As lockdown shows little signs of abating, you might be feeling that if you have to watch another episode of Friends you’ll have to trade your living room sofa for a padded cell. Luckily there’s still plenty of hidden gems to be found across streaming services that will keep you entertained for weeks on end. Pick up the remote, slip off the straight jacket and put your feet up.
Barry: Amazon Prime
Certain shows have elevator pitches that make you feel like your losing the will to live just hearing about them. Barry’s premise isn’t quite that hoary but ‘a hitman decides to become a stage actor’ doesn’t exactly crackle with originality. Originality be damned, Barry is a propulsive and frankly hilarious tale that tempers its darkness with heart and its heart with about 14 pounds of high explosive. Bill Hader is perfectly cast as the hitman who yearns for something more, but he’s only one cog in an intimidatingly talented cast which sees Anthony Carrigan’s incredibly polite gangster and Henry Winkler’s (Happy Day’s The Fonz) grasping acting coach steal the show and anything else that isn’t nailed down.
Search Party: HBO Max
The world is not hurting for stories about vapid twentysomething hipsters finding themselves in New York City, which is why Search Party’s wicked genius in flipping the whole banal genre on it’s head is so welcome. Dory (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat, never better) a bored millennial in a boring go-nowhere job and an even more boring relationship, throws herself into finding a missing college acquaintance in a desperate attempt to finding meaning in her life. However as her inept investigation unspools she and her friends are drawn increasingly into a dangerous world that their lives of brunch and avocado toast has done nothing to prepare them for. Funny, pitch black and surprisingly suspense filled, Search Party is a dark jewel.