Awhile back, I pointed out to Mister Coffee that were already paying for internet and we were already paying for NetFlix, so we really didn’t need to be paying for cable or satellite TV too. It took awhile, but he was assimilated. You’d think having no TV service would mean we’d watch less television, but after Mister Coffee canceled his Direct TV, I became utterly addicted. Apparently, I was prescient when I drew this. in 2008. The ability to watch an entire series on demand encourages gluttony.
It’s embarrassing in a way, but I won’t pretend I don’t enjoy it – the fantasy, the science fiction, the utterly unbelievable detection shows. But I’ve slogged through some boring wastes of time too, so to save you that effort, here are my top 5 recommendations for NetFlix on demand:
1) “Pushing Daisies” The premise that our hero can bring things back to life with a touch – but a second touch means eternal death – is grim, but this brightly colored fantasy, starring Lee Pace, is a delight. Kristin Chenoweth makes a character that could have been pathetic both charming and lovable. It’s romantic and sweet, exciting, and funny. Mister Coffee did not get hooked, but I would get excited when my little guys fell asleep so I could watch another episode.
2) “Persons Unknown” What if you were kidnaped and woke up in a hotel in a small town that you could not leave? This show was dark and intriguing. And annoyingly, cancelled before it was over. At the very least, they should have told us why every half-decent man in town had a thing for the central character, who wasn’t physically or emotionally the sort of woman who gets that kind of attention.
3) “Surface” This too was cancelled at a “not over” point. It’s confounding too, since the bulk of the marketing was done under the title “Fathom” and it still had nine million viewers. It would have made a great graphic novel, but to the best of my knowledge, no ending was ever written. The premise for this is standard movie-monster mad-scientist remakes the earth stuff, but it’s well done and for a change, family friendly too (for kids 9 and over).
4) “Jericho” Yep, everything we like gets cancelled, but this one did go on in graphic novel form, which is funny, since this one actually ended at a reasonable end point. You have to look past the laughable geography in this one, where Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas are written as if they’re the size of the Carolinas and Georgia. The story of a post-nuclear attack is well done, the characters are believable, and the complexity of what happened is thought-provoking.
5) “Survivors” A British post-apocalyptic epic, only this time is was the flu that got us. We found this one to be edge-of-the-seat suspenseful. Well-acted and believable.
“The Dresdon Files” – Wizard PI in Chicago. My Mister Coffee loves this one, except for the weird random one that seemed like it was from another series.
“Terriers” – Strangely, not fantasy or science fiction, but a show about a recovering alcoholic PI and his sidekick. The science in it called for some suspension of disbelief, but the characters were so lovable and so different from mainstream TV.
Shows that are available on demand and would have made the list, but I started (or finished) watching them before we cancelled services:
“Primeval” – A ridiculous but fun and well-acted show about creatures coming through holes in time.
“Reaper” – Afer episode 3, I was hooked. Not sure how such a disturbing premise can be so funny, but it is.
“Doctor Who” – Start with Christopher Eccleston but stay with David Tennent. When the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s Hamlet plays Doctor Who, you really don’t want to miss it.
“Farscape” – If you haven’t seen it and you like science fiction at all, watch it now. This show was so surprising to me that I’ll just leave it at that.
“Eureka” – Lovable cop tries to maintain order in a secret government town run by a genius contingent.
Happy Watching. Remember to unplug.