Dear 100 Hour Board,
What are the best things on Netflix right now? Movies everyone knows and loves are fine, but lesser-known films and tv are doubly appreciated.
"West Wing" is without a doubt one of the best things ever to be on Netflix. Go watch it. Go watch it now.
The Soulful Ginger
Shows everyone knows and loves: Jessica Jones, House, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, and Firefly.
Shows that are maybe lesser known (with comments because they're lesser known):
- Frasier — I am constantly surprised that more people haven't seen every single episode of this show. Comic gold from start to finish.
- Prison Break — Just finished season 1 and I'm loving it.
- Black List — This one just barely passed the 5 episode test and very nearly got cut anyway. But season 2 ended well so it's staying on my list.
- Ip Man — awesomemartialartsmovieyesplease
- The West Wing — just to second (third? more?) everyone else. Dialogue as well-written as Gilmore Girls but has much more heft in the plot.
-The Man with a Mustache
Animaniacs is on Netflix now.
That Guy Who Was in That Thing, I just found out, is tragically not on Netflix anymore, but you can rent it on Amazon Prime I think ... it's a documentary about supporting actors, which is fun. You know, those actors who are in like one episode of every show ever. But my point is, That Gal Who Was in That Thing is new and I just found out it exists because of your question, and that one IS on Netflix. I can't recommend it unequivocally, not having seen it, but if it's the female version of That Guy, it should be great.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of my favorites. It's good-natured, hilarious, and oddly poignant. The premise is bizarre (a woman who was kidnapped by a cult leader and trapped in a bunker underground for fifteen years has finally been freed and is starting a new life in New York City) but the characters are so much fun. It's just a delightful show.
Parks and Recreation is my favorite show of all time. It has a great ensemble of characters, it's riotously funny, and it gives me hope for humanity. I could literally watch it every day.
Finally, Arthur is now on Netflix! I've watched a few episodes from the newest season, and man, that show is still just as good as it was when I was in elementary school. What a wonderful kind of day!
Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek Voyager, and Emergency! are my favorites right now. I was really sad when they took Adam-12 off. You should also check out How to Steal a Million.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is a wonderful, ridiculous, classic murder mystery show from Australia set in late 1920s Melbourne starring an incredibly anachronistic modern woman who speaks every language and carries an adorable pistol everywhere. Her sidekick is a spunky girl named Dot and I love her.
Here are a few fun shows I enjoyed on Netflix that might be lesser-known:
- Black Mirror
- Nurse Jackie
- Grace and Frankie
- The United States of Tara
I love Across the Universe and Bride and Prejudice (the Bollywood version of Jane Austen). If you've never seen The Truman Show, you should definitely watch that. If you've ever gone through a DiCaprio phase, you should see What's Eating Gilbert Grape, because he is incredible in it. Moonrise Kingdom is a quirky little film that I absolutely adore. 2001: A Space Odyssey is always worth a watch, as is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Dear And Chill,
In addition to many fantastic suggestions from other writers (Frasier! Making a Murderer! Nurse Jackie! etc.!), may I suggest some of my picks.
I'm a big-time documentary nerd, and How to Survive a Plague is my favorite documentary of all time. It's an unflinching look at the history of ACT UP New York at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It is beautiful and devastating. It covers the AIDS crisis, of course, but it is also an interesting look at advocacy and activism and how necessary different groups are in making huge social changes a reality, but how they can often be at odds and dysfunctional. Just wonderful. Another fantastic documentary about the AIDS epidemic on Netflix is We Were Here, though it focuses more on the personal stories of people with AIDS and their caregivers.
Two more beautiful documentaries are Iris and Finding Vivian Maier. Iris is about an eccentric fashion icon in her 90s. Finding Vivan Maier is about a little known but hugely prolific and talented photographer, and the journey one person made to find out more about her. Fantastic film.
Oh my goodness, more beautiful documentaries! Jiro Dreams of Sushi is about a famous sushi restaurant and its owner. Gideon's Army is about public defenders.
House of Cards is fantastic if horrifying. Plus it has Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey, so what's not to like?
I will never not recommend House.
Apparently To Kill a Mockingbird is on Netflix. If you haven't seen that, I don't really know why you are reading this instead of logging onto Netflix to right this wrong in your life. Other movies that don't really need an explanation but are on Netflix: The Princess Bride, Amadeus, and The Shawshank Redemption.
- The Black Sheep
Dear And Chill,
I went on a documentary binge in the past year and enjoyed The Queen of Versailles, Blackfish, Dear Zachary (just as a warning, this one is a very shocking and unhappy crime doc), Meet the Patels, Making a Murderer, and several others that don't immediately come to mind. Documentaries have a way of making you think, but be aware that almost all of them have an agenda they're trying to push that sets the tone of the film.
- Man Up is a romantic comedy that I don't hate (actually, I love it), starring Simon Pegg and Lake Bell, where he mistakes her for his blind date and she goes with it and wacky hijinks ensue. It's R for lots of swearing and a fair amount of innuendo, so if any of those things are a dealbreaker for you, move along.
- World of Tomorrow is an odd little 16-minute animated film. It will leave you enchanted, confused, and a little disturbed.
- The Great British Baking Show is a charming cooking show that features a friendly competition instead of the high-stress, backbiting type that's so common here in America.
- Jane the Virgin is fun and silly and touching. It's both making fun of Spanish soap operas, but still works as a Spanish soap opera. The premise: a wait-until-marriage type is accidentally artificially inseminated when her doctor had a mix-up. Also her dad is a soap star. There's some comedic innuendo, because soap opera.
- A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a "the first Iranian vampire Western." It's also shot in black and white, gorgeous in every respect, and by turns funny and sad and a little bit creepy. I don't like horror, but I like this. Also R for drugs and violence and some sex/nudity, so again, know what you're getting into.
- Galaxy Quest is one you have to see, if you haven't yet. Bonus if you like Star Trek, but it doesn't matter if you haven't.
- The Decoy Bride is another romcom I don't hate (it's rare, okay?), this one featuring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald. He's marrying a famous woman, they're trying to escape the paparazzi, and a random woman on the small Scottish island is used as a decoy bride. This one's PG, though, so go ahead and watch it with your conservative folks.
How do you feel about British crime dramas? If you like them I recommend the following:
- Death in Paradise
- Midsomer Murders
- Murdoch Mysteries
- Foyle's War
- Crossing Lines (Not a British crime drama per se, but seems to fit in better here than below)
How about documentaries?
- Any of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries (I especially liked Once Brothers, Ghosts of Ole Miss, and Hillsborough)
- The War (Ken Burns' documentary about how World War II affected 4 U.S. towns. It's long, but really good.)
- The Civil War (Also Ken Burns)
If you don't like British crime dramas or documentaries, I recommend the following (a combination of TV/movies):
- Better Off Ted (If you have never seen it, stop what you are doing and watch it now)
- The Sandlot
- The Saint
- Mike Birbiglia - What I Should Have Said Was Nothing
I sure hope this helps. Please don't hate me.
A couple sleepers that haven't been mentioned:
- Peaky Blinders - even though it's in English the wife and I found it easier to watch with subtitles on. You'll recognize the main protagonist, but probably nobody else. A bit violent, but quite good.
- Somm - documentary about a group of wine experts trying to make it as Master Sommeliers. Fascinating, even if you don't drink wine.
- Kung Fury - just yes. Very yes. You'll thank me later.
- Archer - NSFW. Edgy but hilarious adult cartoon.
::: Latro :::