Are you slowly emerging from lockdown? Does the sunlight burn your eyes as you shuffle timidly into the outside world? Does the unfamiliar sound of engines running and children laughing stab painfully at your eardrums? Do your ‘real world’ clothes feel tight and uncomfortable? It must be awful. That’s why I intend to stay in lockdown forever. Like one of those war veterans lost in a Japanese jungle in the Eighties, still fighting World War Two. Working from home, wearing nothing but loose-fitting sportswear, shaving only sporadically and eating beans on toast a minimum of eight times per week is very much the life for me. It might sound uncivilised but, in fact, it’s quite the opposite: I get more sleep, eat healthier and get loads more work done because I no longer have to spend large portions of my day travelling on horrible infectious public transport in order to attend tedious meetings in dreary offices.
I have had time to work, relax, exercise and also think. Sometimes overthink. The one good thing about the more frantic nature of life in the outside world was that I didn’t have quite so much time to catastrophise about issues big and small: from my credit rating to the possible eradication of all human life on earth to the nature of the strange wart I’ve developed on my left calf. It’s lucky my therapist does FaceTime sessions. Plus, I have smashed the hell out of my various streaming services, which has helped distract me. To the extent that I actually have too many shows to write about in the relatively confined space of this column. Makes you wonder why I’ve wasted so much time giving you my rambling lockdown backstory doesn’t it? Well, in any case, here’s a summary of the best stuff I’ve seen over the past couple of months.
The Last Dance
The story of Michael Jordan’s extraordinary career at the Chicago Bulls. Don’t like basketball? Nor did I really but this is more than a sports doc: it is an undulating psychodrama in which Jordan is simultaneously the hero and the villain.
Little Fires Everywhere
Once again, Reese Witherspoon plays a middle-class, suburbanite mom who appears to be perfect but is, in fact, a bit of a bastard.
Dead To Me
Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate are also middle-class suburbanites whose lives aren’t quite as awesome as they might seem. One of them has killed the other one’s husband and yet they become best mates. Weirdly hilarious, thanks to exceptional lead performances.
I May Destory You
A terrifying glimpse into the lives of twentysomethings in London. I was one of those myself in the Nineties and early Noughties. It wasn’t easy then, so gawd knows how hard it must be now. Being in your twenties is a bloody nightmare. Utterly exhausting and massively confusing. This show captures it all perfectly.