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!

 

Vacation

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”.

 

GLOW

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??

 

Okja

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.

 

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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

best-of-the-best

The Walking Dead

 

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.

Survivor 

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!?!

MasterChef 

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!

Orange is the New Black – Season 4 on Netflix NOW!!

Just over a month ago, Netflix was kind enough to offer members of their Stream Team the opportunity to screen the first six episodes of Orange is the New Black’s fourth season. I wanted to write about the show immediately after my wife and I watched those episodes, but we were asked to wait. Time sped by and then POOF~!! The new season was available on Netflix.

Needless to say, it didn’t take very long for the two of us to blow threw the remaining seven episodes and can I just say…OH EM GEE!!

Listen, I’m not going to give away any spoilers in this post but let me just say a few things about Season Four:

  • You will be absolutely shocked at a death during the course of the season.
  • This season is NOT a comedy-based season. I know it’s been known to be primarily comedy in years past; this season is emotional and depressing and, at times, stomach churning.
  • The acting performances are spectacular. It really is amazing how some of the actors get completely immersed in their characters. I fully expect award nominations and award wins for members of the cast during “award season”.
  • The writing is, as usual, fantastic. I don’t know if you’ll find a more interesting program with interesting long-term storylines that really play out in an incredibly well thought-out way than with OITNB. Top to bottom, this is just a fantastic program.

OITNB 1One of the things I’ve learned over the past month is that viewers who watch and enjoy OITNB are what Netflix considers to be “repeat offenders”. The original series is one of the most re-watched globally among subscribers. After researching over 190 countries, Netflix found that more than half (53%) of Orange viewers have re-watched at least one full season. That’s an impressive number and just goes to prove how great the show is.

Some Canadian-specific highlights about OITNB fans are as follows:

  • Almost one quarter of Canadian respondents (23%) planned to watch the previous season while 42% planned on re-watching all seasons before the season 4 launch back on June 17th.
  • Close to half of respondents (43%) said they started preparing for the new season the week before June 17th, and Canadian fans were actually willing to give up house chores to do so (for example, 41% were willing to give up cleaning the house 38% were willing to give up making your bed just to focus on Orange).
  • Outside of refreshing their memory, one third said that they liked to re-watch Orange just so they could relive moments with their favourite characters.
  • 30% of Canadians said that they looked for possible foreshadowing.
  • Over one quarter (28%) said they re-watched because it’s their favourite show and they can’t get enough.
  • It can be lonely in Litchfield, apparently. Over one third of Canadian respondents (32%) said they planned to re-watch by themselves. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do that.

In more overall highlights…

OITNB_GRAPH_V2-01

Netflix CanadaWhat I did, though, was sit with my wife and blow through the final episodes over the course of a weekend. We simply couldn’t help ourselves…the show is that damn good. As entertaining as it is to “binge-watch” a series like Orange, the only down side is that we now have to wait another year for the next season to begin.

I suppose we’ll have to find another series on Netflix to watch. Any suggestions?

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!

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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:

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_HowIMetYourMother
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.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_OrangeIstheNewBlack
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.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_TheWalkingDead
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.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_TheXFiles
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.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_HouseofCards
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”?