Nearly two years ago, I gave you a blog post called The Top 5 TV Series on Netflix You Should be Watching, and it was received pretty well! So after all this time and brilliant new(ish) shows I’ve discovered and loved, I wanted to again share those. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to expand your horizons, learn something new, or simply be entertained.
Two of these are family friendly, so don’t worry if your children snuggle on the couch beside you. The others I would rate at a PG-13 or at least R — if not NC-17. So be warned with those.
Here is my second installment of the top 5 shows I believe you should make a point to watch if you haven’t already. I chose these on the basis of plot, acting, substance, characterization, intrigue, and just plain ‘ole enjoyment.
Let’s get started!
I’m nowhere close to being a foodie, but in my heart I wish I was. Just wasn’t born with the right set of taste buds or curiosity. Even so, I LOVE food shows. I dived into Chef’s Table last year and immediately fell head over heels with the cinematography, soundtrack, and the way it celebrated the love, passion, and dedication it takes to make outstanding eats. The show focuses on one world-renown chef in each episode, and not only do we get invited into their backgrounds and personal lives, we’re experiencing how that person is changing the way people look and feel about each ingredient in their star dishes. We see the method to the madness, and the beauty behind it all. This show was so interesting for me, and I gobbled up each episode in no time.
This show continues with our food theme, but in a light, upbeat manner. The Great British Baking Show (or Great British Bake Off in the UK) is of British descent and although it’s a competition show, it’s nothing like those in America. You won’t hear Gordon Ramsey-type hosts cursing out each contestant, nor will you see cattiness when they’re off the kitchen floor. It’s quite the opposite. Contestants are kind to each other, support each other, and you’ll even see them help each other in the final seconds left on the clock. Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are generally gentle, while hosts and comedians Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc crack corny puns and offer shoulders to cry on throughout the baking and decorating process. I was surprised at first, but it was staggeringly refreshing. For once, an answer to “can’t we all just get along?” I believe Netflix has 3 seasons available, though the series produced more.
Piggybacking off one British show, we come to another: Broadchurch. In my opinion, this crime thriller is steps above any of the Law & Order, CSI, or NCIS shows. The plot is thick, the script is infallible, and the acting is top-notch. You’ll get sucked right into this tiny town’s history, people, and murder mystery, and good luck at figuring out who the culprit is until the final episode. The writing and filming makes you question everyone, and you’ll become sincerely invested alongside Olivia Cole and David Tennant’s detective characters. It’s a perfect “whodunnit” and I recommend it to everyone who asks for something new. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix, but you’ll either have to wait for Season 3 to arrive or purchase it on Amazon Prime (which happened, of course!). The first two seasons follow a single case, but Season 3 opens up a new one.
Now for the creepy choice. Stranger Things took the world by storm last year, and for good reason. The plot is unique and engaging, it’s scary but not enough to conjure memories of watching ’90s slasher flicks, it’s addicting, and I’ve never seen young kids (and the rest of the cast, really) act their behinds off like the kids featured in the series. Have you heard the term “the upside down” among your friends and coworkers? Most likely. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil it, but Stranger Things is definitely a show not to pass by. Actually, watch it asap, because Season 2 is being released on Halloween.
OK, so here’s where I cheated a little…but with good reason! The next TWO shows are technically separate, but they’re also linked together. They share screen time with one another and are also part of a larger picture of Marvel series which include The Iron Fist and Daredevil (two I don’t care for but also on Netflix), but all four characters work side by side in the series The Defenders (Netflix has this too). These are the NC-17 shows I only recommend for adults. Too much violence and sex for the younger generation.
Jessica Jones is the anti-superhero. She hates people, stays far away from attention and only shows her super strength when absolutely necessary. She’s an alcoholic, works in the slums, and has a mouth worse than a sailor. This series is dark and gritty, very unlike any mainstream Marvel movies, but that helps make it interesting. You’re not supposed to like her, but you do, because even with her bad attitude, there’s an ounce of care that makes her redeemable — especially when it comes to the others that will be controlled and hurt by the series villain. We also get to dive into her past and see her come to grips with the character who’s featured below. I haven’t yet heard of a Season 2 with this show, but I’m really hoping for one.
Luke Cage doesn’t care for the label of hero either, but he has a huge heart and will protect people (especially those in Harlem) at all costs. Cage is not only incredibly strong, but his skin is impenetrable. I lost count at how many hoodies he goes through in the show after each one is pocked with bullet holes. In his series, he seeks to overthrow and destroy corruption at the heart of Harlem led by the most dangerous thugs who don’t like giving up control. Because of this, he ends up losing most of who he calls dear, but also gains a friend and lover in Claire, who also makes a cameo in the other three series connected to The Defenders. Season 2 has already begun filming!
Another Netflix list down! Have you seen any of these shows? Leave me some comments about if you have and what you think of them.