CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – June 2017

For whatever reason, I find myself having more opportunities to watch programs during the summer than I do during the other three seasons. Maybe it’s because school is in session the other times of the year, which means spending time with the kids whenever possible and running errands whenever my wife and I have free time together.

Of course, it doesn’t help when there are good programs to watch, either. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I’m always given a listing of shows that are coming out each month. Whether by design or not, the month of June looks incredibly entertaining and I truly believe it has something for everyone.

These are the programs I’m most looking forward to watching on Netflix in June:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

June 1st

This isn’t a movie I have had the opportunity to see yet, but my stepdaughters have told me it’s really good. Because of their recommendation, I’m anxious to give it a chance once it premieres on Netflix.

The story of the movie is how a teenager discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times before finding a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers… and their powerful enemies. Ultimately, Jacob discovers that only his own special “peculiarity” can save his new friends!


Orange is the New Black

June 9th

I’ve been following the crazy ups and downs of Piper Chapman since the initial season debuted back in 2013. The ONLY problem I have with the show is that once my wife and I binge-watch an entire season, we have to wait 11 ½ months before the new one is released!



June 13th

I’ll be 100% honest here…I wasn’t too keen on watching this movie in the theatres when it came out. I mean, how can you reboot a comedy as classic as Vacation with Chevy Chase?? I, however, am a big fan of stars Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, so I figure why not give it a shot? It’s designed as a modernized reboot of the original in addition to being a sequel of sorts. That type of description gives me interest, as does the movie trailer.


Disney’s Moana

June 20th

Unfortunately, I can’t deny that my “man crush” is Dwayne Johnson (of course, my wife will tell anybody within earshot so I couldn’t deny it if I wanted to…lol). I initially was hesitant to see Moana simply because it didn’t look like a movie I’d enjoy, but the success of the film in theatres and the subsequent positive reviews have meant that it’s definitely on my “watch list”.



June 23rd

I’m a wrestling geek. Yes…I admit it. My wife, however, is not. Thankfully, I have convinced her to give this series a shot and in doing so am really hoping it’s as good as it looks.

Back in the 1980’s during the “wrestling boom” era of Hulkamania, GLOW was a real promotion that tried to blend beautiful women with athletic competition. It was ridiculously bad and failed miserably after trudging along for six years, but from those ashes comes this fictional story an out-of-work, struggling actress in 1980s Los Angeles who finds one last chance for stardom when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling. Where this is a Netflix original series, how can you go wrong??



June 28th

This is an extremely unique film in that it’s made by a South Korean-American director and isn’t entirely set in English. It’s got an ensemble cast with a crazy story, but it was realistic and gritty enough that it competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

As you can see in the trailer, the story is about how a young girl has befriended a massive animal over the course of 10 years in the mountains of South Korea. The animal (aka Okja) is taken by a multinational conglomerate in New York who believes that it can do great things for humanity with this animal, but that results in a rescue mission while different groups (demonstrators, consumers, capitalists, etc) all want to control the fate of this incredible creature.

I really can’t wait to see this with the entire family.



Have I missed any? Are there any of your own “must sees” coming out in June? If you have any suggestions of your own, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would love to hear them. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

The Best Television of 2016

Favourite TV Shows of 2016


The Walking Dead



Without question, this is my favourite program on television. Believe me; I have heard all of the complaints from people about the show: “I don’t like zombies”; “There aren’t enough zombies in it”; “It looks dumb”.

Listen, at the end of the day this show is about humanity and its spiral into the abyss once the apocalypse hits. Let’s say there weren’t any zombies but a monster virus still killed off 75% of the world’s population, which then led to the destruction of all utilities that we take for granted (ex: electricity, a working government, ability to communicate, etc.). How would the world react? How would people survive? That’s what this show is really about. The zombies are just another obstacle thrown into their way.

the-walking-dead-on-netflixI remember telling my wife about the show for years before she finally decided to give it a shot a couple of months ago. Thanks to Netflix, we’re now firmly entrenched into Season 4 and she’s loving it, even though she’s not a big fan of zombies at all. She loves the character development, the storylines, and the incredible acting…which are all reasons why this is still my top television program.

Game of Thrones

I’m hoping this pops up on Netflix at some point soon because I would LOVE to be able to get my wife into watching it with me. This show is incredible from top to bottom. And while I still have a difficult time trying to keep all of the character names straight, at the end of the day this show has everything you could possibly want in a television program. And honestly, if you watched GoT from the beginning and at the end of the “Hold the door” episode DIDN’T get “all the feels”, then I don’t think we can be friends.

Stranger Things

stranger-thingsI didn’t really know what to expect from this one. The word of mouth spread extremely quickly when it was released, and that normally means it’s over-hyped. Thankfully, my wife and I gave it a shot and were extremely impressed with what we saw. The story was incredibly unique, the acting top to bottom was amazing, and it left us wanting more when the season ended. If you have Netflix and HAVEN’T watched this yet, then you’re really giving yourself a massive disservice.

Orange is the New Black / Wentworth

oitnbAgain…I’m diving into Netflix here because, quite frankly, some of the best original content on television over the course of 2016 came from Netflix. My wife and I originally gave OITNB a chance because I had heard good things about it and she was willing to give me two episodes to convince her it wasn’t softcore pornography. Once Season 3 had ended, we were emotionally heartbroken and shocked…which says that we were both emotionally invested.

wentworthMy wife had also heard about this “Australian version of OITNB” that we should check out. Now that we’re done watching Season 4 of Wentworth, we can honestly say that we love both shows equally and for completely different reasons. Yes, they’re both shows that take place in female prisons, but they are extremely unique and worth watching individually.

This Is Us

this-is-usI wasn’t convinced to watch this show at first, but I caved after a request from my awesome wife. I’ll be honest…it only took one episode to get me hooked. The incredible uniqueness to storytelling with this show is only part of the reason why we both love it so much. As far as “regular” television goes, this show isn’t simply the best new program of 2016, it is far and away the best drama on TV: period. I can’t give away too much because you need to watch from the beginning to truly understand and appreciate the show (sorry…don’t jump in part-way through the series), but just know that the show continues to surprise and suck you in after the first two incredible episodes have completed.

Modern Family 

modern-familyStill, without a doubt in my mind, the best family comedy on television today. While not every episode is a winner, when the show fires on all cylinders there is no better comedy out there. Period.

Masters of Flip

masters-of-flipWhile I may have a massive crush on Kourtney Wilson, that doesn’t really take away from the fact that this is a really entertaining HDTV program. Kourtney and her husband, Dave, are a realtor/designer/construction combo team that take houses and flip them in Nashville. The flips themselves are only part of the appeal of the show, though. The primary appeal comes from the married couple, as their charisma and natural chemistry comes through in every episode. I don’t normally watch renovation programs, but I love this one.


survivorEven after 30+ seasons, the family loves to get together in the living room every Wednesday night and watch Jeff Probst guide a new group of people through an incredibly entertaining season. We love that even after all of this time, the show isn’t stale. This is due to a number of reasons:

  1. The people that they choose to play the game are usually quite interesting;
  2. The themes of each season are always different (for example, this past season was “Millennials vs Gen-X”)
  3. The games played are a blend of physicality and intelligence, sometimes based on previous seasons and sometimes completely original;
  4. The new players are all Survivor fans, so the game play and how votes are cast is a fascinating process to watch; and
  5. Jeff Probst himself, who continues to be the primary reason why this show is so bloody entertaining.

America’s Got Talent

agtThe family also loves getting together to watch normal-yet-talented people do incredibly entertaining things. Sure, it’s fun to watch weird people, too…but to see a vast array of singers, gymnasts, dancers, and performances that don’t fall under any particular category all compete on stage for the same prize. The chemistry of the judges is also fun to watch, too. Oh…and did I mention that Simon Cowell returned to judging, too!?!


masterchefFinally, this is another show that the family loves to sit around and watch. Whether it’s MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, or MasterChef Canada, the premise of the program and how it’s directed/edited always makes for an entertaining hour of food porn.


What about you? Were there any TV shows from 2016 that you’d like to share some love for? Sound off below!

Netflix Resolutions

Netflix My ListIf you’re a Netflix viewer like me, you’ve got a number of items in your “My List” (that’s mine at right) that you’ll either won’t have the time to watch any time soon or you won’t end up watching at all. The more you use Netflix, the bigger that list can grow…quickly.

Thanks to being a member of the Netflix Stream Team, they’ve decided to help me go on a “diet” when it comes to my list so that I can drop some of those “show pounds”. Yes…it’s a bit silly, but I think this infographic of eight resolutions may be some I can actually KEEP this year!


1. Okay…so Lost is on Netflix?? I can’t tell you how awesome I think that is. There are so many questions I have about the series that I feel I need to watch them again so I can truly understand the final season.

2. I watched the first season of Daredevil with a bit of hesitation, but was pleasantly surprised at just how much fun it was. I can’t wait for the second season to come out later in 2016!

Heroes3. I remember binge-watching the entire first season of Heroes when it first came out on television. I’ll be completely honest…I wouldn’t really recommend any season after that, but if you want a fantastically original and character-driven show that just happens to be about superheroes, then THIS is the show for you. Binge-watch the first season (“Save the cheerleader…save the world.”) and you can thank me for it later.

4. My wife and I already finished binge-watching the entire 10-season run of Friends last year, but we’ve both agreed that it’s appropriate for our kids to watch so we’ll be introducing the show to them this year.

Family Guy5. I am one of those guys who has only seen a few episodes of Family Guy but never really dove into it. Any time I saw it on television, I usually laughed at what I saw…but I just never went looking for it on a regular basis. I will GLADLY give it a second look on Netflix.

6. I introduced my wife to Fringe a few weeks ago and, while she didn’t care for it, I got hooked and am looking forward to completing the series in 2016.

7. I really don’t know anything about Bloodline. Hmm…I should look into this one.

Jessica Jones8. I watched Jessica Jones and was instantly hooked. This show is so awesome I immediately told my wife that she’d probably like it, so we’re about 4 or 5 episodes into the season. I’m still loving it…she’s a bit hesitant…but I think it was one of the best shows of 2015. Excellent characters and storytelling.

In terms of what I am REALLY wanting to watch on Netflix this year, I’ve been able to narrow it down to a few based on suggestions for the #StreamTeam:

This one will be pretty easy because the family is already watching this together. I believe we’re into the second season now and it’s a show that, while a bit risqué for the younger set, is hilariously funny. I can’t believe that for all of the years it was on television that my wife and I never gave it a second glance.

I can’t lie…I’m already caught-up on this one. The worst part right now is waiting until June before the new season drops so that my wife and I can binge-watch the entire season in under a week before rolling our eyes and complaining about having to wait an entire freakin’ year before we can see more new episodes.

I’m the only zombie fan in the house, so this one is all on me. I’m actually completely caught-up with the current season of the show, but I’m such a massive fan that I love watching the old episodes, as well. Right now the group is at the farmhouse, and I think binge-watching the rest of the episodes through the summer until the next season starts might be the only way to satisfy my Walking Dead cravings.

I remember being SUPER excited to hear that the X-Files were coming back for a 6-episode limited edition run (starting on January 26th!!). But then I had a difficult time trying to remember just what took place that led us to now. I used to watch the show religiously and even watched the two movies, but it’s been awhile and I have to admit that I don’t remember how the show ended. I think I now have to watch every episode so I can get back into the swing of things and remember just why this show was so awesome to begin with.

I’ve always enjoyed political dramas and have heard a lot of good things about this show and Kevin Spacey’s performance. I promise to give this a shot in 2016.


So what shows are YOU looking forward to watching in 2016? Anything you plan to take off of YOUR “My List”?

Preparing for a new Star Wars generation

Star Wars The Clone WarsI’m a guy who grew up on Star Wars. The first movie I remember watching in a theatre as a kid was Star Wars from the balcony of whatever theatre I was at (remember theatre balconies?). As an adult, I was more than happy to pass my love of this movie universe down to my son…and it’s one of the things that we happily get to bond over.

He was almost as excited as I was when the new Star Wars: Episode 7 trailer was released recently. We’ve both been counting down the months until the time arrives when we can experience new Star Wars memories together for the first time.

Star Wars Clone WarsTo prepare for doing that, I decided that we should watch some Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Netflix.  The series is set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy during the three years between the prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. What makes it fun for me is the fact that the stories are considered part of the Star Wars canon, so they “really took place” and are officially part of the new Star Wars expanded universe that launches with Episode VII in December. The hundreds of books and video games and comic books that have been released over the past 30+ years are just stories but are not considered part of the actual Star Wars universe, so watching The Clone Wars is a pretty cool way to understand character development.

Clone Wars villainsAnd that’s the great thing about watching this series as an adult fan. I could see the progression of Anakin Skywalker from Season One through Season Five, so the way he acted in Revenge of the Sith made a little bit more sense. It was definitely a progression as opposed to “I’m grown up now, so I’m unhappy with my Jedi life blah blah blah”. In addition to that, the series introduced us to new characters that very well may appear in the new expanded universe movies (I just read over the weekend that Cad Bane might actually appear in the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One anthology movie coming out in December 2016). 

From a kid’s point of view, it’s simply an awesomely entertaining cartoon to watch. The storylines are interesting, the characters are well developed, and the action sequences are fantastic. Add to that the numerous Star Wars “new trilogy” characters that appear in the show and you’ve got my kid’s attention span, which is not easily done these days.

So if you’re a fan of Star Wars, your kid is a fan of Star Wars, or you simply want to watch something fun with your family that’s a little on the “action-y” side, then start streaming away on Netflix! With six seasons to watch, you’ll be able to “binge watch” to your heart’s content. Clone Wars on Netflix

Confessions of a Reality TV Junkie

Somewhere in the past decade or so, my taste in television has shifted dramatically. Gone are the hours spent watching CSI, CSI:NY, Friends, Law & Order, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, and whatever else I used to enjoy every evening. Instead, my time is primarily spent watching reality television.

There is just something innately interesting about watching other people interact in unique environments. There are stories that are told and storylines that develop over time…all just by watching people. Maybe it’s one step away from the Romans cheering on as the Christians were being fed to lions and slaughtered by gladiators…but I’m totally fascinated with people watching. Thus, I must confess to being a reality show junkie. I just can’t stop myself.

I’m not sure about your tastes in TV, but here is what I love to watch…

Survivor29Survivor – This is the show that really started it all. And at one point, I stopped watching it entirely. I began watching again when I started dating Sunshine and now the whole family cannot wait to watch the upcoming season. What I love about the show is how it has evolved over the past 20+ seasons. There are so many elements to playing the game now that weren’t around initially (we recently re-watched the third season and were blown away at just how different the game was). We love hidden immunity idols. We love the twists. We love Redemption Island. We love returning players trying for one more shot at the title. We love Jeff Probst (yeah…he really does make this show). This show, after all these years, is still evolving and is still awesome.

at midnight@Midnight – It’s difficult to explain the concept of this show, but I’ll try. It’s a comedy faux-game show that makes fun of online headlines, photos, stories, and people. The points don’t really matter but it’s fun to see who wins at the end. Quite simply put, it’s one of the best shows on television today. It’s a bit racy at times so the kids don’t watch, but Sunshine and I absolutely LOVE this show and would recommend it to anybody with a sense of humour.

AMAZING RACEAmazing Race (both US & Canada versions) – I was the one who introduced this show to Sunshine’s girls and now they’re all over it like white on rice. I’ve watched almost every single season since the show’s inception primarily because I love to travel so watching it is enjoyable just on that level alone. Add to it the tasks that must be performed and the always unique twosome pairings that are used and you have a recipe for fun viewing.

MasterChefMasterChef (US, Junior, & Canada versions) – We’re all late to the party on this show, but now we can’t get enough. We only started watching the original MasterChef last season and were immediately hooked. Then the Junior version came out and the girls were all over it. Then we watched the Canadian version and are catching-up on the latest season of the original version. The home chefs are always different, but the way the show is produced is still the same regardless of the head chefs are (though you can’t do better than Gordon Ramsey) so we’re all enjoying the heck out of these shows.

come-dine-with-me-canadaCome Dine With Me Canada – I don’t know if this is nearly as popular in the US as it is here in Canada, but if Sunshine and I are looking for a couple of hours to kill without the kids around, we will watch five episodes back-to-back for shits and gigs. Basically, five people get together each night for a week, and each of them host their own dinner party (appetizer, entrée, dessert, and entertainment). Each night, the four people who ate the food give scores to the host and then the winner at the end of the week wins $1,000. It’s hilarious because the people that they get for this show are normally insane (or drunk)…leaving for some very entertaining television.

americas-got-talentAmerica’s Got Talent – This is one of those programs that the entire family loves watching together. It’s enjoyable from the sense that it’s a new-age variety show and you’ll get people from all walks of life trying to entertain you with a hundred different types of entertainment. It’s got singers that could easily be on American Idol or The Voice, it’s got comedians and magicians and other acts that you would easily see in Las Vegas, and it has acts that you may have never seen before that completely blow your mind. The judges each have their own distinct personality and the results are usually very entertaining.

So that’s my huge list of reality television. Don’t even get me started on shows like Bar Rescue, Chopped, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, American Pickers, or even Drive-Ins, Diners, & Dives…there are simply too many to watch!

What do YOU watch?

Mad Modern Family Men

How often do you watch a show from beginning to end? Most times there is a ton of patience and luck involved, even with DVRs, because shows can change nights and times without much notice.

I’ve seen a few series from beginning to end: Friends, Seinfeld, Heroes, Lost, Dexter, Rome…but as I mentioned, it can be really difficult. I’m currently in the process of watching four shows from beginning to end: The Walking Dead (cannot wait for the new season!), Games of Thrones (same thing!), Modern Family, and Mad Men.

The first two are shows that I watch on my own, as Sunshine doesn’t care to be bothered with either one of them. I’ll discuss those another time.

modern-familyModern Family is a show that we both found out about early last year and ended up watching every single season in a matter of two months. The next thing we knew, we had seen every episode and were sad that we had to wait for the weekly program to air in its regular timeslot.

It’s not just a situation where the characters in the show resemble our lives, although that is totally the case (I’m more Phil Dunphy than I’d like to admit). It’s really a situation where it’s a damn funny show. DAMN funny. It’s the kind of show that you can watch with your kids as a family…and there aren’t a lot of comedies that you can do that with anymore.

On some levels, I can relate to ALL of the characters. I can see a little bit of my family in theirs, and that’s appealing to me. But at the end of the day, if I can’t laugh consistently at the smart writing then it’s not worth tuning in for. As we enter Season 6, the show is still worth our time and that’s saying something. We look forward to it every week and laugh at the repeats we see in syndication every evening.

But that’s not the only current show that we’re following.

Mad MenMad Men is a show that I had heard about but never cared about watching. Sunshine didn’t think I’d like it so she started watching it by herself one weekend when I was with my son. I watched about 15 minutes at the end of the 6th or 7th episode when I got home and was immediately intrigued. Two episodes later and I was hooked.

Now we’re on Season 4 and it’s only been a month (wow). We have opinions on the characters and we’re quite vocal about where those characters go and what they say during an episode. I’m sure we sound ridiculous sometimes…telling Roger that he’s an idiot or calling Don terrible names because he’s doing something self-destructive AGAIN. But here we are…racing through every episode like we’re addicts on crystal meth.

The writing is smart. Sunshine enjoys the relationships while I’m intrigued by the interpretations of products and how they come up with advertising campaigns. We’re both addicted to the way they portray the 60s with its non-stop smoking, drinking, sexism, adultery, homophobia, and racism. It makes us wonder how anybody survived that decade.

We’re already dreading the day that we’re caught-up and done the “first half” of Season 7. Neither one of us have any idea where the show is going, but we’re excited to see where it leads us.


So what about you? Have you ever watched a series from beginning to end?

What To Watch

So the new television season is in full swing, yet I find myself unexcited and uninterested. I mean, do I really want to watch a show about airline stewardesses or Playboy bunnies? Do I really care if a transgendered person is dancing with a hottie to horrific cover versions of songs I used to enjoy? Do I really care if Ashton Kutcher took over for Charlie Sheen on a show I’ve never, ever seen before?


But there are definitely some shows on my radar.  For better or worse, these are the shows that I will go out of my way to watch this season…and I think you should, too.

1. Dexter – This is the best show on television, bar none. Going into its sixth season, Dexter is the story of a serial killer with morals, making his way through life always trying to do the right thing but somehow always getting into trouble.  Okay…that’s a REALLY lame description of the show and trust me when I say it’s sooooo much deeper than that.  There’s a very good reason why people rave about this show. Michael C. Hall is absolutely incredible in the role, having been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor four years in a row.  When people tell me that they haven’t watched Dexter because it’s about a serial killer, I try to explain to them how it’s so much more than that; how that serial killer has morals and is constantly conflicted over the entire concept of “good vs evil”.  It’s simply the best-written show on television.

2. Survivor – I know, I know…why in the world is this on my list?  In fact, there were a number of seasons where I didn’t watch at all (I had no idea who Ozzie was this season, even though he had apparently played twice before).  I love that the game itself has evolved and hasn’t stayed complacent.  I love the hidden immunity idols and Redemption Island and returning players mixed-in with new players. These changes have made the show more interesting.  And, as always, it’s all about the people they choose to play. It seems like it’s always a blend of “crazy” and “normal” with a dash of “really?’ mixed in for good measure. And hey…if Random Esquire can be a fan, then that’s good enough for me.

3. The Walking Dead – I’m fascinated by the whole “zombie apocalypse” idea. Whether it be a viral infection of some sort or just an unexplainable turn of events, zombies are intriguing to think about because there’s just enough semblance of realism in the back story on how they come to be; the body is alive though the mind is gone.  And I’m no fan of gore, either…so I haven’t seen most of the zombie movies out there. So I was hesitant when initially watching The Walking Dead, but I read some really great things about it before it debuted last season so I gave it a shot.  I’m so glad I did!!  This isn’t so much a show about zombies (although there are a lot of them and they die in some pretty gruesome ways) as it is about how people survive in a zombie apocalypse. Where do you go? What do you eat? How do you fend for yourself? How do you react to others reacting to the apocalypse?  It’s really a fantastic view of the human psyche.  Seriously.

4. The X-Factor – This is the show that started it all…and the fact that it hasn’t been marketed that way is probably a reason people aren’t jumping all over it like they should be. American Idol came from this. America’s Got Talent came from this. The Voice came from this.  The X-Factor is a blend of all those shows (a singing competition with live auditions where the judges turn into mentors throughout the competition) and, at least in the U.K. version, does it better than the rest. Now having said all that, the first two episodes didn’t blow me away last week.  When I first heard that this show was coming to North America, I watched the most recent season of the U.K. version to see what it was like and was blown away…not only by the unique talent on display, but the uniqueness and heart and talent of the show itself.  Last week’s U.S. version didn’t really have a ton of talent and the “heart” seemed forced, but that’s all about the editing choices and can be easily remedied.  I don’t know about you, but I want to see the best of the best and I want some great stories that I can get into (like how the most recent America’s Got Talent winner was washing cars before the season started!). Give this show a chance…I think you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised and quite entertained.

5. The Biggest Loser – I’ll admit to being “late to the party” on this one, but this is definitely one of the more inspiring shows on television. To see what these people can do to change their bodies and change their lives helps me believe that anything is possible.  Of course, if I had two or three months off from work to do nothing but work out all day and eat veggies on somebody else’s dime, I might be able to lose the weight, too.  Regardless, it’s not like what they do is easy…and it’s amazing to see some of the transformations. This year will be really weird because Jillian Hall is gone and Anna Kournikova is her replacement (at least she’s not Cara Castronuova…who was BRUTAL last season). But in the end, it’s all about the stories and the people and their struggle with food addiction. Year and year, it’s a great show to get into.


So what am I missing?  What shows are just SOOOO good that I absolutely need to watch them?