Warren Robertson
6 minute read
3 Jun 2019
12:25 pm

Ten unmissable shows on South African Netflix

Warren Robertson

These are the perfect series to binge this winter.

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With Netflix getting stronger every month, and adding content seemingly daily, it can sometimes be hard to decide what to watch. If you haven’t seen them, here are the ten shows available on South African Netflix, that we think you should give some time to this winter.

Love, Death & Robots (2019) — Animation, Sci-Fi — 1 Season

A series of stand-alone animated short stories, Love, Death & Robots is an entirely original premise, which will leave viewers blown away by the clever stories, and the gorgeous animations. While some of the stories are better than others, they are so quick that you will find yourself easily watching four or five in a sitting completely taken in by the numerous imaginary worlds on display. Quite often we found ourselves wishing that the character or settings could be fleshed out into full series of their own, and that has to be a good sign.

Glow (2017 – Present) — Comedy/Drama — 2 Seasons

Heartwarming, funny and completely original Glow deals with a group of women who in the 80s set up their own females only wrestling show. With twists straight of life, and left-field, the show is captivating enough, but it’s really the original characters and the relationships between them that lift this into the must-watch category. Community’s Alison Brie along with Betty Gilpin, Britney Young and the rest of the cast are all on point, meaning you’ll find yourself invested in all the characters, even the slightly odd ones.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013 – 2018) – Travel/Food Documentary – 8 Seasons

There have been constant threats to remove this show from Netflix, and from time-to-time, it has in fact vanished. After his death Netflix stated that they would keep it up online for “some months” and now in mid-2019, it is still there – at least on SA’s version of the streaming channel. Part travel show, part food show, and part documentary the show is really a showcase for the phenomenal talents of down-to-earth host Anthony Bourdain. He eats great food, visits interesting places and laces the whole thing with a kind of cynical wit, that actually reveals a hidden love for people and all that we have created. Gripping TV. Watch it before they take it off for good.

Afterlife (2019) – Comedy – 1 season

With his mockumentary, The Office Ricky Gervaise changed comedy around the world. He followed up with the lighter Extras, but since then has languished in a doldrum of mawkish, poorly put together series that seem to want to shock as much as they grovel for emotion. With his new Netflix series Afterlife, Gervaise is once again on top form delivering a show that successfully walks the line between drama and comedy in a genuine and heartfelt way. The story follows Tony, a gruff, cynical journalist who is struggling to deal with the death of his long-term wife from cancer. It’s funny, clever and comforting and while not always perfect, will leave you feeling refreshed and alive.

The Crown (2016 – Present) – Historical drama – 2 Seasons

Following the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century, this is a big budget British documentary and period piece that will thrill fans of the British Royals as well as those who were gripped by Downton Abbey. Impeccably acted, with period-accurate costume and prop departments, the show follows the current Queen from the 1940s to her ascension after the death of her father and beyond. Envisaged to be a full six seasons, two have been released thus far, with the third scheduled for the end of the year.

Star Trek: Discovery (2017 – Present) – Sci-Fi – 2 Seasons

The newest in a whole host of Star Trek worlds Discovery could easily have been as cheesy as Voyager or as muddled as Enterprise, but instead, the result is a series that while staying firmly in the recognisable Star Trek world, still manages to be darker, with some great sci-fi moments and sharp twists. The character drama is stronger, and the budget seemingly larger than on the previous series, and the whole things comes off as slick and highly entertaining.

Fargo (2014 – Present) – Crime Drama/Comedy – 3 seasons

Inspired by the movie of the same name, each season of this series introduces a new host of nefarious characters who become unwittingly caught up in a variety of criminal enterprises. Each season twists like a bag of snakes, as good people and bad try to work their way out of a series of worsening situations. In the style of the Coen brothers film, the unrelenting criminality is lightened with moments of genuine comedy, usually arising from the deftly written dialogue. For suspense, intrigue and a series of impossible to guess endings, there is no better show than Fargo. If this doesn’t sell you on the series, then the fact that a number of Hollywood’s absolute finest have signed on to play sometimes small parts over the years, from Billy Bob Thornton to Kirsten Dunst and Ewan McGregor, really should.

The Good Place (2016 – Present) — Comedy — 3 Seasons

Following her premature death, Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in Heaven certain in the knowledge that she really doesn’t deserve to be there. Its a highly original and clever premise that lends itself to very funny material on life, morality, and the afterlife, which will have you laughing throughout. Lead by TV veteran Ted Danson, who plays the authority for “The Good place”, the supporting cast are all perfectly cast with D’Arcy Carden, as the AI guide, a particular delight. Thought-provoking, but most of all funny, this is a not-to-be-missed comedy feast.

Planet Earth (2006) – Documentary – 1 Season

Gorgeously shot way back in 2006 this David Attenborough documentary is still astounding in the levels it goes to, to reveal the hidden parts of nature that have never been seen before. It’s a breathtaking and awe-inspiring collection of footage that was never matched until Planet Earth 2 came out, but that’s sadly not on Netflix. If this is not enough for you though Netflix has plenty more of Attenborough’s documentaries in their catalogue with Blue Planet also highly recommended.

BoJack Horseman (2014 – Present) — Animated — 5 Seasons

With its humans with animal heads aesthetic, it’s easy to think this show is unlikely to deliver the goods. Give it a chance though, as underneath the silly veneer is a deeply clever, emotional and darkly funny show about life, fame and mental illness that will leave you emotionally moved and crying with laughter at the same time. Starring Will Arnett (Arrested Development, The Lego movie) as the voice of Bojak the show centres around a horse, who was once a big sitcom star in the 80s, but whose life has subsequently stalled in a haze of alcohol and drug addiction. Surprisingly profound.

 

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