Must watch shows on Netflix

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.

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Don’t commit these sins while unemployed

So it’s been two months since I have been unemployed again this year. First off, I was not fired nor did I quit my job, as I currently work on a per case basis and since there hasn’t been a new case, I have had no work. Back in 2012 I was laid off and it took me a year to find the job that I am currently employed at. But in that year I did many things a person unemployed should not do. I had never been unemployed before so the first few weeks and months were heaven! I was relaxing and enjoying my free time, but after a while, it became really comfortable to wake up late and watch TV all night. So below I wrote some of my deadly sins of what I did while unemployed on a repeated basis. I hope this serves a good purpose to some other poor soul who is currently unemployed not to make the same mistakes.

What NOT to do:

  1. Watch Netflix – You have all this free time to catch up on movies and TV shows. Why not, right? Wrong! I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent watching things on Netflix, some can say I could have this as a full-time job, possibly even a career if I could. However, this will not pay my bills. I will add that did I find some interesting shows to watch that otherwise I would never had given a chance to.
  2. Use the Internet – Unless you are using to look for jobs or searching for tips on how to better your career, the internet can suck up a lot of time being useless. Especially getting caught up on YouTube with videos like Ylvis’ “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” – Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow! Yes, a deadly sin. I don’t know how many times I saw this video instead of being productive.
  3. Sleeping – Of course sleeping is good. It’s great for the health and there are many benefits from getting a good night’s rest; however, getting up around noon and going to bed at 1 in the morning because you were doing the above two activities is not the best way to spend your ‘free’ time.
  4. Eating – Stop it! With all this extra time and if you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, you are bound to be at home more which means easy access to the refrigerator.  I do not know how much weight I gained, and frankly, I rather not find out. I noticed that although I wasn’t going out to eat because, you know, unemployed and all, I was finding that my pants were fitting tighter and that my shirts were shrinking. I found myself snacking quite a bit because I was bored and the food was there and so was Netflix and YouTube.
  5. Look at your phone every 2 minutes – At first it’s all innocent because you want to make sure  you don’t miss a call from a perspective employer but after no calls, you start to play around with your smart phone, taking selfies, or looking at apps, or sending text messages to all your friends who are working and can’t return messages promptly, or checking to see who likes your very humorous status on Facebook. After a while it becomes obsessive and all you do is look at your phone.  And this leads to the next sin.
  6. Play Candy Crush Saga – Or any other game for that matter. I was addicted in passing every level of Candy Crush until I ended up realizing that I was becoming increasingly angry when I couldn’t pass a level. I would tell myself, “One more life and then I’ll get back to job hunting…” Well one life turned into an hour or so of asking people for more life and waiting for more life to reappear. No bueno my fellow unemployed peeps. You must delete the app pronto!
  7. Getting depressed – This last one is the most important one for it encompasses all of the above. You start feeling sorry for yourself because you have no job, your girlfriend/boyfriend dumped for lack of a job. It starts becoming stressful trying to pay your bills. And with all the resumes you are sending out and no return calls from prospective employers, you begin to wonder whether or not you are any good anymore. So to avoid thinking about all these things, you begin to watch Netflix, mess around the Internet, sleep and eat more, look at your phone which results in playing games.

As a fellow sinner, please avoid these 7 deadly sins of being unemployed. What sins have you committed while being unemployed?

The best things about the 90s

I was a teen in the 90s and listening to music from this decade last night took me back to a much simpler time and made me miss the hell out of them. Things were great. The nation was growing, the economy wasn’t in total chaos, and Bill Clinton was President. It was an awesome time to be growing up. Because I can and have too much time on my hands, I made a list of the things I miss the most from this slammin’ decade.

  1. High school – Yes I know high school still exists and will continue to exist but I grew up as a teen in the 90s and even though I grew in a small town surrounded by peach orchards where I would work during the summers, the experience is not like anything else. Yes, it got boring and the highlight of high school was going to the Friday night football games and going out drinking in the orchards. But isn’t this what high school is all about? Now I mostly worry about money, jobs and unemployment.
  2. 2. Gangsta Rap – I am not much of a rap person now mostly because it’s boring and doesn’t really speak about anything but having money and Gucci wear, but back in the 90s you had artist who would rap about the struggles of living in poverty. We had rap artists like NWA and Arrested Development who made social commentaries about gang violence and race which plagued urban cities. And sitting in the back of my brother’s Buick with wolf speakers and cruising in the streets just adds to the nostalgia.
  3. No cell phones – Yes, those giant cell phones existed a-la Zack Morris and Nokia came out with a bunch of smaller phones towards the end of the 90s but the most you could do was make phone calls with them. They didn’t have all the gadgets the smart cell phones carry and people would actually have to communicate with each other. I know that this concept has left main stream society since now we are mostly looking down at our phones to check out our social networks that we forget to be social with other humans surrounding us.
  4. Friends” – It had 6 very attractive people to watch but most importantly it was funny! It brought the Rachel cut and Phoebe’s “Smelly Cat” song.  It also gave us the Ross and Rachel will-they-or-won’t-they get together that gripped the nation for 10 years.
  5. MTV – Back in the day’s it actually played music videos unlike the reality shows it now tends to air. I haven’t watched MTV in recent years but all I know is that they air shows like Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant. Back in my day, they had Yo! MTV Raps and Alternative Nation where they played music videos and had VJ’s hosting. I remember staying up late to get to watch the shows and see if my favorite music video would pop up. I guess YouTube is our new MTV.
  6. TGIF – The TV shows on ABC not the restaurant. I wasn’t the most popular kid in high school so on Friday night I would stay home and watch the Step-by-Step gang and my all-time favorite Perfect Strangers! I didn’t need to be hanging out with the cool kids when I had this going on on TGIF.  Now all I want on TGIF is happy hour drinks!
  7. AOL – That was the place to go for the internet and to chat. It gave us all the acronyms were now using when we text. LOL would not exist without AOL. Just saying.
  8. Alanis Morissette/Shakira en Español  – I miss Alanis who rocked the 90s with her feisty lyrics in “Jagged Little Pill” about going down on a guy in a theater and about an old man winning the lottery and dying the next day.  Isn’t it Ironic? Well, not really but it was so awesome that  I used to play this record on a cassette player (which I also miss but not so much) over and over until the tape wore off.  Now we have Miley Cyrus who thinks she’s punk. I miss Alanis! Shakira rocked when she sang in Spanish. She also had that angst and earthy kind of lyrics.
  9. Napster – I know this caused many problems for music companies and musicians but for many broke kids this was perfect! I didn’t catch onto it right away but once I realized that I could download music for free I jumped on the bandwagon like everyone else.
  10. Tae Bo – Yes I ordered Billy Blanks tapes and worked out in the privacy of my Nino’s garage when no one was there. I am not ashamed to admit to it (maybe just a little). Billy had me kicking off the pounds my senior year of high school.

Where you a kid of the 90’s? What do you miss the most?