Here are a few of the things getting me through December. A rather contradictory blend of pure real-life horror and beautiful whimsy, washed down with a healthy dose of broad comedy.

The Ripper (2020)

Investigators and witnesses recall how a modern-day Jack the Ripper terrorized the north of England during the late 1970s.

This is not a fun or easy watch but it does seem to capture the time period well and convey just how awful it must have been to live through this. It puts together interviews with the force tasked with investigating and catching The Ripper with segments of some of the survivors and it’s terrifying. There were so many bodged attempts to catch him.

I also had no idea it went on for as long as it did or how Peter Sutcliffe was eventually apprehended so it did pad out my flimsy knowledge on the subject. From a feminist point of view, it’s also fascinating to look at the way sex workers were treated as opposed to ‘regular’ women. I’m not confident things have changed that much tbh. 

A must watch for the true crime fan but I found it hard to binge.

Evermore by Taylor Swift

I don’t think anybody has been as productive as Miss Swift during lock-down. It’s actually depressing but we’ve all dealt with quarantine in our own ways. While I’ve completed both ASOS and Netflix, the Queen of Pop has released not one but two banging albums, and reinvented herself as a folklore sensation.

And the albums – July’s Folklore and this month’s Evermore are actually great. Evermore is lovely and a very welcome release to have on in the background while I work. It makes me feel earthy and festive somehow in a way that nothing else has this year. I’ve always been a fan of Swift’s pure pop (1989 is without question one of the most perfect albums ever made) but maybe not so much the woman herself.

However, she’s proved me wrong over the years and I adored her documentary Miss Americana. Like us all, Tay doesn’t get it right all the time but I like how she’s using her mistakes and finding her voice now. Into it. 

*Stares off moodily into the middle distance, while standing by a lake*

Kim’s Convenience (2016-)

The misadventures of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store.

I’ve snoozed massively on this show but I’m obsessed with it. It has such a lovely heart, and I adore each and every one of the Kim family. Appa and Umma (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon) are adorable as the parents of Janet (Andrea Bang) and Jung (Simu Liu). While they’re dealing with their own challenges – relationships, moving out, college – Appa is coming to terms with change and the true meaning of Netflix and chill. With hilarious consequences. 

I’m still only on Season 1 but it’s so easy to binge. I also have huge love for Jung’s smitten boss Shannon (Nicole Power) – and I fancy the fuck out of Appa.

I can’t wait to rinse the rest of it.

What are you watching?