Coronavirus outbreak: A guide to films, shows, podcasts to indulge in during this period of self-quarantine

Shreemayee Das

Mar 17, 2020 09:46:50 IST

For a lot of people, the isolation period during the coronavirus outbreak is the longest time they have spent at home at a stretch.

Read our LIVE updates on the coronavirus outbreak here.

Once the first wave of panic and anxiety passes, you might wonder what to do next. Here is a list of some things you can watch, or listen to, between obsessively scrolling on news websites for updates on the virus.

Films/TV shows


 Coronavirus outbreak: A guide to films, shows, podcasts to indulge in during this period of self-quarantine

Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 hit, on the spread of a deadly virus spreading, is suddenly the most-watched thing on the internet, for obvious reasons. It is easy to draw the parallels between the movie and what is happening right now. It is available on Amazon Prime Video for those who have not seen it yet. 

(Also read: In times of coronavirus outbreak, why Steven Soderbergh's 2011 medical thriller Contagion makes for essential viewing)


pushpavalli 2

Comedinne Sumukhi Suresh’s brainchild Pushpavalli is about a girl who comes to Bangalore, in chase of a man she is in love with. The second season released last Friday, and is a hilarious watch. You can binge watch both seasons while you are at it. It is also available on Amazon Prime Video India.

(Also read — Pushpavalli season 2 review: Sumukhi Suresh makes the journey of her messy character more sumptuously unapologetic)

Love is Blind

This dating reality show premiered on Netflix on Friday, and features a group of people who speed-date in an attempt to find love. The catch? They cannot see each other on these dates, and can only talk to each other.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


Watch this satire on current issues and politics with John Oliver. The recent one also looks at coronavirus, and what is being done, and not done, to contain its spread in the US. All episodes (except one) are available on Hotstar. 

(Also read: Hotstar streams John Oliver's criticism of Disney-owned platform, as episode on Narendra Modi remains unavailable)

Ugly Delicious

Available on Netflix, this show has award-winning chef David Chang travel to different places in the world, and meet chefs who have tried to use food as a way to break cultural barriers. 

Family Tandoncies

Comedian Amit Tandon looks at marriages, travelling abroad, and kids in his new Netflix special, the first one completely in Hindi on the platform.



If you have not seen it yet, Chhapaak is now on Hotstar. Starring Deepika Padukone, this is the story of an acid attack survivor in India. 

(Also read — Chapaak movie review: Deepika Padukone's acid attack saga has its moments, but not enough)

Marriage Story


The film shows a couple, played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, going through a divorce as they explore ideas of marriage and family. It is available on Netflix. 

(Also read — Marriage Story movie review: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver's performances, charm make this film intensely watchable)

Quarter Life Crisis

It is a stand-up special by Taylor Tomlinson looking at life in your 20s. It recently launched on Netflix, and has got some very good reviews. 



You can also choose to rewatch one of your old favourite series, the one with several seasons. Friends recently started airing on Netflix; Mad Men is on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You can watch The Office, Downton Abbey or Grey’s Anatomy

(Also read — Why Friends is still iconic 25 years late: A timeless sitcom with a favourite character for every age group)


Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction

Available on CNN Audio, this show is led by Dr Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent. It is a myth-buster, and is informative and important. 

Recollections of my Nonexistence

Popular author and essayist Rebecca Solnit writes about what got her to writing as a young woman. It is a new audiobook by Penguin Random House, and promises to be excellent, much like all of Solnit’s work. 

Uncle, Please Sit

IVM Podcast’s recent show features ex-journalists Joel Pereira and Tushar Abhichandani bust several myths of Indian society. It is fun and informative.

The Lit Pickers

Hosted by Supriya Nair and Deepanjana Pal, this is a podcast for literature and book lovers. In the eight episodes released so far, they have discussed lit fests and Jane Austen to JRR Tolkein and Indira Gandhi, and have even given some of their favourite feminist book recommendations.

Sherlock Holmes

Audible has Stephen Fry read your favourite stories of the detective Sherlock Holmes in their newest collection.

Picture Ke Peeche

For Bollywood fans, leading Indian film critic Rajeev Masand brings this podcast to Audible Suno, where he speaks to noted filmmakers about the process of making some of our favourite movies. The list includes Karan Johar speaking about Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... and Farhan Akhtar on Dil Chahta Hai.

Articles of Interest

Ideal for fashion lovers, this podcast explores the history behind what we wear, including casual clothes and pockets. It is available on Stitcher. 

The History of India Podcast

For fans of Indian history, this podcast by Kit Patrick delves into ancient Indian history while keeping it fun and entertaining.

All images from YouTube.

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Updated Date: Mar 17, 2020 09:46:50 IST