I think our $7/month investment in a Netflix subscription is one of our best. Yes, of course we watch Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. But I find so much more to watch.
1. Derek – this lovely little show from Ricky Gervais (yes) features one of the nicest people on earth. Derek works in a retirement home so the show explores how we treat our elders in a way that most television doesn’t bother to address. It also has this strange little gang of people who while seemingly more worldly than Derek readily acknowledge his central role in their lives. Some have criticized this show as satirizing disability which I don’t think is true. I think it is satirizing US for failing to recognize that gentle humor is a valid storytelling device, too. Season One on Netflix. Season Two filming now.
2. The Bletchley Circle – I found this little gem a few months ago. The premis is that 4 women who had served as code breakers (top secret) during WWII reunite 5 or so years later to solve crimes. If you like the “Maisie Dobb” mystery series or even just female-centric mysteries in general, you’ll enjoy this. Season One is on Netflix and Season Two will air on PBS this spring.
3. Call the Midwife – another British period drama, this time set around a group of nurses and midwives serving a poor London neighborhood in the 1950’s. I found this after getting hooked on Downton Abbey and really it is a superior show. It casts a jaw-dropping glimpse into poverty and explores how not everyone was able to escape their working class poverty with the advance of the middle class. This show smashes classes together in unpredictable ways. Seasons One and Two on Netflix, Season Three will air on PBS this spring.
4. Being Human (UK) – I’m still in the midst of Season One and struggling to like this show, even though I really want to enjoy it. The premis is that a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost try to etch out a humanlike existence, asking the penultimate question “What does it mean to be human?” The problem is that they ask it over and over. I also struggle with the Twilightesque take on vampires, but I really enjoy the werewolf and ghost interacting so I’ll keep watching. Five Seasons on Netflix. (There is a US version of this show, too.)
5. The IT Crowd – This show is hysterical. I finished it in a bingewatch over a year ago, but I just adore the premis and the sight gags.
6. Revolution – post-apocalyptic drama fusing steampunk with techy geeky “nano” fun. It is a bit gory and the coincidences are a bit hard to believe, but the dynamic between “Uncle Miles” and his teen niece and protege Charlie is good. Equally alluring is the brotherly bond between frenemies Miles and Sebastian “Bass” Monroe. Everyone is very pretty in this show, even when dirty. And it has apparently been renewed for a third Season by NBC so we’ll see what happens with the technology angle. Season One on Netflix, Season Two airing on NBC now. Oh, the real reason to watch this show? Giancarlo Esposito
7. Scandal – another bingewatch for me. Great show, especially contrasting with House of Cards and the West Wing. I’m waiting patiently (ahem) for the next Season to be released to Netflix.
8. Portlandia – a sketch based show sending up the archetypical residents of Portland, Oregon. This show is hysterical, but I find I must watch in small doses to avoid exploding from my self-righteous amusement.
Breaking Bad, Dexter and Mad Men. Yes, we’ve not watched these shows because we don’t have cable (or ABC) so this is definitely a lot of viewing hours on the agenda.
I tried The Borgias but found it too violent and predictable. The same with The Tudors. I also couldn’t warm up to Bomb Girls.
Shows I’m considering:
I don’t see how people watch so much television these days. But I’m glad that they do because it keeps Netflix interesting and affordable for me.