If you're a time-poor mum, juggling kids, sleepless nights and work, the last thing on your mind would be bingeing on the latest subscription TV-fad. You may have heard people around the water cooler talking about about watching 'GOT' or 'OITNB' all weekend and wish for the days you could actually watch television in peace, without falling asleep.
Bunkering down for some serious TV
These days Fireman Sam, The Octonauts or Ben and Holly might be your favourite show and 'me-time' a precious thing of singledom. This is why you actually need this list. When your kids are self-sufficient enough to sleep in their own beds, (mostly) through the night, you might be getting back that urge to return to the world of adults, however slowly that may be.
I'm all for encouraging conversation and healthy debate in this group, so by all means, if you don't agree with my picks, let me know which shows you prefer. Let's start a great, big list of TV series that Sydney Mums Group members love... and no cartoons allowed, please.
Big Little Lies promo image c/o- Facebook page
Big Little Lies - Foxtel (MA15plus) - 7 episodes
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman
This series lives up to the hype and it deserves the Emmy accolades, though I would have awarded Reese Witherspoon the 'Best Actress' gong, rather than Nicole Kidman. This is quite a scary show for mums to watch as it shows us the smother-mother, helicopter-parent, judgemental gang we can be, at our worst but it is also compelling viewing. The mystery woven throughout will keep you guessing and themes of domestic violence are topical and can't be ignored. The show is also based on real-life events from the Northern Beaches and if you live in this area, it's part of the fun guessing where. Well-acted and original. Recommend without hesitation.
The Handmaid's Tale promo image c/o- Facebook page
The Handmaid's Tale - SBS On Demand (MA15plus) - 10 episodes
Starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes
Everyone has heard about this one, whether you've seen it or not. This adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian thriller didn't live up to the hype for me but it would be remiss not to include it. It's made a cultural statement and has become something of a cult phenomenon for female viewers. It's addictive viewing for many. I personally found it slow and depressing but kept watching to see if Offred would stick it to her oppressors and bring down the regime. We'll have to wait till next series to find out but in the meantime, there are some powerful performances and it is a warning tale for women about the rise of totalitarian and paternalistic authorities... Scary!
Jane Campion's comeback has had a slow rise to fame and has seemingly come out of nowhere, since the explosion of US actress Elisabeth Moss on our screens. Even with her dodgy Aussie accent, I enjoyed Moss much more in this series and although it unfolds slowly and focusses on the darker side of human nature, it is set in the real world, unlike The Handmaid's Tale. The heroine was able to triumph at the end, despite the high price she had to pay. There has to be closure for me and some sense of justice and I think most viewers appreciate this when dealing with otherwise confronting content. The strong Australian and New Zealand cast and the rugged scenery, make this show watchable. The detective story has twists and turns that will equally frustrate and shock you. Top of the Lake Series 2 (China Girl) has widely been panned but critics agree on Series 1 and I do too. I'd recommend you tune in.
Alias Grace promo image c/o- Facebook page
Alias Grace - Netflix (M) - 6 episodes
Starring Sarah Gadon, Anna Pacquin
I've saved the best to last and if you loved Margaret Atwood's anti-patriarchal The Handmaid's Tale, there's a good chance you'll be flocking to see her new release, psychological drama on Netflix. I'm up to episode 4, so I'm not going to release any spoilers but I will say I'm hooked and I'm hoping the rest of the series is as good as the early episodes. Unlike the Handmaid, Grace finds herself imprisoned in the real world, based on a true story from the 19th Century. We are kept on the edge of our seats by Grace's tale of how she came to be implicated in a murder. We wonder if her psychologist will prove her innocence, of uncover the true depths of her mental disturbance. Is she guilty? Isn't she guilty? Like the doctor who is obsessed with his patient, it is easy to fall in love with Grace, with her mesmerising blue eyes and seeming innocence. One for fans of historical fiction, mixed with suspense and psycho- thriller elements. Would love to hear what other viewers are thinking about this one...
Don't be shy... do I have my finger on the pulse or have I lost touch with what's good on the box? What's your favourite show and do you ever have a chance to binge-watch anymore? If not, how do you find time to sneak in your favourite TV show from time to time?
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Sydney cabaret performer Jodie Stubbs takes us on a humorous and heartwarming journey of what it is to be a mother, career woman, wife and cabaret chanteuse as she attempts to get through a 60-minute show without having to check on the kids.