Hands up if you’re just about done with winter.
Me too. And since lounging on a beach while a handsome towel-clad male feeds me daiquiris, chips and guac isn’t in the cards, I’m relying on Netflix to transport me to a place where my car doesn’t get stuck in the snow, my face doesn’t hurt when I go outside, and I don’t have hats, mitts and snow pants lying over every vent in the house.
If you’re looking to escape the winter blahs without leaving your couch, join me in living vicariously through Netflix. Here’s your guide:
What to Watch When the Kids are in Bed
Bloodline – It’s hard to keep up with all the secrets, lies and skeletons falling out of closets in this intense family drama, but if that’s not your thing you can just mute it and watch Friday Night Light’s Kyle Chandler as he fights crime (and his relatives) against the lush backdrop of the Florida Keys’ white sand beaches and hot, steamy nights.
Bondi Rescue – The “reality” show set on Australia’s Bondi Beach features gorgeous beaches, blue water, scantily-clad revellers, daring rescuers and, of course, the odd ocean mishap. Episode one (of 13) features the season’s “first” nude rescue, so don’t miss that.
Ibiza – This format never gets old: girlfriends + exotic vacation + hot guy = what could possibly go wrong, especially in Ibiza? (which I just learned is pronounced Eye-BEE-tha). Three funny ladies can’t totally save this one but it’s still a good romp to help you forget you’re not single and chasing a cute DJ across Europe. Sorry to break it to you.
Jaws – Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or the tenth time, Jaws is a classic summer movie that still holds up nearly 45 years (!) after its original release. It’s the movie that launched the don’t-go-into-the-water genre so anyone who refuses to swim outside a backyard pool has this classic to thank.
Staten Island Summer – Written by SNL’s Colin Jost, this coming-of-age comedy is about two misfits who spend the summer lifeguarding and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. Despite being filled with funny people, including Jim Gaffigan and the late, great Penny Marshall, it’s no surprise awards seasons passed this one over. But if you’re looking for mindless fun on a beach, Staten Island Summer delivers.
What to Watch on Date Night
Charlie Luxton’s Homes by the Med – If you like fighting with your partner about your life goals and retirement plans, dial up this five-part series and drool over the Mediterranean Sea’s stunning landscapes as Australian TV presenter Charlie Luxton takes viewers on a tour of the villas of Ibiza (remember it’s, Eye-BEE-tha), Croatia, Mallorca, Amalfi and Malta. Sigh.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened – A documentary-style film about the infamous and disastrous Fyre Festival from 2017, this one is a car crash in slow motion, complete with swimming pigs and supermodels. Snuggle up and enjoy everyone’s favourite past-time: watching beautiful rich people get scammed on the gorgeous island of Great Exuma.
Luxury Travel Show – Get your beach fix via episodes three (St. Tropez and St. Lucia) and five (Algarve and Turks and Caicos) of this travel and adventure docuseries. See how the one percent travels including where they stay and what they eat, see and do in some of the world’s most exquisite and exotic places.
The Shallows – Come for the stunning scenery (Australia standing in for Baja, California) and stay for a bleeding Blake Lively trapped on a rock just 200-metres from shore by a relentless great white shark. Oh, and it’s getting dark. And the tide is rising.
The Tourist – Frank (Johnny Depp) goes to Venice to mend his broken heart and happens upon the extraordinary Elise, played by Angelina Jolie. The result is chaos and carnage in the canals of the floating city proving, once again, that you should never talk to strangers, especially while on vacation.
What to Watch with the Family
Africa, from BBC Earth – Whether it’s the Savannah, the Sahara, the Cape or the Congo, you and the kids will love this stunning journey across the African continent following the lives of the creatures – big and small – that call it home.
Dolphin Tale – Shot on location at the real-life Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, Dolphin Tale is the story of a friendship between a lonely boy and an injured dolphin. The movie follows their parallel journey towards healing and is based on a true story.
Given – Told through the eyes of a six-year-old boy, Given tracks the adventures of legendary surfing couple Aaimon and Daize Goodwin as they travel from their island home in Kauai, Hawaii through 15 different countries chasing the waves. Visually stunning, Given might just be the push you need to quit your day job.
Soul Surfer – Based on the true story of amateur surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm in a shark attack near her island home in Kauai at age 13, the story follows her struggle to learn how to live, and surf, with one arm.
Wild Australia – Wombats, dingoes, cockatoos, kangaroos, reptiles, wallabies and koala bears welcome viewers into their natural habitats in this four-part docuseries. Find out just who lives inside some of Australia’s most uninhabitable places including the tropical rainforest and unforgiving desert.