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We were so excited when the announcement broke that Netflix would be coming to our part of the world, but now that we've spent some time (lots of time) watching everything that caught our eyes on the world's premiere streaming service, it seems like there's not much else to watch. So we dug deep and looked for all the TV shows and movies that we might have missed on our first few passes.
Look Who’s Back
Hitler comes back to Germany with no clue about anything that happened after 1945. Trying to make his way in a millennial of YouTube and smartphones, he becomes an Internet sensation. Adolf develops a massive following, with most people believing it’s all an act or some kind of performance art, and he ends up with his own talk show. Given some of Egypt’s obsession with Hitler, this flick should be at the top of the list.
A Twilight Zone-esque speculative fiction series that darkly and often satirically examines our relationship with technology, which garnered a cult following during its brief time on UK TV. Now, our benevolent overlords at Netflix have brought it back with an order for a third 12-episode series, which will hopefully be released by the end of the year. If you like dark sci-fi that makes you think about the side-effects of our always-connected world, binge the seven episodes on Netflix now and hopefully you’ll have recovered from having your mind thoroughly blown by the time the new series comes out.
Masters of Sex
Sort-of-kind-of based on the real life work of Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the show is a hybrid between the contemporary classic Mad Men and soft-core pornography. What? Do you need more of a description than that? Ugh, fine. The show takes place in America during the repressive 50s and 60s where just saying the word ‘vagina’ made everybody squeamish. Dr. Masters and his assistant embark on a quest to answer the most burning questions about sex. Hijinks and boobies ensue.
Given my expertise on all things fancy, I found this Netflix-exclusive documentary series on world-renowned chefs totally captivating. Profiling a different culinary wizard in each episode, we follow them around inside the kitchen and out, learning what makes them tick. Definitely for fans of fancy food and cooking shows.
Beasts of No Nation
A Netflix original film that hits a little close to home. The legendary Idris Elba stars in this story of war, from the perspective of a child soldier, in an unnamed African nation. Powerful and evocative, definitely not for the faint of heart or anyone who’s looking to ‘Netflix and chill’, but a great film nonetheless.
An in-depth look at what food and mealtime means in the modern world. Each episode examines a different element of cooking, fire, water, air, and earth, and also analyses the experience of cooking in a historical and contemporary context. Anybody who feels like there’s something missing from the prevailing culture of fast food and pre-prepared meals will certainly want to check this out.
An epic story full of intrigue, violence, and sex, not entirely unlike Game of Thrones but with a historical (in the loosest sense) basis. Follow Spartacus as he fights his way to redemption and glory as he graphically murders the crap out of anybody who gets in his way. People who loved 300’s gratuitous use of slo-mo and arterial spray will love this. For fans of shirtless hunks and Lucy Lawless.
This show marks possibly the first time in the history of ever that a redhead Scottish dude - accent and kilt included - is sexy, but hey, it happens. This unprecedented phenomenon is reason alone to watch Outlander. But we digress. The show focuses on a married British WW2 nurse, Claire Randall, who is thrust back to 1743 Scotland, and it follows her grandiose love affair with Scottish warrior and all around hottie, Jamie, after she basically realises she can't get back to her 20th century hubby since she's stuck in the past. There's time travel, but not in a cool, techie Back to the Future kind of way; more in a mystical stones-in-the-Scottish-highlands-are-a-portal-through-time kind of way. There are slightly more torture scenes than we care for, but that's made up for with lots of beautiful scenery as they frolic around the Scottish countryside avoiding the evil Brits. Plus there are castles.
Master of None
A hilarious series from the mind of Aziz Ansari which follows a fictional version of himself through 21st century life. Dealing with pertinent issues with charm and humour while also showcasing a decidedly inclusive cast, this show should hit the spot after you’ve torn through the classics like The Office and Parks and Recreation.
A crime drama about a real world group of ruffians in Birmingham, England right after World War I. The show features a kick-ass cast, including Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill (the guy from Jurassic Park), and plenty of action as the Shelby family fights for their ambitious goals. Be ready to clear your calendar because, once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop until you’re finished. Good thing the new series starts soon.
Because Andy Samberg. Also, Andre Braugher's constant straight face is the best thing in life. It's basically a cop comedy and, like most sitcoms, you can plug in at absolutely any episode without having to have the plot memorised à la Game of Thrones. Great when paired with stale pizza.
Marvel’s Daredevil & Jessica Jones
A decidedly darker part of the same Marvel universe that houses The Avengers and Spiderman, Daredevil is the story of the man with no fear as he fights for NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen against big bads like Wilson Fisk and The Punisher. Top notch action in a more adult vein.
Jessica Jones takes place in the same part of town and features even more nods to the comics but with a different focus, from crime and the role of the vigilante to PTSD and abusive relationships. With the amazing David Tennant in purple, Jessica also features the first superhero sex scene (that I know of, and let’s face it, I would know) and plenty of build-up for the impending arrival of Marvel’s The Defenders, the less kid-friendly and more poorly funded superhero team.
David Attenborough narrates this Planet Earth style series on the wildest continent there is, Africa. Combining peerless cinematography with that voice, you’ll never look at our continent the same way again. Epic doesn’t even begin to describe it and it’s all right in our backyard.
Making A Murderer
A docudrama series about a man from a small American town who, after being falsely imprisoned for 18 years, and after two years of freedom, returns to prison for murder. Whether or not he committed the crime is up for debate, and the show is far from unbiased, but it does make for some really riveting binge watching.
Rick and Morty
An adult-oriented animation series about a super scientist drunkard who travels the multiverse with his simple grandson. Out-of-this-world visuals with completely bonkers plotlines and plenty of fourth-wall-breaking moments make this a perfect show to watch while you’re enjoying a bit of herbal refreshment. The frenetic pace and absurd situations mean that you’ll probably forget big chunks of it, which means you’ll be able to enjoy seeing it for the first time twice!
You ever wake up in the middle of the night feeling freaked out and paralysed? Yea, me neither, but this documentary about the people that this actually happens to is freaking terrifying. Watching these people recount their experiences, complete with dramatic reenactments, is enough to make us never want to go to bed again. Can’t sleep, shadow people are going to eat me, must keep watching Netflix.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Egyptians going to space is all the rage right now, so why not watch the classic film that inspired so much of modern space culture? Full of suspense, beautiful imagery, and one serious mindfuck of an ending, 2001: A Space Odyssey will reall– wait, I’m sorry, do I really have to explain this movie to you guys? It’s a classic of cinema that’s been referenced all over the place for like 40 years. You must know who Stanley Kubrick is, right? Come on, seriously? God, I hate you, just watch it so I can value you as a human being again.