What to watch on Netflix when you’re ill

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I’ll be honest – it hasn’t been the best week so far. Why? One (hyphenated) word: man-flu.

I spent the last two days in bed, squirming around in a puddle of my own sweat. As it turns out a combination of pounding headache, fuzzy vision, and an inability to concentrate isn't exactly conducive to getting a lot of work done. But hey, on the plus side I did get to watch a lot of Netflix. Every cloud and all that.

What I realised was that there are some shows that cater to the comatose audience far better than others. So, based off extensive research (note to HR department: see? I wasn't off work, I was doing 'research') here are the four best shows on Netflix to watch when you're under the weather.

4. Chuck

Chuck is a TV show about what would happen if one of those tech guys at PC World was suddenly forced to become a spy. Spoilers: hijinks happen. Typically followed by shenanigans.

The early draw is seeing a nerdy, relatively normal shop worker keep getting embroiled in life-or-death situations, but it's the 'will they/won't they' relationship with his handler that forms the backbone of the series. It's predictable, but predictability is like a warm, comforting blanket when you're poorly.

So yes, Chuck isn't deep or intellectually stimulating, but it's funny, well-made and simple enough that if you doze off halfway through, you can pick up at the end of the episode and still have a good idea of what happened. That's what makes it such a good sick day watch.

3. QI

When you're lying in bed, your vision blurry and unfocused, a show like QI is a godsend. Since the show essentially consists of five people sharing interesting facts and talking nonsense, you can just lie back, close your bleary eyes and listen.

Only occasionally does the show require visual aids to be understood, and even on those occasions, the topic changes so quickly you don't really miss out.

It has to be said too, that the show often has comedians performing at the top of their game. Alan Davies and Stephen Fry in particular have developed an easy chemistry, and their teacher/naughty schoolboy act will be much missed when Fry's replaced by Sandi Toksvig next series.

2. Community

Community is a great show. It's funny, smart, and utterly unique - but none of that is why it's such a great duvet day watch. The best reason to pick it when you're sick is that it's short.

No episode lasts more than 20 minutes, making them perfect little bite-sized pick-me-ups throughout the day. Actually, pretty much any American sitcom would fit the bill, including the Office, That 70s Show, or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so pick your favourite if you have one.

For me though, Community fits the bill perfectly. The characters play off each other brilliantly, the jokes are excellent, and it throws enough surprises to keep you interested even in long bursts.

1. Jessica Jones

Over the last couple of days, I watched a lot of Jessica Jones - Netflix's latest exclusive series. It's based on a Marvel comic, but it couldn't be further away from the likes of Iron Man or Thor. It's grittier, swearier, and full of naughty stuff you can't imagine Captain America getting up to.

That sounds like hard work, but it's actually a very easy watch. That's mostly thanks to the performances - Krysten Ritter is absolutely fantastic as the titular character, a wannabe superhero who failed and has been left bitter and broken.

Matching her is David Tennant's Killgrave - one of the most unsettling villains I've ever seen on a TV show. He has the power to make people do whatever he says, and the show doesn't shy away from the implications of that. Some scenes are truly chilling.

The 13 episodes all form one continuous story - getting fully immersed in the saga is a welcome distraction for the germ-addled viewer.

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