Posted on May 9, 2015
A year ago Netflix finally launched in the Netherlands and we were offered an additional way to get our media fix. For years I had been hearing from friends about how awesome services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime were, and how it would change the way I watched series. Sadly none of those services were available in the Netherlands.
So when the streaming platform was finally launched I immediately wanted to try it out and see if it would change the way I watched TV shows.
The issue I always had with watching TV shows is that our TV stations were always behind the actual series seasons in the US. While everyone was watching Season 3 already, I was still stuck half way season 2. And not just that, but commercial breaks, changes in timeslots, sudden hiatus etcetera, really took away the fun for me. So in the end I stopped watching many shows and only remained faithful to a handful of them.
But since now everything is uploaded on the streaming service I can pick and choose what I want to watch and when I want to watch it. No commercials, no hiatus and often more up to date.
And sure the Dutch version of Netflix is still behind on some series. But that gives me time to finally watch some older series than I haven’t seen in ages and never appear on tv again.
These are some of the series that I currently watch on Netflix.
1. House of cards (US) – Netflix exclusive
When the series was released I only knew it was based on a book which spawned a brilliant UK miniseries and that it was set in Washington DC instead of London. But truth to be told I am a big fan of the West Wing and was afraid that it couldn’t get me just as hooked.
I gave in as my co-workers were giving it rave reviews and after watching it I was a fan. The script is brilliant, the acting is superb and it managed to exceed whatever expectation I had. While the main character is not a good guy at all, you still kinda root for him as you quickly realise that no one is without flaws. And sometimes a certain person is needed to get stuff done. Plus his sarcastic remarks are just too good.
Yes it’s about political drama and the rise and fall of government(s). But it doesn’t bore and every time a season ends you just want more.
But while waiting for season 4 you can watch the UK version on Netflix as well.
My best friend Demmie recommended this TV shows after she heard I was really into Once upon a Time. When she told me about it I wasn’t too sure if I would like it. To me the synopsis sounded much like “Fairytale of the week with added monsters”. Also the time slot it was shown here was very unlucky so I skipped it for the time being.
But when I saw it was on Netflix it was time to give it a go and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. There is indeed a monster of the week- theme but also a lot of story-lines that play out over multiple episodes and give depth to both the characters and the creatures they encounter.
A Grimm is a hunter who can see certain people for who they really are. Namely “wesen” which are beings who look human but partly have a “mythological” side to them.
Nick Burkhardt is a cop that tries to solve crimes (often with a wesen influence involved) and balance a private life. So needless to say, things are about to get interesting for him when he finds out he is a Grimm. Besides the story I like the series for the creative spin it gives certain fairy tales and the design of the creatures.
3. American Horror Story
I recorded the first season on the media centre and binge-watched it during a holiday. While not super scary I did like how dark and devious the show was and how they let the story slowly unfold rather than throwing cheap scare moments in your face.
The shows first season takes place in this day and age and involves a home with a dark past that preys on it’s inhabitants. The second season opts for a mental institution in 1964 where nothing and no one can be trusted. The third season follows a coven of witches trying to survive the many dangers that New Orleans has to offer. Each season has it’s own storyline and own characters making it a full and finished story. There is a 4th season as well but that is not released yet on my country’s Netflix.
I like the show as it offers many different characters with heir own secrets and story-lines and the horror elements present themselves in different ways. From ghosts to monster and from serial killers to basic human behaviour. It’s no wonder why it has so many fans as it manages to create a mystery that you want to see solved. Even if the way it ends might not be they way you expect it.
4. Penny Dreadful
Set in Victorian London the series follow a group of people who are trying to solve a mystery involving bloodsuckers, a missing girl and cast of familiar literary characters. The backdrops the scenes are beautiful and yet gruesome. And all the characters have their secrets and things about them that you love to hate. If you learn anything, only very few people are truly innocent.
When I started with the series I liked how they took well known characters from literature ( Frankenstein, Dorian Grey, Dracula) and gave them their own twist. The story takes small bits of inspiration from existing novels and presents them in a unique way that makes you curious about the outcome. The effects and sets are wonderfull and the costumes are gorgeous, giving the show an unique look and feel. Combine that with a strong cast with the like Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett and you know you are in for a treat.
And good news, season 2 started yesterday on Netflix!
5. Daredevil – Netflix exclusive
In the comic groups I am a member of, everyone is raving about Daredevil. And for good reason as this show completely blows the 2003 movie out of the water.
The show is about a blind lawyer called Matt Murdock, a lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night as Daredevil. The series has small nods to other marvel media like the first Avenger movie and Agents of Shield.
The show shows us the beginning of Daredevil as a hero. He is not known yet and needs to establish himself as even his arch enemy, the Kingpin, is still working his way up. The show feels grittier and more down to earth than most of the Marvel films/series that are out there. No hightech inventions, magic or amazing superpowers that save the day.
This version of Daredevil is just so good. It keeps close to it’s comic-book counterpart, is visually stunning and has a good storyline., Combine that with the great acting and an array of interesting characters it’s no wonder why this one is a hit.
And Comic-book fans can find a ton of references to make them happy.
6. RuPaul’s Drag Race
“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” – RuPaul
Hello guilty pleasure! When I heard about this show online I was really gutted when I found out I missed out on seeing it on TV. So imagine my surprise when it was on Netflix. The contestants, the creativity, the make up and outfit looks, I just can’t get enough of it.
The show pits it’s contestants against each other to see who can call them-self the Best Drag Superstar. From style challenges to photo-shoots, from game-shows to stand up comedy and from bridal make overs to dance routines, the show has it all. Drama, gorgeous outfits, amazing hair and fabulous make up everything you want, you can find on the show.
And as an added bonus the show has some awesome quotes.
Often people mistake Archer for a simple cartoon about some guy with a gun. How wrong they are….
Archer deals with the (mis)adventures of Sterling “The Duchess” Archer, the worlds best secret agent. Truth to be told it is also about the other amazing characters at the agency who try to prevent Archer from making certain situations even worse. And that is hard enough as it is with the sheer amount of incompetent people working in that place.
I have no idea why I like this show so much but I think it’s because of certain one-liners and characters like Lana, Malory and Pam. While typically I am not fond of this kind of humour I do find myself laughing at their antics and even waiting patiently for more episodes. But let’s face it, is not safe for work, political incorrect and yet I can’t stop watching it. In the end Archer is a show that you either like or don’t. Give it a go if you have never seen it and you might end up pleasantly surprised.
The only thing I really miss on the Dutch Netflix is the amount of anime we have. Because at the moment we only got Knights of Sidonia, Memories, Marvel “anime”, Harlock: Space Pirate and that’s about it. So that’s disappointing in comparison to some of the other countries. All we can hope for is that the licensing issues will be solved soon and that the catalogue of Anime will get better.
Otherwise the only option is to try Crunchyroll which is a streaming service for manga and anime. But I heard that even that one has limitations for certain series in the Netherlands.