Netflix Recommendations

NB: This post relates to Netflix UK, but some parts will be relevant to the US version.

I know I’m not the only one who has wasted precious time flicking through possible films and TV shows on Netflix, trying to decide what to watch while dinner goes cold.

I recently had surgery on both feet which meant I couldn’t walk for a while, and unsurprisingly this led to a surge in my Netflix viewing. I also got Now TV, but the shows I watch on there are the the more obvious Sky Atlantic affairs (Mad Men, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Girls etc.) Netflix is a bit more hit and miss, and there’s so much stuff on there I didn’t know much or anything about at first. There still is, no doubt. But I’ve discovered some gems of late, and I thought I’d share them with you. If you have any more tips, please let me know in the comments.

I’m a big fan of European crime noir and Netflix has plenty of it. A lot of people seem to know about The Bridge and The Killing by now (both on Netflix) but there’s more out there… One fantastic series being:

Engrenages (AKA Spiral)

Engrenages

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a series as well-cast and acted as this one. The little nuances in the characters’ behaviour are totally believable and sometimes very amusing. The ‘engrenages’ of the title refers to the machinations of the Parisian law courts and police as they deal with crime, societal problems, and some dramatic office politics. It follows a select group of characters as they solve crimes, fight annoying bureaucracy and generally get into trouble for being mavericks. My dad and I ploughed through all four series rapidly – he’d seen it before but enjoyed it even more second time around. Looking forward to Series 5.

There is also a decent selection of crime films. I recently watched False Trail, which was excellent… though it was actually a sequel (only obvious in the Swedish title of Jägarna 2) and I ended up watching the first one afterwards as it turns out it’s also on Netflix. They were both very good films (starring Rolf Lassgard, AKA Wallander) and I’d recommend watching The Hunters first… because it is the first. Oops. I also watched Danish psychological thriller The Hunt, about a man’s life thrown into turmoil by a false accusation. It’s hard going and you have to be in the right mood to watch something which tackles this subject matter, but the acting and direction are incredible.

While we’re on the European theme, I also enjoyed Dans La Maison, though not as much as some of François Ozon’s other films. Crime D’Amour is also quite good but didn’t set my world on fire. Kristin Scott Thomas has a habit of making everything watchable though.

If I come across a film I’m not familiar with but which looks interesting, I generally check the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which has proved a good policy for avoiding probable turkeys and finding some very good films.

Here are some other things I like on Netflix…

Series

Orange is the New Black; Adventure Time; Modern Family; Portlandia; Black Books; The Thick Of It; RuPaul’s Drag Race; Henning Mankell’s Wallander; Californication; Black Adder; Buffy The Vampire Slayer; Angel; Dollhouse

 

Films

The Royal Tenenbaums; Rushmore; Amelie; Annie Hall; Fargo; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Ghost World; Old Boy; To Catch a Thief; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Celeste and Jesse Forever; Adventureland; Carrie; Catfish; Blue Velvet; The Godfather; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Hackers; Metropolis; Damsels in Distress; 50/50; Seven Psychopaths; Clueless

Anyway, they should probably give me free membership now as thanks for this flattering post… But I must admit there is a lot of terrible stuff on there as well. It obviously comes down to personal taste, but if you like similar stuff to me then hopefully these recommendations will help you avoid mindlessly flicking through, trapped in a perplexing mire of indecision.

Have you found any more of the good stuff? Let me know if you have anything to add. Or anything you think should be avoided at all costs..?

 

Acknowledgement: as far as I can tell, the creator of the featured image on this post (visible on the homepage view) goes by the name of onceuponagary

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