Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Netflix Whisperer

Wednesday, 7PM: After a long day at work, you decide on a night in, complete with popcorn, Cherry Garcia, and wine (don't fight me on this - they go together). What's missing? A great show to watch of course! But after hours of scrolling through Netflix's many TV options, your ice cream is melted, your wine is warm, and the trans fats in your popcorn have officially been banned by the FDA. You go to sleep feeling overwhelmed after adding thirty new shows to your list, but watching none of them.

Don't let this happen to you.

Luckily, you are in the presence of Liz, the Netflix Whisperer! I'll give you 5 shows to start watching now based on other series you may have enjoyed in the past (ok, so Netflix already does this, but according to Buzzfeed, they don't always get it right). Say goodbye to the weeknight streaming cycle of frustration, and hello to:

Liz's Top 5 Shows to Stream on Netflix NOW (in no particular order)!

Do you like Arrested Development, The Office, and Scrubs? Then you should check out:

5. Better Off Ted

Want a smart, single-camera sitcom that's only a short term commitment? Better Off Ted is for you. At only two short seasons, you'll be able to blow through this series in a few marathon sessions (but you'll be sad when it's over, let me tell ya). Veridian Dynamics may be the most dysfunctional office out there, so after you leave yours, get ready to laugh, cringe, and suffer through the workweek with Ted, Linda, Lem, and Phil. 

Breakout Character: Portia de Rossi's hilariously terrifying boss, Veronica. 
Best Episode: "Get Happy"
Already Watched It? Try: The IT-Crowd for more bonkers-workplace fun.

Do you like The Killing, and Broadchurch? Try:

4. Top of the Lake

For the crime-drama lover who likes their thriller with a side of WTF???, this seven-episode mini series is one of the most original, weird, and addictive things on Netflix. Detective Robin Griffin, played by Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, comes back home to New Zealand to investigate a child's disappearance but discovers more about her home town and her past then she bargained for. Dark, creepy, and funny, Top of the Lake will be your new weeknight escape into another world.

Breakout Character: Holly Hunter (Yup!) as the more than slightly unhinged women's refuge leader, GJ.
Best Episode: "Episode 4"
Already Watched It? Try: Twin Peaks for another small-town mystery.

Do you like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Hoarders? You might like:

3. Clean House

Nothing will inspire you to clean up your place more than a marathon of Clean House. It's a reality show where a team of experts, led in the first few seasons by the charismatic Niecy Nash (Reno 911), clean some super-messy homes, then sell people's stuff at a garage sale and use the proceeds to make their decorating dreams come true. BONUS: you will feel amazing about yourself after seeing some of these hoarder-dens and may even learn some tips about how to have a successful tag sale!

Breakout "Character": Hostess with the mostest, Niecy Nash (duh - she's awesome).
Best Episode: "Alpha Epsilon Phi Fraternity House"
Already Watched It? (Kudos! Even I haven't watched all of this.) Try: Long Island Medium for more reality TV comfort food.

Do you like Nurse Jackie, Shameless, and Orphan Black? Start watching:

2. United States of Tara

Toni Collette is just a regular Kansas mom (and teenager, and 50's housewife, and trucker, and therapist, and id personified) trying to keep her family together. Huh? Oh, she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, a mental illness in which she transitions between different personas when off her meds. It gets to the point where you can tell exactly who she is before she even says a word - this is Toni Collette at her best for sure, and with a supporting cast like John Corbett (Sex and the City), Rosemarie DeWitt (Mad Men) and Patton Oswalt (Everything!), you'll want to keep visiting the Gregson's over and over. 

Breakout Character: Brie Larson's crazy teen, Kate.
Best Episode: "Tornado"
Already Watched It? I haven't actually seen this series, but check out: Alias for more ladies playing multiple versions of themselves.

Do you like Two Broke Girls, Happy Endings, and The Mindy Project? How about:

1. Don't Trust the B- In Apt. 23

I just started watching this rcently cancelled ABC sitcom and believe me, it's a lot funnier than its unfortunate name implies. A girl from Indiana moves to New York City, loses her job and apartment upon arrival, and moves in with a con-artist roommate whose best friend is James Van Der Beek. It's weird, sly, and so full of throw-away jokes, re-watching is a must in order to catch everything (and at only 2 short seasons, that shouldn't be a problem!).

Breakout Character: James Van Der Beek as James Van Der Beek!
Best Episode: I'm new to the series, but so far I'd say start with the pilot - it sets up the world really well, and you'll know if you're into it right away.
Already Watched It? Check out: New Girl for more wacky roommate hijinx.

That oughta hold you for a while! Now go grab your laptop and start getting your money's worth with that subscription. 

In other TV news...

- The new Fox comedy, Enlisted, has recently been rescheduled from its original November premiere to Friday January 10th, so I sadly won't be reviewing that one for a while. At least Raising Hope is coming back this week though!
- Parks and Recreation also returns from it's brief hiatus this week with back to back episodes! One of them will be Halloween themed since it was postponed from it's original time slot, so keep that fall spirit going, snow-flurries and early Christmas commercials be damned! 

I'm sorry midterms have made my posting schedule wacky - to all of you out in TV land, thanks for bearing with me!

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