Quick question: is it Seasonal Affective Disorder when you look outside, see snow on the ground and then instead of taking care of business for the day, you crawl under a pile of blankets and pillows so thick and tall that, for all intents and purposes, you no longer exist in the rational human world anymore? Asking for a friend.
I don't winter very well, so when Bend unleashes Snowmageddons and Icepocalypses and Chilltastrophes, I try to send my overactive imagination to warmer places by consuming media set in sunnier climes. It doesn't remotely work, but I'm still thinking there's a chance that one day I stream something so tropical that I feel it in my bones and forget about the winter before last when I fell so hard on the ice you could see the bone in my elbow. The trauma is real. Here are a few things I'm watching to remind me of warmth.
Look, I understand that "The White Lotus" is a fantastic show and this new season set in Sicily is off to a strong start (although without Murray Bartlett's resort manager Armond it feels like a key ingredient is missing), but watching rich people behaving badly at resorts and getting their ironic and thematically foreshadowed comeuppance feels oversaturated as a genre right now. But the really incisive and lovely show set in a tropical resort filled with interesting characters and a captivating central mystery is Peacock's "The Resort."
"The Resort" is set in the Mayan Riviera and follows the always wonderful Cristin Milioti (The Mother from "How I Met Your Mother") and William Jackson Harper (Chidi from "The Good Place") as Emma and Noah, an unhappy couple trying to reignite their marriage on their 10th wedding anniversary. While four-wheeling out in the jungle, Emma finds a cell phone that belonged to a young tourist who disappeared 15 years earlier, setting her and Noah on a path of danger, obsession and some serious Latin American Magical Realism. Every single one of this show's eight episodes kept me hooked to find out what happened, and the characters are so well developed and likable that I genuinely hope they renew it for a second season. A great surprise.
If you like your heat less tropical and more metropolitan, check out the sweaty throwbacks on the Criterion Channel for the rest of the month in the November Noir collection. With film noir classics like Jules Dassin's grimy classic from 1948, "The Naked City" or Robert Siodmak's, "Cry of the City," you'll feel the steam coming from sidewalk grates and the sweltering mugginess infesting the subways. There are a ton of noir classics available like "The House on Telegraph Hill" from 1951, 1950's "Panic in the Streets" and 1945's near-perfect "Detour," so get warm with some classic noir.
Finally, another good choice would be FX's new series "The Bear," set in a Chicago kitchen where you can feel the sweat building and the tension soaring. This is easily one of the best new shows of the year and with the combination of open flames and constant creeping anxiety and intensity, "The Bear" probably warmed me up more than any show has in a long time. Stay warm out there.