Must see: 5 new Netflix shows to chill with this winter
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As if the highly anticipated Naomi Watts drama Gypsy (out next week) wasn't enough, the stay-in-and-under-a-blanket-with-a-warm-body tug of winter just got a whole lot stronger with these new TV series and original movies hitting Netflix...
You've probably seen the neon titles and leotard-clad babes in the New Releases tab, and we get it if you've wrinkled your nose and skipped past fast - female wrestlers of the 1980s may appear as an acquired taste (especially if you've been burned by the rage-inducing awfulness of Girlboss like yours truly), but trust us, give this one a go.
Hailed as the next Orange Is The New Black, GLOW, an acronym for "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling", is a fictionalised series about a bunch of down-and-out "unconventional" actresses and stunt women who find themselves at an audition for something not unlike WWF. With Alison Brie leading a killer cast, the series echoes that ragtag-team-of-misfits-meets-feminism breath of fresh air of OITNB, but does it with way more glitz and 80s greatness (hello Perfect-esque leotard scenes). God bless Netflix, because, on paper "feminist-leaning series about women wrestlers from the 80s" probably would have been laughed out of any other network building. Binge rating: 10/10
Friends From College
30-somethings behaving badly has worked quite well for filmmaker Nicholas Stoller, the director and writer behind Bad Neighbours, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get him to the Greek and more, and Friends from College is no exception. Apparently semi-autobiographical and co-written and produced with his wife, Francesca Delbanco (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), this comedy boasts a cast of "where have I seen them before actors", including Cobie Smulders (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Avengers, How I Met Your Mother), Fred Savage (Bojack Horseman, The Grinder, The Wonder Years), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele, Keanu, Don't Think Twice), , Annie Parisse (Vinyl, The Following), Nat Faxon (American Dad, Ben & Kate), and Jae Suh Park (The Mindy Project, The Big Short), and follows a group of couples re-united with their, yep, friends from college. Competitiveness, crude antics, drinking, adult-meets-first-world-problems and an extra-marital affair ensues. Binge rating: 6/10
To the Bone
After the trigger-warnings and controversy that 13 Reasons Why carried, you have to hand it to Netflix for having the balls to run this original film so soon, but again, this kind of bravery is exactly why we need independent services like Netflix. Directed by acclaimed TV producer Marti Noxon (UnREAL, Grey's Anatomy, Mad Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Glee) To the Bone toes the line of glorifying mental illness, glamorising eating disorders and shining a stark light on a very real situation for many young women***. Lily Collins luminously stars as 20-year-old Ellen, an eating disorder sufferer who is battling the disease at home and at an inpatient treatment centre (with Keanu Reeves starring as her doctor), it follows her vulnerability, her battles and her small wins. Yet, it should come with trigger warning to those who have suffered and those who have been affected by from mental health problems or eating disorders. No doubt, in the next few weeks there'll be plenty of editorials slamming this brave, charming and defiant film, but like 13 Reasons Why, at least it offers conversation surrounding these issues. Binge rating: 8/10 (it's a film, also, pun not intended....yikes)
** If you or somone you know is suffering from mental illness, help is avaialable via Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis support line, 13 11 14.
In Australia, we are all too familiar with the fragility of our Great Barrier Reef, and how much of a political pawn one of the natural wonders of the world seems to be. This Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary, directed by Jeff Orlowski (of the brilliant Chasing Ice), took over three years to film. It uses time-lapse technology to capture coral bleaching and does not sugar coat the fragility of the world's coral reefs, the impact of climate change and the devastating rate of coral death that is happening under the water right now. When you watch this, keep in mind that coral can live for hundreds, even thousands of years, and what would happen if this kind of destruction was happening on the surface of the earth... Binge Rating: 7/10 (also a film)
In a similar vein to family dramas like Bloodline and Animal Kingdom (the series), Ozark is a dark drama that sees Jason Bateman as a Chicago financial advisor, anti-hero, father and husband, who escapes with his family the wilderness of the Missouri Ozark Mountains after owing money to a Mexican drug lord. Created by the writer of The Accountant and also starring Laura Linney, if the trailer is anything to go by (why does every drama trailer seem to use this blue-tinted treatment?), this menacing, forest-set series might just complement winter's cold, brutal nights and hopefully replace the hole in our hearts left by Big Little Lies. Binge rating: 8/10
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