Let’s be honest, I spend most of my time not at work on Netflix (which is probably why my whole Blog Every Day in February hasn’t completely worked out), meaning I’m often looking for new shows to watch on Netflix. This means, however, that I have a great list of shows you might not stumble upon if you have more of a life than I do!
Kindness Diaries (for if you’ve lost faith in humanity)
“Every day make the decision to choose. And when you do, choose kindness”
I was looking for new shows to watch on Netflix (one can only watch so many Friends and Gilmore Girls reruns) and found Kindness Diaries. An Englishman travels around the world on a motorbike relying solely on the kindness of others for food, gas, and accommodation. Many people who help him are poor or lack things in life that we take for granted, so he often returns their kindness by gifting them with anything from a new house to education to funds for a charity.
This show brought me to tears every episode and really restored my faith in humanity and kindness. Watch it!
Abstract: The Art of Design (for if you need a little creativity in your life)
This was another show I stumbled upon when I was looking for new shows to watch on Netflix. It is a short Netflix series that basically explains what different types of designers do. Each episode, it picks a rather prolific designer (ranging from illustration, graphic design, sneaker design, automotive design, etc.) and creates a mini documentary about their life in design: how they got to where they are, their creative process, their daily life.
In my opinion, it provided a really interesting look inside the lives of very creative people and showed me how you don’t have to think or act or be one type of person in order to be creative. Bonus: you can watch the episodes in whatever order you want, so skip to something that interests you most if you don’t want to marathon the whole thing like I did!
Last Chance to See (for if you want a reality check on animal extinction and/or love Stephen Fry)
I picked this show at random (partly because I love Stephen Fry and his wit and partly because I wanted something a little different). Stephen Fry travels around the world with Zoologist Mark Carwardine seeking animals near extinction. The journey they’ve planned out is based on Mark’s travels with author Douglas Adams 20 years ago and they seek out many animals like the Amazonian manatee, blue whale, and the northern white rhino (declared extinct).
While I started the show for Stephen Fry (and tbh I really identified with his witty portrayal of his dislike of the outdoors), I stayed for the animals: it’s unbelievable to think how fast animals are going extinct and how soon, all we will have of some animals is photos of them…
Looks Who’s Back (Er Ist Wieder Da) (for if you like dark comedy)
So I learnt about this movie last year and this past weekend was my second time watching it. It’s based off a satirical book about Hitler waking up in modern-day Germany and interacting with Germans. The movie itself is part scripted storyline and part unscripted scenes of Oliver Masucci (Hitler) interacting with ordinary Germans whilst in character. As everyone thinks he is a character actor, he gets invited to be on TV, where he becomes even more popular (because everyone thinks he’s joking when he talks about his plans for world domination).
I won’t give away the rest of the plot because there’s a fun little twist, but if you like dark humour, contemporary politics, and/or history, give this one a try!
Bienvenue A Marly-Gomont/The African Doctor (for if you like foreign films)
I needed a new movie to watch on Netflix and came across this French one. It tells the story of a doctor from the Congo (completely educated in France) moving with his wife and children to a small town in northern France whose population has never seen black people before.
While the film portrays (pretty realistically) the racism of the French, especially in small rural towns, it provides really interesting insight into assimilation into a new culture on the part of the doctor and his family as well as the lengths that someone will go to in order to keep their family safe.
Man Up (for if you need a laugh/a good rom-com)
So this isn’t really a new Netflix movie for me, but it’s so good and I’ve watched it so many times that I had to include it here. Man Up is a revelation. I identify SO strongly with the main character and I die from laughter every time I watch it. Also, it was filmed in London, which makes it even better. If you want to see a blind date gone wrong go right, watch this!