Gavin & Stacey, created by James Corden and Ruth Jones in 2007, revolves around the lives of two families - one in Billericay, Essex, and the othe...
In this weird time of self-isolation and COVID19, here are our recommendations for 10 fun and feel good TV shows to distract you from Coronavirus and the news.
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1. Race Across The World
Narrated by John Hannah.
BBC Two, March 2019 and March 2020.
Race Across The World is a travel competition that first aired in March 2019 on BBC Two. Five couples, (that could be Mother and Son, best friends or partners etc) begin an extensive race that covers many different countries in order to win £20,000. However the race is made a lot harder by the fact that they must leave their phones, credit cards and the Internet at home. Participants also mustn’t travel by plane and only have the cash equivalent of the airfare it would take to get to the finish line. So, the couples have to ask for directions, take varying public transport and must earn money along the route to fund their trip.
Each couple has to make it to specific checkpoints throughout the race where they are asked to sign in the arrival’s book. Here they see whether they have made it to the destination ahead of the other travellers. From the checkpoint the couples leave at staggered times that correspond to their arrival.
Race Across The World started on the BBC back in March 2019 where for season one couples had to race across Europe starting in London and reaching Singapore, the final checkpoint. Season two which started in March 2020 sees the five couples race from Mexico City all the way through South America until they reach the southernmost tip, Ushuaia in Argentina.
Race Across The World is such a great TV show to watch if you are self-isolating, missing the outdoors and are interested in travel, backpacking and adventure. It is heart-warming to watch each couple grow in confidence and have the time of their lives through the trip.
2. Chef's Table
Netflix, 6 Seasons: April 2015.
Chef's Table is a food and travel documentary series created by David Gelb and is actually the second original Netflix documentary series ever created. Each episode profiles a professional chef from around the world and introduces you to their way of thinking, their lifestyle, they’re fabulous food and how they are defining their craft.
Chef’s Table is a really cinematic, intelligent and mindful look at food and the surroundings of the individual; we meet everyone from Massimo Bottura in Modena, Italy to Alex Atala inSão Paulo, Brazil. The chefs tell personal stories and uncover inspirations; you will not learn any recipes on this show. There are six seasons for you to enjoy and a season dedicated entirely to Pastry so there is plenty of this TV Show to watch if you are self-isolating.
3. Gordon, Gino and Fred: Road Trip
Starring Gordon Ramsay, Gino D'Acampo and Fred Sirieix.
ITV, October 2018.
Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Siriex have joined forces in a rather unlikely trio (but one most women over 30 are undoubtably thankful for) and have been visiting their homelands of Scotland, Italy and France on a European road trip in a campervan. Each chef has a special occasion to prepare for in each of their corresponding countries and as a group, they will compete to find the best ingredients from the best looking locations. Gino has to prepare for a wedding blessing on the beach in Italy, Gordon takes part in Highland games in Scotland and Fred helps deliver the first oyster festival in France.
It is like watching three boys on a school trip but it is very funny, especially how annoyed Gordon Ramsay gets with Gino D’Acampo. One of the funnest TV Shows to watch if self-isolating.
Starring Alan Davies, Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig.
BBC Two, 242 episodes: September 2003.
QI is a staple British panel show full of quite interesting facts. Originally hosted by Stephen Fry starting in 2003, Sandi Toksvig took over the show in 2016 and there are a total of 242 episodes for you to enjoy if you are in self-isolation.
Each series chooses a letter of the alphabet to explore and four comedians join the host to try and answer obscure questions which they are never able to do but end up finding unbelievable bits of knowledge. If the comedians answer the question with an obvious answer a buzzer sounds and points are deducted on their ever increasingly made up total.
Every episode features Alan Davies, a comedian that you may have seen from shows such as Jonathan Creek, and The Dog Rescuers. Other notable comedians that have starred regularly on QI include Phill Jupitus with 44 appearances, Bill Bailey with 42, Jimmy Carr with 39 and Jo Brand with 38 appearances.
5. Friday Night Dinner
Starring Tamsin Grieg, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal, Paul Ritter and Mark Heap.
Channel 4, 4 Seasons: February 2011.
Friday Night Dinner is a comedy from Channel 4 that has been running for five seasons since 2011. It follows two brothers Adam and Johnny Goodman as they visit their family home every Friday night for a meal. They spend their time playing pranks on each other like teenagers, cringing at their embarrassing Father and try to ruin their Mum Jackie’s dream of having a normal only home. They also have a creepy and invasive neighbour called Jim who just happens to pop round every Friday night.
Tamsin Greg plays Jackie Goodman and was nominated for the Best Female Comedy Performance BAFTA Award for her role. This is the perfect TV show to watch if you are self-isolating and want to laugh because the situations are completely outrageous, there is a lot of slapstick comedy and I promise you will not laugh as much about a dead fox in any other circumstance.
6. The Trip
Starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
Sky One, 4 Seasons: May 2001.
The Trip To Greece is the latest incarnation of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s alter egos who, for four seasons, have travelled across Europe eating luxury food and reviewing restaurants. We’re a fly on the wall in their conversations which usually end up being a competition between them on who can imitate andimpersonate celebrities the best.
In this season, The Trip To Greece, they visit the beach home of the film Mamma Mia! whilst impersonating Ray Winston, visit Delphi while doing impressions of Dustin Hoffman and arrive in Hydra whilst bringing out the mandatory Mick Jagger.
The TV Show to watch if self-isolating as you'll be doing a lot of terrible celebrity impressions at the same time!
Created by Tania Alexander and Stephen Lambert.
Channel 4, 190 Episodes: March 2013 - 2020.
Gogglebox might be one of the only shows that I make sure to tune in to at its time of airing, 9PM on a Friday night on Channel 4. Visit living rooms across the country and meet the UK’s armchair critics who watch the best shows on TV from the week just gone. We see their genuine reactions; sometimes it is emotional, insightful and informative. Overall it is incredibly heartwarming and if you are self isolating this week then why not join other families in their living rooms watching TV from the sofa too.
Giles and Mary are possibly my favourite couple on Gogglebox, they come out with some hilarious one-liners and it seems like they live a very eccentric lifestyle that I hope to emulate one day. Please let me know who your favourite Gogglebox couple/family is.
8. The Goldbergs
Starring Wendi McLendon-Covey, Sean Clambrone and Jeff Garlin.
E4/ABC, 4 Seasons: September 2013.
A TV Show to take you back to the 1980s in a time of no self-isolation! The Goldbergs is an American comedy series that started in 2013, has six seasons and is narrated by Patton Oswalt. It follows a dysfunctional family with three teenagers trying to navigate high school with an overbearing mother and a very nonchalant father who enjoys nothing more than sitting in his armchair calling them morons.
Beverly Goldberg is perhaps the most iconic character from The Goldbergs, she is played by Wendy McLendon-Covey and doesn’t think twice about getting involved with her children’s lives whether that be their high school relationships or confronting a teacher. This usually leads to some very embarrassing situations for Barry, Erica and Adam. The Goldbergs is told from Adam’s point of view who is the youngest of the three with a passion for creating films on his large VHS camera.
9. The Undateables
Documentary Series voiced by Sally Phillips.
Channel 4, 11 Seasons: April 2012.
The Undateables on Channel 4 is a dating show with a twist. It is an incredibly uplifting and emotional TV Show to watch if self-isolating and is all about people who have a physical or learning disability looking to find love.
The show sees them to join a dating agency in the local area and they are then matched up on dates based on their specifications. We see the participants excitedly getting ready for their dates, practising what they are going to say and see whether they get on with the person they have been matched up with.
The participants are very nervous because they may not have been on a date before but finding that true love is what matters to them most. The Undateables has had many success stories and sometimes the episodes go back and feature couples that met on the show and let the audience know what they are up to now. This has included a proposal!
10. The Grand Tour Presents: Seamen
Starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
Amazon Prime, 4 Seasons: December 2019.
The last TV show that I recommend you watch if you are in a period of self-isolation is the 1 hour and 30 minute special from The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime.
The Grand Tour Presents: Seaman Is like an old fashion top gear special where Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond trade in the usual cars in favour of boats and begin in Cambodia, join the Mekong Delta and sail into Vietnam.
If the show's title hasn’t gripped your attention enough, The Grand Tour gang or back up to their old tricks including defacing each other’s boats, running into each other, and leaving each other stranded. It is the first of a series of feature length specials where they make epic journeys across the world. We are expected to see more of their adventures throughout the rest of 2020.
My favourite thing about The Goldbergs is that the entire series was actually created by Adam F.Goldberg and it is based entirely on his life growing up. At the end of every episode you see a home-made clip that Adam created with his own family and it is always striking to see how true to life the episode we have just watched is.
Thanks for reading "Self-Isolating? Here Are 10 Feel Good TV Shows To Watch" on January Media.