During my stint as an unemployed person, I, perhaps stupidly, signed up for Netflix after years of holding out. I was an old-school Netflix user, back when the company’s offerings were strictly limited to DVDs by mail. But in my shrewd poverty, I chose to eliminate that service when I realized I could eat four meals for the same price as the monthly Netflix rate. A hardcore eater, I found that choice simple. But when I quit my job, I realized I couldn’t fill that 40-hour gap every week with job applications; it was giving me migraines and possibly ulcers—we’ll see! So I decided to shell out the $7 a month to gain Netflix streaming.
Let’s disregard Qwikster and its DVD-only offerings. I’ve spent more than a month browsing, adding to my Instant Queue, and viewing shows and movies via the magical synthesis of laptop and Internet. My tastes are atypical of the average human, but I’m going to give this a shot anyway. Here are the top five shows and specials I think you should watch, like, yesterday:
I know you Law & Order purists would disagree, but I think detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler have really got it going on. They’re all over the most heinous sexually motivated cases, and it’s refreshing to see people who care about their jobs so much. N.B. I have a raging ladyboner for police procedural/crime dramas, so please take that into account.
2. Doctor Who
This longstanding British show deals with the antics of Dr. Who, a “time lord” who flies around the space-time continuum in the Tardis, which is a ship that looks like a police call box (a fixture in United Kingdom in the 1970s) from the outside and is actually much larger and more refined on the inside. The fashion is phenomenal, and Matt Smith, the 11th doctor, is a super-hot hottie.
One of the most underrated science-fiction television shows, the Australian show Farscape follows Captain John Crichton, an Earthling astronaut, as he accidentally flies his space shuttle into a wormhole and comes out at a far corner of the universe. He’s picked up by a slew of aliens, including a living spaceship that has a baby during the series as well as several animatronic creatures. It’s corny, it’s awesome, it features weird alien cultures and villains of all shapes and sizes. Need I say more?
4. Any George Carlin Special
Everyone knows (or should know) that the late George Carlin is a king of comedy—or, if you have no sense of humor, simply one of the more prolific comedians of our time. Luckily, he has a number of televised specials available on Netflix, such as It’s Bad for Ya, Complaints and Grievances, You Are All Diseased, Playing with Your Head, and many more. Like I said, he’s prolific if nothing else.
5. The Tudors
In high school, I had the pleasure of receiving junior year English instruction from a Mrs. Kissling. Mrs. Kissling was an Anglophile—that is, someone who loves England and everything English (from England, not just in that language). Junior year honors English consisted of memorizing the preface to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in Middle English, taking an entire test on Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (memorable line: “With my crossbow / I shot the Albatross”), and learning every sordid detail of King Henry VIII’s life. The Tudors allows me to relive those heady days, days of breaking from the Catholic Church and starting your own religion because the Church doesn’t allow divorces, of executing wives who did not bear Henry sons, of brutally torturing anyone who disagreed with the king, of going mad and dying of syphilis. Good times! You, too, will be an Anglophile before you know it!
Next week, I’d like to tell you about the best Netflix movies and documentaries you’re not watching (yet). Stay tuned!
Photo credit: IMDB