Netflix/Prime/Hulu/BritBox Binge Watching: Coronavirus Edition

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,960
Rolling Stone's Top 100 TV Shows of All Time

Rankings notwithstanding, it’s a great collection of shows and a great reminder of past greats. I would have taken some out to add programs like The Comeback, Upstairs/Downstairs, and the short-lived Homefront. I also would have loved to have added more animated series like Cowboy Bebop, Bob’s Burgers, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Steven Universe (which should get so much credit for pushing the limits of LGBTQ and representations of non-traditional families and gender expression/identity in children’s television which has become almost routine now).

I didn’t add limited series because I don’t think that list included any, but correct me if I’m wrong.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
Messages
71,984
I've never seen the first one, thanks to a conservative Christian upbringing where Halloween = evil. My husband is horrified that we've been together 11 years and haven't watched it together. I told him we can rectify that this year.
You'll understand amok when you do. I always wanted a skater to use Bette Midler's version of I put a spell on you.. wearing her costume and make-up
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,262
Rolling Stone's Top 100 TV Shows of All Time



Interesting list. A lot of the shows that I've personally found most meaningful in recent years made this list, but I tend to disagree a LOT with where they're placed in the rankings. It's so boringly predictable how "best of" lists like this always automatically center male-focused, male-led, and violent stories as the most "important." :angryfire Definitely disagree with a lot of the rankings here and some of the choices as well. But it's also called my attention to a few series that I hadn't checked out or been aware of before. Contrarily, there are more than a few shows on this list that I watched some episodes or a season of and didn't find worth continuing.

I will say, probably controversially, that I question whether a lot of classic TV shows really age well. I didn't see The Mary Tyler Moore Show when I was a kid, so recently decided to try it out. Watched an episode or two and found it dull and just so stagy. (I could almost picture the script: "Date 2 enters left," "Date 3 comes in through window"). My husband rewatched the first couple seasons of MASH when he was sick earlier this year, and there are some good moments, but it's also quite stagy. And, geez, the sexism. What passed as "all-in-good-fun-flirting" in the 70s is largely cringey semi-sexual harassment in the 2020s. (I actually don't know if I could stomach a full Mad Men rewatch for similar reasons, as much as I did enjoy that show at the time.)

I am glad that The Underground Railroad made the list. That series was brilliant but quite unappreciated, seemingly. It's difficult to watch, but it's one that I know I am definitely going to rewatch in the future.
 

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
I'm watching the third installment of HBO's "True Detective." It is too early to have opinions except this: Mahershala Ali is such a great, great actor.
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,262
Of late, we have watched season 3 of For All Mankind and seasons 1/2 of Only Murders in the Building.

Murders was okay. I'd give it a B-? Liked the actors, especially Selena Gomez, Amy Ryan, and Martin Short. Definitely some quite funny moments, but also a bit slow to get going at times. The concept felt thin; but they did pretty well at stretching it out, I guess.

Season 3 of For All Mankind was good but not, IMO, as strong as season 2. I felt there were a few issues with this season. First, casting. Danny was a pivotal character, as was Tracy and Gordo's other son, but I didn't feel like either actor was fully up to the task. They were believable and yet still not quite what I wanted in these roles. The first couple episodes leaned a bit too heavily into soapy family dynamics and glossed/sped over the technical preparations for the trip to Mars, and the balance didn't feel quite right. The episodes on Mars were better, I thought, but the ending with Kelly's storyline just went a step too far from plausibility. I enjoyed Karen's story arc, and I think she is one of the more interesting female characters I've seen lately in shows, but I did not like the way her storyline concluded, as it felt like a plot device and not so organic. I did really love Jodi Balfour's work as now-President Ellen Wilson. She really came into her own in this season, I thought. Margo's storyline was interesting but again, I struggled with plausibility. For all these faults, I still found the show quite interesting, and no question I'll be tuning in for season 4.

I wanted to post a couple articles about For All Mankind just in case anyone else here enjoys this show:

Jodi Balfour writes about why she feels Ellen's storyline is important (Balfour identifies as queer)

Joel Kinnaman talks about his role

As a side note, in the Kinnaman article, he is asked if he prefers acting in films or in series, and I found his response interesting:

Certain kinds of roles are more suited for films and certain kinds of roles are more fun to play on a serialized project. But you never get deeper than you do on a series. You just spend so much time with the character. Even though [For All Mankind] is slightly different because you have to reinvent the character for each season, it’s really fun to play a character that is the same, but then you also have to find everything that’s changed. You can’t stop working, you can’t get lazy [laughs] ....

But I really love doing both. There is something special with doing a series where you come back to the character over several years and you have these breaks and then you come back and then the character gets to marinate and develop.


We're now watching Julia on HBO and like it quite a bit so far. Sarah Lancashire (from Last Tango in Halifax) is amazing as Julia Child!
 

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
Rolling Stone's Top 100 TV Shows of All Time

You know everyone will have their own Top 100. I knew one of my favorites, "Northern Exposure," would not be on the list because some writers at RS loved it and some hated it when it aired. But "Sherlock"...wtf? That had universal praise. I would certainly have them on this list.
 

love skating

Clueless American
Messages
2,909
I've never seen the first one, thanks to a conservative Christian upbringing where Halloween = evil. My husband is horrified that we've been together 11 years and haven't watched it together. I told him we can rectify that this year.
I never watched it either, no real reason, just never saw it. But with the sequel coming out there seems to be a lot of love for it and I believe it's being shown (the original) tomorrow on ABC - so I might give it a try!
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
Messages
52,299
I never watched it either, no real reason, just never saw it. But with the sequel coming out there seems to be a lot of love for it and I believe it's being shown (the original) tomorrow on ABC - so I might give it a try!
I watched Hocus Pocus when it came out. It was okay. Never watched it again and now the Sanderson Sisters are everywhere. Kids cosplay as them, they have Disney characters dress up as them for special Halloween events, and there is Sanderson Sisters merch. I don't get it. That movie was made ages ago. Why did it suddenly explode years later?
 

vgerdes

Well-Known Member
Messages
523
I watched Hocus Pocus when it came out. It was okay. Never watched it again and now the Sanderson Sisters are everywhere. Kids cosplay as them, they have Disney characters dress up as them for special Halloween events, and there is Sanderson Sisters merch. I don't get it. That movie was made ages ago. Why did it suddenly explode years later?

This article, while old, explains it pretty well: How Hocus Pocus Went From Flop To Halloween Cult Classic

I do think the article's premise that this kind of post-theatrical release success wouldn't be possible in the present day is a bit flawed. Streaming success for previously flopped movies can happen, and has. But the road Hocus Pocus has taken was certainly unique. (As an aside, the ubiquitousness of black cats named Binx in our society is a rather humorous side effect.)
 
Last edited:

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
I am late to the show with Severance. At another site it garnered universal praise from posters who usually can't agree on anything. So I decided to watch it. And I think I'm going to watch it again. I loved it but it is so strange and provocative-- like an extended season of a one Black Mirror storyline---I have so many questions/theories. Ben Stiller is directing and said season two is coming but it may take awhile. If it is as good and compelling as the first season we are in for a treat. On Apple.
 
Last edited:

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
I want to watch Severance but don't have Apple tv.
I'm new to it....I couldn't resist the Gary Oldman series on there and signed up for it. That series is good too. Is it too broad of a statement that feels like sometimes Netflix is junk next to HBOMAX, Apple, HULU and Prime?
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,960
I'm new to it....I couldn't resist the Gary Oldman series on there and signed up for it. That series is good too. Is it too broad of a statement that feels like sometimes Netflix is junk next to HBOMAX, Apple, HULU and Prime?
That's how I feel too. The one thing I thought Netflix had going for it was that it was investing in a lot of auteur directors and giving them a lot of creative freedom to make their movies, but now they're scaling back on that. Netflix used to be the only place that was finding hit international shows and importing them for an American audience, but other streaming services have caught up with that too and seem more "selective" about it.
 

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
That's how I feel too. The one thing I thought Netflix had going for it was that it was investing in a lot of auteur directors and giving them a lot of creative freedom to make their movies, but now they're scaling back on that. Netflix used to be the only place that was finding hit international shows and importing them for an American audience, but other streaming services have caught up with that too and seem more "selective" about it.
Yes....they get a BIG hit sometimes like Tiger King or Squid Game. But bigger doesn't always mean better though I did enjoy the latter much more than the former of those two. I think you have to dig more for quality at Netflix.

Edit to add that I LOVE The Great British Bake Off. Netflix does come through some fine food/cooking series.
 
Last edited:

sk8pics

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,782
I want to watch Severance but don't have Apple tv.
There are free trials periodically. There was just one recently through Target, 4 months. I don’t remember if they typically have a free trial when you sign up, but you could try. They have some very nice content.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
Messages
52,299
Yes....they get a BIG hit sometimes like Tiger King or Squid Game. But bigger doesn't always mean better though I did enjoy the latter much more than the former of those two. I think you have to dig more for quality at Netflix.

Edit to add that I LOVE The Great British Bake Off. Netflix does come through some fine food/cooking series.
Good and/or popular shows on Netflix:
The Umbrella Academy, Good Omens, Dead to Me, The Crown, Stranger Things, The Sandman (which I hated but I think I'm in the minority on that one), The Queens' Gambit, The Witcher, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Frankie & Grace, Heartstopper, Dear White People

That's just off the top of my head.

I think Netflix may be suffering in people's minds compared to other streaming services because they tend to drop everything at once so you binge it. Which means you watch it for a weekend or maybe a week or two if you binge slowly, while the series on Disney+, HBO Max, etc only drop one episode a week usually so you are watching something for weeks at a time.
 

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
Good and/or popular shows on Netflix:
The Umbrella Academy, Good Omens, Dead to Me, The Crown, Stranger Things, The Sandman (which I hated but I think I'm in the minority on that one), The Queens' Gambit, The Witcher, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Frankie & Grace, Heartstopper, Dear White People

That's just off the top of my head.

I think Netflix may be suffering in people's minds compared to other streaming services because they tend to drop everything at once so you binge it. Which means you watch it for a weekend or maybe a week or two if you binge slowly, while the series on Disney+, HBO Max, etc only drop one episode a week usually so you are watching something for weeks at a time.
I am a long-time subscriber to HBO (HBOMAX) and generally, over the years, I've been pleased to blown away by their content. INDIEWIRE ranked their favorite shows and I could not argue with their list but they needed more spaces for other wonderful shows left off of the list. When you have that kind of quality over time it is hard to see the chaff that is included with the wheat at Netflix. But I get it. You are broadcasting to the world and we all have different tastes. I tried a number of shows on that list and often I switched to another show. And maybe it is the sensational themes like this week's top shows: Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, the people in the Bling Ring, another Marilyn pix and then more true crime docs....it just doesn't feel fresh to me. But that is me and I do love some of their cooking/food content.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
Messages
52,299
I tried a number of shows on that list and often I switched to another show.
I didn't like them all either but those shows are all either very popular or critically acclaimed or both.

All the streaming services have chaff. It's inevitable.
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
Messages
8,080
I will say, probably controversially, that I question whether a lot of classic TV shows really age well. I didn't see The Mary Tyler Moore Show when I was a kid, so recently decided to try it out. Watched an episode or two and found it dull and just so stagy. (I could almost picture the script: "Date 2 enters left," "Date 3 comes in through window"). My husband rewatched the first couple seasons of MASH when he was sick earlier this year, and there are some good moments, but it's also quite stagy. And, geez, the sexism. What passed as "all-in-good-fun-flirting" in the 70s is largely cringey semi-sexual harassment in the 2020s. (I actually don't know if I could stomach a full Mad Men rewatch for similar reasons, as much as I did enjoy that show at the time.)
I agree with this. I can still watch a lot of shows I loved in the past, but I know I'm watching them through the lense of nostalgia and I'd have a hard time explaining their appeal to someone watching for the first time. And absolutely, I watch a couple of childhood favourites and am shocked by how sexist, and in some cases racist, they are. It doesn't necessarily taint my enjoyment, but it can certainly be personally confronting, and the context of the time they were made needs to be taken into account. It does also make me wonder what faults future generations will find in today's popular shows.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,154
I agree with this. I can still watch a lot of shows I loved in the past, but I know I'm watching them through the lense of nostalgia and I'd have a hard time explaining their appeal to someone watching for the first time.

I remember trying to explain My Mother the Car to my nephew when he was a child. (At least there were youtube clips for demonstration)

Of course, I thought that one was ridiculous even when I was a child.
 

vgerdes

Well-Known Member
Messages
523
I think Netflix may be suffering in people's minds compared to other streaming services because they tend to drop everything at once so you binge it. Which means you watch it for a weekend or maybe a week or two if you binge slowly, while the series on Disney+, HBO Max, etc only drop one episode a week usually so you are watching something for weeks at a time.

They may be moving away from that practice: Netflix reportedly planning to start releasing episodes weekly
 

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,795
There are some shows that are weekly now. Following MacMadame’s comments I went in for a deep dive on Netflix. Compared to others—Apple for instance—there are many more choices. But she is right as the quality is there. They also have a lot of junk imho and that is what threw me. Obviously what I consider junk has viewers so who am I to judge?
 
Last edited:

Buzz

Socialist Canada
Messages
36,375
There’s a new documentary on Apple TV about the life of actor Sidney Poitier. It really is worth watching especially if you are a fan of his.

 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
Messages
52,299
I remember trying to explain My Mother the Car to my nephew when he was a child. (At least there were youtube clips for demonstration)

Of course, I thought that one was ridiculous even when I was a child.
I don't think that's a good example of a show that we enjoyed as a child that doesn't hold up since it didn't hold up when it was first run. :lol:

This makes me sad. I love binging a series on a weekend! But it seems like maybe TPTB made a similar analysis to what I did. (I'd love to know what the data shows.)
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,154
I don't always start watching a show as soon as it's released but often wait for more word of mouth before investing. So by the time I'm ready to watch it may all be available for binging after all.

Especially if it's something that would involve subscribing to another streaming service or channel that I don't usually get.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information