As many of us find ourselves in the unusual situation of having more spare time at home available, we are beginning to winnow down those old watch lists and reading goals that seemed impossible to complete once upon a time. Nearing the ends of these with a certain amount of trepidation, our staff began making recommendations to each other on the best of what they’ve watched or read in the past few weeks, and now we’d like to share them with you.
Doing what we do best, we’ve put together a little procedure on the ideal way to stream media for that relaxing time alone, or as a fun night together with family. And, to help bolster your dwindling lists, we collected a few of the top choices from our team’s Editors, Writers, Instructors, and Managers. We hope you enjoy getting to know our team’s personalities and preferences, and find something to hook your attention next!
Shea Technical Writer
The Netflix original Ozark is a high-octane series that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat at times. It features a great storyline about a financial advisor who moves his family from Chicago to the Ozarks. His career takes a wide left turn, and what ensues is wild with well-thought-out plotlines.
This is an excellent series to binge watch and forego housework, or most other things you need to get done on the weekend.
Shea Technical Writer and Senior Editor
I recently read and enjoyed Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which is historical fiction set in WWII about a British spy and her best friend, a pilot. When the spy is captured by the Gestapo in France, the story of their friendship and mission slowly unfolds through a series of journal-type entries. The novel has compelling female characters, lots of suspense, and I kept re-evaluating who could be trusted and what was true as their story unfolded through flashbacks and first-person narration.
The topic is definitely dark, but the triumph of loyalty and friendship offer a good escape from uncertain times.
Shea Project Manager
Fans of parody, Science Fiction, and Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy and co-creator of American Dad, will truly enjoy The Orville, streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime. Seth MacFarlane states that The Orville is his labor of love due to his love of sci-fi and Star Trek. 400 years in the future, The Orville is a mid-level, exploratory spaceship crew facing the marvels and dangers of outer space while also dealing with the problems of everyday life, which is where much of the campiness happens.
Seth MacFarlane plays Captain Ed Grayson, and the rest of the ensemble cast includes a First Officer, Lieutenant Commander, Doctor, Science Officer, and a Security Officer from different planets and cultures. The show parodies as well as pays homage to the original Star Trek and The Next Generation, and has been dubbed a “love letter” to Star Trek.
My husband and I have enjoyed this show very much and agree with audience ratings of 94%! Well, we also like Mel Brooks movies, Monty Python, and all the Star Trek series, so in our case, The Orville has it all! Give it a try and hang in there. Don’t just see one; see more than one, and it will grow on you.
Shea CCS Founder and President
Managing the Unexpected is written by Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe; Weick is the Organizational Behavior professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, and Sutcliffe is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, associated with John Hopkins University. She is expert in High Reliability Organizing, Risk Management, Resilience (organizational), and Change Management.
They collaborated together on this book to address the issues facing organizations in today’s culture of business: how and why management makes the decisions they do, the impact those decisions have on the workers, and how this impacts society at large. The main focus of their work is to help organizations create actual reliability and actual performance to improve whatever it is the organization of people are making or doing. They mainly focus on organizations where the potential for human error and disaster is overwhelming, like U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers, air traffic control systems, emergency medical treatment, etc.
This book will likely appeal to those who are intrigued by human behavior, why we make mistakes, or slips, but I have found you can apply these same principles in everyday life. Based on the principles Weick and Sutcliffe tell us about human behavior, I’m more mindful of what could potentially happen as I drive on I-10 in Houston, so I find myself paying closer attention to all the other drivers around me.
Shea Founder and President
If you are looking for an entertaining short series for a bit of escapism, try The English Game on Netflix. This is a six‑episode mini-series by Julian Fellows (of Downton Abbey fame). The series takes place in England in the mid-19th century and purports to be about football (soccer to Americans), though there is much more to it than that.
My English football-loving husband enjoyed the football aspect. I enjoyed the thought-provoking concepts about politics and class along with the interplay of the characters. As a hobby seamstress, I always enjoy the costumes. As a fan of sports, I am interested in the history of games and the factors that influence how the games evolved. I am also missing a bit of live sports right now too, and there are a few football match scenes in the series to satisfy a desire to watch sports and root for a team.
So, grab your favorite English beverage and enjoy a bit of history and football with The English Game.