Streaming with Scott Ellis: Christmas flicks + something a little spooky
We’re in the run-up to Christmas so there are Christmas specials EVERYWHERE (check out Stan for literally dozens of Christmas episodes from various series including Frasier, Spin City, The Nanny Scorpion, The Office etc), but for a fresh Aussie twist Stan also has Christmas on the Farm, starring Hugh Sheridan, Poppy Montgomery and Darren McMullen about a successful author who has written a book about life on her traditional Aussie farm… but she doesn’t actually live on a farm. Her publisher shows up to see the place before signing a huge contract and she has to host them for Christmas. Chair ensues.
Sopranos fans need to head to their favourite streamer (Apple TV Fetch, Binge, YouTube Google Play and more all have it) for The Many Saints of Newark, which is Tony Soprano’s origin story. Played by James Gandolfini’s real son, this is a trip back to the 60s to see how an ordinary kid became a mafia boss. It’s violent, confronting and utterly riveting. Reminds me a lot of Breaking bad where tiny decisions just keep adding up to create a monster. A must.
If you’re after something spooky, check out Hellbound on Netflix – in the vein of Squid Game, this is a Korean series that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. This time the apocalypse is apparently upon us and angels have appeared to take evil people away to be punished (with the help of some very nasty demons). How does the rest of the world cope with that? Well some turn to religion, others arm themselves to fight back and quite a lot just go on with their lives, which leaves detective Jin to do his job the best he can.
Also spooky Evil on Stan – it’s a cross between The X-Files and Supernatural as a psychologist, a priest and a scientist travel the world to investigate potential miracles and/or supernatural occurrences. All the usual horror tropes get rolled out, possessions, demons, etc, mostly they discover people are just not very nice but there’s a lot of moments to make you jump.
A little less terrifying is on Nine Now from Monday – the Spice Girls Spice Up Your Life special, which looks at how this reality TV group became such megastars. The brief answer is careful management and a ton of promotion, but it’s very interesting to watch nonetheless…
Reno and architecture fans should check out Design Touch on Shelter right now, for the episode that shows what happens when world-class designers are given a massive budget and let loose. There’s a Palazzo in Venice, a stilt-house in Switzerland, a magnificently OTT Sydney restaurant and one place that looks like it’s a spaceship landed in the middle of a field outside paris. Forget Selling Sunset, these are truly unique amazing places.
And one last one check out Stuntwomen: The Untold Story on SBS On Demand, it’s fascinating! Told through interviews with stunt women who stood in for actors in famous shows and movies, it’s a sobering look at the rampant sexism and inequality women face in this very tough industry (they mostly have to do the same jobs as men, but in less protection because the outfits are skimpier!) but also just a great glimpse into a side of movie magic we rarely see.