This is my first time posting Netflix Instant Queue recommendations, so let me just get the essentials out of the way first. If you have a Netflix account and haven’t watched Breaking Bad yet, you better start now because it’s one of the greatest TV dramas of all time and you’ll love every minute of it. Yes, it can be gruesome at times, but Breaking Bad is certainly worth the watch.
Two other essentials are Netflix Originals Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards. These shows are both insanely good, and with only two seasons at 13 episodes each, they’re a fairly quick watch.
I’m going to start posting Netflix recommendations every couple of weeks or so, and I would love for anyone to comment below with their suggestions!
Created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, Twin Peaks premiered on ABC on April 8, 1990. The show centers around the small town of Twin Peaks, WA, where the murder of a beautiful young woman disrupts the seemingly tight-knit and quaint community. The show follows FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and the local Sheriff’s department as they investigate the murder of Laura Palmer.
There are two seasons of Twin Peaks – both of which are available on Netflix. The first season is much shorter than the second, so it will take a bit of time to get through. Although I’m only halfway through the second season, I started my recommendations list with Twin Peaks because it is that good. Similar to Blue Velvet (and also starring Kyle MacLachlan), Twin Peaks explores the seedier layers of a small town that, on the surface, seems quaint and orderly. The show melds together aspects of horror, camp, mystery, drama, and a bit of dark comedy too. It’s quite the viewing experience, though not for everyone.
Created by the unbelievably hilarious and brilliant Louis C.K., Louie premiered on June 29, 2010 on FX. The show is loosely based on C.K.’s life as a comedian and divorced father of two daughters. Episodes consist of short segments connected by snippets of C.K.’s stand-up. The script and performances are loose and highly creative, and sometimes dark and surreal. If you love Louis C.K.’s standup, you’ll love Louie. There are currently three seasons available on Netflix.
Short Term 12
Short Term 12 (2013) is a devastatingly beautiful examination of vulnerability and hardship. Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film is based on his short of the same title. Grace (Brie Larson) is a supervisor at a facility for at-risk teens. She is strong and insistent, yet flexible and nurturing. Her long-time boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), is equally as compassionate and resilient. Each teen at the facility has their own troubling story and their own ways of coping. Marcus, played by Keith Stanfield, deals with his emotions by writing and rapping, while Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) writes stories and draws. As the film progresses it becomes clear that Grace has many problems of her own, and her way of coping is to help others.
Amazingly written and wonderfully acted, Short Term 12 exemplifies how a stellar cast and intriguing story can create something that’s truly one of a kind. I placed the film at #4 on my Top 10 Films Of 2013 list.
Directed by Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier, Muscle Shoals (2013) is a documentary about the studio in Alabama where so many iconic artists wrote and recorded some of their greatest hits. I first saw Muscle Shoals on PBS and was so excited to see it added to Netflix Instant Queue. Wildly entertaining and educational, Muscle Shoals’ includes amazing recording footage and interviews with greats such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bono, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards, among numerous others.
Directed by Richard Linklater, Bernie (2011) is a dark comedy about the 1998 murder of millionaire Marjorie Nugent by her companion Bernhard “Bernie” Tiede, played by Jack Black. Bernie is dark, funny, and wildly strange. Just watch it.
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s Frances Ha (2013) is a delightfully entertaining film about an aspiring professional modern dancer living in NYC. Frances is a real girl. She is unsure, curious, clumsy, funny, and self-deprecating. She knows exactly what she wants and won’t give up, but stumbles along the way. She’s genuine, and genuinely written. She’s flawed, but terribly awesome. I’d recommend this film in particular for women who are still navigating their way through their twenties.
I placed this film at #10 on my Top 10 Films Of 2013 list.
What are some of your favorite films and shows on Netflix?