Knit to This: Getting Away from It All

By Ann Shayne
October 31, 2020

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59 Comments
  • “…you can basically yell something into the air and it appears on your phone or at your door.” HAHAHA!!! I’m so happy I grabbed my phone and checked my email and got my day off to such a fun start. You always make me chuckle right out loud Ann. I just started the latest season of the Great British Bake Off.

    • That cracked me up too! I’m brazenly repeating it just to hear other people laugh out loud. Spread joy wherever and whenever we can. Once again I am grateful for this community.

  • I’ve been binging on British mystery series. The adds at the beginning will provide me with a list of the many different series. Then I search my county library online and reserve a new set. So far I’ve gone through Morse, Midsummer Mysteries, The Last Detective, Blue Murder, and some I cant remember titles. My library has been a lifesaver to me during the pandemic.

    • How exciting, you still have foyle’s war, shetland, endeavour and vera to go!!

      • British mysteries for me too. People dying from poisoned quiche at the village fete, anything other than COVID in isolation.

    • Inspector Lewis and DCI Banks!

  • You must add Disney’s Right Stuff to this list – we’re always waiting for the next episode.

    • I like the idea of space movies. Good to be able to leave our pandemic Earth.

  • Thanks for this Ann, you always make me smile.

  • This weekend is the end of a month-long celebration of spooky season movies – one each night carefully curated by a fellow knitter. Random pull each day; discussion to follow.

  • I have to admit sci-fi is not anywhere near my list of movies to take me away from reality. I tend to enjoy movies or documentaries with song and dance. Funny Girl, for instance hits every note for me, I love to laugh at the 60’s humor, love the romance and there isn’t anyone who makes me want to sing along, more than Barbra. I’ve enjoyed her concerts on YouTube, too.

    Gypsy is another classic that I love to rewatch. As is anything with the music of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim, Webber, Hamlisch. Music, dance and romance are the only things that take my mind off the horror of the pandemic and that of the clown show in DC.

  • Hallmark movies. Because I know how they’re going to end and I really don’t need any more surprises this year.

    • I mean, to be fair, we know how Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 are going to end too, right? 😉

    • Hallmark Christmas movies have started this week!!! I live for this;)

    • And the added bonus of the Hallmark channel was NO political ads!! Only thing that kept me sane.

  • As much as I love The Clooney, can’t recommend Solaris. I think even for non Star Trek or Star Wars fans, the Star Trek reboot movies are good space fun.

    I am watching less TV than ever during the pandemic. I’m drawn to YA series that are maximum entertainment for minimal emotional investment. Just finished Teenage Bounty Hunters which was an unexpected delight…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy is totally a space movie. With an awesome soundtrack. Not at all in the rest of the genre style you’ve got here, but. Well.
    Also, Picard was an incredibly thoughtful and lovely series. Might be a way to ease yourself into the Star Trek Universe. I was the right age to see a lot of the Next Generation in middle school/high school. There were some cool plots and themes. Plus, Whoopi Goldberg in space.

  • Now on to tv series. Farscape begins with young astronaut shot into space on an experimental mission who accidentally gets slingshotted through a worm home into a different universe on take off. He’s rescued by a renegade prison ship filled with an assortment of aliens. The ship is actually a living creature, sort of like an immense space whale named Moya. The action revolves around Crichton’s efforts to get home and to get along with the mother assortment of renegades he’s taken in with. It’s coproduced by the Jim Henson Company and Hallmark and remind me of a combination of Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Muppets.
    The Expanse is another highly recommended discs series, but I haven’t had time to watch it yet.

    • I loved Farscape too! My husband and I are in the middle of The Expanse. It took me 2-3 episodes to get into the flow, and I will say it sometimes nears the limits of my shoot-em up tolerance, but overall I’m enjoying it. And I’m a big StarTrek fan (never really got into Star Wars except maybe the first 2). There is something so inherently hopeful about Star Trek, hints of terrible periods on Earth in the past, but they’ve mostly been overcome. TNG and DS9 are my favs, but I’ve enjoyed them all.

  • Space movies, submarine movies, and anything with a fast car or chase scene… Rush, Ronin, Ford vs. Ferrari, 24 Hours at Lemans (or whatever the Steve McQueen movie is called), Bullitt, and Grand Prix! All of the Bourne movies and most Bond movies also have at least one excellent chase scene in cars, on boats, or on motorcycycles!

    • If car chases are your thing, watch The Italian Job. The second one with Charlize Theron. Mini Coopers flying through Los Angeles can’t be beat.

  • What takes me away from all of this is laughs, lots of them! So we watched Schitt’s Creek all the way through and now watching it all over again. It’s just so bizarre, but in a good way!

  • Love Crash Landing On You. Took a few episodes to get hooked. Netflix.

  • I’m watching basically anything that feels removed from current life: British mysteries, documentaries, travel shows, etc. I’m rewatching Shetland for the umpteenth time, Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators, Somebody Feed Phil (his sincerity is so welcome!), Studio 54. I appreciate that some people are putting together shows that grapple with the pandemic (Social Distancing, etc.) but I cannot handle watching any of them.

    • The best thing about re-watching a series, for me, is that I remember it was really good but hardly remember anything else, including who the killer was, so I’m guaranteed not to be disappointed in the show and I get to be surprised all over again. I should despair on my own behalf that I can’t remember the details of something I’ve watched, but I’ve decided not to care anymore.

      Enjoying Shetland (again) right now.

      • This! Have the same problem/blessing. Endless replays of Midsomer Murders, Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, Vera, Luther (swoon), Sherlock, Agatha Christie mysteries (Poirot and Miss Marple), Wallander. Endless bounty in UK, Europe, Canada & Australia for mystery series.

  • The Netflix documentary on the Challenger is amazing. Sobering but very interesting.

  • Anne with an E is wonderful. Gorgeous photography and some simple hand knits. The story is grittier than the book and I loved it!

    • I loved it too, so gutted there’s no more!

    • My husband and I watched three episodes and we’re hooked!

  • Submarine movies! An odd category, but nothing like the classics. Run Silent, Run Deep, the Enemy Below and Das Boot. I also love all of the WWll propaganda movies. Canterville Ghost? Never mind Oscar Wilde, lets put some Nazis in there. Sherlock Holmes? Add some Nazis. The North Star – Ivan is our friend! Not for everyone, but I enjoy them. George Clooney in Solaris? Not worth the knitting time.

  • I finished “Away” a few weeks ago. It was very engaging. “Queen’s Gambit” was excellent. Vintage clothing, chess, and a compelling story. On Netflix.

    • We’re just starting The Queen’s Gambit. I’m hooked!

    • Queen’s Gambit must be exceptionally good because my husband, who enjoys violence and gore and will watch hardly anything else, stayed glued to this entire show and only fast-forwarded through a couple long quiet conversations, which is a miracle as far as I’m concerned.

    • We just finished this. Kelly and I loved it!

  • YouTubeTV–just about anything, but those of us of a certain age can’t help but get drawn into episodes of “What’s My Line?” Arlene Francis wore the swooshiest dresses! Fred Allen was so funny! Steve Allen was so funny! John Daly was so erudite! What really happened to Dorothy Kilgallen? Almost every famous person you can think of signed in as a mystery guest on that program.

  • But what about Battlestar Gallactica?? Best all time sci-fi space series!

    • Wholehearted agreement here! Note that you want the one made in the 2000’s. When you’re done watching that, cue up Caprica. It’s a prequel, but it requires knowledge of the BG universe to have it make sense.

    • The BG reboot is well loved at our place. I always liked it as it was sci-fi that was gritty and wasn’t afraid to go to some dark places story-wise.

  • I’m watching Stargate SG1, missed it the first time around. It’s good!

    • Yes! Star Trek Discovery is good too except I can’t knit to them they’re so good

  • I’ve watched all 9 seasons of “Call the Midwife” in England 1956(ish) to 1964 besides cute babies, interesting to watch change in mores of the culture.

  • We are watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV and it is WONDERFUL. An American football coach is hired to manage a Premier league football club in the UK. Different sport. But not, especially, a sports comedy, no matter what wikipedia says. It might be a comedy about unconditional love. I don’t know for sure yet. Highly recommend!

  • Might I recommend Stargate Universe? There’s only one season, but it’s oh so good. It’s clever and thought provoking, and stars Robert Carlyle.

    Solaris is one of my favorite movies, but be aware that it’s quite strange and very sad. (Amazing ambient soundtrack by Cliff Martinez.)

    I’d also like to raise a martini containing glass – shaken, not stirred – to Sir Sean Connery, and all the wonderful movies he made over the years.

    • I’d second the salute to Sir Sean. To me, it’s a close race as to who was the best Bond – Sean Connery or Daniel Craig. But Sir Sean had the coolest movie car ever, Aston Martin DB5.

      • Agreed!!!

  • Netflix documentary My Teacher Octopus. Outstanding. Who knew you would fall in love with an octopus?

  • Space Cowboys with Suterland, Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones. If I channel surf and its on, I usually sit down!

  • Two new TV shows to add to the list –
    – Space Force on Netflix. Steve Carell is the earnest commander of the new defense agency. John Malkovich is the cynical civilian science consultant. Mayhem ensues. Not a farce but plenty of humor.

    – Avenue 5 on HBO. Hugh Laurie is the captain of a privately owned cruise liner that gets stuck in space. Rich passengers meet incompetent crew overseen by an owner/business wizkid where every attempt to save them makes the situation worse. Silly and farcical and strangely reminiscent of 2020.

    • I loved both of these shows – Avenue 5 made me laugh out loud so many times I had to rewind now and again to see what lines I missed. And Space Force was very funny too, in a different way. Both shows felt very in touch with 2020….

  • Me too!! And it’s so TRUE!

  • Offspring on Netflix. Almost 100 episodes.

    If you liked Queen’s Gambit, try Molly’s Game.

  • Such a good list and no better time to knit and escape! I love space and SCI-fi and still haven’t seen some of these. (Kirsten Dunst and a planet that keeps getting larger in the sky?! Count me in.) Also … even if you’re not hugely into Star Wars, the new Mandalorian season 2 on Disney+ is really great. Also, Lost in Space. The new one. ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’

  • You ladies turned me on to Alone and I became a complete Alone junkie. I generally detest reality shows for their utter lack of reality but this one is all for realz and so good. Thank you! And now, if I ever get lost in the woods, maybe I’ll figure out something to help me survive. Maybe

  • I look for space stories on audio,
    one that are not war stories
    but everyday life like asteroid mining.
    Sisko building & flying a solar glider is one
    of the best episodes of Deep Space 9.

    “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”
    by Becky Chambers, it has me thinking
    writing a pattern on my sleeve might be handy..
    the engineer knits hats for her fix bots.

    the Time Odyssey series,
    by Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter
    has the characters moving through space,
    seeing colonies on the moon, mars and jupiter,
    the idea of flying up a gravity elevator is a fun experience.

    I found “Star surgeon” one of twelve science fiction novels
    based on “sector general”a space hospital by James White.

    when I want something frivolous,
    the world of Harmony & dust bunnies,
    by Jayne Ann Krentz.

    or mining crystal
    ‘ Crystal Singer’ by Anne McCaffrey.

    but if you want to be nosey nothing beats a mystery.
    detectives ask the awkward questions,
    stomp over class boundaries.
    Can you have a good mystery without someone dying?

  • British mysteries! From Midsomer Murders to Broadchurch. From Holmes to Luther. I know we get only the best of what they produce, but their stories and acting sure put Hollywood to shame. Now I’m working through the southern hemisphere with Australian and Kiwi shows. Only problem is I have to have the captions on until I get the hang of the accent so I mess up my knitting. I’m getting really good at tinking!

  • If you have Apple TV, can I recommend “For All Mankind”? It’s a series that starts with “What if the Russians beat us to the moon?” And it goes from there. Joel Kinnaman and a cast of fantastic actors. There’s tension, a little comedy, and a lot of space and flight. The second season should be dropping soon.

  • I’ve been watching The Queen’s Gambit and The Haunting of Bly Manor. Also, The Crown (still on Season 1)!

  • Someone above mentioned The Right Stuff, the series, but I would highly recommend the original movie if you’re in the mood for space movies. Excellent cast (Dennis Quaid, Sam Shepard, Jeff Goldblum, Pamela Reed, Ed Harris, etc.) and an excellent story.

    These days, I’m watching Mrs. America, a Hulu series from last summer about the push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Also a great cast and great story. My guilty pleasure is Supermarket Sweep with Leslie Jones as host. It’s just so much fun!