Calum Henderson's guide to staying in and staying entertained
As the wise David Bowie once said in the intro to 1983's Modern Love: "I know when to go out, when to stay in." He'd have been the first to tell us that right now is the time to stay in.
What are we going to do to pass the time? One idea is to sit (or lie) on the couch (or bed) and simply watch stuff. Here are some things that could fill the void of going out.
These are desperate times for sports fans. Last weekend on Twitter I saw people watching Sky Sport's full replay of the 2015 Cricket World Cup semi-final and tweeting about it as if it were live. That's one option.
There are also heaps of season-long fly-on-the-wall documentary series to get stuck into. I recommend Sunderland Til I Die (Netflix), which follows one of England's biggest football clubs through a couple of spectacularly, historically unsuccessful seasons. There's also Cheer (Netflix), the All Or Nothing series (Amazon Prime Video) or Keeping the Faith: 25 Years With the Warriors (Neon).
If you miss going out to restaurants, it's hard to say if watching mouthwatering restaurant-based shows like Ugly Delicious or Chef's Table (both Netflix) will make you feel better or much, much worse. What I can equivocally recommend is visiting the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen on YouTube.
If you've never visited the Test Kitchen before, prepare for some of the most comforting and wholesome content ever created. Start with It's Alive with Brad, which is all about fermenting, then try Gourmet Makes, where Claire attempts to recreate famous snack foods from scratch. Soon you'll know every member of the Test Kitchen by name ("Delany…") and feel like you're part of their perfect work family.
Speaking of work families, there's no better time to revisit old faves – The Office (UK or US, both are good), Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn 99 – you know the ones. In the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm (Neon), Larry opens a coffee shop. Why not?
If you want some new mates to hang out with, try Terrace House (Netflix), the Japanese reality series about young people living together that's like a cute and non-confrontational version of Love Island. Not only is it considerably more relaxing to watch, the fact it's subtitled forces you to look at your phone less and we should probably all be looking at our phones less. Plus, there's literally hundreds of hours of it to get through.
To paraphrase another famous David (Brent): who says quarantine has to be depressing? With the Comedy Festival among the raft of cancellations, innovative local funnymen Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery have launched a Facebook show called Happening, a low-budget online variety show which streams live from Tim's garage. When I tuned in, Guy was talking about buying new undies - and it genuinely cheered me up to hear such inane chit-chat.
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Speaking of local comedy innovations, earlier this year Leigh "That Guy" Hart launched his own streaming platform, Moonflix. I thought it was a joke at first but it's real - and you can go there to watch practically everything he's ever made – Moon TV, Late Night Big Breakfast, Screaming Reels and more, all for free.
You can still swipe your fingers to the bone during quarantine but you're going to have to take a long raincheck on that drink. At least there's still Netflix rom-coms (hot tip: Love, Rosie is out the gate) or anthology series Modern Love (Amazon Prime Video) to keep the romance alive.