As a writer, I'm hypercritical of TV and film scripts. I have many of standards for my Netflix obsessions. I watch shows that are decidedly feminist, both in their percentage of female characters and in their undertones and themes. I prefer shows that celebration all of humankind. Diverse, global works that feature characters of every sexual preference and gender identity. Lastly, I need to feel something. I want to see meaningful reflections on what it means to be a human, things that are surprising yet uber-relatable. It can be as visceral as Viola Davis removing her makeup on How to Get Away With Murder, or as hilarious as Michael Bluth burning away a small fortune because he can’t communicate with his father. In the banana stand. Goddamnit.
The following are 5 of my favorite new Netflix-ready series. Please note that I know my subject matter. Post grad life offers a lot of spare time for internet TV.
Grace and Frankie
This show has been available since May 8. I watched all of it within 48 hours and am already considering going back for seconds. In the first episode, Grace and Frankie’s husbands leave the women so that they can get married. To each other. The show follows Grace and Frankie, who really despise each other at the beginning, through depression, temporary insanity, and their healing, unlikely relationship. The storylines of their children are really enticing, all the performances are bow-down-bitches worthy, and Lily Tomlin’s Frankie is the woman I want to be when I grow up. Also the yam farmer...damn. This show is hilarious, heartwarming, and hopefully getting a second season.
This suspenseful sci-fi show takes a while to get really warmed up. Prepare for the first
2 - 4 episodes to be more confusing than illuminating. I consider that part of the show’s charm. Additionally, this is the most global series that I’ve ever seen. The 8 main characters live scattered across the globe. They speak in many languages, showcase their many nations, and yet, are all connected on a fundamental level. This connection, and what it says about the connection between all human beings, is the theme of the show. Sense8 will give you all the feels. Shoutout to my fave character, Hernando, whose wit and unbelievable ability to throw shade are as perfectly pointed as his jaw line.
Thank you, my dear friend Charles Kronk. You have given me such a gift. If ye readers enjoy campy, ridiculous humor, prepare for a treat. This ragtag international team of agents sets out every episode with the same goal: kill Hitler. I guarantee this is unlike any other WWII period piece you’ve seen. Season 1’s Pierre is the light of my life. One caveat: I HATED the second season. Mostly because I was constantly disappointed in the ways that it shifted from the first season. Still, season 1 is a gift to us all.
Agents of Shield
I avoided this one for a long time, mostly because I love superhero movies and I thought that this series would be a cheap knockoff. The thing that changed my mind? Joss Whedon. I only discovered Whedon’s work in the last year and I’ve never been disappointed. This show is funny and smart, but has the kind of shocking twists that Whedon is known for. I was legitimately surprised by so many plotlines. The relationships in this one really kept me watching. Just wait, you’ll be rooting for the scientists to "shut up and kiss already" with a level of screen-screaming usually reserved for World Cup Soccer. Plus, two seasons!
Here’s a throwback, and another example of my love for Joss Whedon. Another sci-fi show that packs a healthy heap of mystery. This one centers around a secret laboratory/human farm. At least, that’s what it seems to be in the beginning. Buffy fans will recognize the leading lady, Echo, as Eliza Dushku a.k.a. Faith. There are tons of well-choreographed fight scenes, a super-versatile cast, and obviously, because Whedon, twists out the wazoo. Again, a 2 season show of which I immensely prefer the first season.
So that’s my breakdown! I hope you found something new to binge, or maybe even a few things. Check back soon for my thoughts and feels on Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck!