What to Watch on Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix.com

Netflix

has over 94 million subscribers and nearly 15,000 titles available to watch. Whether you're suggesting "Netflix and Chill" with someone, hibernating for a bit of self-care or just need some background noise there's probably something on there for you to watch.

I've been using Netflix for about 4 years and have watched a fair amount of the shows and movies on there, but there are a handful of them that I return to again and again. So, if you've got a little time to kill and want something to put on, here are my favourite shows and films that are currently available to stream on Netflix!

Shows

Let's start with a couple of series on Netflix that I've really enjoyed. They are all on Netflix UK, and most (if not all) are available internationally.

Peep Show

Let's start with a classic, shall we? Peep Show is about the somewhat antagonistic friendship between two flatmates (played by David Mitchell and Robert Webb) who met at uni but have very different ideas about adulthood. Uptight, serious Mark and bohemian sexual deviant, Jez, are the perfect example of odd-couple comedy, though are ultimately both equally hapless in pursuit of love and success.

I've watched Peep Show from start to finish more times than I care to count and can quote it word-perfectly. In fact, my Tinder profile briefly read "Mark Corrigan in the streets, Mark Corrigan in the sheets". Why, yes, I am still single.

Hemlock Grove

When a girls's corpse turns up in a small town, suspicion is immediately thrown at new arrival, Peter Romancek. Peter has his own secrets, but so does eminent local family, the Godfreys. Letha Godfrey claims to be pregnant by an angel, Roman's father died under suspicious circumstances, and who is Shelley?

Right, ok, hear me out because this show is a bit... silly. The acting is sketchy, the scripting can be a little off and the entire premise is utterly daft, BUT if you're into supernatural mysteries with an attractive cast (including a pre-IT Bill Skarsgård) and plenty of WTF moments then it's worth a try.

Fawlty Towers

Basil Fawlty and his wife, Sybill, run a hotel in Torquay with sarcastic chambermaid Polly and incompetent (but well-meaning) waiter, Manuel. He's from Barcelona.

Another British comedy, this is one of the greatest shows ever, in my humble opinion. Granted it's a little dated in places, but Basil Fawlty's snobbery and ineptitude will never not be funny. If you want to try one episode, "Communication Problems" is one of the strongest half-hours of television in history.

Gilmore Girls

In a lively Connecticut hamlet a spunky single mum named Lorelai raises her gifted and talented teenage daughter, Rory. With the support of the townsfolk and the often fractious involvement of Lorelai's wealthy parents, these two young women navigate school, work and relationships.

I'm in the middle of a re-watch of Gilmore Girls now, and I'll be honest, it's a slightly different experience as an adult than it was when I was a teenager. My views on the behaviour of the characters has changed and I'm starting to find Rory very annoying... but overall it's still one of my favourite shows from my adolescence and for that it retains a place in my heart. Oh, and Lane Kim deserved better.

American Horror Story

An anthology show comprising six-and-a-bit seasons to date, American Horror Story tells a new tale in every season. Starting with the disturbing tale of the Harmons' haunted California home and with themes like infidelity, motherhood, disability and feminism, this show has a little something for everybody. Unless you're scared of clowns, in which case give season 5 a hard miss.

I'm the first to admit that some seasons of this show are a little dodgy, but obviously I've watched it all multiple times anyway. I still think it's one of the most inventive shows on television, and the campy bizarreness of the whole thing is part of the fun. If you want to just pick the strongest season, I'd go with the second - AHS: Asylum is definitely the standout. 

Honourable Mentions

Other shows I've loved include Stranger Things, The Office, The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, Horrible Histories, Black Mirror, Call the Midwife, Orange is the New Black, Doctor Foster, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Blackadder, iZombie, Girlboss and Outnumbered

Movies

Again, these are all available on Netflix UK (at least at the time I published this post...)

The Invitation (2015)

When Will and his girlfriend are invited to his former home by his ex-wife, he is uncomfortable right from the outset. As the awkward dinner party continues, and strange guests appear at the house, Will starts to wonder if something sinister might be afoot. Does somebody have dark motives, or is Will simply affected by spectres from the past?

To carry on the horror theme for just a second, this film does an excellent job of inducing a creeping sense of dread and paranoia, and the final act rolls out some true gasp-worthy moments. Scary without resorting to torture porn, this is one of the stronger suspenseful films of recent years.

Anastasia (1997)

When evil wizard Rasputin is scorned by the Tsar, he makes a deal with the devil to spark a revolution, resulting in the death or exile of the Russian royal family. Princess Anastasia is lost, presumed dead, and her devastated grandmother escapes to Paris. Years later, amnesiac orphan Anya meets conmen Dimitri and Vlad, who convince her that she could be the lost princess, but Rasputin isn't finished yet.

This is probably one of the greatest non-Disney musicals. The songs are beautiful and the animation is stunning. I also really appreciate that the love story is secondary to the personal journey that Anya is on, and her quest to find where she belongs is the crux of the film. If you've never seen it, you should. If you have seen it, watch it again.

 Bachelorette (2012) 

Overachiever Regan is unmanageably jealous when her high school friend, Becky, announces her engagement. The wedding reunites Regan with her old friends, promiscuous wild card Gena and ditsy, tactless Katie. The night before the wedding causes a huge amount of damage to the dress, and the three bridesmaids end up on a wild goose chase to set things right before the big day.

The plot might sound frivolous but my favourite thing about this film is how unlikeable the central characters are, while still managing to earn some sympathy with the viewer. The comedy (and plot) have some seriously dark moments, which stop this from being just another wedding movie.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Five friends go to a lake retreat for a weekend, but as night falls the hot youngsters are besieged by bloodthirsty killers. So far, so formulaic. But why do we keep seeing a bunch of office workers organising something big, and why does that guy keep going on about mermaids? 

In the same way that Scream subverted the horror genre back in the 90s, Cabin in the Woods takes all the tropes and cliches of the genre and creates an absolute gem of a film. Just scary and silly enough, it's worth a watch even if you're not that into horror.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

A star policeman is sent to a small west country village and starts to suspect that there may be a seething criminal underbelly underneath the veneer of harmless friendliness, and things get a bit... explodey.

One of the Cornetto Trilogy featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this is one of those films that I can watch when I'm in any mood. If I'm grumpy it'll cheer me up. If I'm happy I enjoy the shameless silliness of it. It just makes me laugh. The fact that it was filmed in Wells, where I have been multiple times, kind of adds to the experience.

I hope I've given you some ideas of things to watch, or at the very least reminded you of something you've enjoyed. Happy viewing!

(This post is not sponsored.)