CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – Hidden Gems

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always take the advice of friends or co-workers when it comes to Netflix recommendations. Sometimes I feel as though if EVERYBODY loves it, then I will probably be disappointed when I finally get around to watching it. Of course, when I’m part of “the movement” and am one of those people recommending a show, then it’s completely different.

Of course, when you have your own blog to sound off on about Netflix recommendations then it doesn’t matter if people are actually interested or not. I figure if you’re here reading this, then you may want to know my thoughts on a few Netflix recommendations that you may not have heard about already.

So here we go…

COMEDY – Grace & Frankie

I’ll absolutely be the first one to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this show when I initially reviewed it a couple of years ago. Sure, I wanted to promote it and all, but I just didn’t think it was that funny and didn’t finish watching the first season.

My wife ended up watching it on her own and fell in love with it. I ended up watching the second half of the third season with her and was intrigued by the characters and the humour, so we both watched all three seasons from the beginning all over again.

Without question, this is one of the most uniquely quirky and enjoyable comedies on television. Jane Fonda is fantastic as Grace, Lily Tomlin is brilliant as Frankie, and Martin Sheen is 100% believable as Robert. While I’m still not completely convinced by Sam Waterston’s portrayal of Sol, the rest of the supporting case more than makes up for it.

The first season saw this show have difficulties finding its footing. The second and third season saw it off and running. If you are tired of the mindless “comedies” on network television, I highly recommend this one as an alternative.

THRILLER – Black Mirror

I wish I could adequately describe this show and give it the type of justice that it deserves. My new manager threw this suggestion out to me during our initial “get to know me” meeting about a month ago. She was a big Netflix fan and said this show would throw her and her boyfriend into a “tizzy” afterwards because it made them think so much.

Basically, this is a science fiction / fantasy series that revolves around the unexpected consequences of new technology (but not in a “20+ years from now” type of way…but in a “few years from now” type of way that makes you wonder if this could actually happen within our lifetimes.  Every single episode (which are completely standalone and separate from each other) can be pretty dark with satirical themes that circle around society today and where we’re going as “humanity” in the future, even if that future is next year.

While some of the episodes are extremely hard to watch (if you can get past the first episode and appreciate it for the messages it is conveying and not simply seeing it as what they’re presenting), my wife and I ended up watching and loving this entire series. There is a new season coming at some point in 2017 and it’s definitely going to be on our “weekend binge” list.

DRAMAThe Fundamentals of Caring

I gotta be honest…I was NOT looking forward to this movie based on the title alone. But every other Friday my wife and I take turns choosing a movie and the other one has to watch it without complaint (at least until it’s over), and one Friday night this was her choice. I’m so glad that it was!

This is a Netflix original movie that stars Paul Rudd (a writer turned caregiver), Craig Roberts (as a sarcastic 18 year old who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy), and Selena Gomez (as Dot, a mysterious hitchhiker) about how a simple road trip helps two men both learn about life from the people they meet along the way. It’s a “dramedy” that blends drama and comedy together in a very believable way.

I realize my description makes this sound extremely cliché in nature, but trust me…this is a surprisingly entertaining movie with some great performances by both Rudd and Roberts. It’s got a 77% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (with an 83% audience score) and a 7.4/10 on IMDB, so I’m not just blowing smoke here. It’s definitely worth a shot.

AWESOMENESSWentworth

If you’ve been on Netflix for any time whatsoever, you may have already binge-watched every season of Orange is the New Black. And with good reason, too! OITNB is quite simply one of the best programs on television and has to be considered revolutionary for its portrayal of women.

But one program that you might not be aware of is Wentworth. While some may call it “Orange is the New Black – Australia Version”, that’s really too simplistic of a description. Let’s put it this way…if OITNB was grittier, darker, less comedic but even more all-around awesome, it would be Wentworth.

The show is set in modern-day Australia and focuses on Bea Smith when she first enters prison after being charged with attempted murder of her husband. While it has a lot of similarities with OITNB, the supporting cast and ensuing storylines are completely different. Quite frankly, if given the option of choosing only one, I would probably pick Wentworth simply because of the incredible directing of the program (almost every episode in the first season looks like a “miniature movie” in how it’s directed). I think you’ll be a lover of Wentworth, as well, once you finish that first season. And thankfully, the show hasn’t gone downhill since!

*****

So these are just some of my Netflix recommendations for programs that you may not be overly aware of. 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.