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Posted on Jun 1, 2012 in Dear Diary, Reviews | 44 comments

6 Things You Should be Watching on Netflix

It’s over.

TV season is pretty much over. And now that the stampede of shocking (Vampire Diaries), joyous (How I Met Your Mother), hilarious (Community), and tearful (Glee) season finales that have been washing over me for the past couple of weeks has finally begun to subside, only one question really remains: WTF am I going to watch all summer?

Oh sure, there are a few summer season shows that are worth a gander, but why wait in boredom from week to week when there is a whole world of streamable entertainment right at your fingertips? I long since gave up bothering with the physical main-in DVD service that Netflix once made its name on. Streaming is what it’s all about, and I’m here to share a few of my favorite finds with you all. I consider these gems that, without Netflix or some other sort of video-streaming service (I hear Amazon’s is getting pretty good these days!), I would probably never have uncovered. The following selection is pretty varied in terms of target demographic and genre, so hopefully there’s a little something new for everyone.

I feel it’s apt to note here that I’m not like, a Netflix ambassador or anything. I just thought this would be a fun post to do. Hokay! Here we go!


The Vampire Diaries

I know, I know. I just had to get it out of the way first. Vampire Diaries isn’t REALLY part of this list, since it’s still fairly new, you guys have all probably heard of it, and there’s a ton of hype surrounding it (deservedly so!). Only, it IS on the list, in that it’s part of every list of anything I ever recommend to anyone, ever. The first two seasons of the show are available on Netflix, and now that Season 3 is over (OMGAHHHHH), I’m sure it won’t be long ’til it’s added to the queue as well.

General early plot goes like this: Welcome to Mystic Falls, VA, a tiny and historic southern town that has more than its fair share of garden parties, cotillions, and “animal attacks”. Follow abnormally gorgeous human Elena Gilbert as she struggles through her love for not one, but two panty-droppingly gorgeous vampire brothers. Of course, after about four episodes, you start to realize that there is so, so much more to it than that.

I know I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: this show is NOTHING like Twilight. It’s barely even like the books that it’s based off of (thank goodness, haha). Just watch it, okay? You can thank me later.


Doctor Who

Sean and I started watching this show together after we started dating, and we’ve already flown through the first four seasons. This 2005 version is a straight continuation of the original series that began back in the early 60s. I’d heard a lot about how good it is, but was skeptical and had it sitting in my Instant Queue for a long time. Finally, Sean expressed interest in starting it up so I bit the bullet. I’ve never looked back. It is truly engrossing stuff: funny but surprisingly dark, full of intellect and glorious British wit.

I don’t think I really need to describe the premise but the basic one is this: The Doctor is a time traveling alien adventurer (say that 10 times fast!) who, along with his various companions, frequently saves Earth and the universe from general mayhem and destruction. You’ll have to look past the terrible production value of the first season (when their budget was obviously rather thin), but if you can make it through that, you’ll get to see what the Doctor and his “blue box” really have in store.


Archer

How do I even begin to describe Archer? It is rip-roaringly hilarious, totally inappropriate, borderline offensive, and absolutely genius. It’s an animated show set in an ambiguous time frame (clothes and setting seem to place it sometime in the 60s, but they often make modern-day pop culture reference and utilize current technology) about an independent spy agency called ISIS. It stars Sterling Archer as the titular character, a womanizing boozehound who is somehow incompetently the best spy in the world. ISIS is run by his alcoholic, smothering mother Mallory, and employs his kickass ex-girlfriend Lana, amongst other hilarious supporting characters.

The voice cast is really pretty amazing. H. Jon Benjamin (you’d recognize his voice) plays Archer, Jessica Walters (Lucille from Arrested Development) plays his mother, Aisha Tyler plays Lana, and Chris Parnell and Judy Greer play fellow ISIS employees. If you’re at all a fan of shows like Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or the like, in which the main characters are all thoroughly terrible people but still somehow sidesplittingly hilarious, you’ll like Archer.


Lost in Austen

Any girl who loves herself some Jane Austen, period romances, or romances in general, will LOVE this show. Well, actually, this isn’t really a show, per se. It was a miniseries that broadcast on BBC, and on Netflix it’s all compounded together into one 3-hour long block. I devoured it in a single sitting the first time, and have re-watched it at least three times since. It’s just so romantic, so clever, and so much FUN.

The story follows modern-day Londoner Amanda Price, an avid Jane Austen fan who is obviously unsatisfied with her life. She magically gets transported into the world of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice right at the beginning of the book, essentially swapping places with Elizabeth Bennett. You do have to be at least slightly well-versed with the story of P&P to fully understand everything that happens, but the premise really works and the music, staging, and costuming is all very well-done for a TV miniseries. It draws of parallels to the Keira Knightley P&P film (which was mentioned back on my Favorite Movies post, if you remember).


Battlestar Galactica

The summer after my Freshman year of college, my brother and I sat down to watch the first episode of Battlestar Galactica, a remake of the campy 1980s sci-fi show. We had heard good things about it, but hadn’t had a chance to see it yet. Well, within two weeks we had blown through the first two seasons. It. Is. Fantastic.

Back when it was still on the air, it drew nonstop praise from critics that, despite it airing on SciFi, it held up to Lost, 24, and all the other mainstream hit dramas on TV. There are only four seasons in total, and while I think it’s fair to say that the first two seasons are really where it struck gold, the show as a whole is just fantastic. For a television show, it brought to light a lot of really deep concepts, tackling things like war, religion, survival, and the basic tenant of what it means to be human. It’s not only a spectacularly done show, but it’s… moving, you know?

I really don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who might watch it, so I’ll just recommend that you all watch the miniseries, which introduces most of the major characters and general plot, before you watch the very first episode of the actual show (which is entitled “33 Minutes”). The miniseries is much more slow-moving than the show itself, so don’t be discouraged by it. It just sets everything up really perfectly, IMO.


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

As if I would end with anything else. It’s official, you guys. I’m a total, full-fledged Brony. Or, you know, whatever the girl-version is. I was a fan of the 90s version of My Little Pony (you know, back when it was age-appropriate for me, haha), but you can blame my boyfriend for even introducing me to the current concept of MLP: FIM. He didn’t ask me to watch the show, he didn’t watch it himself, all he did was mention that this subculture of twenty-something guys and gals who were totally obsessed with it. And with that knowledge alone, I knew I had to check it out.

You guys. It is so fracking adorable. I can’t even. Yes, it is a show that was originally targeted at five- to eight-year-old girls. But there are so many references, characters, and animation elements that are clearly meant for those of us who are just slightly older than the show’s target demographic. (There’s a character named Doctor Whooves, for crying out loud!) The animation is flippin’ cute, but it’s more than that. The show is just so sincere, it’s not super weird like most kids shows are today. It’s refreshing! And the songs that are included in occasional episodes are damn catchy, too. It took me like, one week to catch up on both seasons that have aired so far. Perhaps I’ve lost credibility with 80% of you after posting about My Little Pony with such fervant adoration, but I don’t even curr. It’s glorious. GLORIOUS I SAY!


(source)

So there we are. Six vastly different, but equally enjoyable streaming-ready things for you to enjoy… or not! Have a fantastic weekend, everyponybody!

Do any of you have recommendations for TV shows/movies/miniseries that I should catch on the ‘Flix?

PS: Episode 2 of the RTB video is up, and it feature a ton of me and my super attractive tomato-red face! For your viewing pleasure:

44 Comments

  1. Yessss! I love Dr Who!

  2. Crap, I meant Doctor Who!

  3. OMG you are my TV soul mate.

    Srsly.

  4. Several of my shows ended too… here’s a list you should check out.

    Revenge, Pretty Little Liars, Psych, Once Upon a Time, White Collar, Supernatural

    I’d give you summaries but I’m really really really bad at them.

    But Pretty Little Liars and White Collar are starting up again soon, so you’d have to catch up.

    Yeah, they’re pretty much awesome.

    • I watched some of White Collar, actually, and really liked it. Can’t resist the Bomer. I need to catch up — good thing it’s on Netflix too, eh? Hahaha. A lot of people tell me that I need to watch Revenge, too!

      I did watch PLL religiously at first, but then I got too annoyed with it so I gave up after like 3 episodes of the Fall season. Maybe I’ll give it another shot though… they are awfully pretty. πŸ™‚

  5. Jericho is pretty awesome: a small town in Kansas deals with a nuclear attack on the US. With no communication with the rest of the country, they’re left to fend for themselves as the conspiracy of what really happened begins to unfold.

  6. I LOVE Lost in Austen & Battlestar Galactica (Although I don’t think I’ve ever really admitted liking this bc it makes me feel a little nerdy, lol.)!!!

    <3 <3 <3

    • Haha! Embrace the nerdiness! I mean, I just openly admitted to my love for animated ponies soooo… you’re in good company. πŸ˜€

  7. i’ve been wanting to watch Battlestar Galactica for ages now. I really should start. And I should get back into Doctor Who. Thanks for the reminders!!

    Currently i’ve been watching the first 3 seasons of Parks & Recreation. I absolutely love that show. I’m also a huge comedy fan though. It takes a few episodes to get used to, but it’s hilarious.

    Also recommend the IT Crowd if it’s still streaming. hilarious Britcom and one of the actors has been making his way into American films recently. (He was in Bridesmaids!!)

    Ok, one more comedy. It’s a bit older, 90’s I think. It’s called Father Ted. It’s about a group of Catholic priests that are sent out to this island to work. Irish comedy at it’s best!

    • I loooooooooooove Parks & Rec. This past season was just perfection. I think I’ve seen the IT Crowd pop up on my recommended list, so I’ll definitely check it out!

      • agreed! i want to watch it again! that’s my problem. i end up watching a season 2 or 3 times instead of branching out to newer shows.

  8. I’m delurking to post… πŸ™‚

    BSG was such a great show. I’m drinking my coffee out of my BSG mug right now. It has ‘FRAK’ on it. Yes, I’m a nerd and I love it.

    Downton Abbey is on Netflix and I think everyone needs to watch it. Stat.

    I just watched Season 1 of Game of Thrones thru Netflix and it was fantastic. I had just read the book and was so impressed with how HBO did the show. Highly recommend it, even if you haven’t read the book.

    I suppose it’s time for me to hop on the Vampire Dairies train…you speak so highly of it!

    • Sean and I are OBSESSED with GoT. I haven’t read the books (yet!) but I got the first season on Blu-ray just on good faith since I had heard it was so amazing. We blew through all 10 episodes in a week! So good. The current season’s finale is Sunday!! Eeeep!

  9. I just restarted my Netflix since all the good tv is over for the summer! I feel like BSG and Doctor Who are super popular with everyone I know so I might need to start those after I finish with Mad Men. What about Weeds or How I Met Your Mother? I’m also a huge fan of Buffy πŸ™‚

    • I could never get into Weeds (I watched most of the first season and then dropped it), but I love HIMYM. It’s still on my current TV roster. It goes through highs and lows, for sure. Seasons 1 – 4 are basically perfect, it struggled a little in the middle, and then it got good again. I highly recommend it, if for nothing else than being able to understand the catchphrases, haha. πŸ˜›

  10. I wasn’t as horrified with your list as I thought I might.

  11. I just started watching Supernatural and I’m hooked.

  12. I have Lost in Austen in my list to watch!

    My fav Netflix shows are: Bones, Drop Dead Diva, and I’m currently LOVING the show Life!
    I also have watched all of Switched At Birth, which was a cute ABCfam show. πŸ™‚

    Fun post! πŸ™‚

  13. Love me some BBC! I second the IT crowd. I also highly recommend Sherlock- a new-ish mini series on BBC. They have done two seasons so far, with like three episodes each. It’s Sherlock Holmes in the modern day, done in a smart and sexy way. Hubby and I also love As Time Goes By, another BBC series following a man and woman who were sweethearts in their youth, lost touch, and meet again in their golden years. Cute, funny and sweet.

  14. The Doctor!! Squee!! Sorry, I had to get it out.
    If you love “Doctor Who”, you’ll probably also like its slighty darker spin-off “Torchwood”. Especially the first season is awesome.
    Staying with the British theme, I highly recommend “Life on Mars”. It’s about a modern day police guy, who is mysteriously transported back into 1970s. Thrilling!
    And finally something light, funny, and romantic: “Pushing Daisies”! I can’t stop swooning over Lee Pace. His beautiful face alone is enough reason to watch that show. And it’s really funny!
    Note: I have no idea if any of those shows is on Netflix.

    • O.M.G. I LOOOOOOOVE Pushing Daisies. It is seriously one of my all-time favorite shows ever ever ever ever ever. So cheerful, so clever, so well-written, and I looooooooove Lee Pace. Swoonworthy indeed.

      The only reason it wasn’t on this list is because they don’t stream it on Netflix anymore (they used to though, sigh!) so instead I just own both seasons on Blu Ray hahaha. I’m still upset that it got canceled. I don’t think this pain will ever go away.

  15. Doctor Who is pure GOLD! I don’t even know how long I’ve been watching it for (maybe 4 years now?), but every moment I have spent with the Doctor has been incredible. Special mention to Catherine Tate! Donna Noble and the Doctor together is my favourite combo. So much hilariousness!

    Archer! What can I say about Archer?! Just watch it! There’s nothing else to say.

    Lastly, we are not BSG compatible. I saw all 4 seasons and can only see the vast number of plot holes, inconsistent character developments, specific moments just to please the fans, and don’t even get me started on the laziness with the word “frack”. I guess we’ll just have another tv debate sometime about this show.

    I’m also watching an age innapropriate show on Netflix, but I don’t care because it’s among some of the best kids’ shows ever made (and I will hold my ground in any debate): RUGRATS!

  16. I think you would really love Veronica Mars. Three words TEENAGE FEMALE SLEUTH!

  17. Never commented before…but had to chime in. ABC’s Rookie Blue is my guilty summer pleasure. First two seasons out on DVD, and third is airing now. Also, Greek…another guilty pleasure. The Closer is always a good backup; it starts up in June for its final few episodes, but it is great television.

  18. I’ve been a lurker for a while and just have to say I adore you! πŸ˜‰ In a non-creepy way! heh.

    Anywho, we were wondering what all the big hype about The Big Bang Theory was and got sucked into an episode one rainy afternoon… Now the BF and I cannot get enough!! ahh! πŸ™‚ I’m not sure if you watch it, but I think you’d appreciate the Geekiness of it! πŸ˜€ looove.

  19. I’ve been watching Parenthood and Greek on Netflix! Parenthood is so good! I watched the first two seasons so quickly!

    • I love Parenthood!!!! What a cast!

  20. I second the recommendations for:

    Downton Abbey
    Sherlock
    The Big Bang Theory
    Revenge
    Once Upon A Time

    That is all. πŸ˜‰

  21. Six Feet Under is my favorite show of all time. I’d definitely recommend that.

  22. Raising Hope. It’s about a boy who has a one night stand with a seriel killer and she ends up pregnant and then is electrocuted. Ok, that sounds sad, but it’s not. It’s completely ridiculous and has great humor! Try watching a couple episodes!

  23. Luther
    Breaking Bad
    Merlin
    Twin Peaks
    The Kids in the Hall
    Black Adder
    The Office (british)
    Being Human (british)

    I promise I don’t watch as much tv as it seems I do (most of it is watched on Instaflix).

  24. First of all, I need to give a HUGE thank you to you for recommending The Vampire Diaries. I started watching it the first time you threw it at us a while ago, and I am in LOVE. I am hoping they make a movie out of the Grey series and use the bad brother for Christian πŸ˜‰

    I am loving streaming all of the shows and I can’t wait to add all the recommendations to my cue!

    • Hahahaha, “the first time you threw it at us”. Are you sure you didn’t mean “the first time you shoved it down our throats”? πŸ˜‰ Either way, I am so glad you like it! It’s the bessst. And yes, even I would go see a Fifty Shades movie if it meant getting to see Ian Somerhalder shirtless… although I still really wonder HOW they are going to make that book into a movie… hahaha.

  25. UGH, I just wanted Lost In Austen to end at the halfway point, not because it was bad (it was a great, fun movie) but because the plot line progressed so disastrously. The ending was good, not just because it was over. Haha.

    • Haha! That’s a good point. I should have thrown in a disclaimer/warning for avid fans of P&P that the plot doesn’t progress quite the same way, hehehe.

  26. We’re TV twins! You got me hooked on TVD! Dr. Who and Archer are two of my very favorites. Have you watched any of The League? It’s about a fantasy football group (but you don’t have to follow football to think it’s hysterical). Just try the pilot. πŸ™‚

  27. You gotta watch United States of Tara is it soooo funny and then sometimes can be a bit sad. Watch the pilot and you’ll know right away if you like it. Toni Collette does an amazing job play all her characters!

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