I don’t know about you, but I definitely have a love-hate relationship with Netflix. One of my favourite ways to end a long day? A glass of wine, chocolate and some downtime in front of the TV with my other half.
When we’re not watching a movie or HGTV (why is HGTV so addictive???), it tends to be Netflix, and therein lays the problem… what to watch?! We have
spent wasted SO much time browsing aimlessly through the guide in a trance-like state. It can be infuriating.
So I thought it might be useful to share some of the series that we’ve loved, just in case you’re in the same boat and happen to be seeking inspiration for binge-worthy shows.
(by the way, these are in no particular order, but just as they popped into my head…)
It took us a few episodes to get into Narcos, but now we’re hooked. It tells the story of Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and the American DEA agent trying to bring him down. The series offers some great acting and a compelling storyline (with some real life documentary footage thrown in too).
I also love that it was filmed on location in Colombia… the scenery is often breathtakingly beautiful.
#2 Stranger Things
For once, we weren’t being complete laggards and watched this sci-fi series as soon as it was aired. Being a child of the 80s, I just couldn’t resist the complete nostalgia, with its references to so many beloved movies of that decade, but most notably classic Spielberg.
Set in a small Indiana town, the story centers around the mysterious disappearance of a young boy named Will, and the search to find him, led by his mother (played by Winona Ryder), along with the local police chief and his friends.
I loved this series – not only the storyline and characters, but also the soundtrack and superb pop culture references. Get ready to be transported back to the 80s! Now we’re eagerly awaiting the second season, which is due for release next year.
In addition to the fact that Idris Elba is perfection as its eponymous hero, Luther is just a notch above many crime dramas out there. It’s dark and gritty, and every episode adds a new layer to the evolving plot-line and complex character at its core.
That character, John Luther, is a brilliant detective who happens to be battling a lot of inner demons and also has some unorthodox methods to solving his crimes and catching the villains (who are generally quite creepy!). We sped through the first three seasons, but luckily Netflix has just released season 4.
#4 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
My husband is a self-confessed nerd and the renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of his heroes. This documentary series, presented by deGrasse Tyson, is a follow up to Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos from the 80s.
The show does a great job of explaining some difficult scientific concepts and making them accessible to all. Not only does it tell the story of the universe, but also that of the historical figures (some well-known and others not so) who were involved in some amazing scientific breakthroughs through the centuries.
#5 Black Mirror
Creepy, unsettling and at times, downright disturbing… yet massively entertaining. We were so glad to have found this somewhat hidden gem on Netflix. Black Mirror imagines a world in the not-too-distant-at-all future that delves in to the dark side of technology in our lives, and its unintended consequences.
Each episode is a stand-alone drama – think of a modern day Twilight Zone. The season one opener is shockingly uncomfortable to watch (you’ll know why if you’ve seen it!) but brilliant satire nonetheless. A third season has just been released, and so far so good.
#6 Breaking Bad
An obvious one, but had to make the list. Without a doubt, THE best series we’ve seen in a long time. Whoever came up with the idea of high school chemistry teacher turned big time meth producer is a genius in my opinion… talk about a mid-life crisis gone way bad. Even though the main characters have their flaws and make some questionable life choices, you can’t help but root for them anyway 🙂
We also liked the spin-off series Better Call Saul, which tells the story of Walter White’s dodgy lawyer, Saul Goodman.
This is a sci-fi drama created for Netflix (by the makers of The Matrix), which sees eight strangers from around the globe suddenly linked mentally and able to connect with one another’s thoughts and actions. As they’re trying to figure out why this happened and what it all means, a mysterious organization begins to hunts them down.
It can be a little clichéd at times and you have to be somewhat patient as the story slowly unravels, but in my opinion it’s worth sticking with it.
This is a quirky Norwegian show which follows Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano (played by Steven Van Zandt of The Sopranos), a fictional New York mobster who moves to Lillehammer as part of the Witness Protection Program.
Lilyhammer (not sure why they spell it like that) isn’t your usual crime drama… and what really makes it fun to watch is the dark humor, eccentric line up of characters and extreme juxtaposition between US and Norwegian cultures.
#9 House of Cards
Another fairly obvious one, but again, too good not to mention. The first season in particular is brilliant… to me it did lose a little steam by season 3 (although I’ve heard that season 4, which I’m yet to watch, recaptures some of the early magic).
Kevin Spacey is phenomenal as conniving Frank Underwood, the U.S. Senate Majority Whip who will apparently do anything to fulfill his presidential ambitions. I especially like the parts when he turns and talks to the camera, as if we’re somehow conspiring with him!
Even though it’s set in the present day, the writers do a great job of capturing the essence of the classic stories. I love Benedict Cumberbatch as the protagonist… obstinate and arrogant while at the same time charming and brilliant. One of the things I liked about this rendition of the story is that, from time to time, the villains do manage to outwit Holmes… he is fallible after all.
Oh, and the fact that each episode is 90 minutes long makes it feel like you’re watching an entire feature film every time 🙂
Well that’s a round-up of the shows that really got us hooked… as I was writing this post, I actually thought up a load more that we’ve watched and loved, but since 10 is a nice round number I’ll stop there for now.
So what else do we need to watch? Let me know what your favorites are!