Need a new series to binge-watch during quarantine? MagellanTV’s got you covered. Documentaries allow us to travel to far off places … something that has proven quite useful while we’re physically stuck inside. From medical discoveries to paranormal mysteries, here are our top five picks for your “quaran-stream” watch list.
The world is a strange place right now. School lessons have been converted to Zoom meetings, many jobs have been adapted for the home office, and social distancing restrictions have kept people indoors and on the couch. During the past few months, people have been streaming shows at record rates, and crossing off shows from their “to-watch” list quicker than they can add more.
But, weary viewers, don’t fear! You will not run out of shows on our watch. Here at MagellanTV we’ve compiled some of our favorite documentary series for your “quarantainment.” With categories for all personalities and interests, here are our top five picks for series to add to your “quaran-stream” list.
For the Armchair Physician – From Pain to Poison
There’s a lot of attention focused on the medical field during quarantine, which, of course, is naturally the case when sickness strikes on such a massive scale. With the continuing threat of COVID-19, scientists are scrambling to discover treatments that work and a vaccine to combat the virus. And while the situation we find ourselves in is novel, the pursuit of a cure is not. In From Pain to Poison, host Dr. Michael Mosely takes viewers through two centuries of history, providing anecdotes about antidotes and recounting the discoveries of the vaccines and therapies that have shaped our lives.
From Pain to Poison is a fascinating dive into the history of medicine and scientific discovery, and the ways we humans have had to innovate and adapt in order to fight diseases. And, with three one-hour episodes, the series is easily binge-watched.
For the Philomath on the Quest for More – Order and Disorder: The Forces That Drive the Universe
Looking to make sense of the world in the midst of all this corona-driven madness? Order and Disorder highlights the delicate balance between these two concepts, and their relation to our universe. Theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili (also host of The Beginning & End of the Universe and Shock & Awe: The Story of Electricity) talks viewers through the nature of our world and explores the importance of energy and information in these two hour-long episodes – making them quick yet rewarding for any science or philosophy fan.
In Order and Disorder, Al-Khalili presents theories and encourages viewers to question and think in new ways. If you’re unfamiliar with these topics, don’t worry. Order and Disorder welcomes all, and is a great watch for both physics buffs and folks who are just curious. It may feel like the world is full of disorder these days, but we can be assured that disorder (and order) have been driving our universe since the beginning of time … and we’ll be okay.
For the Restless Spirit – Weird or What with William Shatner
I know the #StayHome life leaves every day a little predictable, and there’s not much intrigue when it comes to working from home in your pajamas. In the mood to shake things up with a bit of mystery? This genuinely fun and quirky docuseries confronts some of the eerie and downright strange stories and urban legends that seem to flood our world – all explored and explained by ex-Star Trek commander, William Shatner.
In Weird or What, viewers come face to face with the unknown: Encounter aliens through first-hand accounts, chase specters and spirits through empty halls, examine medical mysteries that would leave any doctor scratching their head, and run toward (or away from) real-life monsters in the woods. With two seasons available to stream on MagellanTV, there’s enough spooky content to add a dose of mystery to your quarantine.
For the Wanderlust Traveler – Wildest Places Docuseries
Has the self-isolated, quarantine lifestyle left you yearning for adventures to far-off corners of the world? Have you found yourself creating inspiration boards from travel magazine cut-outs? Have you retreated into a pillow fort in order to pretend that you were no longer stuck inside? If any of these sound like you, buckle up … you just got a front row ticket to an off-road tour of some of the wildest places in the world.
In Wildest Places, explore the beauty of the natural world and get up close with otherwise unviewable depths and distances. Itineraries include a deep dive into the Pacific Ocean, an exploration of the vast landscapes of Australia, and the frozen tundra of Antarctica.
Yes, I know airfare is cheap right now, but Wildest Places will let you travel across the world from the safety and comfort of your own couch – without even having to change out of those sweats you’ve been wearing for three days.
For Foodies at Home – A Taste of South Africa
The large-scale shutdown across the globe has forced us all to rely heavily on home-cooked meals, resulting in dismay or excitement, depending on who you are. Personally, I fall into the latter category. The world-wide wave of quarantines has sparked many an online food trend – and I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried to conquer them all. Whipped coffee? Check. Banana Bread? I’ve indulged. And I’ve made fresh pasta, baked my first cheesecake, and overcome my fear of deep frying food. I would have even hopped on the bread-baking bandwagon, but dry active yeast became the “white whale” of grocery shoppers when the popularity of sourdough bread sky-rocketed across social media platforms.
Whether you’re a novice or expert, we want to make sure none of our at-home chefs run out of inspiration. A Taste of South Africa does just that, preparing a tasty and fascinating look at the influences of dining and culture.
Each of the nine episodes focuses on a different component of South African cuisine. And, in a similar spirit to other travel food shows, the viewer is taken on an intimate journey into the homes and kitchens of South African farmers, chefs, and home cooks. At about 20 minutes per episode, you can easily watch while your latest creation simmers on the stove.
I may not be able to make homemade bread yet, but this docuseries (and the others on this list) will keep me distracted until yeast packets make a return to grocery shelves.
From all of us at MagellanTV: Stay safe, stay curious, and happy streaming!
Title image: Puzzly watching TV by Wikimedia Foundation via Wikimedia Commons.