Ah Netflix, doesn’t it just rule your life and prevent all productivity? However, you’re reading this right now so I can only assume that you are looking to carry on with this habit. This month, I got through a, quite frankly alarming, six different shows and films. Some I binged, some are ongoing, some I am only partially through. I’m only including episodes I saw for the first time this month, so my constant rewatching of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will not be featured in this list (Sorry Andy Samberg, you know I love you).
New Episodes: Series Three
Archie Andrews died… at least the Archie we knew.
I thought that the previous episode of Riverdale to this was where I gave up, but this line just sealed the disappointment I was already feeling in this series. Is it the unnatural dialogue, the obsession that every character has with one teenage boy or the irritating nature of an otherwise promising lesbian couple?
They misunderstand love entirely, with almost every character in a sexual encounter within one episode of their breakup and they struggle to justify the largest plot hole of them all, the character’s loyalty to this rundown town. Series one was a good teen murder mystery: as dark as a murder story needs to be but still largely centred around a high school and a charming diner that serves milkshakes. By series three, one character is being used in an illegal fighting ring after being framed for murder by his girlfriend’s dad, one is now the leader of the most prominent gang in the town for no discernible reason, one is running an alcohol free speakeasy and one is being kept in a corrupt nunnery after her family is brainwashed by a cult.
Sorry Riverdale, but you’ve taken a dark turn. The fun and loveable features that I loved are gone. There is a dire situation at every turn and I need some light relief. For that reason, it was my least favourite addition to this month.
5. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
New Episodes: Series One
I loved everything that was in this little series, and found it generally useful. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that was considering it. That being said, once you’ve grasped the basic principles of her method, it is very repetitive. It could be a documentary film and you would still get all of the knowledge. My favourite method of her’s is the folding method, which has saved me a lot of space and the concept of everything sparking joy is great. You definitely should watch it if you haven’t.
I usually love programmes like this but this one is a little different and it was a bit disappointing that the ‘before and after’ sections aren’t very satisfying to look at. Final verdict: as an educational experience, this show is great, but as entertainment there is something missing personally.
4. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
There was so much hype surrounding this that I really had to watch it. And I was suitably appalled by what happened. I find it hard to critique documentaries because they are pretty cut and dried but I have to commend this one, along with a similar documentary on Hulu, on the impact that was achieved. Justice was served for a lot of the victims of this scam and I’m glad of it.
I really enjoyed watching this, probably because I am a bit addicted to scandal documentaries and would recommend if you are like me. If you haven’t seen it by now, you probably think you’ve seen everything that’s in it online, but there is always more revealed.
3. The Good Place
New Episodes: Series Three
The Good Place, unfortunately, had an expiration date on it’s plot and, whilst still amazingly funny, is simply running out of ideas. I get the feeling that the writers have no more idea of what is going to happen next than we do and are putting more effort into keeping them out of the bad place than the jokes.
I am, however, LOVING the political stance the writers are taking. In terms of development, the series has gone from flying shrimp and purple giraffes to a very sarcastic hit at immigration policy and the basis of capitalism itself. They have something good here, they have just trapped it in a difficult story line to write. Still HIGHLY recommend though.
2. Sex Education
New Episodes: Series One
This can only be described as a beautiful cliche. For a British show, it is incredibly American and left me wondering if the writers have ever set foot in a British Sixth Form. Sorry, we just don’t have typical bullies, token gays or clique like popular groups with a name like ‘the untouchables’. They do get one thing right though: the world revolves around sex and sexuality.
I mean, maybe not so much as is presented in this show, but it covers just about every issue a seventeen year old might go through in a loveable and dorky way. It’s just really enjoyable to watch (and has paved the way for hundreds of memes). In short, the setting and general vibe is very glamourised and Americanised, but the storylines and characters are amazingly relatable so this is a must watch.
Binge Watch: Series One To Four
I watched this because I gave the above review to my boyfriend and he said if I wanted a realistic portrayal of British teenage life to watch skins. I became addicted immediately. While it is a little problematic in places, I still commend them for tackling issues such as eating disorders and depression. Considering that this show is 12 years old, I will hold my criticism on the cringey romanticism of Cassie’s anorexia.
The show really knows how to slam dunk you emotionally. It is made up of three generations, following each of them through sixth form in two series before changing cast. In each of the series, the first is centred on getting to know the characters in normal teenage circumstances before throwing them into truly heartbreaking circumstances.
Don’t get me wrong, these kids are 100% more hardcore than I am, and I had it very easy compared to them. But their general outlook on life is so relatable and, for bonus points, it currently holds my top spot for best portrayal of depression in a TV series (although the bar was pretty low).
So, that is it for my month of Netflix. All of these shows are currently available on Netflix, UK (as of 01/02/19). Do you agree with my verdicts? What should I be watching in February? Tell me in the comments.