Tuesday, January 3, 2017 Permalink

If I weren’t so lazy I’d check to see if the powers that be have added Netflix to our dictionaries as a verb. Cos it’s a popular thing to do nowadays. Or at least as popular as running and dieting. Particularly at this time of year.

Regular readers will be aware that after almost 4yrs of paying exorbitant amounts for a meagre and unwatchable (analogue) pay TV service, once I moved into my new place I got Netflix, well… after procrastinating for a month or two as I am wont to do!

Now, my reading habit means I don’t watch at much TV as I once did. And my ‘no TV / reading during the day’ rule is problematic as well. However I have managed to inhale enjoy a few shows in the two months since Netflix arrived on my TV screen nonetheless. I’ve always been more of a fan of TV shows than movies and have talked here (often) of my binge-watching habit, so naturally I thought you’d be interested in my thoughts. #yourewelcome

1. Luke Cage
Although not a fan of superhero type shows I loved Jessica Jones – which I watched via a friend – so thought this would be up my alley. But, though it started well, it kinda petered out into something I had to ‘force’ myself to watch. Despite a lot of antipathy from viewers I’ve heard it’s coming back for a second season so I’m sure I’ll give it another try; but am hoping they’ve learned from the mistakes of season 1!

reader and book blogger

2. The Crown
Every man and their dog… or at least a few friends told me I HAD to watch this drama about the British royal family. And it was enjoyable. I read somewhere (that) it was the second most expensive series ever made. Which may, or may not, be true. The acting is great, sets amazing and I learned shitloads about English history. I probably didn’t love it as much as some. My mother – for example – remembered many of the events of the drama series and I’m imagining ahead to series 5 or 6 when they get to the decades with which I’m familiar. I’ll definitely be tuning in for more and hope season two doesn’t take TOO long.

3. Black Mirror
People rave about this show and I went into it unprepared… knowing nothing about it and was – therefore – disappointed. Bizarrely one needs to start watching the show in season 3 (seasons 1 & 2 were perhaps false-starts or a show with the same name or something…) The show purportedly examines the ‘dark side’ of technology and the first episode alone is kinda scary for those whose self-worth reflects their Facebook or Instagram likes. The show is akin to Twilight Zone in many ways. Each is a stand-alone episode and one should not necessarily expect closure. I’ve only watched two episodes so far. I won’t rush back for more, but ‘may’ tune in when bored at some point.

4. The OA
Like everyone in the world, I got the email from Netflix to say this new and fabulous show was available to watch just before Christmas. So I watched it. There are only eight episodes, so it’s time-limited and my thoughts remain mixed. It’s essentially the story of a woman (now in her 20s) who returns 7yrs after her disappearance. She’s cagey with the police and FBI about her kidnappers / where she was and even more inexplicably – she WAS blind but can now see.

I enjoyed it enough to want to keep watching but wasn’t sure I could suspend disbelief enough to really accept the tale we’re spun by the lead, Prairie Johnson (aka the OA). Although I don’t read science fiction or fantasy I actually watch a bit of it, but this was a stretch for me. It had (and still has) potential but is also a tad ridiculous. Watch it at your peril.

5. Stranger Things
This is my fave Netflix discovery by far. I’d heard great things but knew little about the show. I described it elsewhere as a cross between Stand by Me and The X Files. It kicks off when a young boy disappears from a small town and a range of ‘strange things’ start happening, including the appearance of a young girl, (Eleven), with unusual abilities.

It’s weird but saved from infeasibility  (unlike The OA) by the presence of its bad guys (mad government scientists) and conspiracy theories. I adored Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven who tore my heart out every time she was on screen. The kids were great. The adults were great. I was occasionally confused and may not necessarily have understood what happened in the end, but that’s okay. I’m in!

6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
I only discovered this last cop show weekend when I was babysitting a friend’s kids on NYE. I should mention I’m not great with comedies as I usually find them too obvious or slapstick. They have to be clever and (thankfully) this certainly is.

Having said that, I rolled my eyes a lot and realise it MAY be an acquired taste. Fortunately I saw about eight episodes so was entrenched in the ways of the ensemble cast by then and have watched more since returning to my place. I watch a lot of detective shows so watching one that’s funny is something quite different, but the half-hour episodes means it’s well paced and quite addictive.

7. The Fall
I intended watching this when it appeared on SBS TV in Australia some time ago, but missed recording the second episode so didn’t bother at all. It’s kinda troubling in reality, and my response to the fact that one of the lead characters is actually a psychopathic serial killer, is interesting. For that reason I haven’t binged on the show and am only two episodes in, but as there are only five episodes will probably continue watching to see where the show goes.

Gillian Anderson plays a (somewhat arrogant and annoying) English investigator who arrives in Ireland to review the case of a murdered woman and soon discovers an unsettling pattern. I know there are second and third seasons so can only imagine where that takes us – the killer is either not caught; there’s a new lead perhaps; or it’s like The Following (and Silence of the Lambs / Hannibal) where the baddie continues to play games with our detective/s from behind bars.

8. Bloodline
This is another show I’m watching because of word of mouth, but I’m only two episodse in. I’m not sure I’ll binge on it, but it might grow on me. This show starts with the return of a family’s black sheep to the fold. Basically he’s a fuck-up and his siblings are wary about his motives (for returning to help his parents with their hotel in the Florida Keys). And – because the show’s told in a circular type format, where we’re given glimpses into the ending – it seems the black sheep dies or is killed some time in the near future. Of course we viewers need to know how and why, so will keep watching until we find out.

I should mention I’ve also been catching up on some shows I started watching on DVD before my local Blockbuster closed (Continuum and Falling Skies come to mind) and a few are still ongoing… such as The 100 , The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Vikings.

It’s summer here in Australia so school children are off school for a couple of months and our free-to-air channels are rife with cricket and tennis. Quite frankly I would rather poke my eye out with a blunt stick than watch sport, but I needn’t cos now there’s NETFLIX!

Any shows you can recommend on Netflix? Old ones or recent releases?

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    January 3, 2017

    I watch Netflix in the winter and have been binge watching The Killing. Liked season one, was a bit disappointed by the season finale, but will continue to watch. We watched episode 1 of Bloodline and wasn’t compelled to watch the next episode, but my kids convinced me to keep watching. Both Stranger Things and The Crown are on my watch list.

    • Debbish
      January 3, 2017

      I watched the first season of The Killing but think I gave up near the end of the second, or after the second. I’ve never watched the original Danish (?) series, but it was supposed to be good!

  • Jo
    January 3, 2017

    I’m bingeing on Shetland & another one whose name escapes me set in Wales- pretty dark, but addictive… another detective one…man, why can’t I remember the name? I loved The Crown.

    • Debbish
      January 3, 2017

      I’ve got a few other shows added to ‘my list’ Jo – not sure I’ll get to them but anything that looks vaguely interesting I’m adding. I’ll check out Shetland. I’ve been keen to watch Midnight Sun, which is on SBS on Demand at the moment as well…. but don’t know that I can get that on my TV!

  • amymedicalauthor
    January 3, 2017

    lol, I moaned to the husband last night about the next two weeks of tennis. It’s like when the Olymics are on – nothing but damn sport!

    I’m so pleased youre watching Bloodline, Deb, its one of my favs. Another one I could not stop watching was How to Make A Murderer…truly horrifyingly chilling viewing in which the American legal system is found to be less than desirable and a true story to boot! Am dying to see the 2nd season of Outlander but I dont think its coming out on Netflix like the first season did so I’m going to have to find it somewhere else.

    • Debbish
      January 3, 2017

      I know… where was the constant tennis in the 1980s when I was obsessed with Pat Cash and Boris Becker I ask?! Now I can’t stand sport on TV! I’ll keep going with Bloodline cos it’s intriguing and I suspect I need a little more time before I’m hooked!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    January 4, 2017

    I’m addicted to “Suits”. Husband and I also addicted to “Designated Survivor” and I am overjoyed that the kids are now addicted to “Gilmore Girls” (the original – as I watch the entire series from the start). I am using the word “addicted” a lot because Netflixing is highly addictive and may require rehab …

    • Debbish
      January 4, 2017

      Ah yes…. I should catch up on some Suits viewing as I missed the last free-to-air season and am seriously behind. Designated Survivor is on my list so I hope to get to that at some point soon!

  • Emma
    January 4, 2017

    I’ve watched some of all the shows listed other than The Crown, which my parents are nagging me to watch. Stranger Things is the only one I’ve made it all the way through because I loved it. I go through phases with Netglix but I have to say my most recent was Orphan Black and iZombie, which was just fun to watch. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but they worked for me.

    • Debbish
      January 4, 2017

      I watched the first 2-3 seasons of Orphan Black (and think I own the first 2 on DVD) but it went a bit wayward for me (and I couldn’t work out who the bad guys now were!) and I lost interest I’m afraid. I hadn’t realised iZombie is on there… I’ve only seen season 1 and loved it!

  • Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings
    January 4, 2017

    I don’t know if its on NetFlix but has you watched Veep, its a really funny comedy set in the White House.

    • Debbish
      January 4, 2017

      I actually have S1 of it on DVD Heather and it just didn’t appeal. I found JLD SO unlikeable in the role I struggled to keep watching. I think I watched all of the first season though. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste?

  • Greg Hill
    January 4, 2017

    You know I always liked movies more than TV, but that has changed, With all the wonderful genre shows out there, and most of the movies I’ve seen lately being duds, I’m actually enjoying a good binge watch on Netflix MORE than movies. Which is fine with me since it’s cheaper!

    Luke cage kinda bored me- I just didn’t see the point? The Crown I’ve heard is fabulous, and The OA… um no idea what is going on there. lol I’m 5 episodes in and… bored. I’ll probably finish it out (sigh). Stranger Things was good (freaky ending with the kid and the sink- ewww). Bloodline I really like even though I know it’s not for everyone.

    And of course I’m a big continuum and The 100 fan since I mention it every 5 minutes. lol Glad you’re enjoying!

    • Debbish
      January 4, 2017

      I think you put me onto The 100, Stranger Things and Bloodline Greg. I’m with you on The OA. I was intrigued and then it just got a bit far-fetched and, well… weird! Happily S4 of Continuum has finally arrived on our screens, but I think I’m going to have to remind myself of what happened in S3. Am still waiting (here) for s3 of The 100 though!

  • charliegirl
    January 4, 2017

    OOOO. I’ll have to add The Crown to my list. I am a terrible TV show viewer. I do not like going outside my comfort zone for fear of being disappointed or uninterested. It’s a hard row for me to hoe on that bit, but I am trying to find new shows to watch.

  • Heather L.
    January 4, 2017

    Marco Polo is a really good one. It’s a long wait between seasons, but it’s visually stunning and the acting is great. A bit violent, but a great show.

  • Maureen Beatrice
    January 5, 2017

    I definitely want to see ‘The Crown’. I’ve heard some pretty great things about that show. I haven’t watched any of the other shows you’ve talked about. Except one episode of Black Mirror.. And I don’t even want to talk about it! It was extreme!
    We did watch the last episodes of The 100 last week. I hadn’t seen them before and I just looooove that series. I’m hoping I can read those books sometimes. I’m definitely looking for some new shows now.. We don’t get all the same ones as you do in Australia I see. But I’ll keep looking 😀

  • Jane the Raincity Librarian
    January 5, 2017

    I cut ties with cable about 14 years ago, and never looked back! The arrival of Netflix in Canada was a real godsend – I love how much international content we get. It’s fascinating to watch TV shows from around the world – so far I think I’ve watched shows from England, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Spain and of course the US of A. And all for less than $10 a month. How cool is that?

    • Debbish
      January 5, 2017

      It only arrived here in Australia a year or so ago too Jane and I couldn’t wait to get out of my old apartment and get connected. It’s a similar price here so very affordable and you’re right – there’s a huge array of content. We get a lot of Aussie stuff (not just the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries etc) but local shows and I wonder if each country gets stuff specific to its audience.

  • Jackie
    January 8, 2017

    I am tempted to watch these other TV shows but honestly I only got Netflix to watch The Shadowhunters. Season Two!

    • Debbish
      January 9, 2017

      I’d not really heard of Shadowhunters but I added it to my list after seeing your comment. I do have a lot of shows on my list though! 🙂

I'd love to hear your thoughts