The New Year always brings new shows and I’ve been watching some truly gripping TV shows and movies recently! Netflix in particular has stepped up its game in the last few weeks with some great original shows hitting our screens. So, what have I been watching this month?
Fyre – Netflix
Known as one of the most epic PR fails of all time, Fyre Festival was a luxury music festival that was due to take place over two weekends in April and May 2017 in the Bahamas. On 18th January 2019, Netflix released an original documentary film about the festival, which saw thousands of people stranded on an island with limited food, and water after it emerged that the organisers had failed to organise the festival they had promised. The brainchild of Fyre Media founder Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, the festival promised luxury villas, live music and an adventure in paradise. Take a look at the promo video for it below:
Influencers such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski all played their part in promoting the festival across their Instagram accounts but I don’t think any of them really knew how the festival was going to turn out. Consumers completely bought into the idea of this luxury festival, purely thanks to the incredible social media hype created by these influencers. The power of social media hey! Poorly planned and executed, the festival turned out to be an absolute disaster. There were no villas, no luxury experiences and no models in site – just some hurricane tents located on a muddy corner of an island. It’s incredibly ironic how this festival was given life on social media but then one picture of basic cheese on toast posted on Twitter, a ‘dish’ served at the festival, completely dragged the festival down.
I love a good documentary film and I found this one so interesting and almost unbelievable. It was fascinating to see real footage of the meetings Fyre Media were having in the run-up to this festival and watch interviews with the people who were involved. We quickly learn that McFarland didn’t think about the logistics of this festival at all. In my opinion, he thought that by throwing as much money as he could at it, the issues would all get resolved. Ultimately, you are left feeling sorry for the poor local workers who never get paid. This one is definitely worth a watch if you want to discover the story behind the infamous Fyre Festival.
You – Netflix
I started to hear quite a lot about this Netflix Original show and the trailer kept popping up on my account so I thought I would give it a try. Starring Penn Badgley as Joe and Elizabth Lail as Beck, You tells the story of how a New York book manager falls head over heels for an aspiring writer – he falls maybe a little too hard. Joe quickly becomes obsessed with Beck, following her every move and even going as far as tapping into her mobile phone so that he can spy on her 24/7. The series follows the story of Joe and how his obsessive, stalker behaviour leads him down a dark path. I found the first few episodes really gripping. Each one ended on a great cliff-hanger which made you wanting more (hello Netflix binge). Each character has quite an interesting background and you’re constantly coming up with new theories about how events are going to play out. In the beginning, I firmly saw Badgley’s character as the villain but then I quickly came to dislike Lail’s character as well and even sympathising with Badgley! I mean, why would you get dressed without drawing the curtains of your ground floor flat? For me, the middle episodes started to slow the whole series down a bit and I found my attention wavering but ‘You’ pulled me back in with an epic finale, leaving me wanting more. I’m on the edge of my seat now for season two.
Bird box – Netflix
I love a Sandra Bullock film so when I saw the trailer for Bird Box on Netflix, I knew I just had to watch it. In the film, a supernatural force is slowly spreading across the globe. When people look at this mysterious force, they either have the urge to commit suicide or encourage other people to look too. The film follows a group of survivors, including Bullock, who take refuge in a house and whenever they go outside, they are forced to wear blindfolds. Throughout the film, scenes switch from the present day, where Bullock is leading two unnamed children up a river to a safe place, to five years earlier when it all began. I haven’t been so incredibly gripped by a film in such a long time. I honestly didn’t want to turn my head away in case I missed something. It’s clever how the scenes keep reverting back to the present day and as pieces of Bullock’s story unravel, you are constantly trying to guess what happened to the rest of the group. Bullock’s acting is as great as ever and you feel truly invested in her journey, willing for her and the two children to get to this safe place. It’s really intense and definitely worth a watch. Just please don’t do the Bird Box challenge afterwards!
Cleaning Up – ITV1
This new drama has only just started on ITV so you have some time to catch up! Starring Sheridan Smith, Cleaning Up tells the story of gambling addict Sam who is a single mum and is up to her eyeballs in debt. She works as a cleaner with one of her regular jobs being at the office of some stockbrokers. After overhearing a stockbroker who is being blackmailed into insider trading, she quickly thinks of a plan to get ahead and clear her debts. Both funny, gripping and distressing, Cleaning Up has me glued to the TV every Wednesday night. I think Sheridan Smith is such a great actor and she really captures all of Sam’s emotions. The show is an eye-opener to gambling addiction and how it truly is a mental health problem. It’s made me think about how there should be more talk around this addiction. I never see any posters or leaflets about gambling addiction in doctor’s surgeries and I really think there should be as it’s just as much of an issue as anxiety and depression. As shown in Cleaning Up, it really can ruin lives and I think this show has done well to shine a light on it.