Streaming highlights February 12 to 17: Industry, The Virtues, Headspace Guide To Meditation

BRAT PACK: Industry showcases the harsh reality of life for university graduates trying to make a career in the cutthroat finance investment industry. Below, Stephen Graham is amazing in The Virtues.
BRAT PACK: Industry showcases the harsh reality of life for university graduates trying to make a career in the cutthroat finance investment industry. Below, Stephen Graham is amazing in The Virtues.

INDUSTRY

Binge

PERHAPS one of the best things to happen during COVID-19 was the opportunity for many office workers to do their job at home, away from the politics, the bullying and passive aggressiveness.

Most of us certainly wouldn't want to work for London banking institution, Pierpoint & Co.

The place is nuclear-level toxic. The kind of environment that young graduates feel pressured to sleep in the toilets to keep abreast of their work or where women are demeaned by fetching lunch orders and then pressured into after-work drinks packaged as mentoring opportunities.

Industry follows a group of ambitious graduates who join Pierpoint & Co. These include working-class African-American woman Harper (Myha'la Herrold), who has seemingly fudged her university degree to score the job, entitled gay Eton and Oxford graduate Augustus, overly eager party boy Robert and well-connected but nervous Yasmin.

The fifth member of the group is state-school graduate Hari, who becomes so pressured to perform he dies from a drug overdose in the office toilets creating a public relations nightmare for Pierpoint and initiating a cultural change.

Lena Dunham directed episode one and there's enough cutting dialogue and humour and awkwardly realistic sex to draw parallels with her classic Girls series.

THE VIRTUES

Stan

BRITISH shows on Stan have been seriously knocking it out of the park lately with powerfully emotional dramas.

First there was It's A Sin about devastating impact of AIDS on the London gay community in the '80s, next there's The Virtues.

Stephen Graham (Snatch, This Is England) delivers a career-defining performance as Joe, a broken and lost middle-aged alcoholic.

Joe is barely holding it together in Sheffield, England when he's forced to farewell his nine-year-old son who is moving to Australia with his ex-wife and her new partner.

After succumbing to a boozy evening which leaves him battered, covered in vomit, broke and unashamed, he returns to his homeland in Ireland to reunite with his sister who he was separated from 30 years ago.

While in country Ireland Joe has to face up to the childhood trauma and abuse which was marred his adulthood.

The Virtues is a raw and brutal character examination that delves deep into how trauma in our early years continues to shape our lives. Expect The Virtues to be on several "best of 2021" lists come next Christmas.

HEADSPACE GUIDE TO MEDITATION

Netflix

I'VE held a passing interest in meditation and its mental and physical benefits for many years, but have a very elementary knowledge of the practice.

Headspace Guide To Meditation proved an ideal introduction. If you're already eating mung beans and chanting mantras at your local ashram you're going to find the quirky animations and basic explanations overly simplistic.

However, if you're new to meditation and looking to destress following the upheaval of COVID, work or the nagging kids, this could be for you. I'm unsure if meditating in front of the TV is awfully enlightening.

REVIEWS BY JOSH LEESON