I often get asked what’s on my streaming watch list, so I thought I’d write a series of posts for each streaming platform that I watch – starting of course, with everyone’s favourite, Netflix!
Besides discussing what’s just “dropped” I will also look at “golden oldies” such as Friends. Can this series be considered that? I guess it can, since it celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in September 2019.
Please note that the below may contain spoilers!
First up – #BlackAF starring the creator, writer and executive producer of Black-ish, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish, Kenya Barris. By the way, Mixed-ish is my favourite of this trio, being mixed myself 🙂
The show is loosely based on his own family and life, in the sense that he plays himself, but apparently his character’s personality is the complete opposite of the real person. He has 6 kids (3 girls and 3 boys) with wife Joya (played by Rashida Jones) who is a former lawyer and never lets anyone forget that fact.
The 8 episodes cover their life and adventures as a family going through ups and downs, as only a wealthy Hollywood family can. The show is filmed “mocumentary” style and in reality format, where the characters do “diary sessions” (ala Keeping Up with the Kardashians and every other reality show). This is because the second eldest child, Drea, is using the show as her NYU Film School acceptance piece. The trailer showed the best and funniest bits, so I was expecting a lot, but at the end of the final episode, I kind of felt like I missed nothing. The only really memorable thing about the show is the opening sequence track by Jay Rock called “WIN” – which is now on my Deezer “Favourites” playlist.
That’s my 2 cents, but you can decide. Here’s the trailer:
Tiger King – Murder, Mayhem and Madness – this 7 part documentary is strange but true, even bizarre, if you ask me. Everything in the USA always seems to be bigger, better, faster, and the same goes for the pets that some Americans love. This series looks as the business of owning big cats, like tigers, lions and other so-called exotic animals, in big cat parks and zoos. Specifically, the owner of a zoo in Oklahoma called Joe Exotic. As you can tell by his name, this is not your average Joe! But let me not spoil it for you. Suffice to say, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, as Joe is accused of hiring a hit on his chief rival, Carole Baskin. While watching this show, I kept having to remind myself that this actually happened.
Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow – I subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP lifestyle website newsletter so I was intrigued when this limited 6 part series was announced. Now if you know anything about GOOP, both Gwyneth and her now multi-million dollar website, are often ridiculed for being too “out there” and esoteric. Granted, the subjects covered are not your everyday run of the mill content. Where else are you going to get articles such as “Jade eggs for your yoni” and a candle fragrance “This smells like my vagina”? Nevertheless, I enjoy reading their newsletter, even though the merchandise is way out of most people’s price range – I mean $75 for a candle! But she is an inspiration, as GOOP now has multiple merchandise lines, from vitamins, to podcasts, to travel, clothing, homeware, perfume and her annual “In GOOP Health” seminars. A Netflix Original Series, which features interviews with experts in their fields, was I suppose, the next logical step in the GOOP empire. Plus being married to Brad Falchuk (Hollywood writer, director and producer) can’t hurt!
Episode 3 is especially for the ladies 😉
The Windsors – This a British spoof series based on the Royal Family and even features a character based on Meghan Markle. The 3 seasons are hilarious, especially if you have been following the antics of the Royals since the 1980’s, like I have. A sneak peek into what they could possibly be getting up to, with Camilla plotting the down fall of the “Fab Four” (Prince William and Price Harry and their wives) to get more attention, and Kate’s sister Pippa thinking of ways to get into “The Firm” – in fact, Pippa is my favourite saucy character!
Oldies but Goodies:
Russian Doll – There have been so many shows and movies based on Groundhog Day. Russian Doll is one of the better versions of this genre, of reliving a day over and over and over again. The protagonist, Nadia, played by husky-voiced Natasha Lyonne (the red head from Orange is the New Black) meets an untimely end on her 36th birthday … only it’s not the end. Over 8 episodes, Nadia dies in each, while trying to find a way out of the the cycle of dying and waking up at the same birthday party each time. The intelligent and witty conversations, the snappy dialogue, and the fact that Nadia’s character is the Head Coder at a sports gaming company, all make for an unforgettable series. Only one season was made, but sometimes this is all that is needed. I was shocked when Fleabag won so many Emmy awards last year, as Russian Doll should have won at least for Best Original Comedy series, if you ask me!
Tidying up with Marie Kondo – For neatness fanatics, this was made for you. Japanese tidying up expert, Marie Kondo, shows us how to fold items, arrange your closets and how to get rid of items that you no longer need, in a respectful manner. The difference between this “KonMari” method and others, is that hers is loosely based on her Shinto faith.
Cleaning and organising things properly can be a spiritual practice in Shintoism, which is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things (kami) and the right way to live. So because all items have “energy” you keep what “sparks joy” and thank the items you want to give away.
The Affair – This is the most mature and grown up series I’ve ever watched. As the name says, the basis of the drama is an affair and its consequences that affects every character in the show, over 5 seasons. It’s raw, authentic and reminds me of British series, in the way it handles situations and how real the characters look – no overly made up faces and hairstyles. Perhaps this is because the two lead characters (Noah and Alison) are played by highly acclaimed British actors Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. The opening sequence has a haunting theme, sang by Fiona Apple called “Container” that I simply love. Here it is:
F.R.I.E.N.D.S – I recently finished binge watching all 10 Seasons of FRIENDS. It was broadcast from 1994 to 2004, so in September 2019, FRIENDS had its 25th anniversary. Over 10 years, we shared the ups and downs and laughter of Joey, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe and Chandler. The show made the then unknown actors massively famous and wealthy. Undoubtedly, the most famous now is Jennifer Aniston.
When I attended COMICON in September last year, I had the opportunity to take a photo on the FRIENDS couch, to celebrate the show’s 25th Anniversary. This is where the characters would sit and talk, at the coffee shop called “Central Perk”,.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – This is a witty comedy about Midwesterner, Kimmy Schmidt, who was imprisoned for 15 years by a cult leader as a teenager. This does not sound like the premise for a comedy, but rather a documentary about WACO. Kimmy is eventually released and decides to live in New York City, where she meets Titus and the two become room mates. I’m a huge fan of Tina Fey (SNL writer, 30 Rock producer and actor) and she is the creator of this show. You actually need to listen closely to the funny dialogue and witty, fast banter so you can’t “dual screen” while watching or you’ll miss the best bits.
So that’s what I’m watching or have recently watched on Netflix.
Let me know your thoughts and what recommendations you have for me.
Catch my next post, about what I’m watching on Amazon Prime.
Bye for now!