It is hard to ignore the hype around trending TV shows.
And at the moment, these are some of the shows that streamers are loving.
The elation when fans realised the psychological thriller was back for a third instalment was unmistakable.
Admittedly, my curiosity was piqued and I’m hoping to get into the series when I can spare the time.
I’m a serial binger, once I get into a series I like, I can’t stop watching.
And all that fuss must be with good reason so I want to be prepared.
What can fans expect?
Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) have settled into their white picket fence life in Madre Linda with their newborn son, Henry.
But as the old adage goes, old habits die hard and Joe has taken an unhealthy interest in Natalie (Michaela McManus), their next-door neighbour.
Married to an influential man, Natalie gives off a Stepford Wife vibe.
Oh, she also has a secret, which probably won’t remain so under Joe’s stalkerish gaze.
SQUID GAME (Netflix)
This South Korean survival drama series has been trending since it debuted on the streaming platform.
Aside from the viewership ratings sky-rocketing, it’s become a global phenomenon.
Love it or loathe it, it’s not going away. I can’t imagine it not being given the green light for the second season. After all, it is a money-spinner.
The nine-episode series centres on a cash-strapped Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae).
Divorced and up to his eyeballs in debt thanks to his gambling addiction, he gets a shot to turn his fortunes around by playing a series of children’s games.
While it sounds like child’s play and the cash prize fuels his drive, he soon realises that he is one of 456 players who are in a similar predicament as him.
All the players wear green tracksuits and they are watched by masked guards in pink jumpsuits. The Front Man, who wears an all-black jumpsuit and mask oversees the game.
During the game, the players realise there is a deadly catch: losing a game results in death. Each time that happens ₩100 million (R1.24m) is added to the ₩45.6 billion grand prize.
There are plenty of twists in the game, which is physically and psychologically challenging and Gi-Hun teams up with other players, including his childhood friend.
Do note, there is a lot of violence in the series.
The long-awaited third season has already surpassed expectations. It packs up with the Roys at war with each other.
Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is still grappling with being ambushed by presumed successor Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong ).
Meanwhile, Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) is Waystar RoyCo’s COO while Greg, who is Logan’s opportunistic great-nephew sides with Kendall, with those incriminating emails as his insurance policy.
Despite the conflict within the family, the Roys all holiday in Tuscany.
Although Logan is still in charge at Wayster RoyCo, there’s plenty of drama afoot as power struggles reign supreme and loyalties are tested.
Also, a shareholder revolt is on the cards in this devilishly addictive comedy-drama, which centres on the vulture behaviour of the Roy siblings, who are all aching to take over the family business.
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (Amazon Prime Video)
First up, I need to point out that David E Kelly, who proved his Midas touch with “The Practice”, “Ally McBeal”, “Boston Legal”, “Harry's Law”, “Big Little Lies” and “Mr.” Mercedes is behind this mystery drama.
As the title suggests, it’s centred on nine strangers who escape the concrete jungle for a 10-day retreat at Tranquillum House.
This health and wellness resort is in the fictional town of Cabrillo, California.
However, what starts out as a well-intentioned trip for some introspection and healing turns into anything but.
The guests uncover secrets about each other as well as the resort’s host, Masha Dmitrichenko (Nicole Kidman).
Kudos to Kelly, he bagged a stellar cast, too.
I’m talking about the likes of Melissa McCarthy as a novelist buckling under the pressure of balancing her personal and professional life, Luke Evans as an enigmatic guest who has a score to settle, Regina Hall as a single mother whose husband dumped her for a trophy girlfriend and Bobby Cannavale as a former American footballer battling to kick his drug addiction.
The well-etched characters and layered storytelling is an additional selling point.
This heart-rending drama centres on a young woman named Alex (Margaret Qualley), who, despite having no money, walks away from an abusive relationship with her partner Sean (Nick Robinson).
With her scared two-year-old daughter clinging to her, Alex has no choice but to seek financial assistance from the government.
But the red tape in qualifying for aid leaves her frustrated and the lady assisting her takes pity and directs her to an agency where she will be able to find work as a maid as well as a shelter for abused women and children.
This 10-part series takes viewers on an emotional journey as Alex braves setbacks, court battles, family drama with her unstable artist mother.
You will laugh, cry, get frustrated and, most importantly, be inspired. Qualley is brilliant in her resilient role.