Alias Grace

Yeah, I kinda went full on Canadiana last night, and the final piece — also watched through the CBC app — is the first episode of this adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel. I think this is a co-production between the CBC and Netflix (so on Netflix outside of Canada). I didn’t really know anything about the story, but figured it would be something worth checking it out, and I quite enjoyed the first episode (which is the only one that has aired here so far). Also, it’s fun seeing David Cronenberg play an acting role in it!

Big Mouth

This came out of nowhere for me (added to Netflix last week), as I had heard nothing about it. But seeing that Nick Kroll and a lot of other fun actors were involved, I decided to check it out, and wow, this series is incredibly funny. I’ve watched the first 3 episodes, and they’re deliciously crass in the way they handle kids going through puberty (with an honest-to-god puberty monster to cheer you on when you get erections). One of the funniest things I’ve watched this year.

F Is for Family (Season 2)

I had really liked the first season of this series, but then when the second season hit during the summer, as happy as I was to start watching it, I found myself not really digging it — it felt less funny and just meaner. So I only watched the first couple of episodes, and then kinda stopped. I don’t know what made me want to continue watching it again recently, and I’m not sure if it’s because there’s an actual change in tone, but for me it got back in its groove and I was hooked again, quickly binging the rest of the season. I’d say the second half gets even funnier than anything in the first season. I’m glad I persevered.

Jerry Before Seinfeld

I quite enjoyed this new stand-up comedy special by Seinfeld for Netflix. It also made me realize that I think this was the first time I watched an actual full set by him — if you don’t count all of the stand-up bits that were part of the original Seinfeld series (which funnily enough, I started watching again from the start, since I noticed it’s up on CraveTV, a Canadian Netflix-like). The set is a fun walkthrough of his early career, and the jokes themselves hit way more than they miss. I believe this is the first of a series of specials that he’s doing for Netflix, and so I’m pretty excited to watch the next one.

Narcos (Season 1)

When the first season of Narcos was added to Netflix, I remember watching the first few episodes, and enjoying it, but for some reason I got distracted and never finished it. With the addition of a 3rd season recently, I was reminded that I always meant to go back, and since I couldn’t really remember what had gone on in those first few episodes, I started from the start, and just finished watching that first season (watched it this past week). This is a fantastic show, I really enjoyed every bit of it, and can’t wait to now get through the next two seasons. Also, funny thing, I was trying to place the actor who plays Pena, and it was only the other day that I saw a tweet where someone was mentioning that he was Oberyn on Game of Thrones — I’d completely forgotten.

Death Note (2017)

So Death Note, I know what the story is about, but I never read the manga or watched the anime, or watched the TV series and movies that were done in Japan. I was pretty curious about the new American adaptation that just came out on Netflix, and so I guess I got to watch it without having any of the original series as baggage. Well, I liked it. Sure, it’s far from perfect, and it gets cheesy at points, but it kept my interest the whole time, and I was captivated enough to want to see how it would all resolve. I’m sure fans of the original will say it’s horrible, but I’ll say that it did make me want to maybe read the original manga or watch the anime.

Million Yen Women

This is a co-production between Netflix and TV Tokyo, and it just got added the other day, and we binged it over the weekend. I’m not usually a big fan of Japanese dramas, but I really enjoyed this — and you can cruise through it, as each of the 12 episodes are half an hour. It starts with an intriguing premise — 5 women suddenly move into a young author’s home, paying a monthly rent of 1 million yen (around $10,000). Things then get even weirder. I quite enjoyed the characters in the series, and it was a pretty fun watch. I’m also in love with the song by Kotoringo that plays during the end credits.

The Defenders

And so I thought it was… OK. I liked it enough to binge it over the weekend, but I can’t say it’s really great. It started off with a godawful boring episode that had me at a point where I didn’t know if I even wanted to continue. It did get better, but it also acted as a reminder of how the Netflix Marvel stuff has never lived up to the promise of that first season of Daredevil. I loved it so much, and I remember thinking that I would rather have stuff like this than Marvel movies. Then came all the series that I haven’t liked — Jessica Jones and Iron Fist I really disliked, Luke Cage I liked the first half but then thought the second half was a bore. And in The Defenders, you basically have Daredevil who is just so much more interesting — including in the acting and action department — than everyone else. Iron Fist is still just a dink — although he fights a little better than in his series. Jessica Jones is just so unlikable again, until maybe just the last episode. And Luke Cage, in terms of his character, is just boring. What I did like about his series was what was happening around him, definitely not him. So the series was OK, but it definitely felt like a TV movie, and not like the blockbuster meetup we were all probably hoping for.

Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later

I was so excited to watch this, and quickly binged it — although it’s pretty easily bingeable with only 8 short half-hour episodes. I love the original movie to bits, and also really enjoyed the other Netflix series we got, First Day of Camp. I’d say this one is a bit weaker than First Day, but it was still hugely enjoyable, and I’d be happy to see them continue to make these for Netflix forever.

The Incredible Jessica James

I don’t tend to watch romantic comedies much, but I’d heard good things about this (a Netflix original movie that just got added), and about its star Jessica Williams — I know she’s a regular on the Daily Show, but I’ve never seen her on that (I stopped watching the Daily Show when Jon Stewart left). I really liked this. The cast is great — especially Jessica Williams, who I now want to see more of — and it was filled with good lines and interesting situations. I think this is the first Netflix movie I watch (yeah, I know they just bought it at Sundance, but still) and based on this I’m now eager to watch more (for some reason, I haven’t been really interested in watching Netflix-produced content other than TV shows and comedy specials).