Let’s start here: I’m an introvert. Tried and true, stay home all day, get exhausted from going to the grocery store style introvert. I was born to quarantine. But unlike me, I know there are a lot of people out there going stir crazy inside their homes and feeling very uncertain about the future. So as a way to ease our collective anxiety (or in some cases, embrace it), I have compiled a list of film and television (more!) that you can devour while locked inside your home. Some picks are escapist, some are fatalist, but all are examples of how art can reflect and elevate our everyday experience. Enjoy.
This one goes out to those who are stuck at home with their family. Feeling a little cramped and bored? Seeing sides of people you hadn’t before? You might relate to the family at the center of Stanley Kubrick’s claustrophobic masterwork, The Shining. It’s got everything you need for a long day in quarantine: isolated location, looming dread, a fully stocked pantry, and the final, frightening realization that nothing is going to be the same.
Does the air seem more dangerous than before? Is that sore throat just allergies or a symptom of a life-threatening illness? Carol, the deteriorating center of Todd Haynes’s queasy 1995 film Safe might just be the most relatable protagonist in our post-Coronavirus world. After contracting various illnesses that no doctor will take seriously, she starts to believe the cause of her disease might be the world itself. Part AIDS allegory, part bravura performance study, Safe is an uneasy film with ever-relevant sentiments: In a world consumed by capitalism, are any of us truly safe?
Perfectly timed, Miss Anthropocene imagines the end of the world via climate change (but a global pandemic will substitute just fine). It’s beautiful, fun, sad, and entirely Grimes. Light a blunt, pour that glass of wine, and disappear into the apocalypse.
If you’ve been missing some Fleabag energy in your life, Feel Good might be the answer. Arriving in the knick of time to Netflix, this lively, human story about love and addiction is all but guaranteed to distract you from reality for its six episode run. Based on star and creator Mae Martin’s own history of substance abuse and recovery, it has just enough sweet and bitter to keep you satisfied long after you’ve burnt through your quarantine snacks.
Sometimes you just need a good action movie in your life. And if you’ve reached that point then look no further than Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Excessive punctuation aside, this is the best action movie of the decade, and a deliriously fun way to pass two hours of self-isolation. Tom Cruise goes full Buster Keaton, Henry Cavill reloads his biceps, and the set pieces are good enough to make you gasp out loud in glee. If you, like me, have been missing the theater experience, this is a movie grand enough to fill whatever space you’re watching in.
The ultimate boredom movie. While they might not be quarantined, the characters of Eric Rohmer’s languid La collectionneuse are still equally relatable. They lounge, drink at all hours of the day, see little to no other people, and never leave the house. Plus they’re hot, lazy, and horny, which is all we can aspire to be in times like these. Pour a gin and tonic and slip into the sublime.
With the grocery stores becoming war zones and no toilet paper to be found, there might be no better time to get acquainted with Survivor, the long running CBS reality show about desperate people stranded on a beach. There’s excellent game play (usually) and fun personalities (usually). And with a stockpile of seasons to choose from, there’s something for everyone. My personal recommendations: Season 10 (Palau), Season 15 (China), Season 16 (Micronesia), and Season 20 (Heroes vs. Villains).