The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Every day throughout April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting a range of ideas and tips for keeping your family entertained at home. It will include arts and crafts, games, learning ideas and imaginative activities for all ages. I thought it would be particularly useful while we’re all self-isolating or socially distancing, though it can be used for any time of year.
Letter “T” is for TV and Theatre. I’m incredibly grateful for all the entertainment available during the lockdown. There are so many great TV shows and films to watch across various platforms and even lots of plays and musicals available to stream online for free. When are we going to have so much time to binge-watch our favourite shows again? Below are my recommendations to add to your watch list.
- BBC iPlayer-The following series are well worth binge-watching: Waterloo Road, Death in Paradise, Goodness Gracious Me, Call the Midwife, Waking the Dead, Jonathan Creek, Upstart Crow and Dragon’s Den.
- ITV Hub-If you enjoy cosy dramas, I recommend Endeavour, Heartbeat and Wild at Heart.
- All 4-Try Peep Show, Black Books, The Great British Bake Off, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Hunted and Cowboy BeeBop.
- Milkshake and CBeebies are my go-to kids TV channels, but my daughter seems to prefer watching Ben and Holly on Youtube lately.
- UK TV Play-Red Dwarf, New Tricks, Would I Lie to You, Last of the Summer Wine and Monarch of the Glen are all worth watching.
- Amazon Prime-My favourite on there is Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, a heartwarming anime directed by Gorō Miyazaki and co-produced by Studio Ghibli. I’ve watched the series at least three times already. It’s so sweet and relaxing! I also enjoyed Star Trek Picard, Good Omens, Swamp Thing, American Gods, Carnival Row and The Boys.
- Netflix-I don’t have Netflix but my sister Shana’s number one recommendation is Stranger Things (set in the ’80s with a supernatural twist). She also enjoyed GLOW (about an all women’s wrestling team) and Wild Wild Country (documentary series about a cult leader who builds a city in the middle of the Oregon desert). For something light and fun, try Queer Eye: More than a Makeover. And, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the craziness that is the documentary Tiger King.
- Disney Plus-Most of the Disney and Pixar films are available on here, including the live-action remakes. I have too many favourites to list, but the recent ones I’ve enjoyed are Pixar’s Coco (have some tissues to hand) and the live-action version of Aladdin. The only series I’ve seen on there so far is The Mandalorian, which I highly recommend.
- Disney on Broadway anniversary charity concert is available to watch on Youtube until tomorrow (Friday 24th April).
- National Theatre Live is offering live streamings of various classic plays for free (donations optional).
- Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber is releasing a full-length smash-hit musical every Friday on Youtube at 7 pm GMT for “The Shows Must Go On“. Each one is available to watch for free for 48 hours. So far I’ve seen Jesus Christ Superstar and The Phantom of the Opera, which were both brilliant. This weekend (24th-26th April) it’s Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom.
- The Royal Opera house is streaming opera and ballet performances for free during the outbreak, on Facebook and Youtube.
- For a family-friendly musical, try The Wind in the Willows, which is available to stream online for £2.99.
- Marquee is offering a free trial.
- Met Opera is streaming performances.
- For a full list of stage shows, musicals and operas you can watch online, visit What’s On Stage (free performances) and Broadway Direct (shows available through subscription channels).
What are your favourite TV series to binge-watch? Have you seen any performances streamed online during the lockdown?