Netflix is a way of life. Between their original programming and the streaming of hundreds of television shows and movies there’s always something new and interesting to watch. Of course, with that many options how do you know just what to watch?
If I’m honest, my watch list is filled with 80s/90s teen movies (Teen Witch forever!) and the entire series of The Twilight Zone (I’ve never finished the whole thing). Still I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting things to watch. Netflix is great because of the wide variety of selections they have. Everything from one of the first motion pictures ever made, A Trip to the Moon (it’s actually not bad for the record), to modern-day classics like Almost Famous and Clueless.
I’m a little sad because of Criterion’s deal with Hulu most of their selections have been removed from the service. Another selection that has since been removed was the quintessential 90s teen movie, She’s All That. Thank goodness the overrated comedy Mean Girls still exists in its place.
If you’re stuck on what to watch or just looking for something interesting and new, here’s a few of my current selections available on Netflix at the moment.
I’ve mentioned this one before but it’s everything that is great about 70s and 80s pop culture all wrapped into one. It’s like if the Goonies and Stand By Me had a baby who made best friends with ET. They decided to visit Aliens and any Stanley Kubrick flick while a John Carpenter synth horror score played in the background. That doesn’t even begin to do it justice. When Will goes missing his mother and friends must take down mysterious, creepy forces in order to get him back. Of course, there’s a little government mystery in there too.
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
Once you’ve loaded on the pure nostalgia Stranger Things brings, why not look for some similarities with one of its influences: ET! Just kidding, I mean you can find the similarities if you want. They are pretty obvious. But ET is a classic. It still makes me cry today as an adult. I don’t think I need to run down the plot of ET, if you haven’t seen it..I’m just not even sure where to begin with you.
Chef’s Table is a documentary which explores the kitchen, lives, and influences of famous chefs from around the world. It’s visually beautiful as you can see from this screenshot. Despite my feeling everyone deserves more than 6 tortellini, but that’s a whole other subject. The chefs stories are so interesting and paired with the music and visuals it’s just something everyone needs to watch. I mean the plating of the meals in itself is something soothing I could watch all day.
The Get Down
I was apprehensive about this show for a few reasons: it’s made by Baz Luhrmann and the first episode along is the length of a movie. Baz Luhrmann creates a sensory overload for my brain sometimes so I try to keep my distance, but I was pleasantly surprised by this. It takes place in the 1970s during the rise of hip-hop. Once the movie of a first episode is complete it becomes much more tolerable to continue. The combination of music and visuals is enticing and it sucks you in. Another cool thing that is mixed in the episodes is archival footage from the 1970s so it appears your watching a documentary or are part of the action living in the moment while watching.
Finding Vivian Maier
Finding Vivian Maier is another documentary, but this time a film about a nanny with a talent for photography she kept secret. Over the span of her life she took over 100,000 photos and never showed them to anyone. Her life’s work was purchased during an auction a few years ago and this documentary follows the journey to finding out who she was through her art. It’s fascinating to hear the stories of Vivian from the people she knew who end up being mostly the kids she was a nanny for and their parents. She took over 100,000 street photos with a great eye for every detail and emotion that comes with the human experience.