In 2021, most of us still will have to postpone travel. Flights are still limited, but maybe this is for the best? Finally, we had the opportunity to spend our holydays closer to our native places. However, for those who still want to immerse themselves at least a little into a foreign culture, there is a pleasant alternative. Thanks to Netflix and Amazon Prime that we can travel from the comfort of our home. How? Of course, thanks to dozens of TV series, reality dating show programs and TV shows filmed in various parts of the world.
Our favorites: the Elite TV series about the ups and downs of the life of Spanish private school students, the progressive Indian dating reality show What the Love! and the German TV series The Beat, which will make you feel like a guest in a typical Berlin techno club like Berghain without having to go through rigorous face control. Sit back and get ready to travel from the comfort of your couch.
The series “Elite” has become a real sensation in the Spanish-speaking world: now it is already its third season on Netflix, and at least two more viewers will see later. In the center of the plot – the life stories of several teenagers, students of the elite school Las Encinas, located in the suburbs of a Spanish city.
Teenage rebellion mixed with real problems, all seasoned with powerful sexual vibes – this is how you can describe the atmosphere of “Elite”. In between violent parties and sexual adventures in luxurious villas, someone kills one of the main characters, so the storyline of the series shifts towards the detective.
The young cast deserves special praise. By the way, some of the guys also starred in the series Paper House, another Spanish hit by Netflix. Aron Piper, who took on the role of Ander, a brooding party-goer and tennis champion, has become a world star: he has already starred in advertising campaigns for Jacquemus and Lacoste.
What the Love! (Netflix)
What the Love! – the reality show of the Indian team Netflix, a kind of mix of the acclaimed “Love Island”, the Queer Eye makeover show and the Bollywood rom-com. And while you can find many references to more traditional TV shows in it, in general What the Love! looks much more modern than most similar projects. For example, in the first episode, we are introduced to a man and a woman who are introduced as a couple, and then it turns out that they are both homosexuals.
The show’s protagonists are progressive millennials who talk openly about sex and dating. And although most of us still perceive India through the prism of numerous clichés, these guys force viewers to take a fresh look at the inhabitants of local cities.
The team of those who are responsible for the external transformation of the characters are merciless towards their charges, and the host Karan Johar ensures the show the right balance between production and the effect of surprise. In a word, What the Love! – an extremely fascinating sight.
“Bit” (Amazon Prime)
In the first scene of this series, the viewer watches as the main character – club promoter Robert “Beat” Schlag (Yannis Niveoner) – wanders through industrial Berlin. Before even saying a word, he throws himself a pill, walks out of line to a roaring techno club, dances in the spotlights, passionately kisses first a woman, then a man, after which the credits appear on the screen: “Sonar Club, 7:34 am” …
The Beat is literally imbued with the atmosphere of the cult Berlin clubs Berghain and Trezor: here you can enjoy underground parties and companies of art school students in oversized bombers.
The plot revolves around a series of grisly murders in and around the club, and in order to solve them, the police force the protagonist to work undercover for them. What makes the show stand out are its nightlife scenes. It feels like they were filmed during real parties by someone who really knows and understands the whole world. Close your eyes and you will immediately smell the smell of cigarettes and sweaty bodies on the dance floor.
Gourmet Samurai (Netflix)
“Samurai Gourmet” breaks all sorts of stereotypes: this Japanese culinary show, based on the manga of the same name by Masayuki Kusumi and Shigeru Tsuchiyama, can be safely put on a par with the cult program “Unknown Lands” by Anthony Bourdin. True, it is neither documentary nor travel-related. Rather, it can be described as a carefully crafted comedy series in which subtle storylines are intertwined with desperate food porn.
The protagonist, Takeshi Kasumi (Naoto Takenaka), is a recently retired businessman who all day does nothing but wash dishes, remember his past adventures, eat and drink. Sometimes Kasumi “visits” his alter ego – a sullen samurai (Tetsuji Tamayama). The show took a little from Larry David, a little from the same Anthony Bourdain, seasoning the resulting mixture with Japanese flavor.
“Home for Christmas” (Netflix)
This Norwegian Christmas rom-com series is perfect to watch during a pandemic. Johanna (Ida Elisa Broch) is a lonely 30-year-old nurse who gave herself exactly 24 days to find the perfect partner to celebrate Christmas with her family. The plot was not without elements typical for this genre: a weird best friend, loving parents, unsuccessful dates and a long-awaited meeting with “that guy”. And all this against the backdrop of the icy Scandinavian landscapes.