Tag Archives: netflix instant pick

Netflix Instant Pick vol. 6 – The IT Crowd and The Guild

Nerd alert!

I just finished marathoning two of the geekiest shows I have ever seen, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  For those of you who think The Big Bang Theory is the ultimate in sitcom nerdery, you need to level up.  It’s time to put away your 12-sided die and pick up your 20-sided die.

First up – The IT Crowd.  In this case, IT stands for “Information Technology”, not the “it factor”.  (And yes, I knew what IT stood for without having to look it up, thank you very much!)  It’s a British comedy, as if I watch anything else.  Roy (played by Chris O’Dowd, who you might recognize as the cop in Bridesmaids) and Moss are the tech support geeks, and Jen is their Relationship Manager.  In other words, she protects them from angry end-users.

Here is a clip so you can get an idea of what it’s all about:

As an end-user who tries not to be one of THOSE people, I laughed really hard at this show.  I’ll admit right now, I have called IT and had it turn out that I didn’t have the thing plugged in.  Maybe more than once.  How embarrassing!

You don’t have to know anything about computers to find the show funny, but it helps.  Don’t worry, they don’t spend all their time in the office.  Sometimes they go out for a drink, or go to see a play about gays called Gay, or get stuck in Namco machines.

I’ll admit it right now.  I know that everyone has a huge crush on Chris O’Dowd, and I do find him adorable.  (Though sometimes all I can see is how close together his eyes are and how chubby his cheeks are, and he starts to look demented.)  I have to be different and get a crush on Moss.  He’s so silly and sweet and innocent!  I can’t help myself.  Those of you who know me are probably not surprised.

Every episode is currently available on Netflix.  I powered through it pretty quickly and then I was sad because it was over.  That’s probably the highest recommendation for watching something that I can give.

As soon as I was done watching The IT Crowd, I felt rudderless, adrift on an endless sea.  Wherever would I go?  Whatever would I do?  Then I remembered that The Guild is also currently streaming on Netflix!

You might have heard of The Guild, but if not, I’ll clue you in.  This show stars (and is written by) Felicia Day.  You might remember her as Penny from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  Felicia stars as Codex, a gamer in the Knights of Good Guild.

Yes, the show is about gamers who play in some kind of WoW type role playing game.  However, you don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate the show.  I can tell you right now that I have not played a lot of video games.  I have zero to nil hand-eye coordination and get very frustrated.  I have watched other people play games, but I don’t know much about it.  As far as role-playing games go, I was a D&D Dungeon Master in the 1980’s.  That was back when we used graph paper to make the maps.  (NERD ALERT)

Even though I don’t like video games, and don’t understand how to play them, I laughed a lot while watching this show.  I think that anyone who has an “internet family” will understand what’s going on.  For those of us who spend most of our social time online, it hits home pretty hard.  Everyone in The Guild is supremely dysfunctional.  I think that Clara, the negligent mom, takes the cake.  I am truly horrified at some of the things Clara does, but I still laugh at it anyway.

If this clip doesn’t intrigue you, then I give up.  No one can resist Felicia Day – I don’t care if you’re a man, woman or halfling.


Netflix Instant Pick vol. 5 – Sherlock and Doctor Who

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Steven Moffat, Doctor Who (Matt Smith)

Now that TV is in the summer doldrums, it’s time to peruse the Netflix archives and find something interesting to watch. I am recommending two TV shows because both of them have been penned by the magical, mystical, Steven Moffat.

I realize that most of my friends are already watching and already obsessed with both of these shows, but on the offchance that one of you hasn’t really dipped your toe in, here’s a primer for ya.

First off, I am going to recommend Sherlock because there are only three 90 minute episodes.  It’s such a breeze to watch them all, and once you do, you will be frothing at the mouth for  the next episode.  Sadly, they are only just now filming season 2, and it won’t air until next year.  (This is because the actors who play Sherlock and Watson are in some little movie called The Hobbit by some unknown director named Peter Jackson, or something.)

Sherlock is a modern take on the century-old beloved detective.  It’s funny how Dr. Watson can still be a veteran of the war in  Afghanistan, though, isn’t it?  Some things never change.  Because this is a modern update, there is plenty of technology such as smart phones, the internet and even blogging.  Yes, Dr. Watson is a blogger who writes about the cases he works on with Sherlock.  To the purist, this sounds terrible, but trust me, it works.

I’ll freely admit that before I started watching this show, I had never read any of the Sherlock stories or novels.  I am quickly getting caught up now, because after watching the series, I had an insatiable hunger for more stories.

Here’s a taste:

It doesn’t hurt that the actors are supremely tasty eye candy. Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, that is his real name, thankyouverymuch) has been described as having the voice of a “jaguar hiding inside of a cello”. He’s a tall, lanky and almost awkward slice of crumpet. And then we have Martin Freeman, the ever-cuddly, wide-eyed, sweater-clad teddy bear. Put them together and it’s like putting chocolate in my peanut butter . (Yes, I compare men to food. Shut up.)

Once you’ve had a taste of Steven Moffat’s amazing world, you will undoubtedly want to sample some more.  Lucky for you, he also works on the legendary Doctor Who series.  He took over the show last year, but had written a few episodes in previous seasons.  Honestly, it would be best if you watched all of the new episodes from the reboot, but I know how hard it is to find the time.  I will give you a list of all the episodes that Steven has written.  (They’re all the scariest ones anyway…and he wrote all my favorites.)

Doctor Who has been on BBC television for over four decades.  I know that it sounds daunting to even begin watching a show.  It seems like you’ll never catch up to what is happening.  Well, that’s just not true.  Here is all you need to know…the Doctor is a Time Lord who has been alive for over 900 years, and he travels through time and space in a little blue box called the TARDIS, that’s bigger on the inside.  Sometimes he travels alone, but he often has Companions that travel with him, and they’re usually from Earth.  The Doctor doesn’t die, he regenerates himself into a new body (right now he’s the Eleventh Doctor).

See how easy that was?

And now here is a little sneak peek to whet your appetite:

Again, I implore you to add Doctor Who to your Netlix queue and watch ALL OF THE EPISODES.  Since most people are lazy, I will provide a list of Steven Moffat episodes.  If you watch all of these, then you’ll know enough to follow along.  As I said before, he wrote my favorite episodes anyway…

Season One – The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances – This is a two parter that introduced me to a world of nightmares.  I saw someone wearing a gas mask at a comic convention and I got THE CHILLS.  You will understand why after you watch it.  Also, you’ll never want to hear, “Are you my mummy?” again.

Season Two – The Girl in the Fireplace – The Doctor has a torrid love affair with a French courtesan of the King Louis XIV. (Or is it XV? I forget.)  In true Moffat fashion, there is all sorts of messing around with the timeline.  He’s really good at that.

Season Three – Blink – SCARIEST EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO EVER.  If you blink, you die.  I don’t want to spoil it further for those of you who haven’t seen it.  Just watch it!  Watch it NOW!!  Oh, and this episode introduces the phrase “a big ball of timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly stuff” which really sums up Moffat’s viewpoint of time travel.  

Season Four – Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – Another two-parter that is notable for introducing River Song, arguably one of the greatest female characters in sci-fi history.  I am going to warn you right now that when you first meet her in this episode, you’re most likely going to detest her and wish you never saw her again.  Then you’ll see her again later and everything falls into place, and you’ll want to see her every week.  Alex Kingston, who plays River Song, is a goddess, and once again I beg the universe to allow her to be my BFF.

Once you’ve watched these episodes, you should watch the entirety of Season 5.  I’m sad to say that Season 6 is not yet available on Netflix.  Also, Season 6 is not quite over.  You can get the shows that aired so far this year by downloading them from iTunes (or other nefarious sites).  New episodes start airing this fall, so you have all summer to get this done!

Now don’t complain to me that you have nothing to watch.  Even if you’ve seen these before, you know you want to watch them again.  I know I do…

Netflix Instant Pick vol. 4 – The Tick

I’m one of those people who never saw The Tick when it was on the air.  I have always meant to catch up on it “one of these days”.  Well, thanks to Netflix, that day has finally come!  Now that I’ve been watching it, I totally understand all of those people who have been lamenting its early cancellation.  If you don’t have Netflix, you can also watch it on You Tube (full episodes available through Crackle).

The Tick is a charming, campy and kid-friendly romp in the world of superheroes.  Recent movies such as Kick-ass and Super have explored the world of ordinary people who put on strange costumes and fight crimes without superpowers, but The Tick was first.

Patrick Warburton (whom you may know as Puddy from Seinfeld, or as that pilot who explains the Soarin’ Over California ride at Disneyland), is The Tick.  He wears a bright blue body armor costume with cute little antennae that move around, reflecting his mood.  The antennae are my favorite thing about this show.  The Tick does seem to have some extraordinary abilities (although lacking in the brains department), but his superhero pals are just ordinary people. 

His friends are Arthur (The Moth), a former accountant who quit his job to fight crime, Captain Liberty, a hot chick who works for the US government, and Batmanuel, a Latin lover in a bat costume.  Batmanuel is played by Nestor Carbonell, who Lost fans will know as the immortal Richard Alpert. 

This is a lost treasure, and anyone with a sense of humor will enjoy it.  Patrick Warburton is following in Leslie Nielsen’s footsteps, because he is able to say the most ridiculous lines in the most serious tone ever. 

Here’s a little minisode so you can see what I am talking about.  It also features the fabulous Dave Foley:

Netflix Instant Pick – Vol. 3 – Tapeheads

Like any red-blooded American female who was sentient during the late 80’s, I fell in love with John Cusack as Lloyd Dobbler in Say Anything.  Let’s face it, ladies, Lloyd Dobbler is a fictional character, and in reality, John Cusack is an insufferable douche.

Before I came to that realization, however, I remember watching the movie Tapeheads .  I think only about ten people actually saw this movie in the theater, as it was a legendary flop when it premiered in 1988.  It’s now a cult classic and EXTREMELY hard to find.

Imagine my excitement when I saw that it’s available to stream on Netflix!  This one might disappear soon so watch it while you can.  Despite the fact that no one saw it, this movie is really fun to watch.  A forgotten 80’s gem!

Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was the producer of this film.  Some of you might remember his video album, Elephant Parts, which in a way led to the birth of MTV.  So what else could he do but produce a movie that illustrates the inanity of MTV?

John Cusack plays Ivan, who looks like the demented offspring of John Waters, and Tim Robbins is his friend Josh.  In what is now a very dated and quaint plot, they do their best to make it in the exciting world of music videos.  Their favorite band is the old time soul duo the Swanky Modes, and of course they run into them and end up working with them.  In between are some other adventures involving the FBI and a smarmy Presidential candidate.

For me, the best part of the movie are the music videos that the boys end up directing.  Maybe it’s just nostalgia on my part for the THOUSANDS of hours I wasted watching MTV…

First up is a commercial for Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles restaurant.  The rapper is King Cotton, but there really is a Roscoe’s in Long Beach. I ate there many years ago, and it was fucking amazingly good. I have had other chicken and waffles dishes, but nothing can ever compare to Roscoe’s. If you’re ever in Long Beach, you totally should go. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Here’s the clip from the movie in the meantime:

The other really fun clip is of a song called Baby Doll, by Cube Squared, the biggest band in Sweden. “They’ve sold more records than ABBA!” In reality, this track is written and performed by DEVO. Once you know that, you can totally tell it’s them. I need to find the soundtrack to this movie:

Check this movie out while it’s available! There are a lot of fun cameos. Try to spot Bobcat Goldthwait. I died laughing when I realized it was him…and Mike Nesmith is in the movie for a brief minute as well.

Let’s get into trouble, baby!

Netflix Instant Pick – Vol. 2 – Party Down

Almost everyone I know is a big fan of the show Parks and Recreation. If you’re not already watching that show, you really should be.  If you gave up on it in Season 1, it is SO much better than that now.  I had given up on it in Season 2 because I was boycotting NBC after what they did to Conan.  Except I wasn’t really boycotting because I still watched 30 Rock and Community. Long story short, watch Parks and Recreation.

What was the point I was trying to make?  Oh yeah, since Adam Scott joined the cast of Parks and Rec last year, he’s become one of those people that you want to know more about.  (Or maybe that’s just me.  He is darn cute, isn’t he?  Just look at that punum!)

He’s got those elfin features and spiky hair and a smirk on his face.  IT’S IRRESISTIBLE.  A girl can only be so strong.

I was in search for a new Adam Scott fix, and I found out he was in another TV show that was on Starz for two seasons.  It’s called Party Down, which is about a bunch of wanna-be actors who work for a catering firm in Hollywood.  Everyone is trying to get their big break except for Adam Scott’s character, Henry, who is remembered for being “that guy” in “those beer ads”.  He has given up on acting and is resigned to being a bartender.

Because this show was on Starz, there is cursing – they actually say the actual F word, which is awesome – and there are boobs and butts.  If you think you can handle this sort of naughtiness, then you will enjoy the show.  (Disclaimer:  you do not see Adam Scott’s butt.)

I’ve just finished watching Season 1, and started Season 2 tonight.  I got totally sucked in and watch the entire Season 1 this weekend.

It’s fun to try and spot the guest star.  My favorite was the appearance of one of the McPoyle brothers from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as a goth rock star in the first episode of Season 2.

I’d also like to know if it’s weird that I think the blonde McPoyle brother cleans up really well and is actually really sexy in a strange way.  I think I need help…

Oh and another connection to Sunny is that the shows are directed by Fred Savage.  So all in all, if you like off-the-wall TV shows, you’ll enjoy this one a lot.

One last bit of information for those of you who like Glee – this show also features Jane Lynch.

Here’s the trailer:

Welcome to the Netflix Instant pick!

If you’re the type of person who likes to stay at home on the weekend, like me, then right about now is the time where you’re trying to decide what movie to watch.  One of the regular features here will be a Netflix Instant recommendation.

This week’s pick is Suck.  Which doesn’t!

Yes, it’s another vampire movie, but it’s NOTHING LIKE TWILIGHT!!  This is because it actually has a plot, characters that you will actually like, and vampires who don’t sparkle!  Because VAMPIRES DO NOT FUCKING SPARKLE, GODDAMIT.  You know who sparkles?  Glitter kids at an Ecstasy rave (if that is still a thing)!

The movie is about a band that will do anything to find success.  Their bass player is bitten by a vampire and suddenly they are on the road to fame.  You might recognize the bass player because she and her overbite are also appearing on Mad Men as Megan, the future ex-Mrs. Don Draper.  She’s perfectly cast as a vampire since there’s no escaping those choppers.

Who else is in this movie, you may be wondering.  Well, let me just drop some names such as Malcolm Fucking McDowell as Eddie Van Helsing, Dave Foley as the band manager, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Moby, Alex Lifeson ETC. ETC.!  Yes, Alex Lifeson from Rush is in this movie, which proves to you that this movie was made in Canada, eh?

What I really liked about this movie is that it didn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s campy, but not too campy.  There are a lot of visual jokes that you will see if you watch carefully.  I particularly enjoyed the Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA tribute.

There is a lot of music in the movie too, and it’s actually good.  I am going to try and find the soundtrack.  I think that the soundtrack could be on the level of The Lost Boys soundtrack.

I’m not sure how this movie escaped my attention until today, it’s pretty sad that it got overlooked somehow.