Many of us are on week two of social distancing by staying at home. Life becomes completely different when you no longer have the choice of going shopping, going out for dinner, going to the movies or even going to the park. We have to shift our focus and find entertaining things to do while stuck at home. If you have run out of ideas, I thought I would share my favourite movies, TV shows and books to give you some inspiration:
Once I have watched a movie, I rarely have a desire to see it again. The movies I’ve included below are movies I have watched more than once:
John Candy could stare at the screen and read the phone book (okay, some of you won’t know what that is lol) and I would crack up. His expressions are just magical and he had such a lovable quality about him. In this comedy, Candy, as unkempt and carefree bachelor Uncle Buck, is asked to babysit for his brother’s kids, one of whom is played by a pre-Home Alone Macaulay Culkin. Candy unintentionally embarrasses the kids by taking them to school in his beat-up Mercury Marquis Brougham, arriving at one of the kid’s parties and generally being in their business. Laurie Metcalf plays a neighbour who develops a crush on Buck. Uncle Buck provides non-stop laughs and for that reason, it is one of my favourite movies.
My Cousin Vinny
Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci), who has just barely passed the New York Bar exam, and his fast-talking auto mechanic girlfriend Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei), travel to Alabama so that Vinny can defend his cousin on a murder charge. This one is worth watching just to see Marisa Tomei’s character explain how the tire marks are made by a ’64 Buick Skylark while testifying as an expert witness in court. Tomei won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her performance.
A Streetcar Named Desire
This is an oldie but a goodie. I studied the Tennessee Wiliams play in my Modern Drama class so that really helped me deconstruct this epic Southern Gothic drama. I’ve watched this movie over 10 times; it’s that good. Fragile and aging Southern belle Blanche DuBois arrives in New Orleans to stay with her newlywed sister Stella and her working-class husband Stanley. Blanche has experienced some recent setbacks including the loss of the family estate, as well as being fired from her teaching position; Stanley is eager to get to the bottom of her troubles. Vivien Leigh won an Oscar for her evocative performance as Blanche while Marlon Brando as the intense Stanley Kowalski introduces his Method acting style to the world.
Other favourite movies include A Marriage Story, Bridesmaids, Pulp Fiction, The Fugitive, The Departed and Uncle Buck.
Favourite TV Shows / Series
I usually aim for humour or drama with my choice of TV series.
This Netflix series focuses on the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from the time of her marriage to Prince Phillip. A prominent theme in the series is the Queen’s balance of love and duty, with the latter winning out on most occasions. The first and second seasons feature the incredible Claire Foy in the lead role with John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.
I still have to watch the last season so please don’t give away the ending in the comments lol. This series really took me by surprise. I didn’t think I would enjoy it considering the subject matter as I usually try to stay away from violent TV series, but the acting and storyline reeled me in. Understanding the psychology of protagonist, Bryan
This Canadian detective series takes place in turn of the century Toronto. For that reason, it’s fun to hear references to Victorian-era Toronto and buildings on street names that are still around today. There are many things to love about this series including the romance of lead protagonist William Murdoch and coroner and later surgeon Julia Ogden. Crusty but inspector Brackenreid “Crabtree, put the bloody kettle on.” Dimwitted Constable Henry Higgins has managed to get a witness shot during an episode that was a tribute to Weekend at Bernie’s.
Other favourite TV shows include The Office, Schitt’s Creek, Anne with an E, Kim’s Convenience, Frasier, Felicity, Dawson’s Creek.
Since I am a somewhat avid reader, it will be hard to whittle my favourite down to just a few but I’ll try. I perused the books I have read on my Goodreads account and here are some of my favourites:
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
The Healing Power of Illness – This is the one book in my library that I would be devastated to lose so I don’t lend it even to friends. I first read Dethlefsen’s amazing book 20 years ago and was mindblown. Dethlefsen’s insight into the mind-body connection is beyond intuitive; it’s obvious he was years ahead of his time. You’ll find out the subconscious reasons why, for instance, people have asthma, migraines, kidney disease, arthritis. And no, this is not a new-agey, self help book; it’s far too intelligent for that. If you can find a copy online, I recommend purchasing it although it won’t be cheap
Coming Ashore by Catherine Gildiner
In this memoir, Ms Gildiner reveals herself to be a daredevil who has one adventure after the next as she attends Oxford for a postgraduate degree, then ends up in Toronto. The fascinating people she meets along the way are rock stars, English nobility and FLQ members! The author has an amazing storytelling ability and her humour is rampant throughout her memoir. Perhaps it’s her naivete that gets her into certain situations or simply an “I-don’t-care” attitude towards her naysayers, but you will definitely enjoy reading about the author’s jawdropping experiences.
Other favourite books include Adam Bede by George Eliot, The Quiet American by Graham Greene, Dubliners by James Joyce, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series.
You might be interested in reading, “10 Family Activities While You’re Stuck at Home“.