5 of our favorite Netflix shows (that aren’t 'Stranger Things' or 'Black Mirror')
MANILA, Philippines – A Netflix show like Stranger Things is so huge and so widely anticipated that it pretty much takes over the internet whenever a new season drops. And for good reason – Dustin is awesome, even with teeth. (READ: Binge worthy: Something old and something new on 'Stranger Things 2')
Aside from these big event-type shows, Netflix has lots of shows you should be watching. Here’s a list of our favorite recent (and not-so-recent) Netflix shows. If you’re already hooked on any of these shows, now’s the perfect time to get more people into them!
The Crown is a historical drama that covers the first few decades of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It’s all too easy for a show to lapse into tabloid-style sensationalism when tackling the Royal Family, but The Crown is reserved and confident enough to let the humanity of its characters shine through. It’s also worth noting that there’s a strange pleasure in watching some of history’s most privileged people deprived of the freedoms we commoners take for granted.
Now’s a good time to binge on The Crown— season two was released just last month, and it’s the last we’ll see of Claire Foy’s excellent portrayal of the Queen. The show’s cast is set to rotate out every two seasons, to show the aging of the characters. (READ: Binge-worthy: 'The Crown' season 2 is a lesson in regal restraint)
Our favorite (non-spoiler) scene: Prince Phillip’s (Matt Smith) “There are two types of people in life” monologue, which comes towards the end of the final episode of season two. We predict many troubled marriages will be saved by those lines.
The Toys that Made Us
The Toys that Made Us is a documentary that covers the creation of 4 of the biggest toy lines of all time: Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man, and G.I. Joe. A layperson may not know (or care) about geeky toy minutiae such as vintage Star Wars packaging variants, so the show doesn’t devote much time covering those details. Instead, it tackles the cultural climate and design processes that led to the creation of these toys. The toy designers are given ample time in the limelight, and their personal stories give the show about plastic people a touch of warmth and humanity.
Our favorite (non-spoiler) scene: In episode 3, which is devoted to He-Man, members of the He-Man design team (all male) get salty over the success of She-Ra, He-Man’s twin sister. The hair-flipping reactions of She-Ra’s female designers are priceless.
BoJack Horseman is a dark comedy that takes us through the life of its titular character, an actor who starred in a successful Full House-style comedy in the '90s. Plagued by ennui and existential dread, BoJack hangs on to the last vestiges of fame. Oh, and the world is populated by anthropomorphic animals that mingle freely with humans. It sounds like a joke, and it most definitely is.
Aside from dishing out surreal humor, the show specializes in delivering one philosophical gut-punch after another. You’ll never look at life (or J.D Salinger) the same way again.
Our favorite (non-spoiler) scene: There’s simply too many. But the entire "Fish Out of Water" episode is the show’s peak, artistically. BoJack dives into an underwater film festival to promote his latest movie. Because of the underwater setting, there’s no dialogue. It’s masterful storytelling. And it’s also damn funny, like a Spongebob episode spiked with emotional trauma.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If BoJack Horseman gets too heavy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the perfect unicorn chaser. The show is about Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), a woman who spent the last 15 years locked in an underground bunker by a doomsday preacher. Having recently been freed from captivity, Kimmy is determined to not let her tragic past define her. She stays in New York to begin a new life and moves in with her roommate Titus Andromedon (Titus Burgess), a flamboyant and unemployed aspiring actor. The show is full of optimism. And pastels. Lots of pastels.
Our favorite (non-spoiler) scene: It’s not a scene, but the show’s original songs are hilarious. Okay, we use the word “original” loosely here, because one of Kimmy’s prized tapes is a compilation of knockoff songs called “Now That Sounds Like Music.” Drop what you’re doing and listen to “I’m Convinced I Can Swim” by Art Smelly now!
Master of None
Master of None has already won two Emmys, but even with those accolades it is still criminally underappreciated. On its surface, the show is about Dev (Aziz Ansari), an aspiring actor based in New York. (What is it with struggling actors and New York?) Most the episodes from the show’s two seasons focus on Dev’s dating life, but Master of None truly shines when it puts the spotlight on the immigrant and LGBT experience. It does all this with a backdrop of good food, good times, and lot of '80s and '90s R&B.
Our favorite (non-spoiler) scene: In the Emmy Award-winning episode "Thanksgiving," Denise (Lena Waithe) comes out to her mother, played by a marvelous Angela Bassett. The exchange between hopeful daughter and fearful mother is one of the most touching scenes in the show. – Rappler.com