Welcome to the nth week of quarantine! The good news is we’re still here. The bad news is “here” is getting a little too boring for our tastes. Oh, the joys of being able to café hop along Thong Lor, watch a movie in a cinema or maybe just stroll mindlessly around Siam.
We’ll probably all jump at the chance to do something — anything — outside once this is all done but for the foreseeable future, we are all stuck in the confines of our homes. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’re getting a little stir-crazy and boredom is setting in, Guru has a couple of suggestions to keep you occupied. Whether it’s gaming your days and nights away or listening to hours on end of sublime classical music, we’ve got you covered.
What better way to spend your days stuck at home than gaming? Unless you’ve got the dough to spend, you may be stuck with the games you already have. Thankfully, there are titles out there you can get without having to spend a single satang.
PS4’s “Play at Home” Initiative
If you’re a PS4 owner, PlayStation announced the “Play At Home” initiative to make life in quarantine a little easier. They’ve made two titles free to download: Journey, an indie adventure game that puts you in the middle of a desert which you can explore, and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, which has the first three titles of the critically-acclaimed franchise. You’re getting four games for free. The games are available to download until May 5 and unlike the free games you download through the PS Plus service where you need an active subscription to play the games, these titles are yours for keeps. Check the PlayStation Store to see the titles.
Call of Duty: Warzone
PC, PS4, Xbox One
The latest entry to the battle royale genre and arguably the most popular one out there, Call Of Duty: Warzone gives you straight up military mayhem in the city of Verdansk as you and your friends battle it out to remain the last squad standing. Of course, you can choose to go as a team of three, two, or just go at it alone. The appeal of Warzone seems to be that it has simplified battle royale so if you’re new and you haven’t really played BRs before then this is a good place to start. Of course, players who own Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare or who buy the Battle Pass get extra visual perks, but having a decked-out M4 doesn’t matter if you don’t shoot it well.
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Apex Legends is yet another BR that’s great for newcomers to the genre. This one is a set in a sci-fi/fantasy world and has a selection of characters, each with their own special skills and powers that you can use to help you achieve victory. Mastering each character’s powers will take some time though, but other than that, the objective remains the same: kill everyone else and stay alive.
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Of course, I have to include Fortnite on this list. Unlike COD and Apex, Fortnite also has a building aspect that you need to learn. Watching kids who are basically Fortnite veterans playing on PC is a sight to behold. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up being an expert yourself once this whole quarantine thing is over.
PC, PS4, Xbox One
I realise that the past three games have all been BRs, but it makes sense because you can play round after round with basically no end in sight. However, if you’re looking for a free-to-play game in a different genre, Destiny 2‘s monster and loot-filled planets will probably be a good alternative. While there is a retail version of Destiny 2 that you can buy, the free-to-play version actually offers up a very good chunk of the game as well as some content found in its expansions. Time to get raiding, Guardian.
Be honest: how many shows have you binged since quarantine was imposed? While you can go ahead and watch the tried and tested, there may be some shows and movies you may not be aware are available on certain streaming sites or other avenues where you can watch movies.
Thai Film Archive
Tired of the usual streaming sites? You can now watch classic Thai films on the Thai Film Archive’s YouTube channel (bit.ly/2RQJEeG). There, you’ll find a special Covid-19 playlist that has a lot to offer, from old hit movies, like Ai Tui, to documentaries, like the one about the Bangkok Flood in 1942. Besides films, the Thai Film Archive’s museum has an online series called “Thai Film Museum at a distance”, that’s conducted on Google Art & Culture, featuring museum staff who will give you virtual reality tours of movie exhibition from the past. Each tour only lasts a couple of minutes. Stay tuned to the museum’s FB page (fb.com/ThaiFilmMuseum) for the latest updates. For anyone who prefers reading, the Thai Film Archive has gathered articles about old Thai films, which you can find in the link (bit.ly/2VnyhgL). The best thing about all these services is that anyone can access them for free.
The IT Crowd
This quirky British TV show follows the hilarious antics of the demeaned IT Department of Reynholm Industries. Seriously, if you need a good laugh or a dozen, binge this right now.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film is available on Netflix, ready for you to start questioning whether technology will ultimately be the end of us all.
The Breakfast Club
Continuing with classics, bring it back down to Earth with the film that arguably started the teen angst genre. Detention for these misfits brings about some hilarious and deep revelations.
This was the movie that made the California valley girl iconic all thanks to Alicia Silverstone’s performance. It also stars Paul Rudd who looks pretty much the same as he does now. Just make sure you RSVP if you’re gonna watch so no one’s totally buggin’.
HBO Go has a number of TV shows whose first seasons are free to watch.
Bill Hader stars as Barry, a hitman who wants to get out of the game because he has suddenly found his true passion: acting.
Five guys try to make it big in the tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley, by kicking off their own start-up company and inventing a new app. But things just get more complicated after that.
The critically-acclaimed show follows Tony Soprano as he tries to live in two completely opposite worlds: being a family man and being the leader of a mob family.
Museum Siam has a number of virtual exhibitions, that cover a number of different topics. These include the story of how Bangkok became the metropolis it is today and an exhibition about how we are eating “rotten food”. These exhibitions aren’t just recent ones either. The oldest one is from 2012 so it’s the perfect opportunity to view them if you didn’t get to in person or revisit them if you did. The exhibitions are also viewable via your mobile phone.
The St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia
If you’re looking to transform your living room into a concert hall, you’re in luck. The St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia, one of the oldest music societies in Russia, has a variety of performances available on their website, all of which are set to fill your homes with beautiful symphonies and thundering orchestrations. I don’t think you’ll find yourself lacking — each video is over an hour long! So enjoy all the classical music to your heart’s content.
ArtAble — World Down Syndrome Day 2020
Photographer Surachai Saengsuwan took a number of heartwarming and fun photos to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day, which was on March 21. The photos revolve around the theme “ArtAble”, which conveys the message that those with Down’s syndrome are still able to be creative and artistic much like everyone else. The photos can be viewed in a digital exhibition where you can walk around in a virtual gallery and view the photos. There aren’t that many photos but each of them is a dose of positivity that brings a smile that all of us could use.
BEC-Tero Radio has launched a podcast with programmes that centre around office workers. Every day there’s a different programme that tackles a different topic. For example, The Shrink is released on Mondays and tackles mental health. Live Without Pay is about budgeting and saving, which is released every second and fourth Thursday of the month. These are just a few of the things that Hudi Podcast tackles. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, Podbean, Soundcloud and on the BEC-Tero Radio YouTube and DailyMotion channel.
Some Good News
If you haven’t heard of Some Good News yet, it’s probably because you have been too busy bingeing or napping. Some Good News is a “news network” started by John Krasinski, who’s known for having starred in The Office and A Quiet Place, that pretty much does what its name says: report good news. It’s only been four episodes in but during that time this low-budget, made-from home show has become a beacon of positivity for many. It’s also managed to do some cool stuff like bring back the original Broadway cast of Hamilton to do a surprise performance for a fan, have Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt report the weather, feature a report from astronauts up on the International Space Station and hold a virtual prom for the Class of 2020, with guest stars like Chance the Rapper, Billie Eilish and the Jonas Brothers.
One World: Together At Home Special
This historic special event last Saturday was a virtual concert in celebration of the frontliners fighting the pandemic. A vast number of stars from the entertainment industry participated, like Michael Bublé, Jessie J, Ellen DeGeneres, Luis Fonsi, Sam Smith, John Legend, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Lady Gaga, who was one of the people that made the event possible. There was a digital special, which was streamed on many platforms, and a televised special that was broadcasted and streamed, which was also hosted by three late-night hosts: the two Jimmys, Fallon and Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert. If you missed this special show because it was broadcasted early on Sunday morning in Thailand, fret not. The entire eight-hour show is available to watch on the Global Citizen YouTube page.