How To Maximize Your Enjoyment of Netflix Instant

How To Maximize Your Enjoyment of Netflix Instant

Doesn't look so tough


So my grand return to posting regularly hit a snag when I realized I am tired as hell and still a lazy person, but I will try to add a modicum of value with a short post.  I recently detailed what a huge pain in the ass it is to decide on a movie at Chillyville these days (Editor’s note: technically it’s SOville, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it).  As part of my continuing contribution to the non-advancement of the species, I will make this selection process easier for you.

For one thing, you can basically just skip the movies entirely, unless you have a hankering to retry The Long Kiss Goodnight (held up about as well as Geena Davis’ breasts) or an underappreciated horror classic like Trespassers (full disclosure: I’m in this movie, so may be biased).  Don’t get suckered in by the fact that they list 75 movies in each mini-category (“Foreign comedies starring ex-athletes”) – you only need to go through those once – they add like one movie per 7-8 months on there, and it will be listed first.  So if you invest some time to glance through the detritus once, you don’t need to do it again.  Invariably they will have something that’s pretty new once every five weeks that fits in like nineteen categories, but most likely you will have already seen it (The Fighter).  Stick with TV shows and documentaries and just opportunistically pick off movies on Netflix as they fall in your lap.

(What the hell is wrong with Netflix marketing?  So they split out the streaming and the mail services, and decided to call the mail service Qwikster???  Shouldn’t that be what you call the streaming service?  Oh, that’s right, you need to preserve the brand, and streaming is ultimately gonna be the whole business.  Dumbasses – should’ve just called it Mailster.)


Sh*t I Told You To Watch 500 Times and You Never F*cking Listened To Me – Now They’re Gone and I Hate You

Friday Night Lights – On a scale of 1 to The Wire, I rate this show about 90% Wire.  (Or if you prefer more conventional scoring, it’s like The Wire without Sargeant Jay, the large-but-not-quite-jovial fellow.)

Party Down – There is literally a zero percent chance you will not love this show.  It’s pretty close to perfect – great characters/writing, great acting, creative liberties allowed cable shows (aka, boobs).  I have watched it three times, it’s hilariouser every time.  Seems cynical, turns out to be sweet – sort of like a cinematic Blow Pop (okay, that analogy doesn’t really work perfectly because both parts of a Blow Pop are sweet, but it is surprising.  Maybe it’s more like a Tootsie Pop).


British Shows You Probably Could’ve Watched at Least Some of on BBC America, but Who Has Time To Flip Through All 1031 Channels?

The IT Crowd – I’m not a huge fan of traditional British humor like Monty Python and Mr. Bean (the latter is a joke, I hope), but I do enjoy quite a few British sitcoms.  They either push the Standards & Practices further than in the US, or British people just don’t really give a sh*t about sexual, um, innuendo isn’t the right word…maybe frankness?  Actually, The IT Crowd isn’t all that dirty, I’m more thinking of Coupling – also a Netflix Instant show, but it’s a bit older and has already even had a failed US version – but it is borderline stupid.  (One of SO’s British friends on hearing we watch this show: “It’s rubbish.” Also, it had a U.S. version starring Joel McHale, but the pilot never even made it to air.  Good thing, he is about as wrong as possible for the role of Roy – perfectly played here by the cop in Bridesmaids.)

The show is basically what the title says, it’s about a couple of IT nerds and their boss, who isn’t quite a nerd but she isn’t quite as cool as she’d like to be either (and she knows nothing about computers).  There are goth vampire dudes, lawsuits stemming from bottom kissing, and transgendered misunderstandings.  The creator, Graham Linehan, should be given credit for the fact that even Bin Laden loved The IT Crowd.

Pulling – Almost like a UK version of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – largely despicable characters doing generally despicable things.  That might be a little harsh, despicable’s probably too much.  But they are not great people (unlike me – I’m at home down south and haven’t had any alcohol for a week.  It’s like f*cking Leave It To Beaver up in here).  It’s about a chick who dumps her fiance and then struggles to find happiness (I realize it doesn’t sound like a Chilly show, but there is a lot of boozing and debauchery in here).  The best part of the show is no doubt her ex-fiance, Karl, who manages to elevate the role beyond funny sad sack.  Typical UK show, 12 total episodes, not a huge time investment.  Worth it.


Beloved US TV Shows That Both Had Dave Foley or That One Red-Haired Chick (Note: May Be Inaccurate)

Arrested Development – Given all the recent fanfare about the AD movie and new episodes, I would be remiss not to include it here.  Probably all the comedy dorks will have already seen it, but worth revisiting before its triumphant (and I’m sure low-rated and poor-box-officed return).  A nutty family does nutty things.  (Okay, I am shocked that Dave Foley was never on this – he’s had at least a guest stint on every sitcom for the last 15 years.)

NewsRadio – An incredible cast of talented actors does nutty things.  Important note: Netflix Instant only has the first three seasons, so it’s all Phil Hartman.  No one wants to see the Lovitz ones – there’s a bunch of ominous stuff in here though that is sad in light of what happened to Hartman.  Also a bizarre reference to former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell in one sequence where Lisa is a VJ for a day, who was also murdered – on-f*cking-stage – at a concert in Ohio in 2004.  If you can get past the Hartman tragedy (and the fact that many people think Andy Dick got his wife back on drugs) you will find that these shows really hold up.  Great for watching on the iPad before bed.


Documentaries About Vicious Animals That You Should Not Watch Just After Eating

Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom – I learned that wolverines are not yellow and blue, that they can survive off just animal bones for a winter, that their back feet land further ahead than their front feet while running, and that they are adorable.  Cool show.

Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas – I learned that hyenas are f*cking disgusting – siblings kill one another just to prove who mom should like best (they may even eat the loser, I blocked several parts of this from my memory – also, both sexes have penis-like protuberances), that male lions can do some serious damage when pissed off and not to get attached to any character in this show because they all die.  Hey, a cute lion cub.  Is that a huge f*cking scorpion over there???  Is that f*cking scorpion eating that baby lion?!?!?  This is more unsettling than Human Centipede (First Sequence), but somehow pretty entertaining/depressing.  You will be glad you’re not a f*cking male hyena after watching, though.  So there’s that.




5 thoughts on “How To Maximize Your Enjoyment of Netflix Instant

  1. Chilly! Nice suggestions. Correct on the IT Crowd (the US pilot was painful to watch if you’re a Joel McHale fan). I’ll have to add some of these to our work TV Tuesday’s (get a projector, a conference room, do a food run, and watch an hour or so of worth-while tv episodes). Except for Fastlane. Despite a hot Tiffani Thiessen and “peak” Bill Bellamy, it was just too much cheese.

    And screw netflix, Blockbuster Online all the way if you live in close proximity to a rare store that’s on the national endangered list now.

  2. What up UNCMike? Two questions for you: 1) How the heck did you see that US pilot for The IT Crowd? Not on Youtube that I know of (and there’s no way that smarmy Joel McHale is anywhere near right for playing Roy)…2) Have you ever seen Bill Bellamy’s standup on Comedy Central? It’s gotta be 12 years old now, but is damn funny. Can’t believe that guy never broke big.

  3. It’s amazing what one can ‘acquire’ on the interwebs if you know the right people. Not sure where they found it, but it hurt. A poor line-by-line reenactment of the British version except the writers looked at the script and decided to take the funny out. Bellamy had a solid standup act. I guess his big moment was How to Be a Player. Also a solid late night viewing experience on Comedy Central.

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