It’s in this kind of weather at this time of year that, if you could choose, you wouldn’t get out of bed. Or, at least, if you did get out of bed, you wouldn’t move much farther than the couch.
To be clear, it’s not that the weather is particularly trying. I mean, we’re not in the Arctic like king penguins huddled together en masse incubating eggs in this special pouch by our feet. It’s not like that.
But there is this degree of hardship that comes with a cold snap in the mid- to late-portion of March.
Do we label it ennui? Seems like that would be reserved for the doldrums of August. Is it malaise though? Possibly. It’s definitely some kind of philosophical French word that conveys a degree of world weariness.
So. What to do?
Well, a), pick up Mama Rosa’s on the way home so you don’t have to cook. And then, b), turn to Netflix. Yes, this is the time of year where you give yourself permission. Because winter, let’s face it, has been a flop: no snow, hardly any snow days, no endlessly exciting blizzard anticipation. So this weekend, with everyone in the Northeast at a standstill anyway, it’s time to roll up all that time you would have spent enjoying a winter white-out and give it back to yourself.
Of course, that just leaves the question of what to watch. And if you’ll allow me, I have some recommendations.
First stop, “Planet Earth.” I discovered these a few weeks ago while I was really sick with the stomach flu. I made do by holing up in bed and watching nearly every episode. Narrated by David Attenborough, whose voice will cure anyone’s nausea, the cinematography is breathtaking, the subject matter, which ranges from jungles to deep oceans, fascinating. I can’t recommend these enough. Also, you’ll learn all about king penguins.
Second up, “Schitt’s Creek.” I love this show so terribly much I only allow myself to watch it if I am on the elliptical because it actually makes me look forward to working out. The show stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, a dynamo combo if there ever was one. Johnny Rose has lost his fortune and been reduced to living in a hotel in the town of Schitt’s Creek, which he, his wife and two grown children learn is aptly named. The show is absolutely hilarious, never misses an opportunity to showcase the family’s pretentiousness and has characters with the best wardrobes on TV.
I found the show “Love” by accident, and it’s pretty wonderful. It’s the storied story of Mickey and Gus, who live in L.A. and fall in love with each other despite their own neuroses and problems. It sounds heavy and it is to a degree, but it’s very believable, smart and funny too.
If you’re really looking for a getaway, do not pass go or collect $200 until you watch “Bloodline.” It’s set in the Florida Keys and, holy moly, this makes you want to go there after you’ve watched a few episodes. It’s about what happens to a wealthy family when the black-sheep brother returns home, bringing to the surface past deaths and inequities. Ben Mendelsohn plays the bad brother and is masterful. Kyle Chandler is the “good” brother and he’s as engaging as always.
Of course, I first fell in love with Kyle after watching the series “Friday Night Lights,” the entirety of which is also on Netflix. Can anyone give a pep talk better than Coach Kyle? And does anyone have a better Southern accent? I argue no. Not being a huge football fan, I never thought I would get into this show, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill primetime television drama; it has meat on its bones. Oh, and hunky Tim Riggins.
Finally, “Chef’s Table.” I know I’ve mentioned the show before, but it truly is worth watching. If you have even a tiny interest in the Food Network, this show is for you. Each episode is the story of one of the best chefs cooking in the world today, and that means everywhere, from Slovenia to Patagonia. While the food shots are capital-A amazing, it’s really the individual stories that make the show, all of which are inspiring and almost all of which speak of overcoming considerable hardship.
And that brings us back to enduring our own hardship of mean, old cold weather when it should be jaunty spring. Oh me, oh my, will this blasé winter never end? Hopefully a weekend of serious TV bingeing will chase the blues away.