There has never been a better time to be a Netflix subscriber.
I’m not only saying that because we’re all quarantined with an abundance of free time, but because there is actually some amazing content on the streaming service right now.
Here are the top 7 things I’ve enjoyed watching during isolation.
A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.
Executive produced by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Crip Camp shares a historical view of one segment of the disability rights movement. It’s a masterful production that can appeal to a wider audience and should serve as a reminder about the importance of direct action.
Many of the battles catalogued in the film are still being fought today, and it was a great inspiration to me. We need more people to join us on the front lines of disability advocacy today.
A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss.
Starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, Ozark boasts a clever storyline with lots of action. It is a real treat to see Bateman in a series-length television role, and his performance has garnered him nominations for best actor in the Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as a Screen Actors Guild win. His costar Laura Linney has also received nominations for best actress in the Primetime Emmy and SAG Awards.
Season 3 has just been released, so you’ll have plenty to watch, and it’s sure to leave you begging for a fourth season.
A zoo owner spirals out of control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding.
Tiger King attained immediate popularity for its nonstop, almost unbelievable drama. It has a bit of everything — sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, (alleged) murder and 600-pound tigers.
This limited series should have turned every viewer into an animal rights advocate by shining a light on the horrible industry of big cat breeding. But I’m afraid the show has actually romanticized the bad guys in the eyes of many. It’s OK to be entertained (I was), but remember the animals in the background.
Hit man Frank Sheeran looks back at the secrets he kept as a loyal member of the Bufalino crime family in this acclaimed film from Martin Scorsese.
The Irishman was released last year, but I avoided watching due to its run time of 3 hours, 30 minutes. Now, with some extra time on my hands, I sprawled out on the sofa and hit play.
The film is a fictionalized true crime drama, based on a book written from the interviews and confessions of hitman Frank Sheeran, who claimed to have killed Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Following the life of Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro, it’s an excellent film that dramatizes one view of Hoffa’s disappearance. The Irishman has received 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
The English Game
Two 19th-century footballers on opposite sides of a class divide navigate professional and personal turmoil to change the game — and England — forever.
The English Game comes from the writer known for Downton Abbey and focuses on early English football. It’s a bit cliche and the gameplay scenes were poorly choreographed, but it was still nice to watch a short sports drama over the weekend. Irish actress Niamh Walsh, who I loved watching in the British TV series Jamestown, delivers a great performance in this show.
America’s Book of Secrets
This engaging documentary series shares the surprising backstories of familiar institutions like the Pentagon, West Point and the Playboy Mansion.
I studied history at university and in graduate school, so documentaries are naturally one of my favorite things to watch.
This 2012 series on America’s “secrets” is now playing on Netflix, and it could help prepare you for a trivia game. It’s filled with information, rumors and conspiracy theories about American institutions and is fairly well produced for a mass-market series.
The Shawshank Redemption
Framed for murder, upstanding banker Andy Dufresne begins a new life at the Shawshank prison and gradually forms a close bond with older inmate Red.
Full disclosure, The Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie, and I watch it at least once a year. It’s a beautiful film. It was arguably Morgan Freeman’s best acting performance, but he lost the Academy Award to Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump — bad luck!
If you haven’t seen this film and enjoy dramas, Shawshank is streaming on Netflix for a limited time. See it while you can!
We’re short on things to do during this coronavirus quarantine, but Netflix has stepped up to deliver some great original and third-party content. For just $8.99 a month, it’s a great value and can connect you with the great work of so many film and television artists.
What are you streaming? Let me know in the comments below!