Life is busy. There’s work, kids, errands, dinner to make, laundry to clean; the list goes on! In the crazy scheme of chaotic schedules, it is a must to make some down time for yourself. And by down time for yourself, I do mean two straight weeks of Parks and Rec. Let’s be honest, there are lots of reasons to ignore the human race for, but one of our favorites is Netflix. If you’re anything like me, you like to wait for a show to begin streaming on Netflix before you start to watch it. That way, you can really make use of your time and watch all three seasons in an impressive one week period. Instant gratification. After all is said and done, you can’t wait to talk about what happened on the season finale, only to remember all the spoiled adults with cable saw the finale a year ago. Netflix is always there to give you the perfect reason to spend an entire Saturday and Sunday (and Monday morning while you “get ready” for work) on the couch. There are so many options to choose from however, that it can take the family 45 minutes just to settle on something. For those indecisive moments, search for one of these 15 shows and settle in for the long haul. And just remember, the next time you’re at a social gathering and someone brings up one of the series on the list you haven’t seen…lie. Nothing is worse than a public Netflix shaming.
15 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'
Let's start off strong, with the master of horror. For all the Hitchcock fans out there that have seen Rear Window and Psycho too many times to count, switch over to this show for some fresh experiences. Each episode contains a story in its entirety, so no need to worry about starting from the beginning. The show originally aired in 1955 and was so surprising in its originality that it has yet to feel dated. With each episode being only half an hour long, it’s the perfect suspenseful afternoon pick-me-up. Hitchcock himself does the intro’s and outro’s, so it’s also a great little glimpse into the man behind the legend.
This quirky British breakout series is an excellent reprieve from the norm. Featuring two best friends (who also happen to be metal detectorist partners) the show follows one’s inability to move on from his ex wife, who is already happily remarried, and the other’s messy relationship between two women. The backdrop of the show is a nutty old man’s land and the buried treasure that the two men think it contains. This character driven, dialogue heavy series brings a sigh of relief from the shoot ‘em up shows that have taken over main stream media and delivers lots of laughs with it’s simplicity.
Cartoons for adults are making their mark, and Archer is on point. Centered around an international spy agency, the animated series follows the lives and loves of its employees, with womanizing agent Sterling Archer being at it’s forefront. While the characters deal with crises that span the globe, they never let seem to let go of their petty office quarrels and of course put the nation at risk in almost every episode in a vain attempt to resolve their own issues and come out top agent. Archer has a wide audience but seems to be best suited for those who are not easily offended and appreciate the dry and sarcastic.
12 'Prison Break'
This show has such an ingenious premise that the watcher gets hooked from the get go, and with all the seasons now streaming on Netflix, there’s no reason to put off watching any longer. We’ll admit, season three seems to be a bit far reaching, but we got to hand it to the creative team of this series; it’s no easy feat to plan an entire season out and weave clues throughout, but the writers do a phenomenal job. This series has something for everyone: heart stopping drama, intricate planning, multiple love stories, and an incredibly talented cast. Break up the monotony of the day by streaming now!
11 'New Girl'
New Girl is basically the “romantic comedy” of television. Zooey Deschanel stars as the incredibly naïve yet lovable Jessica Day, trying to navigate life and love with the help of her new roommates. This quirky series manages to be hilarious yet grounded with its storylines,which adds to its success. Creator Elizabeth Meriwether hits the nail on the head with this series, a comedy not solely targeted for women, as romantic comedies once were. The cast is surprisingly male dominated, and thus deals with a multitude of issues, locking in both sexes. Netflix has just released season four of this hit show.
Another show we will steal from BBC, we cannot say enough about this interpretation of Conan Doyle’s classic. The series follows Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend/partner/roommate Dr. Watson as they solve crimes and live out adventures. The show pays excellent homage to Doyle’s tale, and keeps in place many of the storylines and details. One of the many reasons for the shows success are the two leading men; this dynamic duo has superb on camera chemistry and the acting is extraordinary. The intelligent writing keeps us coming back for more, and we not only welcome Netflix, but encourage them, to include more streaming shows like Sherlock!
9 'The Office'
Whichever version you choose to watch (we recommend both) The Office is an excellent choice. We love everything about this show, from the cast of characters to the way it is filmed; the only thing we may enjoy more than the show itself are the bloopers. While the characters can be so extreme, the series still manages to feel so real. We all know a Pam, we can all relate to a Phyllis, and we’ve all had to put up with a Dwight. Because this heartfelt comedy deals with everyday mundane problems we can all relate to, it is able to create an everlasting bond with its audience. There are few in the world not aware of the Pam and Jim love story, and it is not often a show is remembered so fondly as The Office is.
I'll admit, it took two episodes to really get into this series, but anything with 5 out of 5 stars should definitely be given a chance. This British drama feels vaguely similar to that of The Killing (which we love), in its tone and plot. The series begins with the death of an 11-year-old boy, and the subsequent chaos that follows in a small sea side town. The twists throughout are sure to leave you guessing as to who the identity of the culprit is. While this show was adapted for American audiences under another name, stick to the award winning original.
No show has ever made us feel such a strong connection with a serial killer. This show delves into human nature and the duality we all face. Not only do we feel for Dexter, we even want him to go after certain people, thus bringing into question our own morals, and the laws that govern society. Dexter is the most unlikely vigilante, yet we find ourselves rooting for him and agreeing that it was the right thing to do when he butchers his victims. The premise is so clever and is able to split off in many directions, that each episode feels fresh and alive.
6 'The Inbetweeners'
The Inbetweeners is one of the funniest, quirkiest, and memorable coming of age stories of all time. You are doing yourself a great injustice by not experiencing this British series. It follows the lives of four teenage boys and their journey into adulthood. It originally aired in the United Kingdom in 2008, and even though it only ran for less than three years, it was nominated for numerous awards. The show was so successful that two films were eventually made, starring the original cast. Again, the U.S. attempted to adapt an American version but some things are better left to the Brits.
5 'Master of None'
Aziz Ansari really is the master of none, and at the same time, the master of all. Let’s start by saying, can we just be friends with Aziz? That’s the feel of his Netflix original series, as it follows lead character Dev and his friends just dealing with life day by day. We have to hand it to him, Ansari hit it out of the park with this show, of which he not only created but stars. He gives the show that extra personal feel by casting not only his real friends, but his parents as well (we see where Ansari gets his comedy chops!)
4 'Making a Murderer'
If you haven’t at least of heard of Making A Murderer you’re living under a rock. It’s time to come out and jump on that bandwagon. M.A.M has opened the floodgates, and it’s exactly what we needed. In large part, due to the show, discussions about our legal system have become heated, no matter what you believe about the main focus, Steven Avery. This documentary is split up into several different “episodes” and, truth be told, the first episode can be difficult to get through, but trust me and the rest of the world, it’s worth watching.
3 '30 Rock'
Tina Fey can do no wrong. She’s the perfect role model for women everywhere, taking on projects that are still mostly male dominated and forcing her voice to be heard. Fey’s previous film experiences and years at Saturday Night Live culminate in this witty NBC comedy, which follows the life of Liz Lemon, a variety show producer. There are few who would argue that 30 Rock had the best cast; the “dream team”of television, so to speak. Poking fun at not only herself, but the absurdity of television, 30 Rock has earned 90 Emmy nominations over the years. Clearly, we’re not the only ones impressed with the show.
2 'Dear Zachary'
Quite possibly the best documentary ever made. I would say, “Be prepared” but nothing can prepare you for this roller coaster ride. Just make sure you have a box of tissues handy. Originally made to be a gift to a son about his father, this film follows a wife’s murder of her husband and her custody battle over their child. It’s also a heartbreaking testament to the great lengths people will endure when love is involved. This is a must see film that will (hopefully) enrage the public and unite people to push for changes in the legal system.
1 'The Killing'
What can one say about The Killing, other than be prepared to sit for hours at a time. Few shows have had such phenomenal cliff hangers and the immensely successful series was brought back repeatedly after audiences yearned for more. We felt for Rosie’s family, we struggled with Linden and the demands she faced with both work and home, and we pined for Molder. There are many detective dramas out there, but none in recent history has left such an impact as The Killing. If you don’t know who killed Rosie Larsen, you are sorely missing out.