Demonetisation. The US election outcome. Pollution. Leonard Cohen no more. Kashmir. Kanpur train derailing… And these are events that have occurred only over the last few weeks. The list gets longer and longer as you go back month-on-month to the disaster that has been 2016. So if you, like us, are feeling overwhelmed and need a different world to flee to – even if figuratively – here are five fantastic TV shows to binge-watch that promise an escape, alright. So get streaming and wake up (to a better reality, hopefully) when December ends.
This Netflix-original that debuted in July this year, and which is possibly one of the best shows of 2016, is a sci-fi thriller with a liberal dose of mystery, drama and jumpy horror moments thrown in. But what makes Stranger Things so special – apart from the nail-biting plot and stellar cast – is the possibility it offers of an alternate universe where everything is just the same as yours, yet quite not so. The ‘Upside Down’ may not exactly be the kind of world you were hoping to escape to, but it is exciting no less.
The third season of this highly acclaimed satirical sci-fi series released last month and the ratings have already been through the roof. Unlike the first two seasons that had three episodes each, this has six marvels, each with a different plot and cast. And each is a terrifying study into our world today – obsessed with technology, social media and keeping up appearances online – and the world we might be living in if we aren’t careful enough. As series creator Charlie Brooker said in a 2011 The Guardian interview when the show first premiered, “They’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy”.
Another science fiction, this one is a post-Apocalyptic action drama that rolls both utopia and dystopia into one action-packed, heart-thumping show. Ninety-seven years after a nuclear war wipes out civilisation on earth, a spaceship housing the last lone survivors starts running critically low on life support. So it sends back 100 juvenile lawbreakers back to earth in the hope of repopulating the planet. You’ll be making a mistake if you plan to leave the rest to imagination.
Adapted from the 2012 French series Les Revenants, this supernatural thriller that released last year will give you all the creeps, and then some feels. A sleepy little mountain town is suddenly thrown into complete chaos when several locals come back from the dead. No, literally! As if resurrecting from their other worlds wasn’t enough, they also haven’t aged and are unaware of their own deaths. The shock of their families is only understandable, but what is difficult to comprehend are the strange happenings that begin to occur in the town following their arrival. [PS: You might want to watch the French original, as the English one was called off air abruptly. Talk of strange happenings!]
The Night Of
This crime thriller that premiered in August this year had even Shah Rukh Khan hooked, reportedly. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that there is not even a hint of any other world in this – it’s simply set in present-day New York. Sometimes, a different world can exist in your own mind, where the sequence of events is vastly different from what is presumed by others to have occurred – especially when there’s alcohol and a cocktail of drugs involved. This is what happens when after a night of partying with a female stranger, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder. Add prevailing racial tensions in the mix, and you’ve a total mind-bender.
From HT Brunch, November 27
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