Monday, December 4, 2023

Culture From The Couch: What to Watch, Read and Listen to This Weekend

Capsule’s latest pop culture recommendations on what to watch, read and listen to this weekend!

Welcome to the weekend! Every fortnight, we compile what we think are THE shows you need to be bingeing, the books worth reading and the podcasts you NEED to listen in to! So sit back, relax – we have this weekend covered!


Queer Eye
On Netflix

If you’re in need of a wholesome show to watch after a long day, I hear you – and Queer Eye has been my comfort show. Netflix recently released Season 7 and it’s filled with heartwarming stories of The Fab Five meeting people who are struggling, or in need of a pick-me-up.

You may remember the original series, which was more superficial than the recent spinoff. This time round there’s a strong focus on self-care, mental health and inclusivity. I adore Jonathan Van Ness and the level of empathy all of the hosts express is so lovely, with just the right balance of humour.

On the latest season The Fab Five head to New Orleans to change the life of Speedy who survived a traumatic accident and was left paralysed, then there’s Jenni – a teacher who has given everything to her job and neglected herself. While the show is more than a makeover show, I still love watching the home, wardrobe and hair transformation and seeing each person in a happier headspace than when we met them. And in more good news, there are seven seasons to binge with spinoff series in Japan, Brazil and Germany.
– Bel Crawford

Fatal Attraction

If you’ve been trying to cut down the number of streaming platforms (because, you know, the cost of living!!) TVNZ+ has an impressive lineup. A new addition is a psychological thriller featuring familiar faces Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan.

Based on the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, the new series is about an affair that turns into a nightmare when a respected lawyer isn’t able to end things with his unhinged lover. The word erotic is thrown around a lot in descriptions of this show, and with good reason – you should expect a lot of steaminess. Also, if you’re the type of person who hates waiting for a weekly episode to drop, all 8 episodes are available now for your binge-watching pleasure!
– Bel


P.S. Come to Italy
by Nicky Pellegrino

It feels kinda cruel to be going into winter after we barely had a smidge of a summer, so if you’re looking for an escape, we hear you! If an airfare out of here is too pricey right now, a book is your next best way to escape, and this beauty by Kiwi writer Nicky Pellegrino will make you feel like you’re basking in the Italian sun (and eating your way through all the pizza, pasta and delicious wee treats!).

P.S. Come to Italy follows Belle, who, through a turn of events, finds herself crying on the shoulder of a stranger (metaphorically, because he lives thousands of miles away) as her life begins to crumble. When that stranger signs off a note with: ‘P.S. Come to Italy’ she decides to follow her heart.

Arriving at Enrico’s palazzo in beautiful Puglia, it’s clear that his life couldn’t be more different than the one Belle’s left behind. Yet despite his flashy cars and his glamorous, warring family, she starts to realise that perhaps Enrico needs her just as much as she needed him.Belle’s holiday of a lifetime was never about falling in love – but under the sun-kissed olive trees, anything can happen…P.S. Come to Italy is the perfect tonic for a grey, bleak day.
– Alice


Call Her Daddy – with Ariana Madix from Vanderpump Rules

Ok, so the cheating scandal dubbed ‘Scandoval’ has been the biggest reality TV show scandal in yonks!

To those not familiar though, here’s a quick crash course to bring you up to date: Ariana Madix and her boyfriend Tom Sandoval are stars on Vanderpump Rules and had been together for nine years when Ariana discovered Tom had been having an affair with her best friend Raquel!! As if all that isn’t bad enough, the affair started around the time Ariana’s dog died and instead of spending time with Ariana when her beloved pup had passed away, he was with Raquel! Tom blamed a lack of intimacy for his seven-month affair.

Anyway, Now that the TV reunion episode has aired, Ariana has spoken in depth for the first time in a two hour tell-all with Call Her Daddy host Alex Cooper. We get taken through what happened the night Ariana discovered the betrayal and the details uncovered in the aftermath. The conversation feels like two girlfriends having a glass of wine (they did crack open a bottle of rosé for the occasion).

And, I reckon this is still worth a listen even if you haven’t watched the show. Ariana and Alex have a vulnerable conversation which is relatable to so many. I admire the way Ariana has handled the heart-wrenching situation. While being a reality star is her job, she hasn’t gone into protection mode like many of us would and I respect her for that.
– Bel

The Teacher’s Trial Season 2

You have probably heard of The Teacher’s Pet podcast: an investigation by The Australian journalist Hedley Thomas about the disappearance of Lynette Dawson, which looked into her husband Chris Dawson’s involvement.

The podcast became a global phenomenon and has been downloaded over 52 million times! As it grew pressure was placed on the authorities to look into the unsolved case, which led to further investigation and eventually the arrest of Chris Dawson, who was last year was found guilty of murdering Lynette.

The Teacher’s Trial is a spin-off podcast which covered the trial of Christopher Dawson and just months into his 24-year prison sentence, he’s back in court facing a new charge. This time unlawful carnal knowledge of a 16-year-old school girl in 1980, when he was her high school sports teacher.

On season 2, titled The Teacher’s Accuser, hosts including journalist Hedley, are taking the story back to the start while covering the trial while finding out what’s happening with the murder appeal.
– Bel

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