Netflix: a fix for diverse palates

Yash Chitrakar

Around 2007, a decade after Netflix was created and allowed users to directly stream shows from the comfort of their homes, it exploded onto the digital streaming scene. The sheer number of movies, TV shows, documentaries and travel diaries available on the website can leave any viewer directionless when it comes to choosing what to watch. Therefore, I have compiled a list of shows, a mix of comedies, documentaries, superhero shows and whatnot, that caters to the diverse palate of Netflix subscribers. Of course, with a list as short as this, I couldn’t include other shows that I also absolutely love.

1. Bojack Horseman: The show chronicles the life of the titular celebrity horse, past his prime and living on a more-than-comfortable sum of money and supposedly wasting his life away. It is an in-depth exploration of his tormented psyche. The show has a surreal nature. The wacky characters are enough to evoke laughter and the sharp wit of the writers and clever characterization magnifies the comedic value of this show. It doesn’t put anything on a pedestal and provides commentary on nearly every social issue from political correctness, to identity crises and mental health problems. However, it isn’t all cynical as the show has a lot of heart as well. This show will take viewers on an unforgettable emotional ride.

2. Daredevil: The media and public reception of superhero movies and TV shows these days has been generally positive. Anyone who has watched “Daredevil,” at least season one, will give the same verdict: the show is amazing. “Daredevil” does justice to the comic book character in a way that pleases longtime followers and newcomers alike. It navigates its way through the perils of being a blind hero outside of the law and as a lawyer inside the law. The theme of religion, the look into moral ambiguities and the portrayal of the blandness of the real world aside, the cinematic achievements are themselves quite remarkable. High contrast and colorful lighting to match the seedy vibe of Hell’s Kitchen, and the excellent fight choreography will have viewers wanting more.

3. The Office: Thoroughly incompetent boss, Michael Scott, and his workers have been subject to memefication for a long time now. Here’s why: “The Office” is one of the most quotable and memorable comedy shows on the internet. Comedic timing and heart are what the show stands for. The relationships between coworkers and, with it, the antics that follow in a seemingly dull office are extremely entertaining. In nine seasons, “The Office” manages to reveal the inner lives of each member of the office. By the end, it is hard not to fall in love with each character, flaws and all.  

4. 13th: This documentary left me breathless. It ignited a feeling of activism in me and probably will do the same to those who watch it. Taking the mass-incarceration problem of the disproportionate number of African American prisoners in the U.S. as a lens, the show covers a significant part of African American history and explains the past and present of the country’s race struggle. It puts the spotlight on America’s largest institution and questions the system of justice as well. For anyone wanting to get an insightful look into relevant issues of race, this show is the one to watch.

5. Spotlight: “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them. This quote from “Spotlight,” the 2016 Oscar winner for best picture, is emblematic of what the movie is about. It follows a team of Boston Globe journalists that are investigating the accusations against priests for the molestation of children. The incredible fact, since the movie is based on real-life events, is that this heinous abuse of morals and law was going on for more than three decades. Even more incredible is that the higher-ups of the society are conscious of these events or have not done their part in stopping it. Hence the quote. The acting in the movie is superb as none of the actors overdo it, conveying the solemnity of the situation and the gripping story will leave viewers seated for a minute afterward, thinking through the themes of the movie.

6. Planet Earth II: The sequel to 2006’s “Planet Earth” surpasses its predecessor in every way imaginable: new technological feats, immaculate narration by Sir David Attenborough, sweeping vistas of picturesque landscapes and the uncountable species that inhabit them all make for a magical experience. People will be surprised to find themselves on their bed after watching this. This show is for everyone. Viewers can put it on in the background; children and nature enthusiasts alike can watch it for information. Cinematographers can look to it for inspiration. I am hoping for a Planet Earth III in the future.