Television has certainly changed in recent years –gone are the days when the small screen was synonymous with low culture, with today’s hit shows featuring A-list movie stars and big budgets bringing complex characters and jaw-dropping storylines to life. Our viewing behavior has also shifted, thanks to the advent of streaming services, allowing us to watch what we want, when we want, where we want. But there’s a downside to all this choice – amid the huge influx of content, it’s easy for quality shows to get lost in the shuffle, buried among fluff and forgettable reality TV.
If you, too, are suffering from series overload, check out Sky’s exclusive content: Previously only available as premium cable, their service Sky X is their flexible streaming service that lets you watch from anywhere. With the holidays fast approaching, Metropole has taken a deep dive into their library to compile the ultimate winter viewing guide for the entire family.
The Best of HBO
Sky is perhaps best known as the European home of HBO, the American premium channel that redefined television with influential shows like Sex and the City, Six Feet Under and Game of Thrones. More recently, they’ve won multiple awards for riveting dramas like Succession and Watchmen as well as unconventional comedies like Veep and Barry. Dive into the riveting world of prestige TV by streaming it all.
Metropole’s top picks:
Attracting controversy and praise for its shocking portrayal of the American teenage experience, the glittery-yet-harsh exterior of Euphoria belies an insightful and heartbreaking narrative about growing up in a society too self-absorbed to protect its youth. With a soul-piercing soundtrack and a talented ensemble led by shooting star Zendaya – who became the youngest actress to win an Emmy for her performance as troubled protagonist Rue – Euphoria makes for some of the most gripping TV in years.
Based on the novel of the same name which in turn was built around the eldritch abominations of American author H.P. Lovecraft, this remarkably clever miniseries sees a black man and his family fend off monsters and supernatural forces during the Jim Crow era – but the real horror is the racism they encounter around every corner.
Best not to spoil the spine-chilling fun – suffice to say that each of the ten episodes tackles a different genre while weaving an interconnected story about the African-American experience that couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
Like a more condensed and subtle version of Mad Men replete with glorious costumes and music, this drama takes us back to the Women’s Lib movement of the 1970s and the frustratingly futile efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The twist? The focus is on Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), a conniving conservative activist who set feminism back for decades. Come for the history lesson, stay for Rose Byrne’s spot-on portrayal of feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
As if HBO’s catalog wasn’t enough, Sky X also offers their own growing slate of prestigious original content, with hit series like The Young Pope, Chernobyl and the sensational German production Babylon Berlin. If you’re looking to add some European originals to your watchlist, Sky has plenty of must-see shows to get you to next year.
Metropole’s top picks:
If the bleak Austrian winter is getting to you, this elegant thriller set in the French Riviera will come as a welcome escape: Julia Stiles stars as the wife of a billionaire philanthropist who discovers that her life of leisure was built on violence, lies and drugs after her husband is killed in a yacht explosion. Overnight, she descends into a criminal world of shady dealings as she tries to uncover the truth and protect her family.
Set on a remote island off the British coast, this thriller starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris chronicles bizarre rituals and intrigues among the natives, crafting a tale of isolation, dread and cult violence reminiscent of classics like The Wicker Man or Midsommar. Told in two separate parts, “Summer” and “Winter,” each consists of three immersive episodes of theatrical scope, with star power in spades and numerous twists.
A German production with international appeal, Hausen is Sky’s latest sojourn into horror, a haunted house panopticon with stunning visuals akin to Kubrick’s The Shining. When 16-year-old Juri (Tristan Göbel) moves into a ramshackle apartment complex with his dad Jaschek (Charly Hübner), the savvy teen comes to realize that the neighbors aren’t the only strange and sinister characters living there. Get ready to confront your fears as you brush up on your German – if you dare.
The age of streaming is here and navigating Sky’s movie library takes some determination – stacked with Hollywood classics, fan favorites and current blockbusters you wouldn’t otherwise find in one place, the sheer scope can be intimidating. Dive into 20th century favorites from East of Eden to The Big Lebowski, or binge-watch the entire 007 franchise before No Time to Die premieres next year; whether it’s sci-fi, horror or romcoms, Sky makes sure you won’t run out of things to watch.
Metropole’s top picks:
This modern-day Bonnie and Clyde story premiered to much acclaim in 2019, but the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement have infused it with even more urgency: When a black couple (Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) is pulled over after an awkward first date, the altercation turns violent, sending them on the run and turning them into icons of the resistance. Walking a fine line between hard to watch and impossible to look away, it culminates in a heartbreaking conclusion that underlines why #BLM is so important.
A Roald Dahl classic that has delighted children and adults for decades has been reimagined for a new generation, with Anne Hathaway delivering a wickedly-fun performance as the leader of a coven who turn children into mice. Legendary director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) has moved the story from 1980s England to 1960s Alabama, adding some much-needed diversity. Sky premiered the movie parallel to its recent theatrical release, making it one of the newest films available for streaming in Austria.
Streaming exclusively on Sky, Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 1960s Hollywood tends to grow on you with repeat viewings, allowing you to catch more and more of its numerous pop culture references. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as a washed up actor and his best friend and stunt-double, respectively, as well as Margot Robbie stepping into the iconic white go-go boots of actress Sharon Tate, this is one alternative historical comedy-drama you can’t miss.
Have we piqued your interest? Head over to Sky X and get the full package, including their entire entertainment library with Live TV and full access to their sports lineup for just €19.99 instead of €34.99 per month.
Disclaimer: Sky Österreich is a regular advertiser in Metropole. This article is an unpaid advertisement to promote their streaming lineup.