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I’m not sure how we ever lived without Netflix. What did people do when they couldn’t watch a whole series in one sitting? It doesn’t bear thinking about. Whilst we don’t get quite the breadth of shows here in the UK as in the US (*sniff* Gilmore Girls…) there’s definitely plenty to be getting along with. I am definitely more of a TV watcher than a film buff; I don’t have the attention span to sit through a two hour movie, but give me a gripping show I can chain watch for days on end and I am so there. Here’ sa few of my favourites, in case you’re looking for something to binge on…
Orange is the New Black
I’m pretty sure if you’ve not heard of ‘Orange is the New Black’ you’ve been living under an Internet-less rock. It’s still worth mentioning though, since it’s pretty much the best show I’ve ever seen. The story follows Piper as she enters a women’s prison on a 10 year old drug charge (she’s since become a proto-typical WASP), but although she is the main focus of the show, you also get peeks into the lives of so many of the other inmates. It’s beautifully done, totally compelling and shows a fantastic diversity of characters. More shows about women by women, please!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Okay, I know I said OITNB is pretty much the best show I’ve ever seen, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer actually IS the best show I’ve ever seen. Sure, it’s a little bit dated now – no mobile phones, special effects leave something to be desired, the questionable 90s fashion… – but the show still stands strong. Following the adventures of a 16 year old girl who just happens to be a vampire slayer (in case the title didn’t give it away…), as she navigates high school, friendship, love, parents and the supernatural. It sounds cheesy. It sometimes is, but it’s also witty, moving, and sometimes a little bit scary. It’s Joss Whedon, through and through. I cry and laugh at this show in equal measure. If you haven’t watched it, do yourself a favour and get to Netflix right away! I promise, even if you’re sceptical, you will love it. I’m pretty sure this show is what made me a feminist…
I am beyond happy at the moment, because it has just been announced that season 2 of Orphan Black is on Netflix so I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. This show is totally addictive, if a little ridiculous at points. There are so many twists and turns, it’s hard to keep up and the cliffhanger ending to season 1 is a total killer (hence my excitement for season 2!). In the opening scene, you watch as the main character – Sarah – runs into someone who is her exact double, just as she is about the jump in front of a train… (the double that is). You’ll be hooked from that moment on, I promise.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
There’s been so much chat about this show online in the past couple of weeks, and with good reason. Written and produced by Tina Fey, one of my favourite ladies of all time, and starring a lot of the 30 Rock cast, it has that same surreal humour of 30 Rock, which I love. It’s bright and colourful, it’s slightly absurd, it’s heart-warming, it’s very dark in places (in a fun way), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is simple brilliant. The eponymous Kimmy moves to New York after being rescued from an underground bunker where she’s been kept as part of a cult, and you get to watch as she navigates this world that she always believed was gone. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and the supporting characters are absolutely wonderful – especially her flamboyantly gay room-mate, Titus Andromedon. If you need some light relief, this is most definitely it.
I missed Episodes when it was first on, but we recently got a bit addicted after finding it on our Netflix queue. Partly because Matt LeBlanc is absolutely fantastic, playing a parody version of himself – I’m a little bit in love with him. The story follows a British couple, who also write a hit TV comedy in the UK, who have moved to LA at the behest of a big-time producer to make a US version. There’s a lot of miscommunication, as the show gets bastardised by the Americans, and it has that frustrating quality that so much British TV does, with people not quite saying what they mean and getting into scrapes as a result, but it’s very funny and definitely worth a watch.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Paul has raved about this show for years, but I was very sceptical – partly because he described it as a show about the worst people ever. He’s not wrong, but it’s actually really funny. ‘The gang’ are a bunch of truly narcissistic, downright evil people, but they fail at everything as a result of their extreme narcissism and laziness. The characters are excellent, and I love how they resist the traditional sitcom happy ending. Danny Devito stars in later episodes, which is also excellent. They own a failing bar in Philadelphia but are constantly trying to get rich, labouring under the impression that they are all much smarter and better looking than they are. It sounds odd, I know, but watch a few episodes and you’ll be chain-watching them in no time.
What are your Netflix recommendations?