Netflix has revolutionised the way I watch tv. We have access to hours of film and tv shows that we can enjoy at any time of the day or night. We can make our own viewing schedules, tuning in to whatever we fancy. And we never miss an episode, as it’s always waiting, cued up and ready to roll. If you’ve yet to go down the Netflix rabbit hole, here’s my smart girl guide to 5* shows I recommend you check out.
“We never miss an episode, as it’s always waiting, cued up and ready to roll”
I’ve made the decision to deliberately exclude House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development and (instant hit) Stranger Things, purely because those are the things everyone recommends to watch on Netflix. You don’t need me to tell you they’re amazing, but they certainly come with my seal of approval! I’ve also left off BoJack Horesman, as I already wrote an entire love letter to that show!
*actually, it’s worked out as 6, because I was able to group two together. Consider one a bonus and a gift from me.
Netflix has bought the rights to a number of Marvel characters and is working their way through binging them to life in 13 part series. Daredevil follows blind attorney Matt Murdock as he fights crime by day in the court-house, and by night as vigilante Daredevil. Over the first two seasons, he uncovers the dealings of criminal kingpin Wilson Fisk; has romantic trysts with nurse Claire, old flame Elektra, and object of his best friend’s affection, Karen; gets his ass repeatedly kicked as he learns his trade; takes on villain-with-nothing-to-lose Punisher; and has a couple of excellent 5 minute long, one long camera shot fight scenes in corridors. Jessica Jones focuses on an alcoholic PI who struggles to recover following her experiences with the controlling Kilgrave. While living with her friend Trish as a child, Jessica was involved in an accident that gave her super powers, however under Kilgrave’s influence, she inadvertently used these powers to kill someone. Jessica tries to cope with her guilt, and protect Hell’s Kitchen (and those she loves) from Killgrave. The series also introduces Luke Cage, the focus of Netflix’s next series (expected 30th September)
– Karen gives Matt a balloon to comfort him
– The corridor fight scenes
– Jessica torturing Kilgrave in the lock up
– Kilgrave and Jessica’s breakfast scene at her old house
I am totally late to the party with this. Gilmore Girls is a fast talking, brilliantly scripted, well-developed character piece, that focuses primarily on the lives of single mother Lorelei and her teenage daughter Rory. Not only are the two leading ladies likeable and fun, the show has a supporting cast of fan favourites, such as Lorelei’s overpowering mother Emily; her friend (and will-they-won’t-they partner) Luke; her sweet and ditzy best friend Sookie; and Rory’s best friend Lane, who hides her love of pop culture from her strict mother. Gilmore Girls started in 2000 and ran for 7 seasons, so if like me you are behind, you have a lot of catching up to do! The good news is that Netflix has commissioned 4 new 90 minute episodes to continue the story (expected 25th November)
High Points (I’m only just finished season 2… Sorry)
– Lorelei’s sarcastic responses to her mother’s fussiness
– Kirk. He’s just brilliant and steals any scene he’s in
This is one of my favourite series of the past few years. Medical resident Liv Moore is scratched by a zombie during a party, and now must keep her new identity secret to protect her loved ones. She gets a job at the morgue (free brains) and works with the local police, aided by the psychic visions she gets from the brains’ former owners. Written by Rob Thomas (creator of Veronica Mars), the show is funny and cool, with some great characters. My personal favourite is Liv’s boss Ravi, who approaches all situations with enthusiastic geekery and some awesome facial reactions. The show has had 2 seasons so far, and is well worth the watch. It’s more Buffy than Walking Dead in terms of how its pitched, but if you enjoy slick, quirky series in that genre, you’ll want to catch up before season 3 lands (expected early 2017)
– Liv eats the brain of a wannabe superhero in season 2 and starts to act like an old school Adam West style hero
– Rob Thomas scatters Easter Eggs for fans of his previous shows all over the series – spotting them is really satisfying!
Better Call Saul
This show is the spin-off and prequel to Breaking Bad – that said, you don’t have to have watched Breaking Bad to enjoy it. The show follows dodgy lawyer Jimmy McGill as he makes his way down the slippery slope to become dodgier lawyer Saul Goodman – his character in BB. Jimmy is the type of lawyer you would want representing you if you were filing spurious where-there’s-blame-there’s-a-claim lawsuits on a regular basis, but he’s a good man at heart. He looks after his brother Chuck, a formerly high-powered lawyer who mysteriously now thinks he’s allergic to electricity, and has a semi-healthy relationship with fellow lawyer Kim. The show is stolen, however, by Jonathan Banks, who plays ex-cop Mike, who finds himself dragged into a life of crime to protect his widowed daughter-in-law and his granddaughter. The show is currently at 2 seasons, and has been renewed for a 3rd (expected February 2017)
– The episode is season one that focuses entirely on Mike and his back story. It’s well acted and heartbreaking
– The montage in season 2 where Jimmy tries to get fired by wearing garish outfits, playing the bagpipes in the office and adopting some rather unpleasant toilet habits
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
With the catchiest theme song on tv, Kimmy Schmidt is the latest offering by my personal heroine Tina Fey. It focuses on the reintegration to society of a young woman who was held captive in an underground bunker for 15 years. It’s a light comedy, so don’t expect hard-hitting drama a la Room! Kimmy moves in with eccentric actor Titus, and makes a tight group of friends, while navigating a world that has changed a lot since she was captured. It’s daft, fish-out-of-water comedy, with the quirky writing you expect from Fey. The show is great fun, and has some outstanding comedy moments (Titus’s one man show being a real highlight). The show is (again) currently at 2 seasons, but we may have to wait a little for season 3, due to the pregnancy of leading lady Ellie Kemper (season 3 expected summer 2017)
– Titus’s one man show ‘Kimono You Didn’t’
– Tina Fey’s appearance as a therapist who behaves like a sensible person when sober, and a party maniac when drunk
Man, was it hard to pick only 5! As you can see, I’ve cheated somewhat and recommended much more, but only focused on 5…. I did my best!!
(Actually, I realised I completely forgot about the brilliant Master of None, so I’m going to do a blog post just about that at a later date!)