Ah, Netflix: that black hole of binge-watching that so many of us call home. It’s often the place we go to get caught up on “what everyone is watching.” However, the site itself offers so, so much more. You know those weird suggestions you always see on Netflix? You know, right before you click on “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards”? The thing is, a lot of those random suggestions are amazing…if you take the time to watch them. To help you out on your journey into the Netflix unknown we have provided you with a list of our top five unconventional TV series and movies that you should definitely explore:
5. “Not Suitable for Children” This Australian flick tells the story of Jonah, a 20-something party boy without a care in the world…that is, until he is diagnosed with testicular cancer and requires an operation that will leave him infertile. With sperm that is unable to freeze, Jonah is left with a limited window to grow up fast, as well as find a woman who agrees to carry his child. Yes, sounds ridiculous, but is an unexpected delight. The movie is quirky, silly, as well as surprisingly charming and romantic. It also shows an unconventional way of trying hard not to give up on your dreams, even if really don’t know what those dreams are.
4. “Stuck in Love” Big names come together in this small but wonderfully charming indie flick. Filmed in 2012 and “The Fault in Our Stars” director Josh Boone’s first major film, it stars the likes of Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Lily Collins, and Nat Wolff. This film is not the typical romantic comedy: It tells the story of a family of writers and their journey in finding love, losing love and fighting for love. The film is well written, humorous, and dramatic in one. It’s also a romantic comedy that won’t make you feel completely awful about your own love life.
3. “Saved” This offbeat mid-2000’s classic is definitely a strange one, but for those who like weird, dark comedies, this one is for you. “Saved” tells the story of Mary, a Catholic teen who seems to be living the perfect life with her Catholic school, Catholic clique and Catholic boyfriend. That is until her boyfriend tells her that he thinks he’s gay. Confused, Mary believes she is told by Jesus to help her boyfriend any way she can, even if that means premarital sex. Mary thinks it’s God’s perfect plan, until she finds herself pregnant. Flipping her world upside down, Mary makes unlikely friends and discovers more about herself and her religion than she ever thought she would. The story is refreshing and fun, packed with twisted humor galore.
2. “Best Man Down” The day after his wedding, Scott and his bride Kristin are awoken with the news that Scott’s best man, an eccentric man named Lumpy, passed away right after the wedding. Filled with grief and confusion, the two set off to arrange his funeral and learn about the life that Lumpy was hiding, and of the lives he touched. Bringing in Justin Long in a rare dramatic role, the film is honest while remaining heartwarming and entertaining.
1. “Parenthood” The only TV show to make our list, but the best one to be saved for last. With it’s sixth and final season about to premiere this fall, now is the perfect time to catch up on this completely underrated show. Based loosely on the 80’s classic, “Parenthood” tells the story of the Braverman family, a loud, opinionated, slightly dysfunctional but incredibly loving group. “Parenthood” is one of those magic shows that has the ability to tackle incredibly real issues such as autism, cancer, divorce, abortion and many others, without ever sugarcoating or over-dramatizing. It is easily one of the most authentic shows on TV and the first five seasons are all on Netflix now, so binge watch before the farewell season starts in a couple weeks.
There is much out there in the Netflix universe, and we recommend you start with these, they’re must-streams. You know, after you finish the last season of “Scandal.” Have something you love on Netflix but no one else does? Let us know @Speakeasymag!