I love Netflix. It’s one of those inventions I wish I could have come up with. And it’s rather convenient when you don’t have cable or a job! So this past year I had a lot free time to discover shows on Netflix. Shows that I probably would have never consider tuning in to. With all this free time on my hand, I used my time wisely and caught up on many great shows on Netflix.
So as the year ends and many critics put out their lists of the best shows of the year, I am doing the same. Unlike the Walking Dead or American Horror Story, which are shows I cannot miss on a weekly basis on cable network, I based my list solely on shows I discovered on Netflix. Yes, most of these shows have been on for a while but like I said I just discovered them this year and binged on watching episode after episode. I got hooked. And for me to get hooked on a show it has to be written well, smart, funny, intriguing or original.
Without further rambling, here is my list:
Orange is the New Black (1 season)
Netflix has stepped it up with its original content and giving networks a run for their money. And OITNB, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about her experience in a women’s prison, was my top show. This show has an edge over other prison dramas since it was based on real life experience. You can’t get more original than that, and it has one of the most diverse casts I’ve seen in a while. It had a nice blend of comedy and drama and each character explored had a great back story that made you either care or hate like Crazy Eyes or Pennsatucky. Besides surviving prison, Piper also deals with her love triangle between her fiancée and her former girlfriend, who is shacked up in the same prison.
Scandal (Seasons 1-2)
Every critic had been raving about Scandal since it debuted in 2012. For that reason, I was avoiding it. But I took a chance in catching the first 2 seasons, and oh boy I could not stop watching this political thriller! This show has so many twists if you step away for one minute, you’ll miss out on a huge revelation about one of the characters. Kerry Washington kills it as Olivia Pope. She’s smart and incredibly resourceful and her gladiator team only makes you wish you worked at a crisis management firm like hers. Plus her love triangle with the President of the U.S is so delicious. It’s like eating ice scream on a hot summer day.
Lost Girl (seasons 1-3)
This Canadian SyFy show about a supernatural, bisexual succubus, who sucks the life out of her victims, was hard to swallow at first. But what drew me in was the smart dialogue and the Canadian and American pop culture references. The friendship between Bo, the succubus, and her best friend, Kenzi, a human, is warm and one of only a few shows that has female friendship at its core. This show is the Canadian version of Buffy with a Scooby gang to go with it but not as fun as the slayer. And also, this show has sex in every episode.
Parks and Recreation (Seasons 1-5)
Clearly one of the best comedies out there right now. Amy Poelher’s Leslie Snope, the perky bureaucrat in the parks department of the fictional Pawnee, is sweet and you root for her because she commits to her beliefs and never loses hopes in her uninterested staffers in the parks department. Nick Offerman is hilarious as Ron Swanson, the anti-government libertarian, and you kind of wish you could eat stake and grow a mustache like him. In the five seasons, you see Leslie hilariously fight to build a park and to win a seat in the Pawnee City Council.
Shameless (UK version, seasons 1-9)
This British import is like the title says, shameless. The show centers on Frank Gallagher, the job-challenged, alcoholic father, and his children and the neighbors of Chatsworth Estate. This dramedy brilliantly portrays what people living in poverty sometimes have to do to survive – from drug use, familial responsibilities, prostitution, and child abuse. Yet it does so in a way that you care for the characters. It doesn’t try to preach about these issues but rather shows you how shameless it can sometimes be to survive. This show has a wicked British sense of humor that is sometimes shocking but always fun and heartfelt.