As always, Netflix is pumping out enjoyable, exclusive content at a quick rate. This summer, the popular streaming services blessed us with a cornucopia of quality content. Dramas, comedies, dramedies, chillers, thrillers, romantic romps, super hero sagas and animated adventures have dazzled fans of all ages over the past couple of months.
After substantial research and a number of hours that I’d rather not admit to spending in front of my television, I have compiled the definite list of Netflix shows from the past few months. Keep in mind, this is entirely biased and there are tons of shows I either didn’t have time to watch or wasn’t interested in.
That being said, let us begin, in the form of a listicle, a la Buzzfeed. My top seven Netflix shows of the summer, in order from “super watchable” to “oh my GOSH that was some damn good television, I HAVE to tweet about this.” Be advised, minor spoilers are at play, here. While I want to sell you on all of these shows, keep in mind that in order to do so, I have to talk about some plot points. Enjoy.
7) Last Chance U, season 2. This pure and unadulterated docu-series focuses on life in Scuba, Mississippi, a town where football is idolized. This season, the second of its kind, focuses on DeAndre Johnson, a quarterback formerly recruited by Florida State who was dismissed by the program for an assault charge. The show highlights Johnson and the rest of the East Mississippi College Lions as their players try to become better men and athletes. The award-winning series focuses on players with troubled pasts who look to correct their wrongs on the path to becoming professional football stars.
6) The Defenders. The highly anticipated Marvel team-up finally aired last month, when Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron fist came together in an effort to save New York City. Kicking off with Daredevil in 2015, the smaller scale Marvel universe peaked our interest with its gritty storytelling and violent fight scenes. Nearly three years in the making, the four protagonists from Netflix’s well received series teamed up to take down The Hand once and for all. While it was certainly entertaining and full of Easter eggs from other Marvel properties, it was a lot of the same. I can only get chills from watching a blind dude in a devil costume knock out ninjas so many times. 5) Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this one at first. I saw the ads for it and thought it looked completely ridiculous. I told myself that if I was going to give it a chance, I’d need to go back and watch the prequel series, along with the cult classic movie that started it all, Wet Hot American Summer. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, I absolutely loved the prequel series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and enjoyed this one even more. The humor is a very specific kind of stupid, but it works so well. At one point, a character is seen using an iPhone (the show takes place in 1991) and when someone walks into the scene, he scrambles and jams it into his pocket.to switching. They also straight up switch an actor (from Bradley Cooper to Adam Scott) and chalk it up to a nose job.
4) BoJack Horseman, season 4. Cartoons are much different than they were a decade or two ago. We no longer live in a world where The Simpsons and South Park are the only animated adult shows. With programming like Rick and Morty, Bob’s Burgers and F is For Family, cartoons have evolved to a point where their sole purpose is no longer to entertain, but also to make you feel. With themes like depression, inadequacy and suicide being implemented, cartoons have shifted drastically in tone. BoJack Horseman is not only an addition to this list, but possibly the epitome of it. Season 4 is downright depressing, and that’s really all I want to say as to not spoil it. It’s one of the best Netflix exclusive properties in my opinion.
3) Atypical. This coming of age, at times dark comedy surprised me when it started streaming in August. It centers around Sam, a teenager with autism who attempts to become more “normal”. He wants to start dating, for instance, but it is difficult for him because he is incredibly socially awkward and only wants to talk about penguins. He is very high functioning and works at a tech store with his best friend, Zahid, who only cares about getting him laid. His parents have some dark secrets and his sister, Casey, wants to protect him but also gets annoyed by his ticks and is often very rude to him. All of the characters are greatly, especially Michael Rapaport, who portrays Sam’s father. Sam is a very genuine, relatable character and if you were ever a high schooler, which I know you were, you will quickly see yourself in many of the situations Sam finds himself in on a daily basis. This takes third place for me.
2) Master of None, season 2. Can Aziz Ansari do anything wrong? Between playing Tom Haverford on the very popular show Parks and Rec to writing a best-selling book titled Modern Romance, he seems to be a jack of all trades, master of none. See what I did there? I’ll show myself out. Anyway, the show focuses on Del, a guy in his thirties who is trying to find “the one”. After a bad breakup, the relatively successful actor decides to drop everything he’s doing and move to Italy to take up pasta making. While he’s there, he begins to fall for a woman, the lovely Francesca. She is engaged and Dev respects that, though he is still very attracted to her. He heads back to the United States and wouldn’t you know it, Francesca shows up. Will they get together? Is she now married? I guess you’ll have to watch it to get those answers (or a quick google search). But for real, this show is hilarious. It’s relatable to anyone in their twenties, or to anyone who has ever been a recipient of unrequited love. The cast is incredibly diverse and their chemistry is insane. Aziz is an American treasure for this one.
1) Ozark. This HBO-quality masterpiece stars Jason Bateman in a very “I wouldn’t expect Jason Bateman in this type of role” role. I really want to compare this show to the universally beloved Breaking Bad, and I’m going to. Jason Bateman gets involved with a drug cartel while providing for his family. He will do anything it takes to do just that and his acting is genuinely compelling. There are so many plots going on throughout this ten episode series that I don’t even know where to begin. Jason Bateman, Breaking Bad, sex, drugs, guns, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT PEOPLE? I kind of just want to tell you to watch it and nothing else. So that’s also what I am going to do. Watch it (and nothing else), then find me on campus and tell me how much you appreciate me.
Looks like you have a lot of binge watching to do, so put down that homework and get comfy.