It’s winter. Which only means one thing – sitting on the sofa and watching more TV shows than usual.
I’ve been doing my fair share of television watching recently with the Christmas holidays and having something on nightly to keep me glued to the sofa.
From Love Island All Stars to The Traitors, mixed in with viral TV series and movies – there’s been quite a lot of good shows to keep me occupied recently.
If you’re in need of some TV shows & movie recommendations, you’ve come to a good place. Here’s what I’ve been watching recently and what I’d recommend.
Boy Swallows Universe (Netflix)
Eli makes the best of his tumultuous childhood, despite the odds: His stepdad is a drug dealer, his mom lives with addiction, his elderly babysitter just served 25 years in jail, and his brother’s a poetic clairvoyant with selective mutism. As he faces the harsh realities of life — and the looming dangers that threaten his family — Eli tries to follow his heart and understand what it means to be a good person.
One of the best limited series that I’ve watched in quite a while, Boy Swallows Universe is set in Australia (which makes a nice change from usual TV shows that I watch) and stars young Eli as the main character.
And what a talent young Eli is. Boy Swallows Universe had a host of likeable and loveable characters with moments that made me want to cry and had me laughing out loud. I’m hoping Felix Cameron who plays Eli gets a lot of recognition for this role and I can imagine he has a great acting career ahead of him too.
The Traitors (BBC)
The show features a group of contestants participating in a game similar to the party game Mafia – In which a small group of contestants become the titular “Traitors”, and must work together to eliminate the other contestants in order to win a grand prize, while the remaining contestants become “Faithful” and are tasked to discover and banish the Traitors by voting them out, to win the grand prize.
You’ve probably seen and heard about The Traitors everywhere. I didn’t jump on the hype last year, but couldn’t seem to avoid it this time around. And wow am I glad that I did jump on the bandwagon.
Amazing TV that we blitzed through after the episodes went live, and we enjoyed it so much that we’ve went back to season one to watch through and it already seems to be just as good as season two.
Saltburn (Prime Video)
Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.
I’m sure you’ve also heard this movie being talked about since Christmas and it’s the ‘have you or haven’t you watched it’ movie of 2024. Without a doubt, it’s one of the strangest movies I’ve ever watched with many ‘wtf’ moments.
Rosamund Pike is incredible, and Barry Keoghan plays a really great part too (and we love some Irish acting recognition). I was disappointed with Jacob Elordi’s part – he has so much more potential but it didn’t come through in this.
A tongue-in-cheek movie for sure, and I’m glad I watched it. However, will I ever watch it again? Most likely not.
Fool Me Once (Netflix)
Following the murder of her husband Joe Burkett, Maya Stern (Michelle Keegan) was given a nanny cam by her friend, Eva Finn to watch over her daughter, Lily. However, after watching the camera footage, she sees Joe, who was presumed dead, visiting their daughter. Meanwhile, Abby and Daniel, her niece and nephew, seek to find the truth about their mother, Claire Walker’s murder and the possible connections between both cases.
You can never go wrong with a Harlan Coben TV drama. I’ve read a lot of Harlan Coben books over the years and he never misses with the twists and turns and unexpected endings. All of which we saw in Fool Me Once.
The perfect TV drama for winter months when you’re sat on the sofa on a miserable weekend evening.
Love Island All Stars (ITV)
The eleventh series of Love Island, known as Love Island: All-Stars, began broadcasting on 15 January 2024 with the launch episode airing across both ITV and ITV2 for the first time in the show’s history. It is set to feature former contestants from previous series. The series will be the shortest in the show’s history, ending after 36 days on 19 February 2024.
Unashamedly, I haven’t missed one episode of Love Island All Stars. A new format of the show that I was apprehensive about at the start as they’ve all been on the show before, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised about the amount of drama that the show has been giving.
There’s a different element since the islanders all already know each other with a lot of them also having some form of relationship history, but it definitely made things a lot more interesting and heightened the level of drama, if anything.
I’m obsessed and will be disappointed when it’s over.
Squid Game: The Challenge
Squid Game: The Challenge is a ten-episode British reality competition television series based on Squid Game, the South Korean drama. The show features 456 players (the largest cast in reality TV history) competing for US$4.56 million, the largest single cash prize in reality television history.
I watched this over the Christmas period and was hooked. A social experiment for a huge amount of money that really brought out the best and worst of people.
With contestants from all around the world, it had me rooting for so many people throughout and feeling like a fly on the wall watching how the players interacted with each other. I’m hoping they renew this for another season next year as it’s a great concept and for this amount of money, people will really do anything to win.