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The box-sets to get you through self-isolation

If there was ever an excuse to stay at home on the sofa, this is it.

As coronavirus spreads, social distancing and self-isolation have left millions of us with more time than we might usually spend dedicating to box-sets, films and podcasts.

While many TV shows and films have halted production and postponed releases due to the impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, there's still plenty to choose from to keep you going through the weeks (and months) ahead.

Did you miss out on Game Of Thrones? Breaking Bad? The Sopranos? Now is the time. Embrace it. Want to revisit all of Star Wars? Back-to-back Bond? Or even Fast & Furious 1 to 249? You can now do it, guilt-free. (Okay, maybe not the last one).

Here's our Sky News Backstage podcast guide on the box-sets and series old, new and upcoming that will keep you entertained indoors.

Westworld

Now in its third series, this dystopian theme-park drama about the dawn of artificial intelligence and the birth of a new form of life on Earth is the most downloaded show on Sky right now.

Starring Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) join the cast for the new season.

Game of Thrones

Okay, so there was a lot of hoo-ha about the ending last year. But whether you were happy with its swansong or not, Game Of Thrones remains one of the most popular series of all time. And every episode of series 1-8 is available to watch on Sky and NOW TV.

If you're a die-hard fan, now's the time to do it all again from the beginning. If you've never seen, you're in for a dragon and bloody battle-filled treat - either that, or you're really going to wonder what the fuss was all about.

Killing Eve

One of the biggest shows of recent years, the upcoming third season of this dark comic thriller is one of the most anticipated programmes of 2020.

Starring British actress Jodie Comer as everyone's favourite multiple-accented, super-stylish assassin Villanelle and Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, the obsessed MI6 agent on the cat-and-mouse trail to track her down, season three starts on BBC America on 26 April and should be on BBC One and BBC iPlayer by June.

Save Me Too

When it landed on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV back in February 2018, Save Me quickly became a break-out hit. The dark drama, starring Lennie James and Suranne Jones, told the story of a man desperately searching for his estranged missing daughter.

No spoilers here, but it's back for a second series - which gives some clue as to how the search panned out.

The Nest

The first episode of this drama started on BBC One on Sunday, so you've got plenty of time to get up to speed if you missed it.

Line Of Duty's Martin Compston and Peaky Blinders' Sophie Rundle star as a very wealthy couple with an amazing Sleeping-With-The-Enemy-style beach house, who are desperate for a baby. Mirren Mack (Sex Education) is the troubled teen who offers to be their surrogate. But at what cost? The first episode has set the scene for what promises to be a very moreish appointment-to-view thriller.

Gangs Of London

A new Sky original series, Gangs Of London tells the story of the power struggles of the capital's international organised gangs and the sudden power vacuum created when the head of the city's most powerful crime family is assassinated.

If you're not a fan of violence, it's not one for you, but there's also a lot more to it than blood and gore. Some critics are describing it as the new Peaky Blinders - not least because it stars John Shelby actor Joe Cole - but this is a show that looks set to be a big hit in its own right. There's no official release date yet, but we're expecting it some time in April.

Love Is Blind

If you're a fan of reality TV dating shows then you're probably already watching Love Is Blind, on Netflix. If not, then where have you been? The idea behind this one is that those in search of love aim to find it and get engaged, all before meeting in person.

It's a show about singles who want to be loved for who they are, rather than what they look like, apparently - or singles who want to get famous quick, if you take the cynical approach. Ridiculous, yes. Highly addictive, also yes. You have been warned.

Better Call Saul (plus Breaking Bad/ El Camino)

Before Breaking Bad's Saul Goodman became Saul Goodman, he was Jimmy McGill. This prequel spin-off about the hapless conman lawyer is the master of the slow burn, and a brilliant show in its own right, with or without Heisenberg. The fifth series - in which we're starting to see more of a Breaking Bad crossover - has started now on Netflix.

If you have the time, you can also revisit all five series of Breaking Bad, plus El Camino - the film sequel released last year.

Ozark

Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner star in this dark crime drama about an accountant/ money launderer forced to flee with his family from the city to the middle of nowhere when things start to go very wrong with a drug cartel.

Catch up on the first two seasons and get ready for the third, due out on Netflix on 27 March. Set six months after the events of season two, lives are thrown into chaos once again.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness

Billed as a true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding, this is the latest Netflix documentary series to set social media alight. The story focuses on Joe Exotic, the gun-toting operator of an Oklahoma big cat park, and his feud with animal rights activist Carole Baskin, the self-described Mother Teresa of cats.

From the creators of the documentary about the infamous Fyre Festival, it takes you down the rather mind-boggling rabbit hole of big cat ownership in the US. If anything is going to take your mind off coronavirus, it's this.

The Mandalorian

The Star Wars spin-off that brought us a thousand Baby Yoda memes, The Mandalorian aired on Disney+ in the US last year. Now, fans can watch in the UK, as the new streaming service launches here on 24 March. It will start with two episodes on launch day, with episode three being released on Friday 27 March.

Hunters

Set in New York City in 1977, Hunters stars Al Pacino and tells the story of a group of Nazi hunters who discover hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials are living among us, conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the US.

The feel of the show is Tarantino-esque comic-book violence and baddies, which has raised some questions given the sensitivity of the subject matter. The first series launched at the end of February, so you can judge for yourself on Amazon Prime Video.

Succession

Starring Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and Jeremy Strong, Succession follows the Roy dynasty's disintegration when their patriarch refuses to name his successor. The first series aired in 2018 but it was the second series last year that brought the show hit status.

An oh-my-God finale has left fans eagerly awaiting the third season, due out later in 2020 on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. Catch up on the previous series on Amazon Prime Video.

Alan Partridge

If you need comedy in your life, spend some time with North Norfolk's finest. On Netflix, you can find Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge; on Sky, Mid Morning Matters, Scissored Isle and Alpha Papa; on BBC iPlayer and Sky, you get Alan's most recent foray into TV, This Time With Alan Partridge. Back of the net, indeed.

Ray Donovan

A Hollywood fixer to the rich and famous, Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) is the man who can get you out of any sticky situation, just not strictly legally. But of course, he also has his own problems to make disappear.

It's a Sky Atlantic show with an all-star cast, with Jon Voight brilliant as incorrigible, ex-con father Mickey, and British actor Eddie Marsan on fine form as brother Terry, a former boxer who has Parkinson's disease. You can watch all seven seasons on Sky now.

Queer Eye

Feel-good TV is what we need right now, and it doesn't get any better than Queer Eye. The critically acclaimed reality TV show has become a huge hit since it rebooted in 2018, making global stars of its hosts and winning fans across the world.

A makeover show with heart, it follows a group of five gay men who aim to change the lives of others through personal and home makeovers, cookery classes and confidence-boosting sessions, and is all about encouraging its participants, usually men, to love themselves for who they are. Be prepared to get emotional, with four seasons on Netflix.

The Good Place

An offbeat comedy about the afterlife, The Good Place - starring Ted Danson, Kristen Bell and British star Jameela Jamil - has established a firm fan-base since it first aired in 2016.

From the very first series, the show featured twists and complete shifts in space and time. The last episode aired in November 2019, but you can catch up on all four seasons on Netflix.

Fleabag

It's hard to imagine there's anyone left who hasn't seen Fleabag, the comedy from Phoebe Waller-Bridge which has picked up pretty much every award going in the last year.

If you're already a fan, watch again on BBC iPlayer. If not, enjoy. And remember: hair is everything.

Chernobyl

On the one hand, you probably don't want to watch a programme about a nuclear disaster at the minute. On the other, last year's dramatisation of the 1986 tragedy is one of the greatest TV series made in recent years.

If you want to watch, you can find it on NOW TV.

Want more?

:: Listen to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

You can also take a listen to our special bonus episode of Backstage, which features our in-depth guide to the best ways to spend your screen-time.

And if you're looking for a new podcast, feel free to subscribe if you like what you hear.

We'd also love to hear about what you're watching and your recommendations - get in touch at backstage@sky.uk

Sky News

© Sky News 2020


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