And it began with a rather clever Netflix New Year's Eve idea. A little covert operation designed to get the children to bed at a reasonable hour on New Year's Eve - by having a fun family party to ring in 2016 at 9 pm with their favourite Netflix characters, thereby freeing the parents to celebrate at the more normal midnight hour! For those who didn't mind keeping their children up late that is. Being the parents of a teenager we did the whole Netflix Countdown thing in reverse. In other words, the parents went out early, dashing home to the teen in time to watch an episode of our current favourite Netflix series before ringing in the New Year together at midnight! Whatever works I say, and perhaps it might be something to watch out for at this year's end?
We were also asked to snap and tweet at 9 pm that night so, not wanting to be excluded like, I tweeted my 'Reverse Netflix NYE Countdown' selfie. Taken discreetly and very quickly, so no-one would realise!
Netflix also came to our rescue on the evening of New Year's Day when the DVD gremlins invisibly struck two devices in the house, rendering my friend and I's 'Show DVD' night impossible. But hey, who needs a DVD player when we had 'Dreamgirls' on Netflix to act as stand-in?!
So now it's onwards and upwards with all our current Netflix favourite addictions being viewed with voracity; adding more as we go.....
This is my teenager's choice. An American drama series based on Marco Polo's years in China, spent in the court of Kublai Khan in what's now known as Beijing. It contains a heady mix of political unrest, consorts and cruel warfare. Not my normal viewing fare but it's extremely well made; although I did have a nitpicking issue with continuity of accents and ethnicities! But since I am not up to historical speed with the mix of peoples residing in China in these 'Explorer' years I quickly accepted it for what it was. Be prepared though, this series does not make for a mindless night of TV viewing. You really must have your wits about you to keep up with the story lines! The teenager really enjoyed watching this and ultimately so did I. We also watched the Marco Polo 'mini movie' that Netflix were kind enough to notify us about. 'One Hundred Eyes' details the backstory regarding this warrior monk character and we thought it was worth watching.....
MASTER OF NONE
We find this to be a bit of fun viewing. This series follows Dev Shah, a 30 year old commercial actor, navigating his life, thoughts and escapades in New York. We find it an amusing, easy to watch show that's a perfect antidote to the wonderful, in-depth Marco Polo!
This has been around since 2006 so I am admittedly a little late to the Dexter party. Based in Miami we follow Dexter: a blood-splatter forensic expert who is also in fact a vigilante serial killer. But it's okay, he only kills the bad guys. He comes across as quite charming - for a psychopath - during the day and is quite the gruesome killer at night! At four episodes in I'm thinking: Sweeney Todd. Without the cannibalism. Well, apart from the ambiguous references in the opening sequence that is!
LIE TO ME
Now this is one of my choices and I really enjoy it! Dr Cal Lightman and his company scrutinise facial micro-expressions on behalf of organisations and employers, who are trying to determine whether or not they are being lied to. It's a fascinating applied-psychology world, to me at least, watching for unsyncopated facial movements, elevated or twisty eyebrows and gestural movements; among many other body language signs awaiting deciphering. Now I've no idea if any of their assertions have - if you'll pardon the pun - any truth behind them but it is very amusing. Particularly when they back up some of these assertions with hilarious flashbacks of celebrities engaging in the relevant micro-expressions at various times during their careers. Very funny, and interesting and informative too. My teen and anyone around me should beware ;)
MAKING A MURDERER
This is my current can't-get-enough-of-must-see show. It is highly addictive! Watch the first episode and you're absolutely hooked. Well, I certainly was anyway. I cannot say much about this for fear of revealing any spoilers. All I'll say is that it's an astounding Netflix Documentary which details the events surrounding the arrest and imprisonment of Steven Avery for the sexual assault and attempted murder of one woman who, on eventual release from prison 18 years later, gets arrested for the murder of another. It's very well crafted, apparently filmed over a 10 year period, leaving you swapping your conclusions as you navigate episodes!
So, did he do it?
You'll have to watch it for yourself to find out ;)
Coming in late 2016, and only on Netflix, The Crown - based on the award-winning play- 'The Audience', tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II's early reign, revealing the personal intrigues, romances, and political rivalries behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th Century. It stars Claire Foy, Matt Smith and John Lithgow, among others......
THE GET DOWN
Also coming in late 2016 and only on Netflix is the sizzling 'The Get Down' from creator Baz Luhermann - who also created one of my favourite movies 'Moulin Rouge'. This music-driven drama blends disco, punk and hip-hop to tell the story of a group of kids in New York in the late 1970s. It's a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — as told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans, who changed the city and the world…forever.
I'm quite looking forward to this one. If Baz does with this what he did with Moulin Rouge, then it should be fantastic! I'm thinking ..... 'Step Up' dance movies meets 'Saturday Night Fever' ..... meets 'Fame'?
I guess I'll just have to wait and see!
As you can see I have a lot of Netflix viewing lined up, which should keep me busy far into the New Year.
I should re-surface again in about.... May. When it's warmer!
DISCLAIMER: As a member of the worldwide #Netflix #StreamTeam I received a years subscription and an Apple TV device in exchange for some reviews. All opinions, thoughts and words are honest and mine alone.