Downton Abbey (repeat)
The Douglas familiy is now in a race against time to brief up the juniors with all six seasons before the film opens on 13 September. It’s the very definition of the box-set binge. Three a day. Like five a day. But in aid of history and romance, not health and well-being. And something you love more than broccoli.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Brief doesn’t stipulate episodic and this is a biannual binge chez Douglas. We’re on our summer lap. By any other name, it’s an intergalactic content series on the need to have courage, conviction and empathy in equal measure; that the world can’t survive without the creative geniuses of Stark and Banner, but that these are made better by the seasoned strategic wisdom of Cap and the flawless execution of Black Widow, Hawkeye and Thor. Sound familiar, anyone? Suit up. Embrace the spandex.
Speaking of spandex – was anyone not glued to the sofa on a rainy Saturday afternoon for the wrestling wondering why Big Daddy wasn’t at home surrounded by a glut of grandchildren tucking into Mr Kipling’s bakewell slices? Well, here come the girls. This is 1980s nostalgia with a big heart. Funny, moving, poignant. The soundtrack alone will have you weeping for your space hopper. Roxette, anyone? And, spoiler alert, the legend that is Geena Davis making an appearance in season three.
My Brilliant Friend
The point of enduring storytelling has changed little since Chaucer – to transport you in place and time and create an expansive, enjoyable fracture with your own reality, be it on a horseback pilgrimage to Canterbury or otherwise – and Elena Ferrante is the modern mistress. A 21st-century Brontë. Spend the weekend in 1950s Naples. It’s a masterclass. Alternatively, go see it at the National (shameless plug for my own brilliant friend, who is a cast member).
Yes, I know everyone’s watching it. But I was watching it first – I bet the rest of you haven't been setting your alarm since Mr Douglas uttered those immortal words from the sofa "Darling, come and watch this" six years and several fights (Shelby fights, not marital ones) ago. Tommy, Tommy – now what?