By Sandy Grossman
With the massive number of movies and television shows on Netflix, it is easy to get lost in the seemingly endless stream of content. Viewers often stumble upon the many second-rate offerings and forget about some of the best programming available on the streaming service.
So here is a helpful guide containing three of the best, most commonly overlooked T.V. shows and movies found in Netflix’s extensive library:
This British T.V show, from visionary creator Charlie Brooker, is often described as “The Twilight Zone for the new millennium.” This explanation fits the series perfectly. Each episode features entirely new characters and situations that are unrelated to any prior or future episode. But, every story serves as a cautionary tale, meant to warn the viewers of the dangers of technology. In one, a man living in a technologically advanced dystopian future tries desperately to break free from the shackles put on him by his unfulfilling job, which involves pedaling an exercise bike for 12 hours a day. In another, a woman creates a robotic version of her husband using his social media presence as a blueprint, with disturbing results. As of this posting date, two, three episode seasons have been posted on Netflix.
Hailed as a cinematic masterpiece by some critics and fans, American Beauty is an odd and highly original drama/comedy directed by Sam Mendes in 1999. The film follows a man named Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, who has begun to experience something of a mid-life crisis. He feels that his wife, Carolyn, controls every aspect of his life and that his teenage daughter does not respect him. In the midst of this he becomes obsessed with his daughter’s best friend. His feelings for this girl inspire him to take back control of his life and lead him, as well as his family and neighbors, on a path to ruin. The movie serves as both the tragic tale of a middle class man and a social commentary, satirizing the concept of the american dream. It is well worth a watch.
The idyllic mountain town of Twin Peaks is rocked by the murder of the local high school prom queen in this David-Lynch-created, off-beat mystery T.V show from 1990. After the murder, a genius FBI agent named Cooper is called in to help the local police department, which is clearly out of its depth. The events surrounding the murder get more and more complicated as the show progresses, and everyone in town becomes a suspect. While this may sound like a tired plot, the show is kept original and interesting because of the impressive performances from all its actors along with incredible cinematography from Lynch, who directed most of the episodes. The investigation spans two seasons, both of which can be found on Netflix.