Latest posts by Ewan Hollander (see all)
It is no secret that the vast majority of us have spent a weekend binge watching cultural hits such as Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, Dexter, The Office, Californication etc. But, as it is with human nature, you have mostly binge watched the shows that were recommended to you. There is no shame in that. Why would you want to waste your time watching a TV show that turned out to be sub-par? Well, in the countless hours you have spent watching these shows, Netflix has been steadily adding new content to its streaming service. With all the new shows available online now, it’s likely that you may have missed one or two. Now that the streaming site has almost every genre, how-about, instead of watching the latest Marvel show, like Daredevil, Jessica Jones or Luke Cage, why not try one of these underrated gems?
“It’s the Emmy-winning story of a wealthy family that lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.”
Initially cancelled after the third season to the disappointment of many fans, Arrested Development revolves around the Bluth family, specifically Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) as finds himself forced to stay in Orange County and run the family real estate business after his father, George Bluth Sr (Jeffrey Tambor)., is sent to prison for committing white-collar crime. He tries to juggle the wants and needs of his spoiled and eccentric family while being a good role model for his teenage son, George Michael (Michael Cera).
Narrated by Ron Howard, this show is famous for its brilliant character, spot on writing and many many ‘in jokes’. The cast is completed by Portia de Rossi, Will Arnet, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale and Alia Shawkat. After it was cancelled, Netflix stepped in and renewed the show for a 4th season.
From Dusk Till Dawn
“Bank-robbing brothers encounter vengeful lawmen and hungry demons south of the border in this original horror series.”
Bank robber Seth Gecko and his violent brother, Richie, are on the run — a robbery gone bad left several people dead — and the FBI and Texas Rangers are in pursuit. As they head for Mexico, the brothers meet the Fuller family heading the same way. They take the family hostage and continue the trip in the Fullers’ RV. Chaos breaks out when they stop at a bar to meet the cartel king who offered them shelter. The bar is home to vampires and becomes the scene of another fight in a reimagining of a 1996 movie by the same title, created by Robert Rodriguez, who brought that version to the big screen.
The show deviates from the film in several ways and adds new lore to the vampire mythology. It’s dark, gory, often violent and filled with flawed characters a plenty.
“From the creators of “The Matrix” and “Babylon 5” comes this tense series in which eight people can telepathically experience each other’s lives.”
Eight strangers around the globe find themselves connected — first by a violent vision, then by their shared ability to connect with one another’s thoughts and actions, and finally by the urgent need to find out what happened and why. Their need to know goes beyond simple curiosity — as they pursue answers, a mysterious organization hunts them down, intent on destroying them. The intense thriller is the first foray into television (or, more accurately, Netflix) for renowned filmmakers Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski (“The Matrix Reloaded”), who created the series with J. Michael Straczynski (“Thor”). The international cast includes veteran actors known to U.S. audiences, like Daryl Hannah (“Kill Bill”) and Naveen Andrews (“Lost”), and others well-known in their home countries, like German actor Max Riemelt and Doona Bae of South Korea. In keeping with the global premise of the series, shooting takes place all over the world, including London, Reykjavik, Nairobi and Mumbai.
Netflix’s blurb in the quotation marks above doesn’t do Sense8 justice. It’s a highly stylistic global romp that merges Sci-Fi with reality in a (sort of) believable way. One of the best things about Sense8 is the lack of CGI. The show is filmed in such a way that CGI isn’t needed and it gives the experience a much more believable and authentic feel. Add characters with their own skills who have to be co-dependant on each other to overcome situations and you have a great TV show on your hands. Bring on season 2!
“Set in a world of greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry, ‘Marco Polo’ is based on the famed explorer’s adventures in Kublai Khan’s court.”
As a youth of 15 or 16, Marco Polo first met his father and uncle and embarked on an epic adventure, crossing thousands of miles of unforgiving terrain, through political unrest and upheaval, to the court of Kublai Khan in what is now Beijing. A Netflix original, rife with warfare and political/sexual intrigue, spotlights the years at the Chinese court and the journeys. A global roster of stars includes Italian newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco. Filming sites are Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia; producers couldn’t get permission in China.
Originally billed as Game of Thrones killer, Marco Polo didn’t stand up to Game of Thrones epic scale. The place where Marco Polo fell down is also one of its greatest strengths. It shines on the small scale confrontations between characters and the large scale battles, granted are not as grand as Game of Thrones, still impress and are choreographed & filmed beautifully.
“A medical student-turned-zombie tries to retain her humanity by eating brains at the morgue and finds she has an uncanny new gift for solving crimes.”
When over-achieving medical resident Liv Moore attends a party that turns into a zombie feeding frenzy, she ends up joining the ranks of the living dead. Determined to pass as human despite her pale appearance and newly listless demeanor, Liv forms a plan to resist her drive to consume fresh human brains by taking a job at a coroner’s office, where she can secretly snack on the brains of corpses delivered there. Soon discovering that she absorbs the memories of those she feeds on, she finds new purpose by posing as a psychic and working with a detective to help solve their murders.
Based on a comic book, iZombie is essentially a procedural crime comedy with a twist. Loose use of science and self- deprecating jokes a plenty, this show is not scared to poke fun at its premise whilst at the same time getting the crimes solves. While the story may be a little far-fetched for some, this show is charmingly fun.
“Rebellious Mickey and good-natured Gus navigate the thrills and agonies of modern relationships in this bold new comedy co-created by Judd Apatow.”
When his cheating girlfriend leaves him, people-pleasing nice-guy Gus (Paul Rust) moves into a trendy apartment complex inhabited by lots of college students. A chance encounter introduces him to wild-child Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), also recently single, and who despises her job in radio. Though wildly different, the two are drawn to each other, and that relationship is the basis for the Judd Apatow-helmed Netflix original series. And in the end, their differences may be what help them figure out just what love is.
If you enjoyed films like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People and This is 40, you would enjoy Love. Written and produced by Apatow, the series plays out like a 10 episode version of one of his films. The writing is believable and both leading characters are flawed enough to be real people. Love is an interesting look into the love lives of 30-somethings as well as the concept of dating and relationships.
“When the black sheep son of a respected family threatens to expose dark secrets from their past, sibling loyalties are put to the test.”
From the creators of “Damages,” “Bloodline” is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family. The Rayburns are hard-working pillars of their Florida Keys community, but their past contains dark secrets that they hope remain buried. Paranoia and mistrust build as lies pile up, alliances are shattered, and an unthinkable crime takes place. The tight-knit family’s formerly harmonious relationship deteriorates, and good people are forced to consider doing very bad things.
This new show from Netflix is a prime example of modern noir done well. Its dark, brooding and filled with enough intrigue to keep you going. It may run at too slow a pace for some but with the amount of backstory they cram in, it’s no wonder. Where the atmosphere of the show is excellent, the real star is the location. Key Largo is depicted as a beautiful, pseudo Caribbean, American paradise but under its tranquil façade, it’s a den for human traffickers, drug runners and small-time crime bosses. The location is a great metaphor for the Rayburn family at the heart of the show. A seemingly perfect family with a dark core.
“In this original docu-series, find out what’s inside the kitchens and minds of the international culinary stars who are redefining gourmet food.”
This documentary series, original to Netflix, profiles the most renowned chefs in the world. Each episode takes viewers into the life and kitchen of an exceptional chef. The chefs, including Massimo Bottura, Francis Mallmann, Magnus Nilsson, Dominique Crenn and Enrique Olvera, share deeply personal stories, their inspirations and their unique styles. Each chef’s discipline and culinary talent is explored as he or she prepares an awe-inspiring creation. The program is created by filmmaker David Gelb (“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”).
Ever wanted to see the inspiration that goes into some of the best dishes in the world? Following a different world renowned chef each episode, Chef’s Table, grants the viewer access into the lives these culinary artists have lived up until they opened their establishments. Beautifully shot and captivating throughout, Chef’s Table is a show to watch whether you are a foodie or not.