As our collective quarantine rages on, you might find yourself slowly starting to run out of things to watch. That first week or two might’ve been kind of great, with tons of shows to catch up on and movies people keep telling you to check out but you never had time for. Now, with Tiger King in the rearview mirror and several popular shows not due to return for several weeks/months, pickings may be slim.
Thankfully, several premium streaming services have made themselves available — for free! HBO is offering a limited number of their content, while Prime and Apple TV have options of their own, too. For this week’s Quarantine Guide, Deepak and Ryley have found what we think are the best Movies, Documentaries, Shows, and even Comics that are worth your time as we get through the doldrums of this quarantine.
James Bond in 4K | Amazon Prime
What better way to kill hours upon hours of free time than watching Bond movies? For the first time ever, Amazon Prime has collected the first 20 Bond adventures — that’s all the films of Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan — in 4K Ultra High Definition. (The Daniel Craig films are available for purchase in 4K UHD, either via streaming at any number of platforms, or on physical media, which is the best option). These transfers represent a sizable upgrade over the existing and available Blu-rays, especially Goldeneye, which received a hideously DNR’d transfer on-disc. (The lone exception is The Spy Who Loved Me, for which the Blu-ray already has the 4K master down rezzed to 1080p.) Anyone who’s only seen these movies via the Lowry restorations is in for a treat, as the new 4K transfers showcase incredible detail, beautiful film grain, and bold colors, even without High Dynamic Range (HDR). They’re a real treat, so watch them before they’re gone.
Big Little Lies | HBO
I love Big Little Lies. Those of who you think this is just some chick-flick show are dead wrong. Big Little Lies is two seasons chock-full of drama, suspense, murder, sex, and everything a good show should have. Sharply written with well-rounded characters (male and female), it’s hard to talk about Big Little Lies without giving anything away. But for those of you who may have missed the boat on one of the decade’s best and most talked-about dramas, do yourself a favor and use this quarantine to watch Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgaard, and Meryl freakin’ Streep act circles around each other. This is one of the five best shows of the 2010s, without question.
The Wire | HBO
Everybody knows that they should watch The Wire. The Baltimore crime drama, from David Simon and Ed Burns, is wildly considered the greatest television show of all time. Alan Sepinwall called it “The Great American Novel for Television.” The only thing that stands between most people and The Wire is feeling like they aren’t ready for The Wire. A feeling I completely understand! I can’t tell you the number of times I started Episode 1 (“The Target”) and had to stop part of the way through, telling myself “I’m not ready.” Well, dear reader, The Wire is currently free on HBO to help you get through quarantine. And I’m here to tell you a secret: You’re ready to watch The Wire.
Before you rush to your streaming device of choice, I do have one piece of advise for you. In many ways, The Wire was ahead of its time in 2002. The complicated web of characters and priorities lends itself perfectly to binge-watching. However, the Pilot episode is not great. I’d highly suggest you take advantage of current social distancing guidelines and get through the first four episodes in one sitting. This will help you get a knack for the character names and alliances, as well as establish a general feel for the show. From there, you’ll be hooked.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment | Epic Game Store
For years, Sherlock Holmes games were, simply, bad. Frogwares, the Ukranian company which has always held the license for Holmes in the video game space, spent far too long trying to deploy Holmes as a force of nature that cannot be deceived. From 2002’s The Mystery of the Mummy to 2012’s The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, the player always felt incidental. In that way, perhaps the games more approximated the experience of being Dr. John Watson: following Holmes around, waiting for him to solve the case with an inevitably shrewd and cunning assessment of the facts.
With Crimes and Punishment (2014), Frogwares finally figured out how to make their games fun. As Sherlock Holmes, most of your time is spent following a string of leads and picking up clues as you go. But once you have all your clues, you must enter Holmes’ Mindpalace and fit individual clues together into assumptions. Then those assumptions must also be stitched together to form conclusions. Each of the game’s many cases has multiple conclusions you can come to, but only one guilty party. The result? Holmes can get it wrong. Players must be just as clever as the world’s greatest detective if they want to crack these cases. If you think you have what it takes, head on over to the Epic Game Store and download Crimes and Punishment for free.