Let’s face it: the next few weeks are going to be pure craziness. Awesome, sparkling, sugar-fueled, cinnamon-spiced craziness, but pretty wild nonetheless. And at the end of a long day with toddlers singing “Jingle Bells” off-key and family knocking and endless dishes to make, there’s nothing quite like settling on the couch to escape into TV wonderland.
Here are some of the exceptional movies and shows floating around on your favorite streaming service, starting with the much-loved Netflix. So get cozy and pour another cup of cider—with no calories and loads of critical approval, there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging in these jewels!
TO MAKE YOU LAUGH
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – Fans of Tina Fey, get ready! She was let loose as creator, writer and director on this raucous sitcom about a cheerful naif (Ellie Kemper) getting used to life in the Big Apple.
“Chef” – An excellent dramedy, this one is full of Jon Favreau’s quick wit and more eye candy than you can handle. No worries, it’s the Food Network variety of lust rather than Chippendale’s.
“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” – Frances McDormand and Amy Adams are this frothy, sweet movie’s odd couple, and their acting—plus the stellar, clever script—will make you wonder why you’ve never heard of this movie before!
TO MAKE YOU CRY
“The Station Agent” – Waaaaaay before Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage made this little indie gem about a solitary man who moves into a defunct train station in a dilapidated town. He unintentionally draws a close circle of broken people who find comfort and solidarity in each other’s oddness.
“The Aviator” – Three hours long and worth every second, The Aviator is one of five pairings between Leonardo diCaprio and Martin Scorcese. The movie is a biopic about aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, whose obsessive-compulsive disorder constantly interrupted his charm and genius.
TO MAKE YOU SAY “COOL…”
“The One I Love” – A married couple seeking a much-needed retreat end up at a weekend getaway. It’s secluded, sunny, lovely, and then all of a sudden, quite definitely surreal. This mind-bending, thoughtful film is a quirky study of marriage and a must-see.
“In Bruges” – Thick Irish accents, lots of gunfire and humor that hits you sideways are the hallmarks of this interesting action/dramedy/noir. Fans of Ralph Fiennes, get ready to see him in a whole new light…
“The Good Wife” – I cannot say enough good things about this show; it is subtly hilarious, wickedly current, beautifully styled and often heartbreaking. Julianna Margulies is the slow-burning heart and soul of this show… but prepare yourself, once you start, you cannot stop.
“Amelie” – Delicate, funny, colorful and above all, unusual, Amelie deserves your attention even if you’re not normally a foreign-film fan (the movie is in French with subtitles). It’s about love and life and beauty and loneliness all rolled into a lyrical, sumptuous visual feast.
*BONUS REC FOR THE KIDS
“Puffin Rock” – Just a plain lovely show with enough lilting Irish voices, serene music and pleasant pastels to make it easy to snooze to and absolutely wonderful to watch.
What about you? What shows are on your binge list this season? Please share in the comments below.