netflix: overview of what I’ve watched

In a little less than four months of Netflix subscription, I’ve watched quite a lot, as it turns out. Going back through my viewing history (and ignoring the things I skimmed through but didn’t watch)

Complete Series:

  • House of Cards Season 3
    Dark, brooding, the continued rise of Frank Underwood is compelling, even as there is no small-time individual whose fate is safe from the greater good of the big plans for the US.
     
  • Orphan Black Seasons 1 and 2
    Bonkers science fiction, trashy drama: a bit too racy in places, but the intertwining plots and the breadth of characters played by a small cast makes this a cult-TV show that it’s hard to get past.
     
  • Chef’s Table
    Amazingly well filmed shots of food and biographical interviews with highly skilled chefs from around the world (one per episode) meant that we watched every episode and were keen to see more.
     
  • Arrested Development Season 4
    A shining achievement of non-linear, interwoven stories, with some genuine belly laughs, but less joyful than the previous seasons, and more a case of feeling sorry for these terrible characters. More clever than something I enjoyed.
     
  • Marvel’s Daredevil Season 1
    I originally stopped 10 mins into S1E1, but when I came back and finished the pilot, I went on to watch the whole season. More violent than any of the Marvel movies I’ve seen; the character studies are more interesting than the (shorter) cinema releases. The big story being told was complex enough to hold my interest (though very dark). Each episode has a long action set piece that was a chance to get back to the laptop and multi-task, but impressive visual achievements.

Movies: 

  • Muppets Most Wanted
    Less joyful and funny than previous Muppet movies; the kids weren’t so enthusiastic about it. Some good musical numbers, but I’d rather re-watch the original reboot.
     
  • The Mechanic
    Jason Statham paint by numbers piece: it’s no Transporter for action, nor Hummingbird for character. They manage to salvage a vaguely clever ending.
     
  • The Devil’s Double
    Set in Iraq, a childhood friend of one of Saddam Hussein’s son’s childhood friends is blackmailed into to becoming a body-double for the heir. Dark, terrible, troubling story of awful abuses: probably something better read about than watched.
     
  • Inglorious Basterds
    Tarantino takes on the WW2 genre in glory, over-the-top style. At once more violent and less violent than I was expecting.
     
  • 28 Weeks Later
    Six months after the zombie outbreak of 28 Days Later, attempts are being made to repatriate London. Will anyone survive?
     
  • Thor: The Dark World (already reviewed on the blog)
  • Arbitrage
    Richard Gere in a forgettable drama about corporate deception. A couple of good scenes of the ridiculously wealthy facing off against each other, but mostly B-movie fare.
     
  • Pick Pocket
    A petty criminal with a heart of gold tries to fix up his life. Some funny moments, but another B-movie
     
  • In the Loop
    Cynical political comedy with Pete Capaldi and James Gandolfini among others. Consistently, sweary humour abounds. Tom Hollander is great, and has introduced the phrase “X, X, lemon X” to our home.
     
  • The Sentinel
    Michael Douglas vs Kiefer Sutherland in a CIA B-movie with some ridiculous, suspend-disbelief-failing plot machinations and some weird action scenes.
     
  • The Town
    Ben Affleck directs and stars in an interesting pseudo-redemption story of crime and corruption. Worth a look.
     
  • Prisoners
    Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhall star in this bleak, but excellent film that pushes the boundaries of what people can do to each other.
     
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love
    Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Julianne Moore in one of those romantic comedies that hits a lot of different cliches, but has some more relationship depth than many films in the genre.
     
  • Training Day
    I first watched this when it was at the movies in 2001, and wanted to see how it had aged, and how much my changed perspective had changed it. Still more complexity than a regular action movie. Worth watching just to see Ethan Hawke in a big cinematic role.
     
  • The Way Way Back (already reviewed on the blog)
  • Hummingbird (already reviewed on the blog)
  • Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (already reviewed on the blog)

Odd episodes:
Here I watched up to a few episodes, but didn’t tap deeply into anything. 

  • Firefly (pilot)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • How I Met Your Mother (Pilot)
  • Mad Men (pilot)
  • The BlackList Season 1 (3 episodes)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2 episodes)
  • House M.D. (S8, last few episodes)
  • Grace and Frankie S1E1
  • Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me
  • Sense8: S1E1
  • Derek S2E1

So that’s a lot of screen time, and it’s not counting the shows the kids (or Kel) have been watching. The paradox of the all-you-can-eat subscription is finding the balance between watching too much.

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