Netflix

Things I’m Loving #1 – Netflix

I wanted to start a new series of just random things I want to talk to you guys about. I already do book posts, so this will be a little different. The first post is about NETFLIX! My favorite. 🙂

With weather being kind of bad lately, the holidays and being under the weather since the beginning of December, I’ve had the chance to catch up on some Netflix shows that I wanted to recommend to some people. Not all of these are from recently, a few were back from this summer, but I wanted to share them anyways.

The Crown

I absolutely LOVED the first season. Claire Foy is amazing, brilliant and perfect as Elizabeth. It was a fun way to get an inside peak into the Royal Family and how things work. The actual show is absolutely stunning. It’s one to pay attention to, just to see the gorgeous sets and costumes.

I know a little bit about the history, I’ve always been fascinated, but it was fun seeing it on TV. I googled a lot to read more about things that happened and the people they talked about. Churchill was played by John Lithgow–also brilliant (he’s amazing in everything he does, honestly).

Season 2 was good but not quite as good as the first, in my opinion. There was more focus on Princess Margaret. Claire Foy is such an outstanding actress, I just wanted more of Elizabeth! Especially since season 2 was her last season.

Black Mirror – Season 4

Michael watched the first three seasons and raved about the show. I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. Last weekend I was sick and we watched the newest season together (it’s short, 5 or 6 episodes) and it was REALLY good. The good news is that each episode is a stand-alone story so you don’t need to start at season 1 episode 1 if you don’t want to.

The best episode of the season, for me, was “Hang the DJ”. “Couples exist in a little bubble world where they’re assigned timed relationships that can last between 12 hours and 5 years. Go through enough of them and the system will automatically match you with “the one,” and you can quickly deduce that this is very much about both modern romance and dating apps.” I won’t share anymore, so no spoilers! But it was a fascinating look at the future, I think.

The next best episode was “Crocodile” but I hesitate to say it’s great because it was so freakin’ dark and difficult to watch and the ending was SO gut-wrenching. But…it stays with you. It makes you think about things. So it was definitely memorable.

Now that I’ve watched the newest season, I am going back to watch the rest!

Mindhunter

Mindhunter is based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas–which is a very fascinating book. I read it many years ago. The Netflix show is about two FBI agents who basically start the behavioral unit (serial killers!) in the 1970’s. It’s a little slow to start, but it’s very well-done. Sometimes it’s a little gruesome, but I don’t remember there being too many overly graphic images. They cast serial killer Edmund Kemper perfectly. So creepy! I can’t wait for season 2!

Longmire

I’ve been writing about Longmire for years now–the books are FANTASTIC! I highly recommend the series! The story (sometimes loosely based on the books, sometimes deviates wildly from the books) is on Netflix and recently finished. I am so bummed! I loved the series so much. After reading the books for years, the characters felt like family, it was well cast, and I love Lou Diamond Phillips. 🙂

It follows Sheriff Walt Longmire in small town Wyoming. His adult daughter is an attorney. His best friend is Standing Bear. There are love stories, crime, investigations, cowboys, and it deals with a lot of Native American issues. Such a good show!

The Frozen Dead

I finished another British crime show and saw this pop up on Netflix and it sounded kind of familiar…turns out, it’s based on a book! I read the book a few years ago and loved it. So it was fun to see it made into a TV show.

The story takes place in the French Pyrenees, so it’s visually stunning. The top French investigator is called in to investigate. The first murder is a grisly one–of a prized horse. Then the serial killer turns to people. The story is also wrapped up in a previous crime (I don’t want to give too much away) where the killer is in the mental asylum near the location of the murders.

FYI – it is in French with substitles.

Broadchurch

I love British crime shows. There are a ton of good ones out there. Broadchurch has a few seasons and each season feels a little bit different, but they are all good in their own way. It’s a detective show. The first season deals with the murder of an 11 year old boy. So the subject matter might be difficult for some, but if you like crime dramas, you’ll like this one.

If you like British crime shows, you DEFINITELY need to watch Luther and The Fall. Those are two of my all-time favorites!

I recently caught up on the newest Orange is the New Black (I know, I am super behind) and this season was exceptional. We finally got caught up on the newest Game of Thrones season (excellent). Other shows we are behind a season on: Ray Donovan, the new Twin Peaks (!!!), and I’m behind one season on Outlander.

QUESTION: What are you loving on Netflix lately?

Cooked

Michael and I recently watched a documentary series on Netflix called “Cooked.” It was done by Michael Pollan, of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” fame.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of his books (granted, I read them a long time ago and maybe if I re-read them now I’d feel differently?), I really enjoyed the documentary series. I found him more compelling and interesting in the TV show than on paper. Go figure.

It’s in four parts, each have a theme and tell the history of cooking and discuss issues that face humans for the future of food. A common threat — processed foods and the growing number of people with Type 2 Diabetes.

“Humans have been cooking since prehistoric times. But cuisine only developed when pots and pans were created that could stand up to the heat of fire. That made it possible to combine ingredients, creating flavor combinations that were unique to specific places.”

I really liked that each part of the series took place in a different part of the world and gave insight into the different cultures and histories of food there.

Fire – This episode began in Australia with aboriginal people who go into the bush to reclaim their old tribal ways with hunting and cooking in the wild– with fire, obviously. It also told the story of a Pitmaster in the American south who learned how to BBQ as a child.

Be forewarned — there were a few scenes that might contain animal slaughter (humane). I left the room at those moments because I have a hard time watching that stuff. 

“They discuss the cultural history of the Aboriginal people, how they left their cultural lands thereby changing their diet. At the time when they left their native lands, changing to the western diet, they developed all the metabolic diseases common in our culture. When they went back to their cultural eating styles, removing fast foods and sugar from their diets, their health markers dramatically improved within six weeks.” (source)

That was really shocking to me (and I wanted to hear more about that but the episode didn’t spend too much time on that).

Water – This episode took place in India and Mumbai. It was interesting to see how the processed food market of the US was invading India and so many people there were eating junk food and fast food and soda, instead of the traditional foods that they used to COOK themselves.

This episode also talked about the birth of processed foods/fast foods in America–the TV Dinner! Spam! Everything processed! It was interesting, and frightening, to see the history and the old footage of commercials from the 50’s.

“The average American currently spends just 27 minutes a day on food preparation. That’s half the amount of time that was spent cooking in 1965.”

Processed foods were actually developed during war time to feed the troops, and then that carried over to the American diet.

It’s still true today–the worse the food, the cheaper it is. Which is tragic and that needs to change.

Air This episode was about bread. Watching the baker make sourdough bread really inspired both Michael and I to want to try and make our own.

He discussed how commercial bread was changed from bread the way it used to be made. Commercial bread has something like 37 ingredients in it when homemade bread is really only a few ingredients! The episode talked about the gluten-free fad, celiacs diseased, and the history of bread. They showed old commercials of Wonderbread. (The commercials were so creepy!)

Earth This episode was all about fermentation–beer, chocolate, kimchi, kombucha. They went to Peru and showed the cacao fruits that are hacked in two, then the cacao beans (which are engulfed in this white slime) are scooped out to ferment. Crazy!

Historically, people fermented food in the fall to keep all winter long. In this episode they talked to a nun who is also a microbiologist who makes her own cheese in the nunnery! She was super fascinating and I wanted to know more about her, honestly.

The documentary series was really good and we both enjoyed it. I will say that each episode left me feeling like there needed to be a little bit more. Like in Fire they only briefly discussed the effect of “modern” (American) food on Aboriginal people and it felt very brushed over and I just wanted them to spend more time on it. If that meant each episode was 90 minutes long instead of an hour, so be it, but I think that could have helped the series.

Have you seen this series? What were your thoughts?