by T. Mack
Hey, geeks! If you know me you know I watch a LOT of television. And though my choices usually stay within a pretty consistent box, I’ve recently stepped out and tried a few other things that wouldn’t normally be on my radar. I’ve been (mostly) pleasantly surprised. And I’ve been reminded of a valuable lesson: Try new things every now and then. It may bring you more joy than you’d have imagined. Remember that, kids.
It’s now my pleasure to share with you a few shows that surprised and thrilled me. Your new favorite might be on the list.
ONE DAY AT A TIME
This Netflix series is a remake of a show that originally ran from 1975 to 1984. This new iteration centers around Penelope, a single mother of two teenagers and a retired Army veteran battling depression, PTS, and her Cuban mother living in her home. I was put on to this show by my friend, Kat Impossible over at Life and Other Disasters. Her write-up of the series convinced me to give it a shot and I’m so glad I did. I can’t remember the last time a sitcom gave me so many feels so very often and tackled real-world issues like mental illness and sexual discovery with so much heart and respect. When you’re done here, click on the link above to check out Kat’s breakdown of the many reasons you should give this show a try.
Availability: 2 seasons currently available on Netflix
This is the second Netflix remake on my list today. Back in July of 2003, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiered on Bravo. The premise of the reality series saw 5 gay men (The Fab 5) giving straight men makeovers and advise on grooming, fashion, interior design, food, and culture. Netflix has brought the series back as the shortened Queer Eye. The NEW Fab 5 do the same thing the old crew did, except in their words, “The original show was fighting for tolerance. Our fight is for acceptance.” I never watched the original series, but the new show seems set up deliberately to allow the Fab 5 to find common ground with people who are quite different from them. In this way, it allows the stars, the participants, and the audience to be part of the conversation about acceptance and bridging the gap between people who may not understand each other. The first season of the new series has 8 episodes and half of them will definitely make you cry. Though I don’t normally fool with any reality television, I now claim this show as one of mine and highly recommend you check it out. You’ll feel like you’re getting to know some really great guys on both sides of the makeovers. If possible, get a friend to watch the show along with you, because you will want to talk about those life-changing experiences after you see them.
Availability: 1 season currently available on Netflix
END OF THE F***ING WORLD
This darkly comic series tells the story of two teenagers who have no idea who they are and go to rather extreme lengths to try and find out. James thinks he’s a psychopath and is ready to try his hand at killing a human being. Alyssa seems like the right choice. Alyssa hates her life and suspects James could make an excellent boyfriend. The two run off together and chaos reigns. The series is funny, tragic, over-dramatic, and ridiculous. However, it’s also quite a good time. Upon first seeing the trailer for this series, I thought it would be a movie and figured it might be worth 2 hours of my life. When I found out it was a series, I decided it was not worth more than 2 hours. Then I began my journey of intentionally stepping out of my comfort zone with books and television shows. So End of the F***ing World ended up back on my list. And I’m really glad it did. Firstly, the series is British and features the dry, British wit for which so many of their shows are known. Secondly, the show is intriguing and piques curiosity to know where it all may end up. The answer is quite unexpected and at the end of the first season, there is a beastly strong desire to know what the f*** happens next. I recommend this show to those who enjoyed the likes of Skins (the original British version) and Misfits.
Availability: 1 season currently available on Netflix
And as a BONUS, I want to mention this show in case you didn’t see my full review:
This series is based on a book I haven’t read. So I can’t speak to it as an adaptation. However, as a stand-alone series, it’s freaking fantastic. It’s set in a future where death is optional for those with enough money. Whenever their bodies give out or become damaged, they can simply have their memories and personality downloaded into a different body (a skin) and continue with their lives. Takeshi Kovacs is brought back to life in a new body 200 years after he has been killed. His particular set of skills is necessary to solve a mystery. Solving the mystery is necessary to his getting to keep this second chance at life. However, he will have to overcome the mess left behind by the previous owner of the body as well as the roadblocks to his investigation that are naturally built into the current society. For the full 411 on this show, click here. Otherwise, just go straight on over to Netflix and check it out.
Those are my latest loves from the land of Netflix, ladies and gents. Have you seen any of them or do you have plans to do so? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below.