The Watchlist: Shows and movies that deal with grief

Grief is like a seasonal river that changes its intensity in an instant. It can be a molehill one moment and a mountain the next, a fluffy kitten one day and an aggressive lion the next. Change is the name of the game.

We often equate grief with pain and tears, a soul-crushing experience to be endured. It can be all these things, and often is, but it is also the good memories that bring out laughter and bitter, happy tears. It can manifest in relief and peace when a loved one isn’t suffering anymore, or even in comedy caused by the high jinks of family members.

Today, on our weekly streaming list, we’ll go through a bunch of movies and series that tackle the dynamism of this universal and inevitable emotional rollercoaster.


The Leftovers

What happens after death, to both the dead and the living? That is the question tackled by this HBO series.

On October 14, 2011, two percent of the world’s population disappears. Just like that, in front of family or total strangers, while doing mundane everyday things, people, old and young, simply disappeared.

The show is centred on the Garvey family based in Mapleton, New York. The third anniversary of the disappearances is approaching. We follow the characters as they deal with survivor’s guilt, grief for the dead and the living, grief for a lost way of life, the rise of cults, and their questions about religion and the afterlife.

This show packs a lot, but the balance of the characters and their experiences makes it an easy watch. “The Leftovers” is a dense three-season ride that’s serious, funny, and quirky in equal measure.

Watch all three seasons on Showmax.


Well, well. Let’s start off by saying that this show is strictly for adult viewing. It took me three trials to get into this show; it seemed so brash and kind of tasteless. But that was before I realised that the crassness is a dramatic device.

Fleabag is a woman. She is undeserving of a name and deserving of all the shame in the world. She runs an unsuccessful cafe and is in the depths of serious debt. Her boyfriend leaves her, permanently this time, making way for wayward sexual exploits.

The show’s supporting characters include her sister, her source of money; her father, the other source of money; her dead mother, the initial source of her grief; her dead best friend, the major source of her grief; her godmother/stepmother, a major irritation; and her handsy brother-in-law, the other major irritation.

As a classic adult failure-to-launch character, Fleabag’s family manages her immaturity with genuine concern, endless eye rolling, and exasperation, much like one would deal with a spoiled pre-teen.

In just six short episodes, averaging 27 minutes each, we watch Fleabag hit bottom after bottom until she comes to terms with her grief. If you enjoy risqué British humour, this one is for you.

Stream it on Amazon Prime.


This is the story of a young dad, Calum, who is on holiday with his pre-teen daughter, Sophie. I watched this movie with zero context, and as it progressed, disquiet set in. Something felt askew.

The angled shots, the use of mirrors, and the shaky camera work imply a facade. In addition to the weirdness of the shots, the character of Calum feels clipped, as if his personality, his character, is somewhere beneath the surface.

The movie is a collection of Sophie’s memories, videos, and fantasies of the holiday.

A highly metaphorical movie, everything comes into focus in the final moments when we catch up with adult Sophie. It’s a movie about regret: she is mourning for a man she wants to know better. By revisiting a landmark moment in her past, Sophie searches for, with the empathy of adult understanding, the man her father was.

She is searching for meaning and probably projecting a little of her guilt onto his actions, creating her own Calum.

This is a sad movie, but not in the tearjerker sense. It’s the type of movie that lingers long after the credits are over.

I highly recommend this movie. Stream it on MUBI.

Manchester By The Sea

Casey Affleck plays the damaged, an understatement if I’ve ever written one, Lee Chandler. Lee is a man who has chosen to live apart from his hometown and his family. One day, while working at his janitorial job, he receives a call informing him that his brother is hospitalised. He rushes to the hospital, only to have missed his brother’s death. Lee reluctantly becomes the sole caregiver of his teenage nephew.

A heaviness, read grief, that’s bigger than his brother’s death looms large in every frame of this movie. As the movie progresses, Lee’s story is unpacked through flashbacks of events he cannot talk about.

In this movie, we witness a story about the different manifestations of enduring love. Its depth of emotion coupled with its simplicity makes it a surprisingly uplifting tearjerker. Give this movie a shot.

Stream it on Amazon Prime.


AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.


Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.


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Full Episodes

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Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

One Health Lens Podcast

Discussing health matters and human stories from Kenya and across Africa. We talk big picture from people to policy, ecosystems, and everything in between. Follow us on LinkedIn:

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.



Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

Sport On

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.


The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.


Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Politalk podcast

This is The Politalk podcast. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience


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Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.


This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.


This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.