Need a mental health break from the news? I present for your consideration three works filled with good vibes only.
I stumbled across this movie in a random Netflix trawl and I could not be happier with the discovery. While recovering from a bit of a career disaster, a TV news producer (played by Rachel McAdams) is pulled in to save a dying morning show, and it’s an uphill climb from the get-go. So what’s to love? First, it has Rachel McAdams and I would watch her read the phone book, such is my love for her. Second, there is a romance sub-plot (and we all know I’m here for the romance). Third, and most importantly, it has a woman (aforementioned Rachel) stepping into her power and making great strides at work. All three of these things combine into an excellent romantic comedy. There’s a HEA. There’s a struggle. There are lessons to be learned. What more could you possibly want from a movie on a random Tuesday morning when you’re supposed to be working, but actually just need the comfort of a great movie? In short, nothing. This movie gives it all to you.
Should you need something a little longer and a little lighter, then I have Great News for you (ba dum tish!). Great News is a gently satirical TV comedy series about a news show. The two anchors are a mess, the executive producer is a bit of a jerk (initially) and Katie never gets a look in. She fights her corner only to have her mom (who takes up an internship at the show) upstage her. There is also a romantic sub-plot which always piques my interest (see previous points). The humour is never at the expense of the characters’ dignity. I cannot abide shows that rely on degrading mockery for laughs. And the gentle mocking of our looks-obsessed society is played to perfection by Nicole Richie. We have boomers and millennials co-existing in relative peace and harmony and I love it. This show is perfect for having on in the background while you chop piles of vegetables for those Instant pot dinners or while colouring in your 50th illustration of a unicorn. In short, this show will keep you company regardless of your lockdown hobbies. It’s a treat!
The Morning Show
If you’re looking for something more serious and more immersive, then this is the show for you. Mitch is fired as the co-host of The Morning Show for sexual harassment. This leaves his co-host Alex emotionally overwhelmed and the entire show in crisis. Enter Bradley, a wildcard journalist with a burning passion for the truth. The reviews for this show have generally not been kind, so it was with some trepidation that I started watching this series. I had *planned* to only watch the first five minutes to see what it was like. Two hours later, I was still watching. If you want compulsive viewing that is going to give you an emotional workout, then this is the show for you. There are more twists and turns than would seem possible, as people turn on each other and new alliances form. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say: it’s a wild ride.
The first two are shows that I rely on over and over again for a gentle holiday from reality. The last show in the list is one that I relied on to make the whole world disappear, just for a bit. But I’m sure there are more “not news” news shows out there. So, dear readers, please share your recommendations in the comments below.