Watch to watch while you’re self isolating

Lots of us are staying in, or even self isolating, at the moment due to the on-going global coronavirus pandemic.

I thought I’d offer some suggestions of TV shows and films to watch during this time.

They’re mostly my favourite programmes and films that I thought might keep everyone from slowly going insane while staying at home.

The West Wing

In my mind, the greatest TV series ever made. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s got walk and talks, and it teaches you about American government. The first four seasons are sublime, yes it dips once Aaron Sorkin leaves, but it does get better in seasons six and seven. There’s hours of it to watch too, so even if you bing-watched it, you’d be entertained for at least a week.


The Lord of the Rings

Yes, you might have watched the films multiple times, but have you watched the appendices as well? There’s hours of material included in the extended editions. And I bet if you have those discs you haven’t watched the extras since you got them. And you can watch the films too, that’ll certainly use up a day.

The Social Network

More Aaron Sorkin written goodness. It’s just so smart, well acted, well directed, I love the soundtrack. Watch and revel in what I think is the perfect film.

Star Wars

Caveat, I am not including the prequels. The original three are glorious escapism and will take your mind off what’s happening in the world right now. The three newer films might not stand up to the originals, but they’re a decent accompaniment.


Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Time for some comedy, and this is possibly the greatest-ever comedy film. Full of quotable dialogue, and hilarious characters, Life of Brian is just pure joy and fun. And that’s what we need right now. And you couldn’t get a more apt closing song…


The Thick of It

While our inept politicians attempt to deal with the crisis, why not laugh at inept politicians attempting to deal with slightly-less scary crises, and getting it very wrong.


Calamity Jane

A musical! Because, why not? Calamity Jane is more fizzy than a fizzy sarsaparilla. Doris Day is pure magic as Calam, and Howard Keel just about keeps up with her as Wild Bill Hickock. It’s their central partnership, and the wonderful songs, which makes this one of my favourite musicals of all time.


Another of those films where the script is the star. And, the cast is pretty damn great too. As teenager Juno deals with her unplanned pregnancy she decides to give the baby up for adoption and finds a nice middle-class couple after advertising in the local paper. But then Juno finds herself getting more involved with the prospective parents than she expected.


The film that sparked a whole spate of body-swap comedies. But, this is by far and away the best of the bunch. And it made a star of Tom Hanks. It’s just enjoyable escapism. And who hasn’t wanted to take a trip to FAO Schwarz after watching?


While You Were Sleeping

I think this is my favourite romcom. Lonely Sandra Bullock finds herself in a love triangle after saving crush Peter Gallagher from the tube tracks, and then, while he’s in a coma, she falls for his brother Bill Pullman. It’s incredibly sweet and touching and, again, perfect for taking your mind off things.

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