Any other year, we’d be wheels up by now, escaping the pressures and routines of daily life with that long-awaited holiday break trip. This year? Our best bet is a transporting TV series or movie that can take us away…and drop us into an exotic, far away world. We tapped the Watercooler’s recommendation engine and discovered a few perfect-for-winter-break substitute travel watches. Binge until you forget where you are.
Espionage & Romance in Greece: Little Drummer Girl
The Story: Based on John le Carré’s best-selling novel, Little Drummer Girl is a passionate love story set in the late 1970s that weaves a tale of espionage and international intrigue. It begins with a chance encounter on a beach in Greece, when an actress on vacation (Florence Pugh) meets a striking, mysterious man (Alexander Skarsgard). Their summer romance quickly becomes much more as she becomes part of high stakes spy plot masterminded by a man named Kurtz (Michael Shannon).
Quick take: “[The] limited series finds inventive and eye-catching ways to convey its spycraft. Despite all the lies, games, performances, and plays, these characters have an authenticity that guts you.” — Ben Travers at IndieWire Full Review
Fiestas, Food & Funnymen: Trip to Spain
The story: Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon take another culinary road trip together, this time through Spain. In keeping with the duo’s previous adventures in places like England and Italy, expect breathtaking locales, cuisine you can nearly taste, and plenty of hilarious banter.
Quick take: “The proof that the ‘Trip’ formula hasn’t become formulaic? How often, and hard, these two can make an audience laugh.” — Mark Feeney at The Boston Globe. Full Review
A Mystery Wrapped in a Wild Party: White Lines
The story: After his body is found 20 years after he went missing, Zoe Walker leaves behind her quiet life in England to investigate her brother’s disappearance in Ibiza, where she quickly heads down a decadent and dangerous path. From the creators behind The Crown and Money Heist.
Quick take: “When we talk about the shows of the Peak TV era, we’ll likely be including White Lines.” — Lea Palmiere at Decider. Full Review
Where to find it: Netflix
A Round-the-World Whodunnit: The Flight Attendant
The story: Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) stars as Cassie Bowden, a freewheeling, no-strings-attached party girl who flies around the world for a living. The morning after a whirlwind night in Bangkok, she wakes up to find first-class passenger Alex (Michael Husiman), bloody and dead in a hotel room – with no memory of what happened. Running on adrenaline and fear, she makes a series of boneheaded decisions, like ditching the FBI team questioning all the attendants on her flight.
Quick take: “Flight Attendant is an intriguing mystery that’s not too light, not too heavy. Smart and funny, the show is filled with gorgeous destinations that you’ll want to put on your post-pandemic bucket list. Best of all, it sticks the landing, delivering a finale that will satisfy unhappy Undoing fans.” — Liz Coopersmith of The Watercooler. Read more
Where to find it: HBO Max
An Intoxicating Roaring 20s History Lesson: Babylon Berlin
The story: A Soviet freight train’s hijacking leads a haunted cop and a poor typist to uncover a political conspiracy amid the vice and glamour of 1929 Berlin. Set amid the final years of Weimar Germany as it steamrolls towards the inevitable rise of Hitler.
Quick take: “A dark and dirty film noir, Babylon Berlin is also gripping and layered history lesson with a lot to say. The most expensive non-English language series ever produced, it’s a melting pot of gangsters, prostitutes, and political intrigue set against the most intoxicating spectacle of the roaring 20s you’re likely to find.” — Lauren Eather at The Watercooler. Read More
Where to find it: Netflix
Looking for more shows and films that will transport you? Check out the Watercooler’s recommendation engine.