If binge-watching is your favorite hobby during quarantine, we’ve found 15 suitable candidates.
Riding on the high of the urban wine hit “Uncorked” which has been making waves since its release in March, here is our fun curated list of feel-good and inspiring movies and documentaries streaming right now on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Everything from cuisine and culture to wine and spirits and travel-related for your daily binging needs. Some of these experiences could be on your list next and we hear there are a few highly anticipated titles being added online over the next few months.
An ode to Napa Valley and female friendships, this girlfriends’ getaway to California’s wine central is a comic take on relationships and travel experiences aptly accompanied by wine. Saturday Night Live pros Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph are among the cast that will have you in splits for well over an hour with their antics. Consider it the female version of the movie “Hangover” with much less drama but equally witty. Now on Netflix.
Season 1 of this comedy based in Los Angeles will have you hungry, laughing, crying and impatiently waiting for season two. This Netflix original follows the Morales cousins who are helping to save their grandfather’s taco shop and pursue their dreams at the same time, all while gentrification shakes up their Boyle Heights neighborhood.
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Tales by Light
Travelers will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at how photographers and filmmakers piece a story together with their visual medium. What we see is usually the end product, so this is a perspective not commonly exposed to a viewing audience. Each episode on Netflix is a different location and while this might border on educational for some, it is equally inspirational and captivating. Take your pick from the Himalayas to tribes, marine life and more.
Bound to keep you smiling throughout, this French comedy on Netflix is a hilarious portrayal of the true-life story of rapper Kamini, whose Congolese family was the only African family in the rural northern village of Marly-Gomont, where he was raised. The challenges of life in a place where one sticks out like a sore thumb offers some laughs. In fact, look up his song of the same name as the village which became an Internet sensation and a big hit in France.
A little bit of the movies seeps into this travel and adventure show on Netflix starring James Beard Award-winning chef David Chang as he is accompanied by different celebrities to global destinations to enjoy local experiences and, of course, the food. Brings back fond memories of the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and No Reservations but definitely different from those award-winning shows in its format.
This musical, released last year, stars Donald Glover and Rihanna. Although this island is not going to show up in your search online, the venues where the movie was shot are all in Cuba. So if that’s a spot you’ve never visited, or would like to revisit now, here’s your silver screen version by Amazon Studios.
Two words – wine fraud. And we are not talking about stealing wines, that would be too simple. “Sour Grapes” is the deep dive into one alleged collector’s secret of mixing cheaper wines to create the same flavor profiles of high-end wines sold in rare wine auctions. Many were duped before his ploy was discovered and you can see how it all unfolded in this reenactment of real-life events. The scandal shook up the wine industry when it happened and will have you glued to the screen. Catch it on YouTube Movies.
The Hundred Foot Journey
Produced in part by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, this heartwarming tale on Netflix is the coming together of two culinary cultures, Indian and French, in a drama based on a book. The rivalry of the two restaurants, each famed for its unique ingredients and techniques and their associated teams, as well as the acceptance of different cuisines form the crux of the movie that ends on a positive note. Also streaming on YouTube Movies.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Considered one of the best food and travel documentaries in recent times, go behind the scenes of one of Japan’s most acclaimed restaurants, a whole-in-the wall dining establishment helmed by a master sushi maker whom many revere. Hear his concerns about the industry as well as those of his older son who will follow in his father’s footsteps. Former President Barack Obama is among the many esteemed guests who have dined at this Tokyo mainstay. It is streaming on Netflix.
Somewhat of a follow-up to the spotlight on Jiro above, season six of this show, the first original Netflix docuseries, opens with an episode on Mashama Bailey. Learn more about her tryst with the Southern food traditions and heritage she grew up surrounded by in Savannah, Georgia. Hear her aspirations and personal stories, along with those of other famed chefs featured across five seasons.
The Bucket List
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson star in this comedy of two men adventuring across the globe checking off items on their wish list. The two Academy Award winners are a pair to reckon with as they take their shenanigans international – expect to head out on a skydive and safari as well as to the North Pole, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China in this Amazon Prime movie.
Always Be My Maybe
More a rom-com flick on Netflix but with heavy Korean culinary influences and giving you some serious San Francisco wanderlust, stand-up comic Ali Wong and Randall Park (Fresh off the Boat) play childhood sweethearts who separate and reunite amid some happy and sad times. Wait for the Keanu Reeves scenes that add some hilarious flavor to this lighthearted comedy. The entire dining sequence is going to have you in splits.
Be transported to Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Peru via this documentary on Netflix that explores the regal mountains through the eyes of locals. Six episodes of beautiful photography and a little bit more than a virtual tour of these areas, this ode to nature’s beauty serves sufficient enticement to plan for a visit there in the future. Some call this therapeutic – you will have to watch for yourself.
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Street Food Asia
Or you could opt for a little culinary adventure to another continent by watching this documentary on Netflix that takes you to India, Thailand, Singapore and more. Nothing like tasting street food in new places to get a hint of local flavors, seasonal ingredients, trusted spices and traditional techniques. Some of the best palate pleasers are out there as you walk along an unassuming neighborhood. This show tells you where those spots and dishes are.
Falling Inn Love
End with a lighthearted rom-com and this Netflix offering that sees Afro-Latino star, Christina Milian. Milian wins and takes on an inn in New Zealand as a change of scenery to her staid San Francisco life, only to find out she will need a lot more than a move to get this gig going. For those among us who sign up for every “take care of this island” and “win a getaway to that remote part of the world” offer, this movie is a funny reminder that what you wish for might not always be what it seems.