Best of the best: Your isolation entertainment guide
From gripping reads and new albums, to must-watch shows and ways to keep the kids busy, here are the best entertainment options as we work our way back to normal life.
Restrictions might be now be easing, but there’s no doubt Aussies are still looking for ways to entertain themselves while we work our way back to life as we once knew it.
Hibernation has done the hard yards and rounded up the best of the best, from gripping reads and new albums, to must-watch shows and ways to entertain the kids:
MUSIC AND PODCASTS: WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO
1. The ultimate treat for Harry Potter fans – Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne and other wizard stars reading a chapter each from JK Rowling’s first Potter book, week by week, on Spotify and the Harry Potter At Home website.
2. Gorillaz have just issued a new song, How Far?, that features not only UK rapper Skepta but drummer and Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen, who sadly died recently.
3. Dissect has dropped the podcast that has the Beyhive buzzing. The Spotify-only podcast dissects albums, right now tackling Beyonce’s classic Lemonade.
5. Kookily-titled Human.: II: Nature. is the first double album from Nightwish, global kings (and queen) of their genre. Half rock, half orchestral, huge audioscapes and lyrical ideas – far from pop but worth a shot.
6. Hilltop Hoods have just dropped a wildly catchy new single I’m Good, with all proceeds going to music charity Support Act’s Roadies Crew Fund. Download it from iTunes.
7. Journalist Justin Smith has launched a compelling new podcast called The Columnist, where he interviews everyone from leading actors to football fans and paramedics.
8. Mark Ronson recently dropped a video mixtape, Love Lockdown, and has helpfully put it on his You Tube. He gets his mates to sing along on video, including Australia’s Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, Mallrat and Troye Sivan, plus Dua Lipa, Hall and Oates, Miley Cyrus and Sam Neill doing Uptown Funk – for real.
WHAT WE’RE READING
9. Reese’s Book Club (yes, Witherspoon) was so right to hero Kiley Reid’s debut. Such A Fun Age, a tale of millennial life, touches on social media, Black Lives Matter and being woke for all the wrong reasons.
10. The perfect lockdown novel, Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor explores the question we’ve probably asked ourselves: if our life was ending tomorrow, what would we do today?
11. A gripping mystery by Sonya Bates, Inheritance of Secrets links the crimes of the present to the secrets of the past and asks how far would you go to keep a promise?
12. The Goodbye Man: A thrilling new Colter Shaw adventure by the master of suspense Jeffery Deaver. Something truly dark is going on beneath the surface of this idyllic community. And as Colter Shaw peels back the layers of truth, he begins to see there is only one way to escape the Foundation … and the price for that freedom might well be your very life.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
13. IT’S the UK/US TV production, based on the beloved Sally Rooney novel. Normal People is an Irish love story with some lengthy intimacy scenes. All 12 episodes are on Stan now.
14. Remember when Kylo Ren was just Adam Driver? We’re re-bingeing Lena Dunham’s Girls on Foxtel: confrontingly funny, somehow still zeitgeisty and featuring superb cameos. Sex, the city and more.
15. Ryan Murphy delivers yet again with Hollywood — his first Netflix series — set in the golden age of Tinseltown where Rock Hudson is getting his big break but, like many of the era, is hiding a secret. Australia’s Samara Weaver stars, as well as Darren Criss, Jim Parsons and even Patti LuPone.
16. There’s no doubt many of us have been drinking a little more than usual. The brilliant Stanley Tucci isn’t helping with his delightful, and insightful, cocktail recipes delivered in his usual inimitable style. Go to Instagram/Stanleytucci for his Negroni masterclass – an ad-hoc, step-by-step guide to how to make the cocktail.
FOR PARENTS AND KIDS
17. Fitness, food, reading … for parents trying to keep kids active and interested, the new four-week daily video series at Kidspot.com.au has it all covered with expert guests.