Netflix invented binge-watching, and it now invests billions in new shows. Following are some of the best Video-streaming services we have to offer.
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A period not long ago, all new T.V. shows and seasons premiered in the fall, with episodes released weekly. You would have to wait until the summer to see a rerun if you missed an episode.
It was a bleak period.
We now live in the binge-watching era, with streaming video services ensuring the tv is still on. New series are added all year long from all over the world, and streaming networks often release full seasons at once.
We owe it to Netflix to thank them for changing the way people watch T.V. to the point that more people now do the same. Few, though, will match Netflix’s willingness to invest in original content. Annually, it premieres scores of actual T.V. shows in both live-action and animation (anime).
That is a lot to keep track of. Continue reading for picks from a variety of genres.
Do you prefer your animation shows to be more adult-oriented, even though they feature children? Big Mouth, directed by Nick Kroll and starring a cast of his comedy pals, goes where South Park and Family Guy have barely, if ever, gone before—the attractiveness of budding youth. Anything is told from a gross-out, funny perspective. The show has three seasons and has now been renewed for three more seasons by Netflix.
There is a lot of anime on streaming services, but few do adult storylines with the aplomb and wit of BoJack, where all the adults are discussing human/animal hybrids for no reason other than it is amusing. Bojack Horseman is a former sitcom star (from the 1980s show Horsin’ Around) seeking a comeback and also seeking love. He is the epitome of anxious, obnoxious, and sympathetic—ideal for a Will Arnett-voiced spoof on Hollywood (there is no D, it was stolen on the show) and beyond. Six seasons are now viewable online, with the second half of the final season premiering on January 31, 2020.
Following WWII, Britain was plunged into chaos when the King died suddenly, resulting in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who still reigns today. The Crown is a fictional account of her ascension to the throne, as well as her family’s and the English government’s reactions to it. It is told over around a decade every season, enough for the first two stars to be substituted for the third (they will go into the fourth and be replaced in the fifth).
Enjoy Matt Smith’s portrayal of Prince Philip, Vanessa Kirby’s portrayal of Princess Margaret, John Lithgow’s portrayal of Churchill, and Claire Foy’s award-winning portrayal of Elizabeth herself in the first episodes. There is a chance you will see some corgis. Oscar-winner Olivia Colman now plays the Queen, Tobias Menzies plays Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter plays Princess Margaret.
Dear White People
The award-winning 2014 film’s producer, Justin Simien, also directed the first and final episodes of the 10-episode first season, so this adaptation was in good hands. Few shows have a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but this one does, after seeing a lot of early online backlash for being “racist” toward white people. On a predominantly white campus, Logan Browning takes over the lead role of Sam, who hosts a campus radio show named Dear White People. In 2020, the fourth and final season will premiere.
If you enjoyed wrestling in the 1980s, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling—a real-life all-female wrestling show—would have piqued your interest. Alison Brie (Community), Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie), and comedian and podcaster Marc Maron appear in this fictionalized version of GLOW’s origins. Come to see the ladies wrestle; remain to be enchanted by these women’s tales, all of whom were pursuing a dream when they got sucked into GLOW and determined to put on the best performance they could. The 80s soundtrack will make you nostalgic for more than just the glory days of wrestling. In 2020, the third season will premiere.
Master of None
Master of None is a wholly defined show by one person: co-creator and star Aziz Ansari. It might make you think of Louie, Louis C.K.’s once-great single-camera dramedy on F.X.—though it is hard to think of Louie much these days. Ansari has almost had the same fate as C.K., but the scandal has not tarnished his image as much as it has C.K.’s.
Master of None is still a masterpiece. It is amusing, sentimental, melancholy, and shocking all at the same time. It received the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Comedy, a Peabody Award, an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy (twice) and editing, and Ansari won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for the second season. It is possible that the show will not be renewed for a third season… well, before the allegations, Ansari said that he would like a long break before returning.
This would be a real shame. With the level of self-reflection on display in this film, what happened to Ansari in real life will significantly affect his storytelling, hopefully for the better. In season two, he would also attempt to discuss the topic of assault—possibly in a manner that echoes his tangential proximity to harassment (some suggest he remained quiet about C.K.) and previous silence. When he published it now, it will undoubtedly be different.
This is the crown jewel of Netflix’s attempt to create a program that generates as much buzz as competitor HBO’s Game of Thrones, which it aims to do with Watchmen and Westworld. Stranger Things’ first three seasons are a novelty in and of itself. It is like all the unsettling, but addictive horror/sci-fi you recall from the 1980s condensed into one beautiful and macabre series set in Hawkins, a small town with a lab full of crazy scientists who experimented on children and opened a portal to a nightmare dimension dubbed The UpsideDown. Season 4 is probable, but no one knows when it will arrive.
One Day at a Time
Multi-camera situation comedies (sitcoms) have been a staple of television for decades; they are distinguished from “single-cam” comedies by the fact that they are staged as a comedy, often in front of an audience (think I Love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, Cheers, Friends, All in the Family, and so on).
They have recently fallen out of favor (The Big Bang Theory notwithstanding). On the other hand, Netflix resurrected the classic 1970s sitcom One Day at a Time as a multi-camera show shot on set and original executive producer Norman Lear. The most significant changes came in the family’s makeup, as the new show is about a Cuban-American family grappling with a variety of contemporary Latino problems.
All of this, along with some standout appearances by the likes of Rita Moreno, made it one of the streamer’s best shows. Netflix canceled it after three seasons, but it is past tense. It is already possible to watch, and POP is planning a new season for 2020. This is the first show to move from Netflix to another network instead of the other way around.
Put a stellar cast of Toni Collette and Merritt Wever in a high-calib
er adaptation like this, and you have got a winner. This mini-series is based on T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong’s Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” and the This American Life radio episode “Anatomy of Doubt.” Throughout the eight episodes, it will leave you wondering and gasping while you watch a traumatized teen (Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) announce, then recant her rape. However, cops from a nearby state (Collette and Wever) learn the reality of what she said.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Television networks can be a pain at times. NBC commissioned Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the creators of the classic 30 Rock, to create a show for The Office star Ellie Kemper, but they handed it off to Netflix. NBC, you are silly.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt rapidly established itself as one of the most successful Netflix classic comedies in its four seasons, showcasing the fast-paced sensibility that it inherited from its 30 Rock predecessors. It also helps to get a memorable theme tune. It has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series four years in a row and several other prizes. It also has one of the most memorable opening themes of the last decade.
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