Like a lot of people these days, we tend to forego TV for a bit of Netflix of an evening because we have the weird sort of addictive personalities that need to watch a whole series in one go. We do that a lot. Of course, there's some really obvious options on Netflix, like Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and House of Cards and some old classics like Buffy that I may watch slightly too regularly (ahem) but we've discovered a few gems recently that are well worth checking out if you think you're running out of shows to watch.
For shame on us that we're only discovering Fringe now but my God, is it a great show. Borrowing more than just a little bit from the X-Files legacy (I was a huge fan back in the day), this deals with all the really weird stuff out there with a team lead by FBI agent Olivia, who is amazing in every possible way. I spend most of my time watching this going "G'wan Olivia!", cause she's just great. She gave a whole speech to her boss in an episode the other day where she was all "you say that I'm too emotional to do my job, which by the way is something men always say to women to question their ability but I am emotional, I use it to be a better agent and help get into the minds of victims". PREACH.
She's intelligent, capable, quick-thinking, empathetic, basically just everything you want in a good female protagonist.
And yeah, you're eyes aren't deceiving you, that's good old Pacey Witter up there, looking all hot and stubbly. Joshua Jackson (as he's normally known), plays a highly intelligent MIT drop out who's there to interpret the ramblings of his mentally unstable but brilliant scientist father, who although eccentric, has his finger on the pulse of the paranormal. Together they work their way through all the crazy cases that come their way. Like the X-Files, there's a constant undercurrent of there being other forces at work; the "powers that be" are somehow involved in all of these instances and there are running themes like the "bald man" who pops up in different episodes for you to spot; letting you know there's something bigger going on. Basically, it's just a really excellent watch but not for the squeamish. Netflix has four seasons of it but I think there's another two out there.
We actually stumbled across this one on TV but it was on about series three and as we liked it so much we said we'd go back to the start. Low and behold; the first two seasons are on Netflix (there's a third and I think they're making a fourth). I can highly recommend this understated but very sharp comedy. The basic premise is that British sitcom writers (and married couple) Sean and Beverley have a really successful career at home, having just won a BAFTA for their TV show. On the back of that, they're offered the chance to make the same show for a US audience so with some trepidation they move to LA. That's where it all starts going wrong as the TV network insists on casting Matt Le Blanc (playing a hilarious fictionalised version of himself) in the main role, which he's completely unsuited for, thereby meaning they have to change the entire premise of the show. From there it just gets funnier but there's also something really comforting about it; the characters build friendships along the way and there's lots of little in-jokes that are carried throughout. Matt Le Blanc is amazing in this too; you get the feeling he really loves playing this charming but arrogant version of himself with perfect comic timing.
Trailer Park Boys
Another comedy, except this one is not new to me. There's about seven seasons (all on Netflix) that I'd actually seen all of way back when I was in college and loved but himself had only seen a couple of episodes so we said we'd watch the whole lot. Trailer Park Boys is a faux documentary based in a Canadian trailer park, focusing primarily on the main characters Ricky, Julian, Bubbles, Mr Lahey and Randy. Ricky and Julian are petty criminals, constantly trying to make money from really stupid schemes they come up with while their friend Bubbles (in the middle) looks on in exasperation, although he sometimes helps out of loyalty to them. Mr Lahey is the trailer park supervisor, while Randy is his assistant and they both have it in for the lads. Obviously, each episode is completely predictable because nothing ever works out for them but the characters are all hilarious, as are their interactions with the other residents of the trailer park and there are so many running jokes, it's brilliant. There are parts of it that have had me struggling to breathe from laughing; it really is that good.
We only started watching this one a couple of weeks ago but we're already hooked. This is an animated comedy series about a secret service intelligence agency based in New York. Archer is an extremely egotistical agent, considered to be one of the best there is but everything he does is done to benefit himself in some way, much to the annoyance of his mother (head of the secret service and voiced by Lucille from Arrested Development!) and ex girlfriend Lana, also a brilliant agent. Each episode sees some new challenges for the agents where the most random and ridiculous things occur- it's totally over the top and makes fun out of the likes of James Bond that thrive on sexism and stereotypes. It's laugh out loud funny due to its complete weirdness.
Have you seen any of these?
Any other unusual ones on Netflix we should be watching?