Tuesday, 3 November 2015

What to watch on Netflix : Series Edition

It's been a little quiet around these parts as we experience our very first Mid Term Break and what an experience it has been! It's safe to say as the dark evenings draw in, I've been fit for nothing more than becoming one with my sofa and zoning out to my latest Netflix binge.

We've been signed up to Netflix for a few years now and the subscription service just keeps getting better and better, cemented by the few Netflix Original Series' we're seeing pop up now.

Saying as though Netflix and I have been getting better acquainted lately, I thought now would be a great opportunity to fire some recommendations your way. Focusing on series' rather than movie choices this time around because, let's face it, a movie lasts just 90 minutes (give or take), a series can keep you going for days, weeks even if you've learned how to say NO to 'play next episode' (I've not yet learned....).

1. Reign

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This is my current binge. I can't watch it quick enough. Dangerous because the episodes run so seamlessly into each other and because it's just that good. Billed as historical fantasy romance, Reign is a series that follows Mary, Queen of Scots living in France and the trials and tribulations she faces at French Court. Similar in style to The Tudors when it was in it's beginnings and it does not let down on the style front. The dresses, the hair, the crowns... it's a series I found very easy to get lost in. Look out for the blonde version of Robert Pattinson, Toby Regbo, who plays Francis and see how quickly you can spot Caitlin Stasey who some of you might recognise from Ramsey Street!
3 seasons currently available on Netflix

2. Pretty Little Liars

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I was massively late to the party with this series and on one hand I've berated myself for not watching it sooner and then on the other hand I wish I hadn't watched it... just so I could start it again! Teen drama mystery thriller style series that focuses on a group of high school students who find themselves being tormented by someone known only as A. Expect drama, suspense, style and some action. You can also expect to have to close in on social media so as to avoid the whole ''who is A?'' situation. I managed to avoid spoilers for the few weeks it took me to watch my way through it, will you be able to do the same?
Initially I had avoided this series as I'd thought it was maybe a little young but a few episodes in and I was hooked.
All 6 seasons currently available on Netflix

3. Once Upon a Time

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I'm guessing you've all heard of this series. It started so well, full of amazing costumes, easy to follow storylines and it was perfect candy floss viewing. Now though? I find if I leave it for a while (which I do often), on my return to watching where I left off, I find I'm a little confused. Though there are always a plethora of new and exciting fairytale characters to get to know, they're now introduced with alarming frequency and the makers seem to think we need a back story to each new character. However, in saying all of that, it does make for inane viewing and for that reason it gets my recommendation. The story itself focuses on Emma, who finds out she is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and her struggle to accept magic and who she is. Expect evil queens, Elsa and Anna, Malificent, the gorgeous Hook and many more characters you'll undoubtedly love to watch.
5 seasons currently available on Netflix

4. The Good Wife

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I'm telling you all now, if you haven't begun this series yet, DO IT NOW. It's just fantastic TV. The series follows Alicia Florrick who, after her politician husband creates a huge scandal, has to return to the courtroom to work. It is a series that celebrates it's strong female lead and I cannot get enough of it. Sassy, dramatic and smart. I love a series that mimics real life issues and The Good Wife does this really well.
Watch out for series 5, episode 15 and it's subsequent episodes. You'll not be the same...
5 seasons (out of 7) currently available on Netflix

5. Orange Is the New Black

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People quite literally went bananas for this when it first launched on Netflix and who could blame them! The series is based on true life events penned by Piper Kerman regarding her time spent at a minimal security prison in the US. This show has already achieved cult status and industry recognition and it's easy to see why as soon as you are a few episodes in. There are tears, drama, love interests and all wrapped up in a nice little neat bow of dark humour. The only issue I have with OITNB is it's casting. I find it incredibly difficult to warm to Piper but in retrospect, that's maybe the point, that being said, that is the only casting I have issue with, the rest of the characters and actors are spot on! Watch out for Alex, who you may recognise as Donna in That 70s Show.
All 3 seasons currently available on Netflix.

6. White Collar

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Quite possibly, along with my next choice, one of the most underrated shows currently on Netflix. White Collar has all the markings of being an absolute dud but is pulled up to entertainment par by it's casting. Tim DeKay plays FBI Special Agent Peter Burke who teams up with professional con man Neal Caffrey, played by the gorgeous Matt Bomer, to chase down criminals in the White Collar unit of the FBI. Forgeries, love interests, diamonds and a beautifully wrapped up ending. Try to look past some of the awful green screen backdrops that appear when Tiffani Thiessen is quite obviously pregnant in real life though not in the series. The winning chemistry between DeKay and Bomer makes for great viewing.
5 seasons (out of 6) currently available on Netflix.

7. Fringe

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I feel I should state quite clearly that I am not your usual Sci Fi fan. It's not my go to genre, in fact it wouldn't usually be my 2nd nor 3rd choice, so imagine my surprise when I became completely and utterly hooked on Fringe! This is a series that has achieved absolute cult status with it's saving grace character, Walter Bishop, played by John Noble, not being your usual fan favourite. I get the impression we're not meant to love Walter as much as we end up loving him but the character is played so beautifully. Fringe follows the story of an FBI sub division that goes by the name of Fringe. They deal in the uncertain world of inexplicable goings on. Parallel universe goings on as it happens. Watch out for Joshua Jackson who pulls this series up another peg or two with his convincing portrayal of the son of an institutionalised scientist (Walter). The love story that runs through this series takes many twists and turns and it ties up rather well at the end, leaving no room for anything to come after. There may be tears...
All 5 seasons are currently on Netflix.

8. Battlestar Galactica

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If you haven't seen this blockbuster of a series yet, where have you been? Per chance you've been putting it off because like me, you're not big into Sci Fi. Get it started NOW because WOW! I don't even know where to start with how much I loved and how quickly I consumed this series. It's probably far too involved a story line for me to sum up for you here but basically, Cylons (very smart robots), are at war with the Twelve Colonies of humanity in this series and it makes for fascinating viewing, it will trigger thoughts of.... ''what if...'' so be prepared to never look at your electrical or computer orientated devices in the same way. Ever. Again. Fantastic casting, love interests, action like you wouldn't believe and really, dangerously captive.
All 4 seasons are currently available on Netflix.

9. Heroes

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I know, I know! Again with the Sci Fi even though I'm not a Sci Fi fan BUT Heroes was the first Sci Fi series that hooked me and I'd thoroughly recommend it. I have to admit to watching this on TV when it first hit our screens but have since re-started it on Netflix, it's one of those series that does deserve a re-watch after a while. Put quite simply, people around the world suddenly discover they have superhuman abilities. To be completely honest, though I loved this series, it can become a little muddy story line wise and hard to follow at times but it is worth sticking with.
All 4 seasons are currently available on Netflix.

10. American Horror Story

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If you want to feel uncomfortable, scared and disturbed... you will LOVE AHS. Obviously, the hype at the moment is surrounding AHS Hotel which is only airing on TV now but Netflix have your back and in case you haven't seen the previous seasons you can find them there. I wish I had enough time to really go into the story lines that come with AHS but each season is a different concept. Digest that information now and you will save yourself a lot of confusion. The first season focuses on a disturbingly haunted house, the second season takes place in and around an insane asylum, the third (my favourite) is all things witchy and the fourth is centered around the old time concept of freak shows. We didn't bother with the fourth season as we'd seen promos and it just was a stretch too far for me to enjoy any part of, in saying that though there were parts throughout all the seasons that made me feel disturbed, the creators and writers and actors that make up American Horror Story are such fantastic story tellers I just had to give them a spot on this list.
Do not watch alone in the dark, that's all I'm saying... Do watch out for the amazing Jessica Lange who is always phenomenal!
4 seasons (out of 5) currently available on Netflix

Netflix UK is priced at £5.99 per month and I think that's a fantastic price for the amount of choice you have. Instead of surfing through TV channels wondering why there is never anything good on, switch to Netflix and the only problem you'll have is what to watch!

What have you been watching lately?

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