Tackling My Netflix Watch List: January 2017

After months of neglecting to get through the titles continually being added to My List on Netflix, I switched gears and knocked several out. It seems like it’s easier for me to settle on a documentary than committing to a show, and that might have something to do with the shows I’m interested in watching—they all have very lengthy seasons. Next month, though, my goal is to get started on one of those shows and I’ve been eyeing House of Cards for a really long time, so I think it’ll be the winner. Until then, here are my reviews of what I did manage to watch this month:

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
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I talked a bit about this film here and why I instantly felt a connection to it. If you’re interested in learning what minimalism is all about, or if you want to lead a life of less stuff and more meaning, then I suggest checking it out. This documentary has an informative, yet positive tone which made it very enjoyable to watch. As far as documentaries go, this is formatted in a way that I prefer to watch: personal stories mixed in with expert testimonials and facts, creating a balance between statistics and storytelling. This is definitely one of those films I’d watch again and again.

A Series of Unfortunate Events
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After the Harry Potter books, this was my favorite series when I was a kid. I was obsessed. I can remember receiving the 13 books as presents for various birthdays and Christmases. So I was extremely disappointed when the movie adaptation several years ago turned out to be sub par. I’ll admit, I was cautiously hopeful when Netflix made the announcement that they would be adapting a show based on A Series of Unfortunate Events. But with Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket) attached to the project, hope was reigning caution. And I’m so happy to say that I truly loved this first season! It captured, for me, what it felt like to be a kid reading these books. The dark, sinister elements mixed with humor and color (figuratively and literally) was so well done, and to see diversity in the casting was a refreshing change. While I enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris’ take on Count Olaf much more than Jim Carrey’s, I’m still not 100% sold on it. Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket though—perfection.

Happy Valley
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The Jerry Sandusky scandal is one that few people haven’t heard of. As a scandal most gut wrenching, the media around the world picked up on it instantly. I can recall reading about it everywhere, from social media to newspapers to television. It especially stood out to me, as my paternal family is from Pennsylvania and are big Penn State fans. For a long time, I think our family wasn’t quite sure how to feel or how to proceed with supporting a school that could harbor such a tragedy. I’ve been meaning to watch this film for sometime now, and I found it to be insightful as to the events that transpired. It’s so easy for the media to spin a situation like this, such as we saw with Amanda Knox, and I felt like this documentary did a decent job at trying to show all sides of the coin. I continue to feel conflicted inside over my support for the school, especially in regards to the legacy of Joe Paterno. But one thing that I cannot get off my mind is this: why was Penn State the victim of such a massive shaming after the scandal, but various colleges across the country are not being held responsible for the lack of justice for rapes associated with college football players? Food for thought.

A Royal Night Out

 

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It hurts my heart that such a cute movie is not, for the most part, historically accurate. Based on a night that Queen Elizabeth has referred to as one of the most memorable nights of her life, the story starts on May 8th, 1945 when World War II was declared over—VE Day. The future Queen and her younger sister Margaret wished for a night to join in on the festivities, and were allowed to venture into the public with two guards. I found this comedy to be light and fun, and not without a few sobering moments, too. As a viewer, I know from the beginning how the brewing love story between Lilibet and Jack will end, but I can’t help rooting for them regardless. If you need something uplifting to watch after a heavier subject, or if you really want to admire the beauty that was 1940s fashion, I’d definitely give this film a chance.

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2 thoughts on “Tackling My Netflix Watch List: January 2017

  1. This is helpful; I am CONSTANTLY binge watching on Netflix, (it is one of my guiltiest pleasures!), so your recommendations are always useful. I had no idea about A Royal Night Out; I thoroughly enjoyed The Crown and will be immediately adding this one to my Watch List. Thank you soooo much for the historical inaccuracy warning: I love a good historical documentary, but I also thoroughly enjoy a good fiction, and am glad I can go into it knowing the accuracy level to expect.

    I was also really excited when I saw that they were doing A Series of Unfortunate Events, even more excited to see that it was with Neil Patrick Harris! My boyfriend and I both read the series as kids and loved it, but were both a little disappointed with the numbering of the episodes (we had hoped the episodes or seasons would coordinate with the numbering of the books). The costumes, set design, and casting were all excellently representative of the books, but the humor written into the script often seemed to be reaching. Still, we loved watching one of our childhood favorites modernized. For me, the standout character of the series is the narrator, who remains diligently faithful to the original books. We are both looking forward to seeing a second season. Thank you for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watched The Crown as soon as it came out, and I absolutely loved it! I was so torn when it came to watching the last episode because I didn’t want it to end. Despite it being based on true events, I’m desperate to know what “happens next.”

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