In the past couple of years Netflix has become the most popular on-demand service, both for popping back into old programmes you used to love and binge watching new shows you can’t resist. But there is also the other kind of content, the documentary that doesn’t make it to the ‘Trending Right Now’ list, the film that Netflix doesn’t notify you is available, the TV series that has been forgotten. But some are brilliantly scripted, or have interesting characters, or look absolutely beautiful and they’re not being given the love they deserve.
There are so many programmes and films I could put here but I’m going to keep it short with just a few that I think everyone should have a look at.
A hard working, goody-two-shoes, on the right path to success and happiness, Liv gets pressured into going to a party and wakes up as a zombie. She breaks up with her fiancé, moves in with her best friend and starts working in a morgue to satisfy her hunger for brains when she discovers that she takes on the personality and memories of the deceased when she eats their brain. She uses this ability to help the local Police Department to solve murders.
It’s a dark comedy/drama with heart. The characters are amusing and full of life, the overall story arc of each season makes this show so good at binge watching because you just want to find out what’s going to happen. The zombie thing isn’t cliche or over the top but is secondary to everything else going on in the programme. Sometimes the dialogue is a little bit cheesy and a couple of mid-season episode’s plots aren’t strong but this doesn’t take away from how fun this show is.
If you haven’t seen an episode of MTV’s Catfish, or even heard about it, what have you been doing!? It’s an incredibly addictive show that follows presenters-turn-investigators Nev and Max as they help people find out who has been ‘catfishing’ (pretending to be someone they’re not online) them. But did you know the format of this show started out as a documentary film created by Nev as he tries to find out who the women is behind his online relationship? It starts with Nev receiving a friend request from a child, a relationship with the child’s step-sister, Megan, ensues and when Nev figures out that they’ve been lying to him on multiple occasions, he goes on a road trip to seek them out.
It’s equal parts creepy and fascinating as you watch Nev try to put the pieces together. It’s so personal you sometimes find yourself an uncomfortable voyeur and it definitely makes you question all those times you’ve accepted a friend request from someone you didn’t know.
I’m not a huge horror movie fan, in my opinion most are really awful and the narrative is usually cliche and predictable but Hush is a breath of fresh air. It follows a deaf author living alone in the middle of nowhere who begins to be stalked by an unknown assailant. Because she is deaf, she doesn’t notice when he is watching her through the windows, or creeping into her house and looking over her shoulder; these shots are especially chilling. You will immediately love Maddie, the protagonist, and her dry humour, devil-may-care attitude, instinctual intelligence and fighting spirit. She’s a strong person who reacts exactly how anyone would in her situation. This psychological thriller will have you on your toes with many surprises around every corner (and expect to be shouting at your screen a lot).
I think this is a film people have heard about but haven’t watched, and I believe everyone should. It is a powerful, hard-hitting investigation into the animal agriculture industry and the terrible impact it has on climate change and environmental disasters. It is the most eye-opening documentary I have ever seen and this was the main reason that I became a vegetarian. As well as informing you on the industry’s impacts on the world, there is also an uncomfortable investigation going on about why worldwide environmental organisations are scared to publicly admit that animal agriculture is so damaging. And if you’re still undecided whether or not to watch this, the executive producer is everyone’s favourite celebrity and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio.
Idris Elba plays a wayward DCI who refuses to stick to the law in order to catch the worst of criminals. He’s tough, brooding and sometimes a little scary in his pursuit for justice. Along with DS Justin Ripley, Luther’s friendly and faithful sidekick, London’s streets are a little safer in their hands.
The acting is some of the best in British television, but my favourite thing about this show is the cinematography; its breathtakingly beautiful, quirky and mellow to fit the dark tone of the show. A lot of skill and careful planning has gone into the look of this programme that it needs to be appreciated by more people.
Silk follows a group of Barristers in London as they try to juggle high profile work lives with stressful personal business. It mainly focuses on Martha Costello as she aims to be the next QC at Shoe Lane Chambers.
The editing is fast paced and the narrative is character driven. If you’ve enjoyed watching courtroom dramas such as Law & Order and Suits then you’ll definitely like Silk.