There will be crappy weather days even in the summer. There will be days and nights when you don’t have anything better to do. You know it, I know it. That is why you binge watch shows and movies on Netflix. I am only recently getting around to watching PBS Mysteries. “Antiques Roadshow” and “Downton Abbey” were the gateway drug, now I have to binge all the PBS Mysteries too. The show I’m going to recommend to you stars an actual SEXY SPINSTER character. Then there’s a summer comedy set in the 80’s you need to watch again if you’ve watched it before, or watch it for the first time.
1) Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – 26 episodes
Essie Davis stars as Phryne Fisher living in 1920’s Melbourne Australia. Phryne (pronounced FRY-nee) is your second favorite Sexy Spinster. She’s never been married, never had children, she’s independently wealthy and has lots of affairs and sex and solves murder mysteries. She’s assertive and is the master of her own destiny at a time when women didn’t do that. Of course she has the luxury of choosing that life because she has the money to do it. More power to her. In addition to various lovers, there’s a ‘will they or won’t they’ story line with the local detective in charge. I feel like she has more chemistry with her fly-by-night lovers.
2) Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – Comedy
See if you recognize any of these names: Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, David Hyde Pierce, Elizabeth Banks. All of them appear in this hilarious comedy set in 1981, the year I think I went to sleepaway Girl Scout Camp. In the movie its the last day before everyone goes home and there’s unfinished business. Love triangles, unrequited love, daring rescues, broke down vans, runaways, a mentally ill mess hall cook, and The Big Talent Show. On July 31, 2015 you can binge watch new episodes of the new Netflix series “Wet Hot American Summer”, all the same people from the movie are back.
Honorable Mention : JUNE 12 “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” SEASON 3 NETFLIX PREMIERE
This is where I reveal my perverse sensibilities a little bit. Two May Mother’s Day recommendations from Netflix, neither one anywhere near a heartwarming hallmark holiday. They are the opposite. If Mother’s Day is too touchy feely watch these Netflix recommendations. If I showed these suggestions to my own mother she would roll her eyes so hard the force of gravity would cause her to fall over backwards.
What to watch this Mother’s Day Weekend on Netflix
1. “Dear Zachary” (2008) – Documentary
The less you know the better, no fair Googling the story before or during the movie. Like all great documentaries, the filmmaker intended to tell one story, then unbelievable unpredictable events hijack the whole project. I have to warn you that you will never ever get over seeing this movie. We find out that the subject of the movie, Andrew, is dead and he left behind son named Zachary. The filmmaker is Andrew’s childhood friend Kurt who wants the audience and Andrew’s son Zachary to know his father. Since Kurt has tons of home movies with Andrew from childhood to adulthood there’s lots of footage showing us that Andrew is an immensely likable human being. When Zachary’s mother is introduced a dark cloud descends on the whole story. Andrew’s parents are everything you wish your parents were, and everything you hope you would be if you were a parent. I’m getting choked up now. Just watch it.
2. “Broadchurch” Series 1 (2013) – 8 episodes
‘The body of an 11 year old child was found on harbor cliff beach at Broadchurch’. Every parent’s nightmare. Here’s where the Mother’s Day Weekend Netflix binge becomes a marathon. Its eight episodes, only one story told all the way through. Broadchurch is a small resort town in England. Things like child murder don’t happen there. One detective Alec (David Tennet) is a transplant with no personal ties to the people or the town and has the clearest picture of the people and the crime. His partner is Ellie (Olivia Colman) has lived in Broadchurch forever, knows everyone and her objective judgement might be clouded by having such deep roots in the town.
The big selling point to get you in the door is COACH TAYLOR (Kyle Chandler) from ‘Friday Night Lights’, he plays John Rayburn, but you’ll stay for the guy who plays John’s brother Danny. The other supporting cast will look familiar, but you might not know them by name. Except Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard are Mom and Dad Rayburn. The rest of the family includes Meg (Linda Carellini), Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) and Danny (Ben Mendelsohn). The whole thing starts with John narrating that the Rayburns aren’t bad people they did a bad thing, whoops. The resulting episodes show us what the Rayburns did and why they did it.
When you get half way into the episodes the most compelling thing about the whole show becomes Creepy Danny. You’ll start out having some sympathy for him, because we’re told he’s the outcast loser of the family. But half way through the 13 episodes, the actor Ben Mendelsohn who plays Danny conveys absolute menace, terror, and fear without saying a word. He does some awful stuff, but the way he looks at people, it will make you truly believe that he’s capable of anything. The only comparison I can make is what Anthony Hopkins did with Hannibal Lector when we first saw him looking at the camera in “Silence of the Lambs”. THAT GOOD.
*You have my permission to go ahead and binge on beer & potato chips while you binge watch Netflix
2.FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS – 76 Episodes on Netflix
Since I brought up this show in Netflix binge watch suggestion #1, here it is again. If you’ve seen this show, you KNOW its not just about High School Texas Football. Football is just the backdrop needed to tell us the story of The Taylors and the people of Dillon, TX. It’s the common thread that ties the community together and gives us a chance to follow them around and find out what they’re up to. The most important thing for you to know is that this show is for adults its not aimed at ‘teens’.
‘Friday Night Lights’ happens to have two of the greatest characters in the history of television – Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami Taylor (Connie Britton). Yes they are up there with JR Ewing, Homer Simpson, Archie Bunker, Hawkeye Pierce, Alexis Carrington…etc. I can’t praise this show enough. And I want to be Tami Taylor when I grow up. Or even more interesting, Connie Britton should host a talk show on Lifetime in character as Tami Taylor. I would watch the shit out of that.
This trailer hits plot points from the entire run of the series, so you’ll get a good idea. There’s not enough Tami Taylor in the trailer. I would have fixed that if I was editing. “Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can’t Lose!”
Since spinsters have no kids or spouse to chase after, that means we have plenty of time for binge watching shows on Netflix on the weekends! Netflix was practically invented for people in our situation. All you need to add is popcorn and wine. What else are you going to do? Meet that weirdo from OK Cupid?
1. UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT!
Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) is rescued from an underground bunker where she was part of a doomsday cult for 15 years. She was trapped with three other women, held by The Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne in a small town in Indiana. After appearing on the Today Show with the women she was trapped with, Kimmy decides to hide in New York City instead of going back to Indiana. Soon after, she finds an apartment with a built-in roommate named Titus (Tituss Burgess), and a nosy landlady named Lillian (Carol Kane). Kimmy finds a household assistant job with a rich lonely housewife named Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski). There’s a love triangle with a Chinese Food delivery guy, and a billionaire playboy. First season ends with the trial of Richard Wayne Gary Wayne in Indiana (wait until you see who plays him!! I won’t spoil it). Only one complaint from me: needs more TRACY MORGAN. Here’s how the first episode of the first show opens: You Tube video auto tuned news story which turns into the show’s theme song.
2. HOUSE OF CARDS : RISE OF CLAIRE UNDERWOOD
This is the third season, so if you haven’t seen season one or two, you’re missing out. This season starts with President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) assuming power after the previous president resigns. That was all because of Frank’s political games. The main story is the conflict between Frank and his wife Claire (Robin Wright). Frank has everything he ever wanted, now Claire wants hers. The marital power struggle between Frank and Claire plays out on the world stage. Claire’s frustrations come to a boiling point when she can’t help speaking her mind about a political prisoner in Russia, causing the Russian President to retaliate. All the supporting players are back (the ones that are alive), plus a writer Frank hires to write his biography in an attempt to sway public opinion. The book ultimately comes between Frank and Claire as well. Here’s the trailer: