If there is one thing that is certain, it’s that Netflix is there for us when no one else is, because it has a little something for everyone.
Seeing as it was estimated that it would take up to eight months to watch everything uploaded to Netflix in 2017, and since then there have been many, many shows added to the mix, we cannot recommend you hunker down to consume the whole platform. However, while it would probably take around that amount of time to get through all the lists telling you what to watch on Netflix, this one is going to be a little different. 13 reasons (see what we did there) to binge a little bit of Netflix you may not of heard of this weekend:
Now, we know you have most definitely heard of this, but what is a ‘watch these’ list without it? Black Mirror is a British anthology science fiction series that has been nominated and won multiple Emmy awards. It examines modern society, often placing the settings of the episodes, all of which are standalone, in an alternative near future exploring the consequences of new technologies. Trust us, you may not be into sci-fi, anthology or the dangers of future technologies, but you will be after the first episode. Most are an hour long, however some stretch to feature-length, and are worth every minute of run time.
Lovesick is your next rom-com and drama pick that skips all the cliches and gets straight to the good bits. On the surface, the show is about protagonist Dylan finding out he has chlamydia and how he has to contact all of the women he has had romantic relationships with in is past. Every episode is entitled with a woman’s name, which then goes onto to layout why the relationship ultimately didn’t work, with bits of the present littered throughout the half hour episodes. What happens through these short episodes is distinct character growth, as a little bit of each of the three main characters is revealed through each episode which, paired with the shows uniquely funny dialogue, ultimately endears them to the audience. The show is, at its core, about love, told through an interesting premise and upheld through genuine characters.
Five seasons. Multiple characters with the same faces. Intense action and heartfelt relationships. Orphan Black is the other token science-fiction series on this list, but is vastly different in many ways. Orphan Black focuses on Sarah Manning and her discovery of the existence of clones, herself being one. The series is emotive as we get to know the different characters throughout the five seasons, exciting as the major counterpart to the sci-fi genre is thriller and thought-provoking about the issues that human cloning entails. All at once gritty and shiny, funny and serious and dangerous and light-hearted, the show demands commitment, but it is easy to give.
Please Like Me
Please Like Me is deceptively charming, as its main trope is displaying its characters despair regularly and without hesitation. The first episode sees Josh, the protagonist, played by the shows creator Josh Thomas, kiss a boy for the first time and fully realise his homosexuality all in a lighthearted manner. In the same episode, Josh’s mum commits suicide. To quote the New Yorker, “the show continues in this way, bridging joy and tragedy, a blend unusually true to life.” To properly illustrate the charm that permeates the show, we must mention the opening titles. Almost every episode opens with a montage to the same song in which the characters are baking something, and every episode is named after what has been made. The show is quirky and fun-loving with a healthy dose of black humour mixed in for good measure.
When Ozark hit, it was with a bang, which was very much appreciated by audiences as it quickly became one of the most popular shows on Netflix, so yes, you’ve probably heard of this one, too. Ozark is an American crime drama that centres around the Byrde family, specifically Marty Byrde, who is forced to move with his family from their home in Chicago to the rural, ‘middle-of-nowhere’ Ozarks, in Missouri. The show goes on to reveal the dangerous and crime-ridden underbelly of the Ozarks with the ever-present threat of the Mexican drug cartel constantly breathing down the protagonists necks. The first season was a smash-hit while the second season sees the characters undergo a transition from newcomers to locals, which still manages to pack a few punches that hit really hard at all the right moments.
The Innocents presents as a teenage drama that centres around the protagonists, Harry and June, who run away from home to find freedom. The show cleverly elucidates the ‘finding yourself’ teenage trope with the revelation of June’s supernatural ability to shape-shift into different people, which she has barely any control over and through which the strength of her relationship is really tested. The show’s moody atmosphere, provided by locations in the U.K. and Norway, create a magical atmosphere and a dream-like backdrop for a show that is at times sinister and mysterious, while simultaneously focusing on self-acceptance and the power of love that transcends age.
Peaky Blinders; if you know, you know. The show has become somewhat of a cult hit, and how could it not? Peaky Blinders is a British crime drama set in Birmingham after World War 1, named after the youth gang who emerged in the 1890s and sewed razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Cillian Murphy plays Tommy Shelby, the leader of the gang and family, which starts out with his two brothers and his aunt. He is the ultimate antihero: a family man who murders people with little to no remorse and has a touch of PTSD which adds a closed-down, war-damaged silence that is both eerie and badass. If not for the remorselessness crime, watch for the family dynamics and character arcs. If not for the family dynamics then watch for the fashion. If not for the fashion, then watch because we suggested it. It’s brilliant.
Easy is an American anthology series that’s one constant is location. A series of episodes all located in Chicago, in which there is a distinct sense of place that is expertly captured and pleasantly atmospheric. All the episodes differ from one another in terms of plot and characters, however most have overarching themes of love, intimacy and people. The scenes and situations are engineered to feel lived-in and familiar, inviting the audience to sit, relax and enjoy the show without having to play catch up or feel any less integrated into the character’s lives than they are.
The American crime drama that is Mindhunter will captivate you in its truth, enthral you with its danger and shock you with its tendency not to shy away from the, well, shocking. The show follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they travel around the US to interview and record serial killers to ultimately invent the term ‘serial killers.’ Set in the late 1970’s, with a grit and greyness that matches the methodological format this series takes on, the show has enough kinks in the story line to keep it interesting, and lets anticipation grow for the final episode which ends on a mighty cliffhanger.
Love is intriguing, complicated and unique. The shows title implies a vastness to be filled, which it does both through exploring a “will they, won’t they?” romance between two people who seem unsuited and, surprisingly, through an interesting look at addiction. There is plenty of funny moments, sweet moments and moments that will make you cringe – Love does not shy away from the awkward or taboo, which is perfectly encapsulated through the main characters, Mickey and Gus. With some stellar performances from supporting roles, Love is a three-part series that has just enough charm and wit that makes you appreciate love.
Dear White People
Dear White People is based off a 2014 film, both of which are set at an Ivy League school and address modern race relations through an almost alternate world that is filled with eloquent dialogue and an omnipresent narrator. The show, at its centre, is really looking at individualistic identity crises in the context of race, society and relationships. The show is stylistically unique while the format, with the help of the narrator, is somewhat traditional in its storytelling, but it works. A blend of what feels like modern day values and aesthetics with traditional grand ivy league halls and customs.
End of the F***ing World
If you’re looking for something to binge, this is perfect, in both its content and running time. Every episode is around 20 minutes long, and full to the brim with surprises, heartwarming sentiment and quirky aesthetics. Alyssa and James decide, all very much lead by Alyssa, they will run away together, as they are “in love.” However, the twist is that James is only along for the ride because he is a self-proclaimed psychopath, and is plotting to kill her. There is a retro vibe that adds an American sense of charm and an innocence that shows just how young the teens and their love is, but what makes the show so addictive.
If you have not yet heard of Outlander, you can thank us later. We’ll set the scene: it’s 1946, Claire and her husband Frank are on their Scottish Highlands in 1946, but after encountering a mysterious circle of ancient standing stones, Claire time travels to 1743, and that’s only the beginning. There’s thrills, laughs, love and a lot of Scottish accents. The landscape is beautiful, the tension is wrought and the passion is intense.
Happy binging, everyone.