...Aaaand we’re back! It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had time here at bonkers.ie to give a few of our tried and tested streaming recommendations, so here’s a fresh new bunch of picks to get excited about watching this weekend!
Returning season: The Girlfriend Experience (Season 2)
We previously recommended Season 1 of this slow burning, but riveting character driven series that took a peek into the life of one studious law student, turned ambitious high-class escort back in September.
Season 2 has returned with a new cast of characters and stories and has taken on a new and novel format. Two episodes are to be released weekly, each following separate and distinct characters and plotlines. Thematically, the series covers the same territory - that of high class prostitution.
In episode one, we see Erica Myles, a finance director at a super political action committee, enlist an escort, Anna Garner, in an attempt to gain a secret. In episode two, escort Bria Jones enters the witness protection program in order to escape an abusive relationship.
These first two episodes are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now and the streaming service will be updated every week with new episodes.
Give it a go: If you liked season 1 and you like character driven stories.
Give it a miss: You’re not a fan of explicit narratives or anthology series.
New Netflix Original Series: Alias Grace
Based on Margaret Atwood’s award winning novel and inspired by true events, Alias Grace tells the story of Grace Marks, a young, poor Northern Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Canada who - along with a stable - finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 double murder of her employer and his housekeeper.
With just six episodes to the season, this absorbing series is truly worth the weekend binge for title actress Sarah Gadon’s hypnotic performance alone. Gadon truly shines as the enigmatic Grace and viewers will be hooked to the end to discover the truth of her story.
Promising review: “Gabon is superb as a woman whose meekness seems to contain rolling oceans of emotions. The deeper you get into the series, the more her performance seems almost hypnotic.”
Give it a go: If you’re looking to a great piece of historical fiction.
Give it a miss: If you’re looking for an explosive and satisfying ending.
Teen angst takes to the road: The End of the ****ing World
'I'm James. I'm 17. And I'm pretty sure I'm a psychopath.' As compelling an opening line as you’re likely to find, The End of the ****ing World is part of Channel 4’s fitting boxset line up of shows entitled “Misfits & Maniacs” - fitting.
This darkly comedic series follows James, an introverted outcast with aforementioned psychopathic tendencies and Alyssa, a forcefully outspoken, wilful and angry teenage girl. This mismatched pair hit the road after a series of criminal events lead them to flee both their parents and the police.
Part Inbetweeners, part Badlands, part every awkward teen trope you’ve ever seen - surprisingly TEOTFW works and like Alias Grace, is pleasingly bingeable at just eight short episodes in length. All episodes are available to stream on All 4 now.
Give it a go: If you’ve ever felt like an outcast.
Give it a miss: If you bore easily of teenage melodramatic histrionics.
In the mood for anthology? Try Electric Dreams
We previously dedicated a whole article to quality anthology series, and we’ve got another one to add to your viewing queue! Electric Dreams, a new sci-fi anthology series from Channel 4 based on the short stories of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Minority Report, The Man in the High Castle among others).
Each episode is a self-contained short sci-fi film of its own and as with any anthology series, the results are hit and miss. You’ll find many familiar faces including Timothy Spall, Bryan Cranston, Steve Buscemi and Anna Paquin among others. Scenarios include a post-apocalyptic future where human mutant mind readers disrupt public daily life, an old woman’s last journey through space to return to earth with a space travel company and a downtrodden train attendant's discovery of a secret town on the line.
Electric Dreams is available to stream on All 4 now.
Promising review: “At a time when audiences clearly have an appetite for engaging with bigger questions, presented in a mind-bending, beautifully filmed format, Electric Dreams will more than satisfy.”
Give it a go: If you liked Black Mirror and new world’s every episode.
Give it a miss: If you’re very familiar with Philip K. Dick, this will tread too familiar ground.
Amazing animation: Kubo and the Two Strings
An animated action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan, Kubo and the Two Strings tells the story of Kubo, whose life is disrupted when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past, who storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Forced on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey and Beetle and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known.
With the help of his shamisen - a magical musical instrument - Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King and the evil twin Sisters, to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.
Lauded by critics for its beautifully rendered animation and emotional depth, Kubo and the Two Strings is sure to delight audiences young and old alike.
Kubo and the Two Strings is available to stream on NOW TV now.
Promising review: “Go watch Kubo and the Two Strings now, for its expensive and gorgeous production value, and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by its complex emotionality.”
Give it a go: If you’re looking for an original story in a family film.
Give it a miss: If you’re in the mood for something more adult.
That’s it for this week!
If you’re looking for something else to watch, why not check out our last edition of what to watch?