Right now, the world is in the midst of an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus was first found in China back in December, but has since found itself in countries across the world, including the United States. The World Health Organization has officially declared this a global pandemic, and officials are warning everyone to avoid public gatherings, wash your hands, and avoid contact with others if you can help it.
For a lot of us, symptomatic or no, that means holing up in our homes, working remotely (if you are afforded that option), and self-quarantining until it’s safe to come out again. Social distancing is the key to avoiding the virus — or, if you might have it, spreading it to others. This, of course, means many of us have a lot more time on our hands than we might normally. So what better time to work through our respective streaming queues?
As a public service, we here at Consequence of Sound have assembled a quick and dirty guide to the movies, TV shows, games, and videos we think will help you escape (or, in some cases, lean into) the chaos around us. So, wash your hands (20 seconds minimum!), grab your laptop, and read on.
Editor’s note: You can find a complete and updated list of the impacted cultural festivals, concerts and other cultural events here.
Bond, James Bond
Were you shaken, maybe even stirred, to find out that the much-delayed No Time to Die was delayed yet again? Hold on to your martini because there’s plenty of 007 to go around until it finally, hopefully, maybe drops in November. While not all of his world-renown adventures are available for streaming, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and Netflix have several titles to revisit from the comforts of your disease-free couch.
Specifically, and in sequential order: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Amazon Prime), Moonraker (Amazon Prime), For Your Eyes Only (Amazon Prime), A View to a Kill (Amazon Prime), The Living Daylights (Amazon Prime), License to Kill (Amazon Prime), Goldeneye (Amazon Prime/Netflix), Tomorrow Never Dies (Amazon Prime/Netflix), The World Is Not Enough (Amazon Prime/Netflix), Die Another Day (Amazon Prime/Netflix), Casino Royale (HBO Go), and Quantum of Solace (HBO Go).
It can all be very confusing, so be sure to consult our franchise guide.
The Fast Family
While news of Corona the beer’s demise at the hands of corona the virus are deeply exaggerated, Corona’s most loyal son, Dominic Toretto, is feeling the heat. Among the many recent cinematic casualties of the coronavirus pandemic is Fast 9, which has delayed release by an entire year amid concerns over the virus’ effects on global stability. Still, until such time as you can see Dom and his familia enact #JusticeforHan, there are nine other films (and an animated TV show!) to tide you over until the gang meets again.
It’ll take a bit of doing, though: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Tokyo Drift are all available on USA’s streaming service (Hulu has an add-on); Fast Five (HBO), Fast & Furious 6 (FX), Furious 7 (FX); Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw (HBO). Fast & Furious (confusingly, the fourth one) and The Fate of the Furious will all require rentals.
But, turn your eye to Netflix, and you’ll find the kid-geared CG animated series Fast & Furious: Spy Racers in which a government agency recruits a group of car-happy teens, led by Dom’s younger cousin *checks notes* Tony Toretto, to take down an evil car-based crime organization. If you really need your Fast fix until the ninth one comes out in 2021, that’s … an option?
Rock and Roll Movies
Arguably the greatest hit to the entertainment industry has been the live scene. So many concerts and festivals have either been canceled or postponed over the past two weeks — and it’s truly a stroll through Bummerville. Eventually, we’re going to get that itch for live music again (if we haven’t already), which is why it’ll be nice to put on a rock ‘n’ roll movie every once and awhile. Sadly, a good number of the headliners — ahem, Almost Famous, Control, This Is Spinal Tap, The Commitments, and Popstar — will cost you a few bucks. However, there is a wide swath of music-fueled movies for your perusal; it just depends upon the depth of your roster of streaming networks.
Act accordingly: 24 Hour Party People (Starz), A Star is Born (HBO Go), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Starz), Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (Vudu), The Blues Brothers (Starz), Bohemian Rhapsody (HBO Go), The Dirt (Netflix), The Doors (Amazon Prime), Inside Llewyn Davis (Amazon Prime), Josie and the Pussycats (Starz/Showtime/Amazon Prime), The Last Waltz (Amazon Prime), Purple Rain (Netflix), Ray (Starz), Rock N’ Roll High School (Cinemax), School of Rock (Showtime), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Netflix), Sing Street (Vudu), Singles (Vudu), Stop Making Sense (Amazon Prime/Vudu), Straight Outta Compton (FX Now), That Thing You Do (Cinemax), Wayne’s World (Amazon Prime/Hulu), Wayne’s World 2 (Amazon Prime/Hulu), Yesterday (HBO Go)
Of course, if you’re in the mood for some non-fiction, you could tune into This Must Be the Gig or revisit the show’s sprawling back catalogue. Host Lior Phillips has spoken to over dozens upon dozens of your favorite acts about their first concerts, worst shows, and so much more. Below, you can hear Liam Gallagher wax nostalgic about his experiences in the live scene … and so much more.
A Quiet Place
We were so close to reuniting with the Abbots. Alas, we’ll have to wait until Paramount and John Krasinski decide when it’s safe to return to theaters again. Fortunately, that gives us plenty of time to revisit the 2018 original, and Hulu is currently streaming A Quiet Place. Seeing how the whole thing revolves around a family hunkering down amidst a time of chaos, the nature of the story is all too fitting for current times. Even better, you won’t have to worry about any crinkling, sniffing, or coughing while you watch. Below, you can extend the domestic nightmare with a great deep dive by The Horror Virgin. –Michael Roffman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Right about now, living in a galaxy far, far away might not seem like too hazardous a proposition. That said, Star Wars is currently in a really interesting place, even if The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t your cup of tea. We enjoyed it more than most, but if you’re looking to revisit Episode IX to see if it really was as good/bad as you thought, now’s as good a time as any as it drops digitally on Tuesday, March 17th.
But if you need some alternative Star Wars content in your life, the non-film legs of the franchise are stronger than ever. If you’re feeling some lo-fi space Western energy, spin through the eight chapters of The Mandalorian on Disney+ again while sipping some bone broth.
Or — if you’ve got a console — fire up Jedi Fallen Order (PC/Xbox/PS4) and take out your frustrations on many hordes of hapless stormtroopers with your handy-dandy lightsaber. Burning Man’s probably canceled too, so where else are you going to find a twink in a poncho twirling a glowstick?
Doctor Sleep: Director’s Cut
What better time to indulge in the isolation and claustrophobia of The Overlook Hotel? Well, if you haven’t got around to either a.) seeing Mike Flanagan’s cruelly underrated Doctor Sleep or b.) its expansive three-and-a-half-hour director’s cut, then you might want to check into Amazon Prime. The epic sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is available to rent and the Doctor is a perfect guest to join your self-quarantine.
Though, if you’re really thirsty for the Torrances, you could spend a whole day at the Overlook by also renting Kubrick’s 1980 masterpiece. Hell, go meta and make it a true-blue family occasion by grabbing the just-released Shining board game. Then, you can close out the night by hanging with The Losers’ Club, who recently covered Stephen King’s 2013 novel and Flanagan’s adaptation. Anything more … and we’re concerned.
After being canceled and stowed away, The Hunt is ironically one of the few new films hitting theaters right now. As we outlined in our mildly positive review, Blumhouse’s tongue-in-cheek romp is a grisly rollercoaster reimagining of “The Most Dangerous Game” and chock full of thrills. So, if you need to escape your house, you could always take a risk and join Betty Gilpin at the cineplex. Just bring your Purell. –Michael Roffman
For all you sadists out there, know that there are plenty of flicks with viral scares to keep you itching, squirming, and … smiling? Whatever floats your boat. Now, we’re confident there are other films we’re glossing over here — apologies if we’re not all racing to watch this stuff — but we’ve gathered a number of the biggies. From 28 Days Later to The Crazies, Outbreak to Quarantine, you’re in “good” company.
Grab a mask and binge, baby, binge: Contagion (Cinemax), The Crazies (Tubi), Outbreak (Netflix), 28 Days Later (Hulu), Carriers (Netflix), Pontypool (Shudder), The Girl With All the Gifts (Hulu), Children of Men (Hulu), The Stand (Vudu), and Quarantine (Starz).
If you need a break from the screen, you could always actually read Stephen King’s The Stand. The similarities to now are a little jarring, but that’s all part of the fun, right? And because the idea of a book club is currently out of the question, feel free to join The Losers’ Club, who devoted not one, not two, but five episodes to the epic tome.
Click ahead to read about your TV options…
Premieres Sunday, March 15th at 9:00 p.m. EST via HBO
It’s been nearly two years since the second season of Westworld shattered the jaws of sci-fi fans across the world. Since then, everyone’s been champing at the bit for a followup, and HBO has certainly gassed that fire with multiple teasers and trailers. So, it’s kind of a blessing in disguise that such a television event would drop when, well, we have nowhere to go but our homes. With the addition of Aaron Paul and all the world-building at hand, Westworld appears to be the kind of appointment entertainment we need right now. –Michael Roffman
Little Fires Everywhere
Premieres Wednesday, March 18th via Hulu
Already watched Big Little Lies enough times that you’re sick of it, but still need your fix of Reese Witherspoon butting heads with other headstrong women in wealthy suburbs? If so, may I direct your attention to Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, an adaptation of the Celeste Ng novel in which a matriarch of a picture-perfect family (Witherspoon) takes in a struggling single mom (Kerry Washington) and her daughter. The two collide to predictably dramatic results, cracking open fissures in race and class while trying to keep their children out of the drama. –Clint Worthington
Better Call Saul
Airs Mondays at 8:00 p.m. EST via AMC
Better Call Saul is nearly halfway through Season 5, and boy has it been a wild one. Sure, Hank and Gomez returned, and we all guffawed with nostalgic glee, but the real highlight has been seeing the ripple effect of Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. We’re inching closer and closer into Breaking Bad territory, and with El Camino offering closure for Jesse Pinkman, the same is happening for Albuquerque’s ambulance-chasing lawyer. Catch up or keep watching, but don’t miss out on these episodes. And if you want some hints as to what’s to come, revisit our chat with Kim Wexler herself, Rhea Seehorn. –Michael Roffman
The Plot Against America
Premieres Monday, March 16th at 8:00 p.m. EST via HBO
A limited series about an alternate history America? Sold. Handled by David Simon? Gimme now. With The Plot Against America, HBO’s prodigal son works off Philip Roth’s novel and reunites with Winona Ryder and John Turturro for yet another doozy of a drama. The six-episode run, according to a logline, is “told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism.” Well, doesn’t that hit home nicely. Oy gevalt. –Michael Roffman
Drops Thursdays via FX on Hulu
What if this whole thing is a simulation, maaan? If you need to distract yourself with more existential concerns than a global pandemic, sci-fi mastermind Alex Garland might have you covered with FX on Hulu’s mercurial new series Devs. Part Mr. Robot, part Ex Machina, Devs follows a software programmer (Sonoya Mizuno) who investigates the Silicon Valley tech company (led by a bone-dry Nick Offerman) who might have had her boyfriend killed. The results are eerie and fascinating, and we even spoke to Alex Garland about what drives the show’s investigation of the nature of our reality. It’s only a few episodes in, but hey, maybe this whole thing will blow over by the time the finale comes out! –Clint Worthington
Streaming via Amazon Prime
“Oh, yeah, I heard The Expanse was good,” I hear from the dozenth friend I’ve breathlessly gushed to about Amazon’s (formerly Syfy) big-budget space opera series. “I should totally check that out,” they tell me. They’re not going to check it out, my brain responds. Well, now we’re holed up in our apartments and poring over articles about what to watch while we wait out a global pandemic, so no more excuses! If you miss the sprawling storytelling of Game of Thrones, but like your novelistic genre shows to get better as they progress, The Expanse is absolutely your jam.
Based on the novels by James S. A. Corey, the show is a genre-hopping epic about a near-future mankind that’s colonized the solar system but is still up to the same partisan squabbling there’s always been. The Expanse has it all: realistic The Martian-like space physics, Thomas Jane as a space detective in a fedora, Shohreh Aghdashloo as a brusque politician who curses more than Al Swearingen, David Straithairn with a handlebar mustache and goofy space accent.
Oh, and did I mention that the plot revolves around a mysterious, unstoppable pathogen that quickly spreads through the solar system and which no government seems to be able to contain? Escapism!
Streaming via Netflix
If you need more expensive, little-seen science fiction in your life, you could do far worse than the two seasons to date of Netflix’s Altered Carbon. In a time when we’re all scared for our health (or the health of others), the premise of the show sounds perfect: In a far-flung cyberpunk future, alien technology allows us to store our consciousness in little implanted disks called ‘stacks,’ which we can insert into new bodies (called ‘sleeves’) at will.
It’s a way to cheat death, but in classic cyberpunk fashion, it also leads to an amoral universe where the wealthy (called ‘meths’) can live indefinitely in cloned bodies, while the hoi polloi suffer in pain and squalor.
The show’s got its ups and downs — it leans into its ’90s pulp setting for all the good and bad it can muster, and Joel Kinnaman hardly impresses as the protagonist, rugged detective Takeshi Kovacs. But still, it’s lush, gorgeous, and unabashedly horny (keep your eyes peeled for the naked lady swordfight!), and one of its best characters is a smarmy AI modeled after Edgar Allen Poe.
Season 2 improves on the formula, recasting Kinnaman with Anthony Mackie (the show’s body-swapping conceit makes recasting a breeze) and streamlining the story quite a bit. In classic Netflix fashion, it’ll either get a third and final season or be dead and buried as we speak; however much we got of Altered Carbon, though, it’s worth killing some time with.
Streaming via Netflix
Need hope that the depressing reality of social distancing can yield new and exciting friendships? Look no further than the shockingly-wholesome reality competition series The Circle (Netflix), in which several contestants spend their days in separate rooms in the same apartment building, interacting only through a social media app. Who hits it off? Who hates each other? Who’s secretly a catfish?
Despite the grossness of the concept on paper, The Circle quickly morphs into a strangely pure experiment in which the contestants form genuine, caring connections with each other. There’s the dorky Subham, the fabulous Chris, and of course, the deceptively sweet Jersey bro Joey.
Soon enough, we’ll all only be communicating through screens, so we might as well get some training on how to do it right.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
Streaming via Netflix
Just because you’ve locked yourself in your apartment with your cat, some White Claws, and a family-size bag of Smartfood doesn’t mean you get to neglect the everyday importance of keeping a clean house. Might as well while away the days going through your closet, which means finally watching (or re-watching for the millionth time) Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, your adorable reminder to tidy your goddamn room.
Streaming via Netflix until HBO Max takes over like Sabre
Don’t lie: You’re already watching The Office. Probably for your seventh time through, no less. Well, now you actually have a reason as the NBC institution turns 15 this month. So, while you awkwardly giggle at Dwight quarantining Dunder Mifflin from lice, you can also take out those Costco cupcakes you snagged last minute and blow out a candle or two. –Michael Roffman
The Tina Fey Trifecta
Streaming via Netflix and Hulu
Sitcoms seem like the perfect way to pass the days and not think about the inevitable breakdown of social order that’s coming. While you could settle for more sophisticated, nuanced, and warm hugs like Parks and Rec or The Office (see above), sometimes you just need a pure-strain absurdist joke delivery system. Luckily, Tina Fey’s got you covered: Obviously, there are the seven seasons of TGS shenanigans with 30 Rock (Netflix/Hulu), and the four seasons of bunker-busting mayhem with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).
But if you’re looking for an additional Fey fix, try out the two seasons we got of the short-lived Great News (Netflix/Hulu), the Fey-produced (and Tracey Wigfield-created) series about life behind the scenes at a New York network news show. It’s not as polished as Fey’s previous shows, but absolutely carries that 30 Rock feel, from Fey alums Horatio Sanz and Adam Campbell to shockingly fitting turns from Andrea Martin, John Michael Higgins and Nicole Richie(!).
Just saying, if you need to ride out your self-quarantine but you’ve watched the other two shows to death, Great News‘ 23 episodes are nothing to sneeze at.
Want to kill hours on YouTube? Click ahead!
For only the fourth time in its long storied history, the Mouse House will shudder its theme park doors, which means that Spring trip to Galaxy’s Edge is going to have to wait. So, once you’re done unpacking, it would behoove you to check out the most excellent docu-series Defunctland. Hosted by Kevin Perjurer, this YouTube series takes an engaging and humorous look at all your favorite defunct theme park rides of yesteryear. From Back to the Future: The Ride to Jaws to even some hilariously bad suburban theme parks (see above), he covers it all. Give it a whirl. –Michael Roffman
Bon Appetit Test Kitchen
The way things are looking, we’ll all be eating cans of baked beans cooked over a garbage can fire in just a few weeks. Until then, though, there’s plenty of haute cuisine joy to be found on the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen YouTube channel. The Conde Nast-backed food magazine has exploded in the last year thanks to the vibrant personalities and cheeky presentation of their YT channel’s roster of off-the-wall food shows.
There’s a flavor for every taste: Jersey boy Brad Leone’s fermentation series It’s Alive, Carla Lalli music’s series of back-to-back cooking demonstrations with various celebrities, Chris Morocco’s super-taster replications of famous dishes blindfolded, etc. Plus, of course, there are the requisite recipe videos, which are always a treat to watch.
But the biggest hit for BA is, without a doubt, Gourmet Makes, in which test kitchen staffer (and pastry chef) Claire Saffitz attempts to recreate and elevate famous junk foods from the auspices of the BA test kitchen, usually slowly going insane over the course of 40 minutes. One day, a found-footage horror movie will be made of a Gourmet Makes episode where Claire eventually snaps and just murders everyone in the kitchen for making her temper chocolate One. More. Goddamn. Time.
Whether you revel in their failures or cheer at their successes, the fine folks at BA are a surefire cure for that social distancing we’re all worried about. Yay for parasocial relationships with Youtubers!