ARMED with a family-size bag of chips and a remote control bigger than a police truncheon, I took to the couch to battle the lockdown.
Here are my TV picks to get you through some long nights in the house:
The third season of the highly-popular Ozark was recently released on Netflix.
The show follows the Byrdes – an average American suburban family who get sucked into becoming money launderers for a Mexican drug cartel.
It’s gripping stuff as the family slowly abandon morality and do what it takes to pacify the cartel and stay alive.
Ozark is completely implausible but very entertaining, and features some great performances by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as dysfunctional parents Marty and Wendy Byrde.
Set amongst the woods and lakes of Ozark in Missouri, there’s a wonderful cast of supporting rednecks including the irrepressible Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) – who is one chromosome off a KFC.
Plots can get messy by a show’s third season, but Ozark successfully introduces Wendy’s bi-polar brother Ben Davis (Tom Pelphrey), who adds some unexpected emotional depth.
The tense plot rattles along and there’s plenty of dark humour in the 10-episode season.
The HBO miniseries The Plot Against America is an adaptation of the 2004 Philip Roth novel, which imagines an alternate American history told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey, as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero
and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism.
As with most HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire, the production is first class and 1940s Newark is beautifully recreated with stylish cars, men in fedoras and gleaming barbershop poles.
There’s loads of moody, nighttime scenes and you can feel the tension simmering on the softly-lit streets.
John Turturro is excellent as elderly rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf, and Winona Ryder continues her mid-career comeback with another mature performance as his girl friend Evelyn Finkel.
The show had me instantly hooked with its quality acting and subtlety – it felt like a multi-layered drama for grown-ups.
If you are a fan of British dramas like Broadchurch, you’ll love Deadwater Fell on Foxtel’s BBC First.
It stars David Tennant as doctor Tom Kendrick, whose wife and three young children are drugged and die in a house fire.
As the police start investigating the murder,
we learn about the murky relationship between the Kendricks and the couple who live next door.
Tom is grief-stricken, but is he responsible for his family’s death?
It’s set in a remote Scottish village, so of course everyone is shagging each other and there’s lots of quaint, lush scenery.
The acting is top-notch – there’s lots of repressed British emotion and regret – and the mystery will keep you hooked.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK