There is a secondary school somewhere in South Korea that must have record rates for absenteeism brought on by supernatural horrors. Honestly, how can today’s youngsters be expected to learn anything when suicidal pupils wind up being cut in half and leaving a terrible mess in the classroom, zombies stalk the echoing stairwells, and you can’t even sneak off to the toilets for a crafty cigarette without a liberally bloodied ghoul crawling out of an adjacent cubicle? In fairness, the problems extend beyond the education system – to inter-dimensional elevators, taxis with killer ghosts in the back seat, temples with shamans practising black magic and even flats stuffed with misbehaving Ikea furniture, all locations ripe for a gory or mind-warping haunting in Goedam (Netflix). An eight-part, first-series anthology of city-centric tales of trepidation (“ goedam ” means “urban ghost stories”), it shivers spines in short blasts of seven to 15 minutes, packing in its punches and avoiding narrative over-elaboration. Starring, among others, Shim So-young, Lee Hyun-joo, Song Chae-yun, Jung Young-ki and Cosmic Girls vocalist Seola, Goedam makes for a rapid-fire binge-watch digestible in one sitting: perfect for the attention-span challenged, perhaps an hors d’oeuvre for those with schedules emancipated by Covid-19. Beneath the violence and bloody interior-decoration schemes there lingers an overall, creepy dread to a series that even squeezes in an Alien homage: rib-tickling fun. (*The second half of this week’s column comes with a PG certificate.) History of Swear Words – Nicolas Cage presents an uproariously funny look at language WTF, b****es??! If you find yourself in need of a fillip in these fraught, ****ed-up times (and who doesn’t?) and if you’re offended by the inescapable nanny state-ism that sticks an advisory at the start of just about every television programme, warning that you might be offended by “foul language from the start, scenes of a sexual nature, violence, alcohol or drug abuse, people having a good time, or any reflection of real life” (and who isn’t?) then this show is for YOU, mutha****ers! Welcome to History of Swear Words (Netflix, now streaming). More than a mere festival of unrestrained cursing (which would be too easy and too boring), this absorbing study of what is considered offensive and why, when and by whom comes with genuine academic credentials courtesy of a line-up of authors, lexicographers, film critics and professors. It’s also uproariously funny, thanks to a revolving cast of comedians and actors including Sarah Silverman, Joel Kim Booster, Isiah Whitlock Jnr, Nikki Glaser and more. Host Nicolas Cage overlays the lot with a droll, deadpan commentary that alone is worth the admission fee; and an extra topping of hilarity is supplied courtesy of the liberal employment of film clips and animation. This being a family newspaper, the real stars of the show must regrettably appear here in asterisked form. But be assured that on screen, f***, s***, b***h, d*** and p***y and their derivatives are offered in all their visual and auditory glory, each receiving 20 minutes or so of witty appreciation. As is the blasphemous “damn”, which, despite some historical heft, cannot possibly be considered objectionable these days unless by mouldy Puritans. Perhaps any subsequent series will investigate imprecations from beyond the English language; if not, there remains a rich seam of Chaucerian, Shakespearean and Johnsonian insults to mine. But literary or just plain vulgar, invective permits a stress-busting emotional release not given full vent by ordinary vocabulary. Nor do you have to be a film star or black American rapper to avail yourself of all the cultural colour that can be bestowed by a well-aimed curse, or to realise that, yes, swearing is fun, whatever your chosen word-weapon. F***, yeah!