Here's Some Extremely Watchable Trash You Might Have Skipped Before You Were Quarantined

Now is not the time to watch good movies
Here's Some Extremely Watchable Trash You Might Have Skipped Before You Were Quarantined
Unless you've been meditating in the desert or starring in a German reality show for the last two weeks, you likely know that the world as we know it has changed. The coronavirus has made it so we're all stuck at home whether we like it or not, meaning we must face our own invasive thoughts, questionable cooking skills and inability to self-motivate as we navigate this haunting new chapter of our lives.

Some people might say that this is the perfect time to better yourself. After all, you're not leaving the house. Why not try that new diet, work on the screenplay you've always been toying with or finally crack open some of those books that you bought the last time you tried to grow as a person? With all due respect, those people are pieces of shit. And don't get me started on those trying to convince you to sign up for the Criterion Channel, a place where all of the movies are at best brimming with ennui and at worst here to remind us about the craven cruelty of human existence.

Time of panic is, in fact, time to inject your brain with the dumbest trash content you can find until your anxieties and depressions have been replaced with a dull mind and a satisfied, drooling mouth. Of course, comforting garbage is the central tenet of good entertainment, which is why media properties like A Star Is Born, The Masked Singer and the entire concept of Netflix Originals are so popular. So if you're here to have your shitty taste validated, just know that we know you love that stuff and we love you for it. But this article is for the true heads — those digging deeper to find moronic pablum that will allow them to achieve new levels of zen-like stupidity. Consider this list a backup roll of toilet paper but for your brain.

These aren't movies and television shows that you'll passively watch while browsing your phone. They're so blissfully bad that you won't be able to turn away. Without further ado, here's some extremely watchable trash to help get you through the next few weeks or years or whatever.

Ryan's Babe (2000)

The first entry on this list is easily the most obscure and the hardest to find, but if you do some online ordering you will be treated to one of the best-worst movies ever made, beating out Troll 2 and Birdemic and even The Room with its baffling awfulness. This Saskatchewan production follows the titular Ryan as he embarks on a road trip that involves a seemingly endless array of colourful characters and absolutely no plot. There's death, there's male stripping, and there's an abundance of over-the-top Canadian accents. But while Ryan's Babe is undeniably terrible, it's also the kind of movie that warrants repeat viewings. Thankfully, it's finally starting to achieve the cult status it deserves.

Now available on DVD.

View from the Top (2003)

Watchable trash is really Gwyneth Paltrow's specialty, from Shallow Hal to the shallow health she's peddling on The Goop Lab. But her real triumph in the field is View from the Top, a bafflingly stupid movie that feels like it was specifically made for this current cultural moment. Demonstrating a distinct misunderstanding of both the mechanics of filmmaking and the inner or even outer workings of the flight industry. The movie was postponed from its Q4 2001 release date thanks to 9/11, and ultimately proved to be a complete disaster in its own right thanks to hammy performances from Paltrow, Christina Applegate and, insisting he deliver all of his lines with crossed eyes, Mike Myers. The film itself is a satisfyingly terrible vacation for your brain, but you can also learn from it thanks to its companion piece. Last year, comedian and whip-smart cultural commentator Richard Ayoade published Ayoade on Top, a 256-page cinematic deconstruction of the film that analyzes everything from its cinematography and mise en scène through its role as a portrayal of service workers during late capitalism. A perfect cocktail of stupid and smart.

Now available on-demand.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)

I'm selfless enough to risk including something that most people have seen in the off chance that this will be the push for stragglers to finally sit down and watch it. Some Kind of Monster is so un-self-aware that it has to be, hands down, the greatest music documentary ever made. For the uninitiated, the film documents Metallica as they navigate lineup changes, writer's block and substance abuse while they try to write their album St. Anger. Ultimately, however, it's a showcase of how bloated budgets can result in a kind of creative paralysis, as the band is more likely to have expensive sessions with their official band therapist and build entire studios in novel locations than they are to actually write a good song. Whether you're a Metallica fan or not, there's no denying that you'll get lost in the magic of Some Kind of Monster.

Now available on-demand.

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead (2010)

Of course, few things scratch the trash itch quite like a funny conspiracy theory. There are plenty of "Kurt Cobain was murdered" flicks out there, not least of which was the recent Soaked in Bleach, but even in this category can Kurt's cultural trajectory be traced back to the Beatles. Yes, I'm not sure if you are aware of this but the Paul McCartney you know today is (allegedly) not the real Paul McCartney but instead a false Beatle installed by MI6 after the real Paul was killed. This so-called "Faul McCartney" has been masquerading as Paul for decades, and Paul McCartney Really Is Dead attempts to blow the story wide open with terrible graphics and even worse voiceovers from a guy doing a shitty fake Liverpool accent. This sincere doc is so bad that many people have mistakenly listed it as a "mockumentary." In other words, it's exactly what you need right now.

Now available on-demand.

Broadway Idiot (2013)

You'd be hard pressed to find any successful rockstar who manages to navigate success while still seeming cool on film, and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong is certainly not the one. Long before he was posting billboards bragging about not using trap beats, he was trying to transfer the political mall-punk of American Idiot to the Great White Way. Broadway Idiot, a documentary that follows American Idiot's journey to becoming a Broadway show, is like a punked-up version of Waiting for Guffman, perfectly balancing anti-authoritarian punk speak with a healthy dose of jazz hands. Yes, Jim from The Newsroom to ride around in a shopping cart and have a one-man circle pit in front of a bunch of printed out Black Flag fliers. Punk's not dead, it's just breaking a leg.

Now available on-demand.

Roadies Season 1 (2016)

If you watch anything on this entire list, make sure it's Roadies. The 10 episodes of this cancelled Cameron Crowe atrocity offer such a perplexingly perfect balance of cringe and authenticity that they will literally save you in times of need. Roadies is not a bad television show, nor is it a good one. It's instead simultaneously the worst and best television show about music ever made. Each episode is a different stop on tour for a fictional Counting Crows-type adult contempo rock band called the Staton-House Band. (Despite being in different cities, every episode is actually shot at Vancouver's Rogers Arena.) Thanks to myriad problems on the road, Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino, Imogen Poots and even-more-punchable-than-usual Machine Gun Kelly try to scramble to make sure the show goes on. That means stroking various egos, managing the press (including an incredibly embarrassing rock critic played by Dwight from The Office) and booking tour openers that are a rotating cast of people you'd find in a dusty old Paste Magazine CD sampler (think: the Head and the Heart, Reignwolf, Lucius, etc.). As if the premise weren't ridiculous enough, all of the dialogue is delivered in subpar Sorkin-esque hyperbole, with every character constantly saying something along the lines of "music is my life." If nothing else, the show will make you think that maybe it's not so bad that all your favourite concerts just got cancelled.

Now streaming on Crave.

100% Hotter Seasons 1 to 3 (2016)

Oh, you think you're depraved because you enjoy Love Is Blind? Think you're transgressive for getting off on the general shittiness of Love Island? Those reality shows are nothing compared to the piping hot idiot juice known as 100% Hotter. It's really a perfect terrible reality show — a panel of three extremely British "experts" find someone who dresses outside of the standard business casual norm (be they cyber goths or makeup addicts or anyone else dressing with too much personality), then they essentially bully them into dressing like a normie. After that, they head out to the streets of London where they show before and after pictures, asking the general public to rate their appearance out of 10. Sometimes a contestant will go from a three to a seven, but that's still 100% hotter so the hosts are always successful. The "best" part of the show, if there can be one, is that they'll try to pay tribute to their subjects' personalities with terrible little references. "We know you're a punk rocker at heart, so we affixed a small safety pin to the inner lapel of your beige cardigan." Also, proving that ultimately no one cares about the quality of this piece of shit show, the Netflix guide is all messed up. If you hit play from the start, you'll be watching something that is tagged as both "Season 1, Episode 1" and "Season 2, Episode 10." There are no rules anymore!

Now streaming on Netflix.

Downsizing (2017)

Sometimes, a bad movie is delightful on its own. But sometimes the backstory enriches the experience greatly. For Downsizing, it's worth noting that Matt Damon turned down a near guaranteed Oscar win via the lead role in Manchester by the Sea to make this, a movie that is a confounding ripoff of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! that somehow manages to flip off the entire world with its painfully bad socioeconomic takes. A 135-minute look at what would happen if humans were shrunk down to live in retirement paradises, the film journeys through myriad tones, at times feeling like Kevin James trying his hand at Defending Your Life while at other times delivering extremely terrible takes on worker exploitation, environmentalism and late capitalism. To be clear, this movie is bad for humanity. But it's also strangely comforting to bask in the warmth of a major motion picture studio lighting millions of dollars on fire.

Now available on-demand.

Last Christmas (2019)

Paul Feig gave the world Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids, so it doesn't really matter what happens next because he'll always get work. Enough time has passed that even people who aren't full-time trolls admit his Ghostbusters was not great, and despite a strange collective hallucination that had people singing A Simple Favor's praises, time has proven that one really didn't work. But Feig's real disasterpiece is last Christmas's Last Christmas. The movie, which was written by Emma Thompson and uses George Michael's entire discography as its narrative driving force, stars Emilia Clarke (whose post-Game of Thrones rom-coms are something to behold; see also: Me Before You) and Henry Golding as a pair of quirky-ass lovers in some bizarre hyper-twee version of London that could only exist in a snowglobe. The film's plot is hard to describe without spoiling the massive twist at the end, but rest assured that the twist is so uniquely terrible that you have to respect it. This is a Hallmark movie with an ounce more Hollywood sheen, allowing it to live in an uncanny trash zone like few other films.

Now streaming on Prime Video.

Unicorn Store (2019)

Another example of a celeb being given way too much leeway, Unicorn Store sees all the good will of Brie Larson, movie star squandered in one paint-covered mess of a movie. While the rest of us have moved on from the manic pixie dream girl trope in all of its problematic ways, this movie's manic pixie dreaminess is, in a way, its own character. The film sees Brie direct and star, playing a young woman who doesn't want to have a job. She instead wants to open a "unicorn store." Yes, the title is literal. There is no metaphor. She's trying to open a store that specializes in unicorns. Along the way, she makes highly GIFable faces and forces Samuel L. Jackson to debase himself as a magical wizard man. This movie is dumb as all hell, but you need to make yourself watch it.

Now streaming on Netflix.

The Fanatic (2019)

Fred Durst directing John Travolta in a semi-self-aware pulp thriller about an obsessive movie-star stalker. This thing writes itself. Ultimately, it was hard to tell if The Fanatic would be a tongue-in-cheek shitty movie like the best Harmony Korine or if it would be bad bad, and after watching it it's still hard to say for sure. But that's ultimately the best place to revel in culturally in times like these. This movie absolutely sucks, but you won't be able to turn away and you may find yourself itching to put it on again. In fact, I might just have to do that now.

Now available on-demand.