7 Shows/Movies To Watch If You Need A Break From Coronavirus Updates

From 'Crash Landing on You' to 'Sex Education', all these can easily be streamed on Netflix or Hotstar.
A still from 'Crash Landing on You'
A still from 'Crash Landing on You'

The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, is dominating not just news cycles but also conversations with friends and family. And rightly so. There are now more than 126,000 cases of coronavirus globally and over 4,600 have died, according to Reuters.

Social media sites are replete with people sharing (sometimes unverified) advice about how to stay safe or what to do if you are infected. The government is holding regular briefings and releasing information on the dos and don’ts.

Schools and colleges are being closed and major cultural and sporting events have either been postponed or cancelled. As the cases of COVID-19 mount, it’s natural to feel worried about your own safety and that of your loved ones. It’s best to stay informed and follow government advisories on the precautions to take and the symptoms to watch out for. But if you feel overwhelmed and panicky, it’s also important to take a break from the constant updates.

We have curated a list of seven shows and movies that you can stream when you feel like you need a break from the news.

1. Crash Landing on You

Never watched Korean dramas before and unsure whether to start? I was in the same boat, until my colleague convinced me to press ‘play’ on this. This immensely addictive show follows a South Korean heiress (Yoon Se-ri) who accidentally ends up in North Korea in a paragliding accident. She falls in love with Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok (Hyun Bin), who along with four other North Korean soldiers, hide her and help her return to her country.

The series was a smash hit in Korea and other Asian countries. Instead of just presenting North Korea as a reclusive country with nuclear weapons, the series tries to focus on the people and how they are also not immune to the evils of nepotism and corruption. “This drama has dared to think about North Korean people differently and represented them as quite human and quite Korean,” Joanna Elfving-Hwang, associate professor of Korean studies at the University of Western Australia told South China Morning Post.

And if, after this, you want to watch more K-dramas, we have you covered.

Where to watch: Netflix

2. Cable Girls

This Spanish drama, set in the 1920s, tells the story of four women who become close friends after beginning to work at the National Telephone Company. The series follows the stories of ordinary women navigating patriarchal households or abusive marriages in order to continue working.

Female friendship is at the heart of this drama, as the four women come together without judgements to help each other. The series also touches upon how queer people were treated in Spain back then.

Where to watch: Netflix

3. Always Be My Maybe

This cute rom-com, starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, tells the story of childhood friends Sasha and Marcus who haven’t spoken to each other for 15 years after they fell out. So what happens when they meet again?

Don’t expect anything too deep—this is a fun, funny one-time watch. And oh, did mention that it also stars Keanu Reeves?

4. Sex Education

Sex Education is a coming-of-age show set in an idyllic town in Ireland. It follows Otis, a teenager trying to deal with, well, being a teenager. If you think that means that like all stereotypical teenage boys in movies, he’s obsessed with sex, you’d be wrong.Otis’s mom is a sex therapist and he has had quite enough of her trying to have open conversations with him on the subject. So then how he does become an (unqualified) sex therapist to his classmates? Watch this show for its funny, fresh approach to the lives of teenagers and their parents. — Rohini Chatterji

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Love is Blind

Love Is Blind takes everything we loathe and can’t resist about reality TV and packs it into one series – which means it’s perfect if you want to spend the day first glued to Netflix and then hurtling down a think-piece hole to make sense of the vast amounts of cringeworthy human stupidity you just consumed. Happy bingeing! — Nehmat Kaur

Where to watch: Netflix

6. Ohm Shanthi Oshana

This Malayalam charmer, starring Nazriya Nazim and Nivin Pauly, is once again a coming-of-age story of Pooja, a carefree young girl who falls in love with a serious young man named Giri. This non-voyeuristic rom-com, told entirely through the female gaze, is funny and takes some unexpected twists in its journey to happily ever after. A highlight is Pooja’s relationship with her mostly non-judgemental parents. Oh, and it’s probably the only movie where the hero makes his entry zooming down a water slide at an amusement park! — Meryl Sebastian

Where to watch: Hotstar

7. Salt Fat Acid Heat

Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat takes you on a culinary journey across the world while teaching you how the four elements — salt, fat, acid, heat — are the key to good food. From Japan, to Italy, to Mexico and then her own kitchen in California, Nosrat’s passion for food shines through as she travels to find the best ingredients.

The beautifully shot series will not only give you wanderlust, it will also make you hungry. So make sure you have plenty of ingredients in your kitchen to cook up a storm! — Rohini Chatterji