OK, so the other day I fessed up about my two latest Netflix obsessions. At a quick glance, the obsession with Felicity and Dance Academy may make me seem like a boy-crazy girly girl, but the truth is that my Netflix history is…a bit schizophrenic. It’s one of the reasons I love Netflix–it has everything! Teen dramas! Nature documentaries! Reality TV! Indie films!
If the FBI or CIA or a stalker was trying to pull together a profile of me based on what I’ve recently watched on Netflix, here’s what they’d find (we’ll start with the obvious first):
Girly Girl Nonsense
Felicity, Dance Academy, and…
Blue Crush 2
Do you know I actually own the original Blue Crush on DVD? I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing, that or the fact I sat down to watch this hideous sequel. Any sequel that features zero of the original’s characters is set up for disappointment. Also, I love how the 16-year-old main character runs away from her LA mansion and flies to South Africa on her own, on a whim. I hate how I get so mad at dumb movies.
Yes, this is technically a documentary but it’s one about runway models and the drama that goes on behind the cameras. I felt like I was watching “America’s Next Top Model: The Movie.” Ick.
Parks and Recreation
Sit down and talk to each during dinner? Bah! Bryan and I settle back in our IKEA chairs and watch 24 minutes of rib-busting comedy. Any time Ron Swanson says anything about meat or bacon or breakfast food, there is a good chance my living room companion is going to laugh so hard that the cushion falls off the chair with him.
The pre-Parks and Recreation joint TV series that I always thought was the funniest show on the planet…until I met Leslie Knope et al. Still, I’m not going to deny the award-winning dynamics between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
I may not live in Portland, but I’m at Whole Foods and yoga studios and farmers markets enough that I totally get the hippie humor.
Santa Claus: The Movie
This movie defined my childhood Christmases, and oh!, I had such a love-hate relationship with Dudley Moore as Patch, the traitor elf. I always envisioned the guy who played Santa in this movie to be the REAL Santa, ’cause he was just so perfect in the role. Every other movie Santa is just a fraud.
Giorgio Moroder presents Metropolis
As a kid, I remember seeing my dad watch this at home and it kind of freaked me out. What’s with the olde tyme film? The lack of sound? That robot lady is creepy! So when I found it on Netflix, of course I had to watch it. I’ve never seen the original film, but this 1980s presentation of a German silent movie from the 20s–complete with Pat Benetar and Freddy Mercury soundtrack–is just as creepy now as it was for me as an 8-year-old.
Again, this is something I remember my dad being very interested in, but at the time it was on TV I was at no age to be watching such a creepy/messed up/whacked out/WTF show. We whipped through the series late last year, and I can safely say it is the weirdest show we’ve ever watched. But…I kind of loved it too? Or maybe I just loved Kyle MacLachlan. And finally–FINALLY!–I understand the Red Room dream sequence in the “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” episode of The Simpsons. Burns suit, burns suit…Burns’ suit!!
Disturbing Documentaries/Real-Life TV
The Sun Behind the Clouds
I’ve been to Tibet and know the situation. The Dalai Lama’s escape, the influx of Chinese, the loss of culture, the threat of imprisonment for standing up for Buddhist beliefs. Watching this documentary was a bit masochistic, because I know there is no happy ending for Tibet. I kind of lost it when they starting showing footage of monks being beaten.
Hey, so nothing is more depressing than a PBS special about end-of-life decisions. But one of the publications I edit is about geriatric care, and since I’m always reading about these difficult situations I thought that watching a true-life documentary about them may give me a new perspective when working with such material. Also, unfortunately, I have a few friends with family members who are approaching end of life, and I thought it may be beneficial to at least be familiar with their situation.
Waiting for “Superman”
I have a lot of friends who work in education, and I remember there being quite a buzz on Facebook when this movie came out in theaters, because, basically, it slams the current state of public schools. This movie did what every documentary does to me…leaves me feeling helpless and crying, “It’s not fairrrrrrr!!!!!!”
What happens when an atheist has to live in a Christian household for 30 days? Or a redneck moves in with a Muslim family? OK, so perhaps this show is a bit like Wife Swap, but what I like about 30 Days is that it’s much more realistic. People actually know what they’re getting into and don’t act “surprised” or angry when they have to do something outside of their comfort zone. The angle isn’t so confrontational, there aren’t any “rules changing” ceremonies, and the participants actually seem open to learning about something new.
Life In a Day
A collection of YouTube videos from all over the world documenting 24 hours from one day, from people brushing their teeth to sheep farming to a family dealing with cancer. The concept is so simple, the result a captivating movie about how “any old day” is anything but.
Fireplace For Your Home
So I made fun of this when I first saw it was available on Netflix, but I ended up using for real when I needed something calming to accompany a cold-night home yoga practice. Dude, sometimes a candle just isn’t enough, OK?!
What surprising things are on your Recently Watched list?