2021 is around the corner. It’s time to seek out the shows that can help you set your intentions for the new year.
Down to Earth With Zac Efron
Zac Efron has come a long way since High School Musical in this documentary series about climate change and sustainable living. Down to Earth highlights scientific innovations in sustainability and grassroots efforts to slow down climate change. Efron and co-host Darien Olien visit the Ljosafoss Power Station in Iceland where they learn how pressure creates usable energy. Efron throws himself against a wall of screens to display just how much power the pressure of his body colliding with it can produce. If you haven’t already, Efron’s California charm and childlike appetite for learning might just move you to embrace sustainability in 2021.
Whose Vote Counts, Explained
The Explained collection features several documentary series that use science and research to explain varied concepts such as political correctness, monogamy, and the gender pay gap. This year, Explained focused on voting to prepare for the presidential election year. And sure, 2020 is behind us, but there’s always more voting to be done, including the crucial Senate run-offs in January. Find out how your voice gets heard and why each vote matters.
Get Organised With The Home Edit
Getting organised is one of my loves in life, but I can never find the time to clean out, say, my closet full of my old college textbooks. “The Home Edit” features two women, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, who started a home organisation business after being set up on a blind friend date. The duo are masters of colour coding and categorization. They use the “ROYGBIV” (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) method to take your bookshelf and turn it into an insanely detailed rainbow. Shearer and Teplin’s Netflix original series, Get Organised with the Home Edit, remodels cluttered rooms for optimal efficiency.
Nadiya’s Time to Eat
The pandemic has made home cooking even more important, but sometimes it’s a struggle to figure out what to make (and how to make it) — and ordering in is just so easy. Nadiya Hussain (winner of the 2015 Great British Baking Show) teaches easy hacks for gourmet home cooking on her Netflix original, Nadiya’s Time to Eat. Nadiya takes ready-made items and turns them into creative bakes, like raspberry cheesecake croissants. Taking premade croissants and moulding them into muffin tins to fill with cheesecake? Mind-blowing. She never claims these are healthy options, however — so be ready for decadence in the new year.
Blackish is the prime-time popular sitcom you didn’t realise was so good. The show follows the Johnson family as they navigate life while being upper middle class and black. The show takes an in-depth look at aspects of black life, from systemic racism to colorism and politics. Blackish addressed the effects of police brutality in the episode Hope. The episode originally aired in February of 2016 re-aired in June of this year after the killing of George Floyd. This new year, vow to initiate conversations on racism even when it’s uncomfortable.
Available on YouTube Australia.
Created and written by comedian Ramy Youseff, the self-titled series Ramy is an uncomfortably awkward comedy about his life as a Muslim American in New Jersey. Ramy is the kind of humour that hurts — because even while it’s hilarious, it can also be agonising to watch one human make so many terrible decisions. (See: the episode in which Ramy vows to be a better Muslim but then sleeps with a married woman after walking her home from the mosque.) Still, Ramy’s always trying to better himself, and that’s the kind of energy we should all take into the new year: Recognise your fallibility, laugh at your mistakes, and reach higher.
Available on Stan.
I Am Greta
The activist Greta Thunberg moved more than 20,000 young people to join the fight against climate change in 2018 alone. Greta’s speech at the 2019 UN climate convention in New York called out the neglect and disgrace of the world’s leaders. “How dare you?” she demanded. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you.” Global warming will drastically affect the next generation, and I am Greta documents the young activist’s efforts to make a change. Make an effort to fight for what you believe in — and be fierce in 2021.
Available on YouTube Australia.
HBOMax presents Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen, and Eureka on the road mentoring new drag queens nationwide. They push the envelope in this makeover show, setting up shop in conservative towns like Gettysburg Pennsylvania. In full drag, the co-hosts shop at local clothing stores and approach people on the street who have never seen drag before. (At one store, a shopper told the clerk they will never be shopping there again because of the “freaks” they let in there.) But young drag queens deserve to feel they belong in their hometowns as well, and the three queens are making sure there is a place for them to grow and perform. We’re Here is about embracing your true self no matter what — a resolution we could all aim for in the new year.
Unfortunately, this one is only available on HBO so can only be viewed in Australia through a VPN for the moment.