My Top Five Netflix Recommendations | From a Distance

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


This week I'm grateful for the ease on restrictions here in Australia. It's refreshing, but also very nerve-wracking to see the world turn again. So we're just proceeding with caution, but I can tell everyone's anxious for normalcy.

It's been two months. Which is about 400 years in quarantine time. And in that timeframe, my relationship with Netflix has blossomed all the more.

I'll admit some of the stuff Netflix puts out are so clearly targeted at 13-year-olds (I'm looking at you, Riverdale). But if you're like me and also like to pretend there's 25 hours in a day, here are five things on my Netflix radar that I would recommend.

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For when you want to be inspired... 

Becoming

When I was reading BecomingI made sure *everybody* knows. Partly because it is a beautiful memoir by Michelle Obama, who is a queen in her own right, but also partly because I wanted to be one of those girls who's "going places". And this movie makes you feel like one.

There's something about the Obamas where every time I watch, read, or listen something from them I go away feeling more inspired. On top of that, I'm always impressed by the standard of work in Netflix documentaries.

If you read and loved the book, the Becoming movie doesn't stray far from it. In addition, this movie, compared to the book, urged me to think deeper around not just making it in this world, but making it as a woman of colour. I would rewatch it every time I need to feel empowered again, and I forward this to every person out there lovingly.




For the "old soul"...

Hollywood

This one's for those who describe themselves an "old soul". Lovers of jazz, has seen at least one Hitchcock film, declares "being born in the wrong century"... you're in for a treat.

I had doubts to see Hollywood as it was directed by Ryan Murphy, and I feared it would be another Glee/American Horror Story outbreak. But this series blew me away. It's breathtaking. The setting itself is so pleasing to watch, and the colours are top notch. But best of all: The scoring. That old school, Big Band era soundtrack? The gift that keeps on giving.

I have always adored any hint of the past, especially when set in films – I dig those mid 20th-century vibes (you know, if it weren't for racism and other archaic societal constructs). But this movie points to those conversations, and many more. It's about the people who would do anything – anything –to make it in Golden Age Hollywood. Get ready for that post-World War II era with the most unbelievably attractive folks in America, the ugliest parts of showbiz, and a time where it was still adorably called "motion pictures".



For something more intense...

When They See Us

"What we know about the justice system is that it's the wrong name for it."

Every time this series isn't talked about, it needs to be talked about. Again and again and again. I actually watched this last September, and it's a May 2019 release, but it still stuck with me. It's important for people to see.

The Central Park Five is a group of five men who were convicted for an assault they didn't commit. The incident took place in Central Park, New York, in 1989. Four of them were under 16 at the time. After being wrongfully accused, and forced to frame one another by law enforcement, they were sentenced to prison, with serving times ranging from 5 to 15 years.

Ava DuVernay deserves the biggest applause not just for the story and cause she raised, but also how brilliantly it was executed. When I started watching, I was hooked. I remember how difficult, and immersive, and enraging it felt. I'm still surprised people don't recognise the title when I bring it up in conversation. It received 11 Emmy nominations, and won the Best Limited Series in the Critics' Choice Awards last year. A story of a broken system, and the most extreme bouts of redemption.


For something binge-able...

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I'm really late to the B99 party. I only jumped on the bandwagon a few months ago, but am now halfway through season 6, which tells you a bit about how intensely I've been following it.

What's left to say about this cult favourite than what already has been? It makes you laugh, it pulls the heartstrings, and I always love a good crime show (this isn't one, technically, but it's close enough for now.)

Andy Samberg is a charm and Gina Linetti is my spirit animal, and I wish I wasn't saying this but I am much more similar to Amy Santiago than I would've liked. Anyway, I sneak in an episode or two during my lunch breaks (now that breaks simply mean going to the kitchen or closing a tab, really), and don't get me started on how much I can watch once tucked in bed at night. (Too much is the answer.)

P.S: What B99 character would you be?



For more good laughs...

Sex Education

Yes, there's a lot of sex talk. (It's right there in the title.) But for something with a seemingly vulgar theme, I've never seen a better coming-of-age series, ever.

First of all, it's bloody hilarious. The setting itself is arbitrary (what with the British accent, retro clothes, and American high school culture), but the characters are quirky and loveable. And of course there will be some cheesy teenage romance coming your way, so be warned.

Second, it's refreshing to have a coming-of-age series that doesn't underestimate the intelligence of its audience. It addresses questions and insecurities that no one in the real world talks about — and the show carries these important messages with candour and ease.

If you're in for an entertaining ride, delivered in pops of colour and one of the best cinematographies I've seen, and can withstand a good amount of cringe from Asa Butterfield's puzzling awkwardness, give this series a shot. Who knows – you might even learn a thing or two.

(And you don't want to miss out on the gem that is Gillian Anderson.)

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What have you been watching on Netflix lately? Anything in this list you're adding to yours?

I hope you have a marvelous week.

Talk to you soon!

Signed,
Jo

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From a Distance 
is a blog series documenting life in the social distance. Paper airplanes flown out my window, hoping to reach yours. For connection. Companionship. A little human-ness in this very strange time. My hope is to make you feel a little less lonely. If you are. Whoever you are.










5 comments

  1. Love this post! I have to watch Becoming soon. I've watched everything on your list except for two ... I'll get on it :)

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  2. Sex Educations is really good!

    www.thelisasworld.com

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  3. I so agree. I’ve considered cancelling Netflix several times, just because I can’t find anything of substance to watch. I’ll have to bookmark your recs!

    I just finished Madame Secretary, and it is seriously one of best shows I’ve ever seen. So that would my only Netflix addition to this list. : )

    xxx.
    k.

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  4. I've heard good reviews about the book, Becoming! Thanks for sharing as well!

    Jil | https://www.letsjiloutdoor.com/

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  5. Why did I've only heard of Sex education, those others sound even more interesting! Thanks for recommendations, its definitely great time for some quality watch <3

    LackaDaisy

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