1998, you can be nostalgic for both a time when Culture Club was big and also when Drew Barrymore was a star. This is the story of a down on his luck Wedding Singer finding love with a waitress. Sounds pretty simple, but the songs, shoulder-padded costumes and Sandler’s unhinged energy make it work. And it’s got a happy ending, obvs.
Bonus Points: Learn all the words to Sandler’s sweariest song.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Netflix/SBS)
Truly a sit-com for the times, Brooklyn Nine-Nine happily subverts the cop show genre with an ensemble of great character actors. But at its core, it’s a show where all of the characters like and respect each other. Which should be boring but somehow isn’t. I mean…Charles’ platonic love for Peralta is a love story for the ages. This show is split between streaming services – the old seasons are on Netflix, and the latest season is on SBS On Demand. (Because the show was cancelled from FOX and picked up by NBC, such was the audience outcry. That’s how nice it is.)
Bonus Points: Cook one of Boyle’s recipes (if you can find a pasture-raised duck.)
Lego Masters (9now)
There’s just something about Lego. It’s bright, it’s nostalgic and it’s got creativity baked into it. All things our brains need right now. And also more Hamish Blake. Despite being everywhere, he never seems to wear out his welcome. This show has heaps of both. The new season has already started, and you can always dip back into S1 for a full weekend of bricky genius.
Bonus points: Challenge your housemates to (less intricate) Lego challenges. No Lego? Use cans of chickpeas.
A Country Practice (7Plus)
An Aussie classic, there just wasn’t a bigger show in the early 80s. Now it’s a time capsule of a simpler version of the country, with loveable larrikins, floppy-haired doctors and the grumpy but good-hearted cop Frank Gilroy (a sort of proto-Alf Stewart). Episodes have compelling blurbs like: “Wandin Valley Bush Hospital is threatened with closure and the town residents fight to keep it open.” Oh, and there’s a wombat.
Bonus points: Polish up the primary school piano lessons and learn how to play the theme.
Great British Railway Journeys (SBS)
There’s nothing more relaxing than a plummy British accent and the sound of a train. So this show is basically melatonin in TV form. And the show itself is basically what it says on the box. Host Michael Portillo takes train journeys. Great British ones. There’s some history, some engineering and some very natty blazers and slacks. There are about 100 episodes on SBS On Demand, too.
Bonus points: Wear a blazer and cravat while watching to get into the spirit.
Wonders of the Universe (Stan)
Speaking of British accents, how about everyone’s favourite floppy-haired astronomer taking us through the secrets of the universe? This four-episode series will leave you smarter and remind you that space is really, really big even if our lounge room feels really, really small.
Bonus points: Create a scale model of the universe. Using cans of chickpeas.
Bluey (ABC iView)
Yes it’s a kids show, but the world is currently losing it’s shizz over these little cartoon cattle dogs. It just won an Emmy and the NY Times dedicated about a gazillion words to why it’s so great. Basically, it’s a wholesome family who love each other. And Bandit, the dad is super woke and does equal housework. He’s also voiced by Dave McCormack of the cult 90’s band Custard. So it’s ok for grown-ups to watch too. OK!?
Bonus points: Do a dance to the theme song and submit it to the ABC Kids website. (They don’t say it has to be kids.)
Silvia’s Italian Table (ABC iView)
If you’re anything like us, you’ve run out of ideas for what to do with what’s in the cupboard and you used up all of your food delivery budget in week one of lockdown. This series features some really interesting Australian personalities, and might even give you some lockdown meal ideas. Win/Win.
Bonus points: Make some spag bol and pretend you and your housemates are interesting celebrities.
A bit of simple can go a long way right now. Click here for details about how ahm can help you. Let’s try make these difficult times a little simpler together.