I am a huge fan of binge watching; Netflix and I are best buddies and spend many a night/day trawling through episode after episode. In the last few weeks these are the shows that ‘are you still watching?’ message has popped up during.
TRAILER PARK BOYS
This is low budget television at its best. The show documents the lives and shenanigans of three friends who live on a Nova Scotia trailer park and the crazed situations they involve themselves in. It is all recorded in a mockumentary style and each episode is packed full of running jokes and instantly quotable lines.
The writing within Trailer Park Boys is incredible; there are moments of genuine empathy and uncomfortable cringing hidden amongst the hilarity. Despite the protagonists Julian and Ricky having abrasive personalities, it is almost impossible not to root for them, and prepare to fall in love with Bubbles with his inspiringly positive outlook on life.
There are ten seasons of these drunken adventures and petty criminal activity with the newest season launching on Monday this week. Prepare yourself to spend the next ten series binge watching and misquoting well known sayings.
I have been hooked on this Batman sub-franchise since the start. The way the writers have developed the characters of Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth with such slow building intrigue has been one of the main hooks. With season two, the focus has often been shifted on to the villains which perfectly lines up with the Suicide Squad movie released in the summer. The second season has also seen a shift in the broadcast time allowing for the darker side of the franchise to be embraced.
In the UK we have lucked out with both parts of the season being broadcast simultaneously which has skipped the dreaded midseason break. With the first part reaching its conclusion last week with the devious Theo Galavan and an ancient blood feud taking a central focus and the second part beginning with the introduction of Mr Freeze (minus the corny Arnie one liners).
There are some outstanding performances within Gotham, with Cameron Monaghan’s portrayal of the Joker, Camren Bicondova as a young Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Robin Lord Taylor’s intense take on Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin catching the eye as villains alongside Ben McKenzie’s developing performance as Jim Gordon.
The long-running character arcs in this series makes it a perfect binge watching option!
This may be the most stylish series you can fill your television with. Will Arnett takes a central role as Chip in this at times quite dark comedy based in the picturesque Venice Beach, California. He plays a recovering alcoholic and self-help guru of sorts who is struggling to make his life work. He runs a bicycle shop and supports others in a similar situation with addiction. This being said, he is a character with as many flaws as he has charms.
Without even considering the writing or characterisation this is a wonderful show to watch; the cinematography is exquisite and the soundtrack which has been selected by Steven Malcmus (Pavement) sets scenes perfectly. If the Californian tourist board have any sense this team should be making travel adverts.
There is a lot of dialogue between Chip (Arnett) and Dennis (David Sullivan), which becomes central to the storytelling and the divulging of small key moments in the pair’s past. There is a wonderful chemistry between the pair which fills these exchanges with warmth but does not exclude a simmering negativity at times.
Some of the storytelling within Flaked is imperfect, however it is so incredibly stylish and well-shot it is almost impossible to find negativity strong enough to not want to watch.