April 23, 2015

Seven Shows to Watch on Netflix

Travis and I are always tired at the end of the day and the one thing we want to do after the kids are in bed is to sit and barely think about anything.

So of course we watch tv.

A couple weeks ago I suggested the movie Chef, which I really enjoyed, but I've actually been compiling a list for a few months of shows and movies I have enjoyed and wanted to suggest to you. These aren't reviews and I obviously don't know exactly what you are sensitive to and how sensitive you are to it, and keep as a frame of reference that a short list of my favorite movies / shows are:

3:10 to Yuma
Jane Austen novel adaptations
Doctor Who
Friday Night Lights
Silver Linings Playbook
The Walking Dead

So westerns, period pieces, zombies, crazy people, BBC stuff, Riggins, and a zen guy who loves fruit.

Not your cup of tea? Then you can probably safely pass these all up.

Sound good?  Then let's get started!

I didn't like the novel Jane Eyre when I read it in high school and I've never cared about any of the film adaptations I've watched before but this one was perfect. The spooky parts were spooky, the writing was fabulous, the locales were perfect, and the acting was superb. Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Mr. Rochester made me finally understand the character. Mia Wasikowska was perfectly perfect. And the moors were great. (I've watched it about three times in as many months.)

I am a sucker for a good Jane Austen period piece movie and this baby delivered. Death Comes to Pemberley was better than the novel, I thought. Matthew Rhys was an excellent Mr. Darcy. Clara, I mean Jenna Coleman was perfect as Lydia. And I love Anna Maxwell Martin and she did a wonderful job as Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy. (She's also really great in The Bletchley Circle, which is also on Netflix, fyi.) The story is a great who-dunnit but is even better because I love the Darcys and good manners.

Turn. Oh dang. We just plowed through the first season of this AMC show and we loved it. It takes place during the American Revolutionary War and it's really cleverly written and very interesting. The character Anna Strong drives me crazy, but I love Caleb Brewster so it kind of balances out. The main character in the show is Abraham Woodhull and he's not perfect though he is very well acted by Jamie Bell (who plays St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre). I also really like how they use a lot of music in the show - songs that are appropriate to the period are often sung or performed, but the theme song sounds a lot like The Walking Dead, as a complete aside.

Broadchurch is probably not for everyone. It takes place in a small coastal town in Britain and centers around the death of a boy and the investigation that follows. I didn't predict any of the twists and I found it to be well written and well acted. It was a bit suspenseful, but not too much so (too much suspense gives me nightmares), and another great who-dunnit. Also, David Tennant is the lead so a big yay for Doctor Who fans everywhere. If you have watched The Bletchley Circle and you enjoyed it I do think you'll enjoy this one.

If you liked Broadchurch then you'll like Hinterland. This show a lot like Wallander or even Sherlock at its more intense moments, except this show is a bit creepy and makes Wales seems really, really creepy. I loved it. It's intense, smart, edgy, and its characters have a lot of back-story and dimension. Great writing and wonderful acting.

(Okay, totally cheating and throwing this in here. If you like mysteries / detective shows that aren't as flashy as Law & Order and you like westerns, but not so much these Brit shows I'm telling you about then you should watch Longmire. Travis and I both enjoyed it. A lot.)

And now for something totally different: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. For very different reasons than Hinterland  this show is not going to be for everybody but I thought it was hilarious. The theme song has been stuck in my head for over a week now. The show is almost silly, the characters are kooky, and the cultural jokes are often spot-on and really funny. The show pokes fun at everyone, which I appreciated, so no one can feel like they're being ganged up on, and overall I think the show just exists to make us laugh. If you liked 30 Rock you will enjoy this.

I love Good Eats because it combines useful information, delicious food and drink, and campy humor. This is a show I think the whole family can watch and everyone will enjoy - science, humor, recipes, history - it's all there!

Okay, another cheat:

Begin Again was on Netflix for awhile but is no longer so you'll have to go to your local video store to find this one, which is what we did because I was binging my way through Doctor Who for the third time while it was online. Travis picked this one up and brought it home to me after a long rough day, thinking it looked like a movie I would like. He was right.

The movie is about a singer-songwriter (Kiera Knightley) whose musician boyfriend (Adam Levine) breaks up with her, leaving her stranded and alone in New York City. She finds her friend (James Corden) which leads to a washed-up producer (Mark Ruffalo) hearing her perform. And in between it all some really wonderful things are said and the right people end up with the right people and I just really enjoyed it.

Okay. Enough. Thank you so much to Kelly for hosting the link-up. Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend the show "Leverage". A former insurance fraud investigator has to hire 4 criminals (hacker, enforcer, con man, and thief) for one job... and they end up working together to steal back the money/things people have stolen from others.

  2. I liked the BBC Death Comes to Pem. better than the book, too. And I def. want to watch Kimmy Scmidt at some point. This isn't on Netflix, but we really like Grantchester- 1950s England show starring the lawyer from Pemberley.

  3. Jane Eyre is my favorite book. I enjoy but not love just about every movie adaptation of the book (my favorite for a long time was the Ciaran Hinds and Samantha Morton 1997 version). However, I love the version on your list. I agree that Michael Fassbender is excellent as Mr. Rochester.

    I am a fan of Bletchley Circle and Wallander, so I think I will put Broadchurch and Hinterland on my to watch this summer list.

    Good Eats is a great show, too!

  4. I loveeee Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

  5. Did you know Hinterland was filmed twice, in English and in Welsh? The area it was filmed, Aberystwyth, is a major Welsh-speaking area :-)

    1. I *did* know that and found it really, really interesting. I think I read about it on IMDB

  6. There is also a Welsh language trailer with English subtitles on YouTube if you want to know what Cymraeg (the Welsh language) sounds like...

  7. We have almost identical tastes in TV!!! I loved Jenna Coleman (yay Doctor Who!) as Lydia - perfect perfect casting, Broadchurch was fantastically creepy and unpredictable and so very very British/Welsh, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been our laughing show for the last week! I am definitely going to check out Hinterland and Turn. Thank you!

  8. I have been curious about Death Comes, now if I can only get someone to let me watch it! Totally agree with you about the adaptation of Jane Eyre (it was one of the few books I read in high school and liked though, lol) and Kelly Schmidt is hysterical. And song... lol, all theme songs should be songified!

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  10. I am not sure if the post I just wrote made it through or not. Anyways, check out Daredevil on Netflix. It can be a bit gory in some spots but I thought the writing was spot on.

  11. Sorry if this is a double post, but I'm pretty sure we're twins. Next time you're in the PNW we should binge watch Dr Who together (in all your spare time).
    In the meantime, check out miss fishers murder mysteries. Excellent period piece, and I'm usually not a murder mystery fan, but this has just enough else going on (and an EXCELLENT lead performance) to make it just perfect.
    Thanks for the suggestions!

  12. I loved Death Comes to Pemberly! A must see for any Darcy fan. I also love Jane Eyre but am not entirely sure if I've seen that version because there are so many and I lose track! (Am I the only one with that problem?!)

  13. We have Amazon Prime and I miss the Doctor SO MUCH. Still considering cancelling our membership and getting Netflix instead. Is Doctor Who currently on Netflix? I wish there was an easier way to have access to my (also eclectic) faves.

  14. Longmire was fabulous! It really surprised me. It was like Louie L'Amour solving mysteries. Broadchurch is one of my favorite currently. Thanks for the list, maybe I can get my husband to go with Turn.

  15. Thank you! We loved loved loved Chef (and I couldn't remember who recommended it!), and are currently churning through Turn, so some of these might be a go for us as well!

  16. I know this is an old post but I just had to comment because 1. Kimmy Schmidt is the best (hashbrown, killing it) and 2. I have never, ever liked Jane Eyre nor Wuthering Heights for that matter which I've always been told is literature heresy but my love for Austen balanced it out in my mind. That being said, I could not agree more about your pick of this particular adaptation of the book. It's by far the best one and the only version of this book (book included) I actually enjoyed. lol