Isolating at home: Movies, docos and TV shows to stream

You're at home, sick. You're looking for something to watch but you're feeling poorly and it needs to be an easy watch. No subtitles. No graphic violence. Just something cruisy where enough things happen for it to be interesting but not enough that it's going to stop you from having a nap if you need one. It's a delicate balance.

Streaming video with your library card

Fortunately your library card gives you access to a selection of streaming video options with a broad range of titles available. But who has the time and energy to go hunting for something suitable? Here are my recommendations for things you can watch whether you're stuck at home, or choose to be there.

Fun and frivolous

Book club - Diane Keaton. Jane Fonda. Candice Bergen. Mary Steenburgen. With a cast like that how could you go wrong? Four friends tackle humorous romantic challenges when they read Fifty Shades of Grey with their book club. 

Brooklyn - A romantic period drama based on the novel by Colm Tóibín. A young Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) to America follows her dreams and finds love.

Girls just wanna have fun - I first watched this movie as a teenager so the nostalgia levels on this are HIGH. Sarah Jessica Parker is a teen who just wants to dance on MTV so she auditions for a dance competition and pairs up with a hunky guy. Everyone from Helen Hunt to Shannen Doherty is in this movie. It's PEAK 80s.

His girl Friday - Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in what was known as a "screwball comedy". A 1940s classic.

Love and Friendship - Jane Austen adaptations are always highly watchable. Kate Beckinsale's Lady Susan is a terrible person but... you sort of root for her anyway.

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Local goodness

Beyond the edge - Stunning cinematography in this epic portrayal of Sir Edmund Hilary's ascent of Everest.

Boy - This movie always makes me cry, so if you like that kind of thing (and an intense 80s vibe), this is a classic worth a rewatch.

Daffodils - The perfect combination of nostalgia-inducing music and romance.

Dean Spanley - Humour. Reincarnation. A dog. Sam Neill in a top hat. What more do you need?

Hunt for the Wilderpeople - I could honestly watch this movie every weekend. It's such a joy.

Pecking order - Who knew that poultry competitions could be so entertaining. This is super-local as it focuses on the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club.

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Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey - Learn about the man behind the beloved red, fuzzy puppet. 

Matilda and Me - I love Tim Minchin and his musical version of Roald Dahl's beloved book is a delight. Find out more about the story behind the musical.

The Irish Pub - If you can't go to the pub yourself this is the next best thing. Be charmed by all the Irish lilting and discover characters aplenty.

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TV shows

Antiques Roadshow - Is there anything easier to watch than Antiques Roadshow? Gorge yourself on heritage furnishings and somebody's Nan's china. Bliss.

Call the midwife - Bingewatch seasons 1 and 2 for all the drama and bicycling midwives you can handle.

George Clark's Remarkable Renovations - A good renovation show is almost as good as an antiques show in terms of relaxing time-wasting. Watch as presumably quite wealthy British people renovate all sorts of dilapidated old structures like stables, banks or even a police station.

A life in ten pictures - BBC series that looks at the lives of famous people via the iconic images they were captured in. Features people like Freddy Mercury, John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor and more.

VE Day in Colour - What could lift the spirits more than watching people celebrating the end of a war, in colour! There are 2 46 minute episodes, World's Biggest Party, and Countdown to Peace

Little Dorrit - BBC mini-series adaptation of the Dickens novel with an impressive cast that includes Matthew MacFadyen. 

Jane Eyre - Another BBC period drama affair, this time in 2 episodes. If you're after more like this see our post: Frocks and bodices: BBC period dramas.

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