Yesterday I got thinking about filters. You can read that here.
Today, I want to act as a filter for you. You’re probably reading this because we know each other somehow, and I love having a place to write and discuss ideas.
That’s why I wanted to offer up some of the things that have influenced me, and help “filter” some choices for you that I’ve connected with. Obviously, not everyone has the same tastes, but with the glut of choices out there, a personal recommendation from someone you know goes a long way.
So that’s why I went with Netflix first. If you don’t have Netflix, you can obviously find the choices other places, but for $8 a month, their streaming really has been worth it for us (we had the DVD service before the price debacle, don’t currently have it.)
So here are some of the best shows/movies on Netflixs you might not have seen:
America, the History of Us – Originally aired on History Channel, I have to admit I’m predisposed for this kind of miniseries because I love history. I was a history major for a year (before I switched to Business) and have always been fascinated with what got us to where we are today. This series did a great job showing smaller events that might not be text book worthy, and the implications those events had on the country. One example was how Hollywood got started (Episode 5) and how it became “Hollywood”. Beginning to end it’s excellently done, definitely worth watching.
Conan O’Brien: Can’t Stop - I am a Conan fan, so when everything went down at the Tonight Show (more here) I followed along intently. Part of his contract was he could not be on TV for a year, so he took his show on the road to theaters around the country. This was a behind the scenes look at that show, seeing him as a real person struggling with the situation instead of a “funny guy’ was very revealing and made me a bigger fan.
Battlestar Galactica (reboot) – I actually typed this one first, and this was the whole reason I wrote about Netflix, but I didn’t want you to lose interest because of a sic-fi show. If you’ve read this much, give me a chance. I’d always heard about Battlestar (negatively on the Office), but the now defunct Steelehouse Podcast turned me on the the deeper meaning of the show. This reboot of the 1978 series had all the Sci-Fi elements with a lot more story. Started in 2004, the show is really about terrorism, morality, and religion that just happens to be set on a spaceship. Issues like where we find our identity and torture were addressed week in and week out, not just an occasional PSA like when Family Matters addressed drugs. This show hooked me into the characters more than almost any other show (Lost is close) and did a fantastic job challenging my beliefs today via a futuristic space show. Give it 3 episodes, and even if you aren’t a Sci-Fi fan, I think you’ll be hooked.
The Constant Gardner (No link, don’t want there to be any spoilers - The 2005 film staring Ralph Fines and Rachel Weisz is a film I connected to on a deep level because the setting, Kenya, was a place I visited in 2007. The slums in the film are places I actually walked, and the idea of a pharmaceutical company taking advantage of the poorest of the poor makes me furious. The concept is actually based on a real life case in Nigera, and it’s a great thriller with a convicting look at how businesses operate overseas.
Arrested Development – One of the funniest shows I discovered after it was off the air, a friend was such a fan that they practically forced me to buy the first season on DVD. I became hooked. It’s the story of a highly dysfunctional family who’s patriarch, Jeffrey Tambor, lands in prison and the only “normal” son, Jason Bateman, has to hold the family together. Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, David Cross and more make a great ensemble cast, and guest appearances from Ben Stiller, Andy Richter, and tons more just add to the hilarity. It perfectly fits my sense of humor, and I laugh (still) more per minute than almost any show I’ve ever watched (30 Rock and The Office would be right up there.) All 3 seasons are on Netflix, they’re approximatly 22 minutes per episode, so you can watch a season before you realize you’ve sat there 3 hours. Plus, it’s timely beacuse they’re making brand new episodes exclusively for Netflix in May! Go watch, or you’ll make a terrible mistake. STEVE HOLT! (Those last two lines will be much funnier when you watch.)
So those are some of my picks, what are some under the radar choices on Neflix I need to check out? Comment below.