As an embarrassingly avid TV watcher, I’m surprised at how many shows I missed the first time around. Luckily, I had no reason to fear. Netflix, in all its streaming wonder, has been my savior against going outside, enjoying the fresh air, and interacting with humanity. Below are the Top Five Shows that I have rediscovered on Netflix.
Friday Night Lights
I shied away from this the first time around because, if I’m being honest, I hate football. Or at least I thought I did. But thanks to a work trip to the middle of nowhere, I devoured the first three seasons in two weeks. FNL is that rare show that is simultaneously a family drama, a sports movie, and a high school show – all rolled into one. Generally, when a show starts out with these elements, one becomes more compelling and the others are slowly marginalized. FNL found the perfect balance and succeeded in producing five fantastic seasons. When I told my best friend I actually got into a show about football, she said “oh, there must be hot guys in it” and while she’s not wrong, that’s not the only reason to watch (though it certainly doesn’t hurt).
Favorite Scene: When Matt breaks down in the bathtub and tells Coach Taylor about how everyone leaves him (Season 2).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It’s not a revolutionary concept to include Buffy on TV lists of any sort. But it is amazing that Netflix carries all 7 seasons, allowing us to binge to our hearts content. Buffy fans may fall into different camps (Team Spike here), but I think we can all agree that this show set the bar for character growth, LGBT relationships on TV, and not being afraid to step out of the “teen” genre with adult scenes (consider like Spike’s attempted rape of Buffy in S6). It’s been 10 years since the finale and people still talk about their most memorable or gut-wrenching scene (yes, I’m talking about ‘The Body’). So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, do it now!
Favorite Episode: “Once More with Feeling,” the musical episode.
Merlin & Robin Hood
Sometimes, you’re in the mood for a deeply compelling and thought-provoking show like The Wire or Breaking Bad. And other times, you’re cleaning out your closet and just want some fun TV on in the background. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to two great shows in the latter category: Merlin and Robin Hood. Both originally aired on BBC and are now available in their entirety on Netflix. Each show has great lead-actors and entertaining story lines. The shows are also a “who’s who” of British character actor guest stars, so it’s fun to play “hey, where do I know you from?” while watching. The best campy shows are the ones that know they’re campy, and these two both do. So sit back and enjoy!
While it’s hard to describe how great this show is, Portlandia does a pretty good job. You’d think it would be hard to relate to a show set in the future about people living on space ships and fighting cylons (robots), but the political situations and the relationship drama are all on-point. There is a large ensemble cast, but the writers and actors dedicate enough time and energy to each character to make you care about them and their individual destiny. Also, it’s one of the few shows I’ve found that appeals to a wide audience and is surprisingly couple-friendly…or it is as soon as you can convince someone it’s not just a “sci fi” show (which is harder than it sounds…)
Favourite Episode(s): The ‘Occupation’ arc that opens S3
These are the shows I’ve discovered recently on Netflix, but I’m sure there are tons more out there. Which ones did I miss?!? Sound off below!