Regular readers will know that exercise & weight loss are not going to feature high on any list of New Year’s resolutions I might make. However, Netflix is offering a realistic resolution so easy to keep you won’t even have to leave your couch. Why not make 2016 the year that you put your Netflix “My List” on a diet and drop some of those show pounds?
Netflix has all the shows you’ve meant to watch, but haven’t got around to yet. Give your “My List” a trim by finally watching all of those must see shows – from “Breaking Bad” to “House of Cards,” Resolve to binge this year and feel good about your accomplishment. Check out the graphics for #NetflixResolutions you’ll actually be able to keep, then read our family’s take on each show.
House of Cards
This is the very first program we binge watched on Netflix. I hadn’t been in much of a hurry to start watching it because I had heard it described as a gritty political drama ( yawn), but we decided to give it a go anyway – and were we glad we did.
Kevin Spacey & Robin Wright are perfect in the lead roles of Frank & Claire Underwood, he the House Majority Whip & she the Executive Director of an NGO. The show follows the couple as Frank manipulates his way up the political ladder using ruthless pragmatism, manipulation, and power.
The moments when Frank looks at the camera & talks directly to the viewer are invariably wonderful to watch, and you spend most of the show trying to decide whether you’re rooting for him as a hero or a villain. The many supporting characters and their stories keep the interest level high, so it’s not all Machiavellian political power struggles – you get to root for plenty of likable characters too.
By far the best thing I can say to recommend it is this: We watched the series with our two teenage sons. During at least two episodes something so unexpected & shocking happened that all four of us were literally sitting, staring at the TV, speechless, with our mouths hanging open. “Noooooo,” “That didn’t really just happen did it?”, “I can’t believe that just happened” & “Whaaaaaaat?” were the first things we said as we looked at each other in shock & bemusement and there just aren’t many TV dramas around that can pack that kind of a punch!
How I met your Mother
Most people have heard a story about how their parents met. In “How I met your Mother” the lead character, Ted, recounts to his son Luke & daughter Penny, stories of him & his friends and their various exploits in Manhattan. The best description comes from Wikipedia and says:
“The show’s frame story depicts Ted (voice of Bob Saget, uncredited) verbally retelling the story to his son Luke and daughter Penny as they sit on the couch in the year 2030. This future-set frame is officially the show’s “present day” and How I Met Your Mother exploits this framing device in numerous ways: to depict and re-depict events from multiple points of view; to set up jokes using quick and sometimes multiple flashbacks nested within the oral retelling; to substitute visual, verbal or aural euphemisms for activities Ted doesn’t want to talk about with his children (sexual practices, use of illicit substances, vulgar language, etc.); and even to add some elements of humor: in the episode “How I Met Everyone Else”, Ted describes his dates with a girlfriend whose name he has forgotten, leading all characters to act as though her given name were “Blah-Blah.”
J & J have both watched all nine seasons and say how much they enjoyed them – & as a bonus, one of the main characters is Canadian.
Orange is the new Black
When I read the book “Orange is the new black: My year in a women’s prison” by Piper Kirman I didn’t feel any connection with the main character, Piper, and subsequently I wasn’t in a hurry to watch the Netflix adaptation. When we did get around to taking a look at it – when season two had been out for some time, I was sorry I hadn’t binged watched it sooner.
You’ll laugh ’till you cry, cry without the laughter and watch with equal measures of empathy and aversion at the lives of the staff & women of Lichfield prison. You’ll root for Red as she chases down the chicken, be repulsed yet strangely fascinated by Pornstache and want to help out or lock up for good many of the other main characters.
OITNB – Watch it. Now, or as soon as you’ve finished this post to discover what else is a must watch.
The Walking Dead
We watched this first on ‘regular’ TV. We re-watched it all on Netflix. Zombies, walking, Norman Reedus what else do I have to say?
When Narcos was released by Netflix last year I thought it looked like an updated ‘Miami Vice’ set in Columbia – WRONG AGAIN!
There are only ten episodes, and the show takes you from the late 1970’s up until 1992, chronicling the true story of major events that happened in Colombia during this period. Central to the story is Pablo Escobar’s, the infamous Columbian drug lord and the way in which his violent actions shaped an entire country. The story is told through the perspective of Steve Murphy, a DEA agent who moves to Columbia to fight the drug cartels.
If you are going to watch Narcos (& you really should) make sure you turn off the ‘phone, are stocked up on snacks & drinks and have your binge watching pants on because once you settle down to watch, you don’t be going anywhere until the credits roll at the end of episode 10.
We watched X-Files when it originally aired in the 90’s and are currently being pummelled with questions about what happens because our 17-year-old son is trying to binge watch all nine seasons, 202 episodes before the new series is released this month!
We won’t tell him anything, but we are having fun revisiting some of our favourite episodes. It was also funny to watch his face when we told him he had met The Cigarette Smoking Man one day in Vancouver. As we were walking down Hornby street, he came out of the actor’s studio that used to be there. He kindly stopped when we said hello, swapped greetings and tipped his hat as he walked mysteriously off into the distance.
Of course, Josh was about three at the time, so he doesn’t remember it at all – he’ll just have to make do with the story.
2015 was the year we finally watched Breaking Bad. I had heard it described as “A story about a guy that becomes a drug dealer and then about all the money he makes – it’s fantastic.” Thinking this sounded like a glorification of drugs & drug culture, I wasn’t interested, but when every season came to Netflix, we gave it a try & were hooked (pun intended).
The series actually follows a high school chemistry teacher who discovers he has lung cancer. Treatment would cost a fortune his family doesn’t have, and he decides to keep his diagnosis a secret. While sourcing some marijuana to smoke for the pain, he hooks up with a former pupil and produces & sells meth to secure his family’s financial future when he dies.
What follows is five seasons of drama where the characters evolve as they discover each other’s secrets, become more involved in the drug trade and make decisions you would never have seen them make at the beginning of the show. It is an excellent, dramatic journey with Walt from mild mannered, high school teacher to hardened criminal with a myopic vision.
On a final note – I’d like to leave you with this :