Netflix binges for break
As we look forward to a well-deserved break next week for Thanksgiving, some of us might go crazy finally having free time to ourselves. If you find yourself in need of a series on Netflix to binge watch during next week’s turkey-fest, here are our staff’s recommendations.
Supergirl – An excellent companion for your post-dinner, food baby haze.
Kara, the cousin of Superman struggles to find her own footing as she dawns the cape and tights. This show gives a fun look at a new superhero: a female. While female superheroes have long existed in the comic books, there have been few iconic enough to bolster their own television shows. Wonder Woman might have been the last notable one.
This show follows Kara, an assistant to the powerhouse, Cat Grant, queen of media, who is desperate for an exclusive with Kara’s alter ego. But what makes this show so special is that the heroine is a role model for many to look up to. DC might be struggling in the movie industry keeping up with their main competitor, Marvel, but they have really done well in television, including their hit shows “The Flash” and “Arrow” on the CW.
While Supergirl is only just over a year old, it is definitely worth a binge session. Melissa Benoist charms viewers with her quirky depiction of Kara alongside Jeremy Jordan as her sidekick Winn. Season two will be out soon, and “Teen Wolf” star, Tyler Hoechlin, has been cast as her crime fighting cousin, Superman.
Jane the Virgin –
For when you decide that you can’t deal with your extended family.
The ridiculous twists and turns in this telenovela will dwarf any of your own family drama when you’re home for Thanksgiving break. The series kicks off with an accidental insemination and features international crime, weddings, murders, and one of the most complex love triangles in TV history. Luckily there is a narrator who will talk you through the telenovela.
Centered around the life of Jane Villanueva, every episode will have you laughing and some might bring you to tears. Even with an outlandish plot and over-the-top characters, the actors do an excellent job of bringing the script closer to reality. Actress Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe award for her first season of the show, and the series itself has picked up some awards too.
Good luck watching this series one episode at a time. The cliffhangers make waiting for the next episode nearly impossible. When I watched it the first time, I found myself wide awake at 3 a.m. setting down my tub of Ben & Jerry’s only to click “Next Episode” because I couldn’t wait 15 seconds for Netflix to change it automatically. Substitute ice cream for leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes, and this is the perfect Turkey Day binge series.
Sherlock – Perfect for watching on your iPhone at the dinner table while avoiding conversation.
This BBC hit features Benedict Cumberbatch at his best. As a modern day Sherlock, partnered with Martin Freeman as the roommate John Watson, this show is phenomenal. With three 90-minute episodes a season, viewers go through incredible withdrawal when the season is over. But it is definitely worth it, Cumberbatch plays this “high functioning sociopath” to perfection.
Bringing to life another rendition of of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth is the best rendition of a modern Sherlock. While Sherlock is redone in movies and television, the thing that sets this one apart is that Cumberbatch and show creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat really make this show an art. They capture what a Sherlock of the 21st century could be doing.
Episodes play off of classic Sherlock stories including “A Study in Scarlet” on the show “A Study in Pink” and “A Scandal in Bohemia,” updated to be “A Scandal in Belgravia,” which solves crimes from the everyday man to the royal palace.
Anyone tired of American detective shows, might want to give this a try. It is well worth it.
Samurai Champloo – Essential for when you’re tired of how American Turkey Day is and are in need of a little Japanese flavor.
Directed by the legendary Shinchiro Wantanabe, also the director of famed anime “Cowboy Bebop,” “Samurai Champloo” is an exercise in the art form that is animation.
The show follows two samurai, Jin and Mugen, on a quest to unite a young girl, Fuu, with another samurai, who is only said to “smell of sunflowers.” The two samurai are of exact opposite personalities, Jin being refined and traditional, while Mugen is reckless and brash.
The anime is set in the Edo period of Japan, and features historical references and commentaries on the era, but also features anachronisms to modern topics such as graffiti, hip-hop, and baseball. “Samurai Champloo” blends historical Japan with current urban culture in a completely unique mix.
The show’s soundtrack is almost entirely instrumental hip-hop, produced largely by Nujabes, with features from other hip-hop artists, such as Fat Jon and Force of Nature. The soundtrack as well as the art style make the show one of the most dynamic and creative animated series on Netflix.
Perhaps “Samurai Champloo” is a bit different than most shows that come to mind when Netflix binging, but its overall uniqueness makes it a worthwhile watch.
Binge Picks by The USD Vista Editors