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It’s back! Posh Seven’s take on the newest and greatest offerings on our favorite streaming service, Netflix! Netflix is an insomniac’s or a cinephile’s dream, one that keeps giving and giving. Award-winning dramas, sitcoms, and movies that put the old phrase “boob tube” to rest with content that is smart, engaging, and thought-provoking.
Let’s start with series that have recently returned to Netflix. “The Crown” returned, better and more beautiful than ever in Season 3 with Olivia Colman playing a now middle-aged Queen correctly. The sensational prison drama “Orange Is The New Black” returned for its seventh and final season, and it is worth every night of binge-watching as the incredible cast closes the series on a high note. “Atypical” returned for another season and did not disappoint with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport playing a married couple coming to terms with their troubled marriage and their special needs teenage son. “You” is back with a Season 2, and Penn Badgley is as creepy as ever as he plays bookstore manager slash serial killer. “Peaky Blinders,” the violent crime drama set in the aftermath of World War One, also returns as a fan favorite.
Movies have catapulted Netflix into an entertainment giant with its original films and releases of audience favorites. Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino are just two of the names of the blockbuster cast of this epic three and one half hour long mob thriller “The Irishman.” Noah Baumbach directs the heartfelt and compassionate film about a marriage headed toward divorce in “Marriage Story,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Ali Wong and Randall Park are sweet and love-struck as star crossed lovers in the comedy “Always Be My Maybe.” Meryl Streep is hardly recognizable as a hapless widow seeking information, and justice, for her dead husband in the quirky film “The Laundromat” by Steven Soderbergh.
It’s Really Funny
Netflix is a cornucopia of comedies, and here are some of my favorites.
Starring and directed by Canadian actress Catherine Reitman who plays Kate, a cool PR executive who is also a wife and new mother. I like to compare this series to “Sex and the City” about moms, that work in Canada. But it shows that being a mother is universal, and it doesn’t matter where you live or parent. The series centers around a mom’s group in Toronto, and it doesn’t shy away from the challenges of marriage and parenthood. Nothing is off-limits, infidelity, religion, unplanned pregnancies, and hipster millennial coworkers bring a ton of heart and humor to this brilliant comedy series.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Sometimes you need a good laugh and who better to turn to than Jerry Seinfield to get it. The ageless comic drives around in a fantastic collection of vintage cars collecting fellow comedians in various cities as they make their way to local coffee shops to chat as if they were just regular people. With a stellar cast of comics like Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, and Kristen Wiig to accompany him, the banter is light and silly and seriously funny. A quick, fun watch that will offset a dull and dreary winter day.
Conan Without Borders
The show follows the unusually tall comedian Conan O’Brien around the world as he, well, makes a fool of himself, and it is very, very funny. You can’t laugh at the goofy, endearing comic as he interacts with locals and earnestly tries to embrace their cultures. As the first talk show host to visit Cuba in 50 years, he learns to dance the rumba, play salsa and break down political barriers. Conan’s interaction with a timid tour guide in a rum distillery in Havana is knee-slapping funny. His shenanigans in other countries like Israel, Korea, and Italy are equally entertaining with staged hijinks that he delivers with a comedic genius.
Many of Netflix’s dramatic series could be considered the next best thing to an actual history lesson. Period pieces and historical spectacles made quite an impression on viewers, including me.
The Last Czars
I’m sure I learned all about Rasputin and the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution in high school, but apparently, I forgot much of it. This six-part, astounding series tells the tale of the Romanovs, the last royal family of Russia. Refusing to adapt to modern ideas and ignoring the upheaval of the disgruntled masses, the dynasty eventually comes to a tragic end after hundreds of years in power with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The expert cast and the gorgeous cinematography make this series a visual and educational encounter.
The Royal House of Windsor
My love of the series “The Crown” is what brought me to “The Royal House of Windsor,” and I am glad it did. The six-part series starts during World War 1 with the British royal family trying to rebrand itself and continues through to modern-day Prince Charles’ clashes with the Queen over service and reign. The original footage brings you though the time-travel of world leaders and events. It shows how the royals have managed to preserve their place in society and power amid a changing mentality on the monarchy.
Sacha Baron Cohen is astounding in this dramatic series about Israel’s most prominent spy Eli Cohen. Recruited by the Mossad, he is put through a crash course in spying and goes deep inside Syria for a year-long mission. In the mid-1960’s the clerk turned spy poses as a wealthy Arab businessman to penetrate the Syrian regime and send invaluable information back to Israeli. The series has some thrilling scenes, nail-biting scenes, and heartfelt moments as Sacha Baron Cohen brilliantly portrays a husband and patriot loyal to his family and country.
COLLEEN MCHALE is an account executive at PoshSeven and a registered yoga teacher in Loudoun County.