Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Netflix Deep Cuts: Five of the Best TV Shows You Need to Watch on Netflix

Disclaimer: To what extent these are “deep cuts” is obviously subjective, but I would say these have been somewhat under the radar compared to the likes of Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, or The Walking Dead.  Look for even deeper recommendations from PopCultureCast in the future (and a movie edition!). 
 

1. Luther
Basically, Idris Elba is fantastic.  This show is the epitome of gritty, British cop drama (something the Brits have been doing quite well lately).  It is always teetering on an ever graying line of morality as it forces you to keep asking yourself, “Is this a good guy or not?”  This is truly a top notch production.  I cannot imagine anyone else playing DCI John Luther, and that is a testament to Elba’s abilities.  If you fell in love with his portrayal of Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell on The Wire, this is a step up.  


2. Rectify
Daniel Holden returns home from prison (and death row) after serving 19 years for the rape and murder of his then 16 year old girlfriend.  New evidence vacated his trial, but many in the town still view him as a dangerous criminal.  This show summed up in a word: heavy.  It deals with some very deep and emotionally draining subject matter as it delves into the mindset of a small southern town and the man who everyone once knew was a rapist and murderer.  Brilliantly acted and written, the show envelops your sensibilities.  It takes you hostage and makes you think about it well after the credits roll.


3. Master of None
Aziz Ansari’s serial rom-com takes the 90s formula that literally everything was based on and updates it to a more modern and “real” portrayal.  Ultimately, it is just really funny, and it seems very personal to Ansari.  You can tell he is using his past experiences to inspire his work here, and that realness and intimacy is what takes this show to the next level.


4. Black Mirror
This show is an absolute gut punch.  Another British entry, Black Mirror isn’t a new show, but it didn’t gain American distribution until Netflix made it available.  It is an anthology (each episode is a self-contained story) that deals with the ramifications of technology in modern life in a way that makes you fear for what the future might hold.  It takes a potentially troubling trend and plays it out to reveal a societal construct that is honestly terrifying and depressing because you can at least understand how some of it could come to fruition.  This is something the writers are well aware of and masterfully use to their advantage.


5. Better Call Saul
If you watched Breaking Bad, and you are not watching Better Call Saul, what the hell is wrong with you?  Breaking Bad took the crime drama and flipped it on its head.  It depicted the metamorphosis of a boring chemistry teacher into a truly vicious crime boss and made it perfectly believable.  You could understand how Walter White came to be the “one who knocks.”  Vince Gilligan is doing something similar with Better Call Saul.  He is showing us how Jimmy McGill (Slippin’ Jimmy) became Saul Goodman (the role of a lifetime for Bob Odenkirk), and I fully contend that Better Call Saul can be better than Breaking Bad.  As much as I loved Breaking Bad, I can fully attest that I am enjoying watching Better Call Saul even more.  Perhaps it’s because I am also getting the origin story of my favorite Breaking Bad character, Mike Ehrmantraut (played by the wonderful Jonathan Banks).  At any rate, if you haven’t watched Breaking Bad, watch it!  Then watch Better Caul Saul!  You’re welcome. 

Did we miss anything?  Let us know in the comments below.  We're always on the look out for more great content to indulge in! 

-Benjamin Sadler           

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