Netflix is one of my favorite things. I don’t have cable or TV service at all due to the expense, so I watch Netflix and stream it to the TV through Chromecast. It’s so easy to use and even more easy to find shows that will suck you right in and leave you begging for more.
Here is my list of the top 5 shows I believe you should make a point to watch if you haven’t already. It was a bit tough to narrow down, but I chose these five on the basis of plot, acting, substance, characterization, intrigue and just plain ‘ole enjoyment.
I should note, four out of five of these shows are for adults only. They have very adult themes (sometimes, even too much for myself) and should not be shown to children. Watch these after they’ve gone to bed or when they’re staying at grandma and grandpa’s house.
So. If you haven’t seen these shows before, start. Now.
I would classify Parenthood, which was seen on NBC, as one of my all time favorite shows. The characters are incredible, diverse and opinionated, and you immediately feel like you’re a relative, sitting with everyone at the table during the frequent family dinners. You become so connected, in fact, you laugh and cry with the cast and you care deeply for each individual. The show is extremely honest and down to Earth, tackling real life situations, controversies and experiences “normal” families go through every day. I never wanted this show to end and was extremely sad when it was canceled after five seasons, though the creators did a great job with the final episode.
This series is the only exception to my “adults only” rule and it might even be beneficial for teenagers to watch as there are a few relatable teens in the show. There’s no strong language, very little violence and conservative intimate scenes. Parenthood proves you can have deep, quality shows without mature themes. You need to watch this show.
House of Cards
This show. You know it’s going to be a wild ride when the very first scene of the series is the main character snuffing the life out of a dog that’s off-screen.
I began watching this when the first season was new because I heard all the hype behind it and because it was Netflix’s first original series. I hate, hate politics and do my best to stay away from it, but House of Cards sucked me in because it’s just so different from anything I had seen in the past. The rotten main character, Frank Underwood, is someone you love to hate, but at the same time you root for him to both thrive and get what he deserves. You watch for Frank. And for the scenes where he breaks the fourth wall.
It’s a drama, yet has its moments — and sometimes entire episodes — of suspense. The other characters are also multi-faceted, but never overshadow Kevin Spacey, who is simply brilliant in this role.
I’m chomping at the bit waiting for season four to arrive, which is expected to happen in February. Make sure to add House of Cards on your “to watch” list.
My other half was surprised I wanted to add this AMC show on the list, because I honestly can’t say I love this series, and it’s hard for me to even say I like it. Breaking Bad is incredibly violent, has no shortage of strong language, has a small bit of nudity and places you smack in the middle of the corrupt world of drugs. So why place it in my top 5? For all the reasons I listed in the second paragraph of this post.
The acting is superb, probably some of the best I’ve seen — as it should be, because the plot’s intensity demands it. For the main characters, Walt and Jesse, situations go from zero to 100 in seconds within the drug empire they create and between the adversaries who strive to control them and the most pure form of crystal meth ever cooked.
And though there are a lot of characters, the depth of each is astounding, and every facet of their personalities comes out during every season. And it’s not every day you see a main character go from protagonist to antagonist and back again several times throughout a series all while empathizing with him as you watch.
Remember the “adults only” thing? This show is the epitome of that warning. No kids. I’m not kidding. Sometimes this show is too much for even myself. I actually stopped watching it for a while after a certain episode in season two because it became too dark for me, and that’s rare.
Hell on Wheels
Another AMC show on Netflix, Hell on Wheels is a series I didn’t expect to enjoy. It’s a western set in the late 1800s following Lincoln’s assassination and during the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. On paper, none of that sounds interesting to me.
However, this show is so well done and is never boring. It’s classic western in the fact there are shootouts in the streets, frequent hangings of criminals and outlaws, brothels and racial disputes between former slaves, Native Americans, immigrants and whites. There also is the stereotypical ruggedly handsome main character who has a dark past and can handle a gun better than a relationship, and a rich, slimy railroad tycoon barking orders and making threats.
Though a serious show, it’s easy to enjoy and keeps your interest throughout with its plot twists and turns. And who knew Common was such a good actor?! Grab some whiskey (or some wine), a bucket of popcorn and start watching Hell on Wheels ASAP.
Marco Polo is one of Netflix’s newest original series, and I just started it this week out of pure curiosity, but I’m almost done with the one and only season available.
The show features Marco Polo in 13th century China, which actually did occur, but the show is only loosely based on fact. I will admit, this series needs to develop more, but it’s still keeping my interest, even though I tend to stay away from any type of shows or movies featuring martial arts and set in Asia.
As of right now I can say the characters are starting out well and the action scenes are decently exciting. Though on the down side there is a heck of a lot of full female nudity (hello harems, concubines and multiple wives), and it gets tiresome very quickly after seeing scene after scene of it. I wouldn’t be so opposed if it actually meant something to the story, but probably more than half of it isn’t needed.
It’s a brand new show, so I will give it some time, but I’m hoping it’s worth getting into now to see it fully come together as something great. It definitely has potential.
So there you have it. My top 5 shows you should be watching on Netflix. What are you waiting for? Press play!
What’s your opinion on my list? Which of these have you seen? Finally, what are YOUR top 5 picks?