Staying Home? Here's What to Watch

Back to All Perspectives Stories
04/01/2020 April 2020 Perspectives

Staying home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus? Looking for ways to stay entertained? If you've already binged all the shows in your Netflix queue, fear not. Faculty in the UW Department of Cinema & Media Studies have gathered television and film recommendations to fit every mood. 


If you want an escape...

Uncut Gems (2019)

Described by Variety as “a cross between a seat-of-your-pants heist movie and a protracted heart attack,” you won’t think about coronavirus once for 135 minutes. Be aware that it's brash, crass, and not family-friendly. Directed by Josh & Benny Safdie.
Rent on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, GooglePlay, or Redbox.


If you want to watch a classic...

Seven Samurai (1954)

Now that you have the time, watch this 3.5 hour classic. Action, romance, comedy, and tragedy all in one!  Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Streaming on Kanopy* and Hulu/LiveTV. Or rent on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, GooglePlay, or Apple TV.


If you love a good conspiracy theory...

The X-Files

Perfect for the viewer who thinks COVID-19 is actually a giant conspiracy initiated by a clandestine government “black op” to prepare the way for an alien invasion and the eventual creation of an alien-human hybrid species.
Streaming on Hulu, or rent on Amazon Prime Video.


If you want a little silence…

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

An anthology of 17 newly restored silent films by pioneering women filmmakers, including Elsie Jane Wilson's "The Dream Lady" (1918), which offers a whimsical glimpse of cross-dressing that was so popular in that era, and "Caught in the Cabaret," a short featuring Charlie Chaplin in the first year of his screen appearances, directed by Mabel Normand, the era's Queen of Comedy. Other films explore birth control, abortion, prostitution, and other controversial issues. 
Streaming on Netflix. 


If you love the Pacific Northwest...

Twin Peaks​

Twin Peaks is a genre masterpiece from David Lynch; Portlandia is a comedy sketch series from Sleater-Kinney alum Carrie Brownstein and Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen. Both explore the Pacific Northwest in all its strangeness and beauty, and both feature UW School of Drama alumnus Kyle MacLachlan.
Twin Peaks is streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and CBS All Access, or rent on YouTube.
Portlandia is
 ​streaming on Netflix, or rent on Amazon Prime Video.


If you want a "social distancing" classic...

Grey Gardens (1975)

This documentary, which inspired a 2009 film of the same title, examines the life of mother and daughter “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Beale, former socialites living together in isolation on their East Hampton estate.
Rent on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, or GooglePlay.


If you wish you could travel abroad and see cute cats...

Kedi (2017)

See Istanbul through the eyes of its most beloved citizens: cats! A cheering, family-friendly documentary by a female director. Directed by Ceyda Torun.
Rent on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and GooglePlay.


If you need a good reminder not to touch your face...

Contagion (2011)

The pandemic classic! Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Streaming on Cinemax, or rent on Amazon Prime Video.

.    .    .

* Kanopy is a free on-demand streaming platform for anyone with a university affiliation or public library membership. It offers thousands of films and documentaries, including 400+ Criterion titles.

More Stories

Taiko Aoki-Marcial and Cristina Sanchez-Martin standing with greenery behind them.

Learning Through Storytelling

Through a UW-led storytelling workshop and course, English language learners in the Seattle area strengthened their language skills and built community.

An open hardcover book with more books in the background.

Exploring Connections Through Global Literary Studies

The UW's new Global Literary Studies major encourages students to explore literary traditions from around the globe and all eras of human history.

Sarah Levin-Richardson in her office, with books on shelves behind her.

Lifting Marginalized Voices — from Ancient Rome

"Interesting, frustrating, and necessary,” is how Sarah Levin-Richardson, professor of Classics, describes her research into the lives of enslaved individuals in the ancient world. 

Explore Stories Across Arts & Sciences Departments