A revolutionary journey of Netflix and quarantine: what I’ve watched
It has been a hell of a ride on this Netflix train. From sensational TV like Tiger King and Too Handle to Handle to harrowing crime documentaries, odd yet ‘I must finish’ French films and everything in between. My Netflix Marathon has been long, deep and welcomed a set of emotions that have often left me wondering ‘what the fuck?’.
My time in lockdown started rather high and ‘productive’ as defined by the standards of the world we lived in pre-quarantine. I only watched Mad Men (I had started watching the show before lockdown) in-between shooting ‘isolation creations’, an online course and cleaning and rearranging my room. By the standards of three months ago, my level of productivity was high, and I refused to fall into the web of binge-watching Netflix as a form of escapism. I was determined to come out of lockdown, smarter, thinner and wealthier.
Because of course, during a pandemic that feels like a mixture between the worst episode of Black Mirror and an apocalypse; losing weight, learning a new skill, and figuring out how to make more money, is the most important thing one could do with their time. God forbid, you take a second to sit on the sofa and watch Netflix.
After I put down my ‘dumb bitch juice’ – one day, I’ll take the time to really define what that means. I needed something light, entertaining and funny to lift me from the realities of this new normal. It turned out Don Draper and all his problematic ways, and my retouching course wasn’t as soothing for the soul, as the ‘use this time effectively’ choir may preach. It also made understanding any jokes made between the 21st March and 1st April almost impossible, considering you had to know who Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic were.
Apart from the weird and wonderfulness (if you can call it that) of Tiger King; the only Marathon I’ve taken part in right now, has been a phenomenal one. Naturally, I’ve curated a list of Netflix shows you should be watching to broaden your mind and reach a new level of consciousness. Bullshit, they are just pretty good (and strange) shows, you might also like.
Grace and Frankie
Ever thought about what life might look like past 60? You might have imagined adorable grandchildren, a beach house just south of Santa Barbara and weekly dinner parties with your married friends. Well, what happens when your husband and his married best friend sit you and his wife down to tell you both they are gay and in love with each other? I won’t tell you because that will spoil the joyous and hilarious 78 hours worth of episodes. But nevertheless, this coming of age – correction, coming of old age – comedy was the show I needed to laugh all my stress away.
Now, at first glance, you may wonder if this show is for you. But I can assure you, it is precisely what you need. If you liked The Golden Girls, First Wives Club, Will & Grace, and even Friends, it’s highly likely you’ll love this six seasons comedy. Even if it’s just to learn what you’d do if your husband of twenty-plus years tells you he’s gay and in love with his best friend.
A four-episode long show on the other spectrum of Grace and Frankie. This harrowing, nail-biting series tells the story of a young ultra-Orthodox Jew who flees from a tight-knit community in Williamsburg, New York to Berlin for a new life and taste of freedom.
My intrigue into the dynamics of the traditionalist religion started with the documentary One of Us, which reveals the reality of three Hasidic Jews facing ostracism, anxiety and danger as they attempt to leave their community. The documentary was eye-opening for someone who knows nothing about this community, but most importantly left me wondering (yet again), ‘what the fuck would I do?’
If you haven’t noticed already, that’s the running theme of all these Netflix shows.
Unorthodox takes on a slightly more dramatic filled view; as it focuses on one young woman. For those who like to learn about other’s and how religion intercepts family dynamics, this show is most definitely for you. Without giving away too much, the show touches on identity, freedom, women’s rights and just how essential autonomy over our own bodies and the power to make our own decision is.
I Am Not An Easy Man
On the wave of women’s rights, this next film is what I define as an ‘odd, yet I must finish watching’ French film. I Am Not An Easy Man has to be one of the weirdest things I’ve watched this year – after Tiger King, of course. A chauvinist man finds himself propelled into a matriarchal society. Now, when I think of a matriarchal society, it isn’t exactly what this film suggests. Which is effectively, women in suits, men in florals and women forcing their male assistants to give them oral in the workplace. Yet, despite all these damn right strange, Harrietta Weinstein like connotations. Something kept me hooked.
It’s an awfully weird rom-com. Yes, you read correctly! Among the unshaven female and overly groomed male juxtapositions, there’s a love story that teaches a chauvinist to change his ways.
Even as I write this, I wonder why I’m suggesting you waste 1 hour and 38 minutes of your life on this film, but it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do. So, why not delve into a problematic movie that does have a fairly interesting message.
Nothing To Hide
On the theme of French films, this 1hour and 33 minutes worth of entertainment had me so shook, I had to pause it and walk around my room. Have you ever played a dinner table game where every private message that pops up on your phone has to be shared out loud? No, neither have I. And while I’m sure for many that wouldn’t be such a bad thing to play.
At most I’d get a text from my mum, and another from a friend about her boy drama. It wouldn’t be anything too bad to cause hell. Unfortunately for this shady group of friends, they’ve got a lot more secrets than I do. From cheating to coming-out, this explosive movie ignited my fascination for French cinema.
Glitz and glamour with a side of sexual misconduct, sexism, racism and homophobia. Welcome to Hollywood baby. A nuanced and beautifully written insight into the lives of aspiring and established movie stars. The 7-episode series tackles various difficult and complex social issues in a way I haven’t seen done before.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you want to watch, the cast consists of the most beautiful people walking this fine Earth (or at least a few of them).
Other shows I’ve watched in the last few weeks:
- Holy Hell – a documentary on a California cult.
- Imperial Dreams – a gritty film on a young father trying to break the cycle and care for his son, but crime, poverty and a flawed system get in his way.
- The Most Hated Woman in America – tells the story of the controversial life of outspoken atheist Madalyn Murry O-Hair.
- Nobody Speak: Trials of The Free Press – a documentary that shed light on the infamous Hulk Hogan v Gawker Media court case and challenges freedom of the press.
If you couldn’t tell my Netflix watching has been diverse, to say the least. But should you be running short on what to watch, that was a little insight into some of the few things I’ve watched and enjoyed. What have you been watching?
Opening image: gif by Emily Zirimis.