I often find UK Netflix to be a source of much frustration, containing a plethora of low-budget horror films and uninteresting health food documentaries, relying too heavily on its wide selection of hit-and-miss original sitcoms which make subscribing just about worth the money. However, if you trawl through the masses there are a few must-see films and TV shows — and with the Christmas break coming up it is the perfect time to binge-watch all the best that Netflix has to offer.
5.) Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
More than just a science documentary, this fascinating look into life on Earth as well as the workings of the universe itself is both a visual and educational treat. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the perfect presentor, combining the real world of scientific discovery with the made-up ‘Imagination Ship’. Each episode is captivating and varied, with the subject ranging from microscopic algae to the workings of the milky way. The show also pays homage to important scientists and discoverers, such as Isaac Newton and Giordano Bruno.
4.) Requiem for a Dream
Darren Aronofsky’s cult classic is a must-see film exploring the dark horrors of drug addiction, combining dark comedy with the tragic reality of life for addiction sufferers of all types. Perhaps most famous for its dramatic, instantly recognisable score, Requiem for a Dream is perhaps one of the most powerful and moving films of all time. This being said, it can be very emotionally draining so best to have a few episodes of Arrested Development lined up to lighten the post-viewing mood.
3.) Arrested Development
A four-series show which just keeps giving, Arrested Development is hilarious on all levels. Although each episode is a brilliant comedy in itself, the best jokes are the more subtle, self-referrential ones which have gifted the show with the cult-following and critical acclaim it deserves. For this reason it is crucial to watch the show in order and pay attention — this is more than your average cheap-pun sitcom.
2.) The Lobster
Featuring an absurd world in which humans must find love or be turned into an animal of their choice, The Lobster brings to light complicated questions about relationships, the individual and humanity. The beauty of the film lies in it simplicity, there is no need to question the premise or plausibility of the film — instead the cinematography, humour and characterisations speak for themselves.
1.) Pan’s Labyrinth
A beautiful fantasty film about a young girl called Ofelia in post-Civil war Spain, this film combines the horror of war with a dark fantasy world. Featuring striking cinematography and a gorgeous colour palatte alongside a captivating tale which truly captures the twisted, surreal fairytale world which becomes Ofelia’s reality, Pan’s Labyrinth really is one-of-a-kind.
Notable mentions: Bojack Horseman Dazed and Confused, The Thin Red Line, Slow West, Boyhood, Clerks, Gone Girl, Under the Skin, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
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