Charles Deluvio - Unsplash

Internet streaming has changed the way we watch TV and movies, in some respects for the better and others for the worse. Binging is probably not healthy, especially if you have a lot to do - it’s also not always the best way to get the full benefit from the content you are consuming.

However, it has also allowed for the rise of more thoughtful content. Shorter series lengths make for tighter stories while still exploring important themes in some depth. There are also some excellent movies that have been produced by streaming sites, making for some of the most poignant viewing in the past few years.

Of course, providers like the BBC have streaming services, which give us the chance to watch without having to own a television – though to use the BBC iPlayer here in the UK a valid TV licence is needed! There are even ways to stream BBC iPlayer while from much further away than you’d expect!

If you are looking for some emotionally resonant dramas to watch, and you're subscribed to Amazon or Netflix, try the following:

Manchester By The Sea

Manchester By The Sea was one of the most widely acclaimed films of 2016. It won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay as well as Best Actor for Casey Affleck. It got a few more nominations as well.

These accolades were truly deserved. Manchester By The Sea is a heart-wrenching tale of a man who made the biggest mistake he possibly could; now he is trying to get on with life, despite being utterly unable to forgive himself. When his brother dies, he has to take care of his troubled teenage nephew and their incredible journey is sometimes a difficult watch, but it’s well worth every minute.

6 Balloons

Abbi Jacobson is best known for Broad City, an incisively funny comedy in which she plays a New York millennial traversing common, sometimes inane, existential crises with her best friend.

This time around Jacobson’s comedy nous is not what uplifts Netflix’s excellent 6 Balloons. In this movie, she plays a woman who is very much in control of things. However, her ability to hold things together is not nearly as important to her as her relationship with her brother. Dave Franco is brilliant in the role of a heroin addict with a child. He has just relapsed and his sister has to get him help. In the process, she has to fight her own frequent enabling of his behaviour and learn to be there for him without rescuing him.


This satire of a company mass producing a new kind of “super pig” has a lot to say about corporations, greed, and the ethics of eating meat. It will make even the staunchest carnivore uncomfortable, as you root for a little girl to save her friend, Okja..

Even if you don’t care for its very obvious subtext, Okja is a touching story nonetheless. It is also captivating and exciting, and has wonderful characters. While the “villains” are one-dimensional (although portrayed well by Tilda Swinton, as twins), the story is believable and will stick with you long after the end credits.