It’s not that you’re a misanthrope, exactly. You just live your life by one simple creed: people are OK, TV is better. Since you’re now deep into the festive season and with it, the bleak hellscape that is four parties back-to-back in one week, it’s time to review your options. What incredibly happening social events are you going to flake on to stay in the cosy confines of home? And what web series should you watch instead?

 

Your friend’s art opening
She’s so talented! Did you know she showed at the White Cube when she lived in London? Everyone’s going to be there. Still: standing around looking at ironic photography and guzzling free white wine is all well and good in the summer, but in winter, trekking forty-five minutes to chin-stroke your way through photos of a girl in a neon bikini top eating whipped cream off her own body (“It’s a nostalgic post-Internet look at Girls Gone Wild-esque programming”) is just not going to happen. That day-old risotto isn’t going to eat itself. Your bed misses you. Go home, child.

What you should watch instead: 

Feast your eyes on a work of art without leaving the parameters of your flat. Whatever This Is takes a tragicomic look at twenty-somethings reluctantly working in reality television. I know this description is making it sound like Girls with added males five years too late, but trust me: it’s great. The visuals are lavish enough for it to feel more like a high-end movie than a webseries, and the soft West Anderson-esque pastels offer a nice counterpoint to the acerbic humour.

 

That amazing house party
X is throwing a party! X likes to pretend he’s living in 1920s Paris, so you know his drink trolley is going to be well-stocked with obscure liqueurs! He has an enormous flat and a whole flock of glamorous humans in his life! Missing it is going to be much like missing Titanic in 1997 — nobody you know is going to have anything to say to you for the rest of the year. That said, last time you went to one of X’s parties someone force-fed you shot after shot of creme de menthe and you ended up throwing up in a saucepan before 11pm in front of everybody you know. Play it safe: skip it and cuddle up with your laptop instead.

What you should watch instead: 

The only thing hipper than X’s party is the Norwegian web series Skam. You’ve probably read about it because of the premise: it focuses on a group of teens navigating issues of sexuality, race and, er, dating. What’s cool is that clips are posted online in real time, so if the scene takes place at 2am, that’s when you can watch it. Then at the end of each week, the clips are put together into one episode. One problem: the Norwegian network is having a little trouble adding English subtitles thanks to some Norwegian rights issues.
But luckily for the world, there’s a Google Drive with the videos on it with English subtitles. I don’t want to get the hardworking Skam fans/amateur translators in legal trouble, so I won’t link here, but just google „Skam English subtitles“ and you’ll figure it out, I’m sure.

 

Your friends are renting an idyllic cabin
Your pals have found an adorable cabin in the woods just two hours away from your city. Good times are guaranteed: Glühwein + a roaring open fire + drunk Scrabble. But, following summer wedding season, you’re too broke to keep endorsing everyone else’s attempts to turn their lives into a well-curated Pinterest board. Stay strong. You can turn up the heating really high in your own flat instead for maximum hygge.

What you should watch instead:

Remind yourself how painful social interactions can be with The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a web series starring 31-year-old Issa Rae, who you probably know from her HBO show Insecure. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl does pretty much what it says on the tin, following J as she tries to navigate the stresses of her dead-end job and dating with maximum awkwardness.

It’s almost Christmas, which means there’s a very real danger that you’re going out tonight. With these webseries, help is at hand: Grinch your way out of the festive season and back into your bed.

Header: Screenshot from Wherever this is.