By Emily Vescio
“What Should I Watch on Netflix”
Typing this simple phrase into Google (or Bing, I don’t judge) in a frantic attempt to not sit and re-watch the same episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine for the third time this week, and finding the same list of shows over and over. Not to mention they’re all by American writers and none of those shows even exist on the Australian (worse) version of the streaming platform.
A lot of these shows are names that you’ll scroll past a thousand times and never actually hit play, but it’s time to give them a go.
Daniel Sloss – Dark/Jigsaw
Daniel Sloss is one of my favourite stand-up comedians of all time. Sloss is known for his “dark” sense of humour and vegan-hatred. He has an interesting twist on a classic comedy special, ending with what he calls a “15 minute TED Talk”. He has done specials surrounding death, toxic relationships and sexual assault – the first two being the ones featured on Netflix. Building up to these topics and then handling them with respect and delicacy is a craft that Daniel Sloss has perfected. I recommend these to anyone who will let me. His new show “X” is also spectacular, and I’ve seen it live 4 times. Unfortunately it’s only available in America and Canada on HBO, so keep an eye out for that being released in Australia at a later date if you enjoy these two.
John Mulaney – Kid Gorgeous/The Comeback Kid
John Mulaney is a multi-talented man. He started out on Saturday Night Live as a writer and later branched into his own stand-up comedy. His two specials on Netflix have made me laugh harder than anything else ever has. Stranger danger assemblies with questionable speakers, jokes about Catholicism and a french bulldog – what more could you ask for? Sequentially, Comeback Kid came out first, but I always recommend Kid Gorgeous for new viewers, as it’s quintessential John Mulaney and you’ll be hooked. If you’ve not got enough Mulaney after these two, there are two other specials of his on Spotify; The Top Part and New in Town.
I know I’ve included two comedians and this was advertised as ~shows~ but they’re so great it was impossible to not include. The next couple are actual series so you can’t complain that I lied to you.
The Good Place
The Good Place was created by Mike Schur, who worked on Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Office (U.S.). If you’re not already sold, let me tell you some more about it. Tackling the afterlife and human ethics, The Good Place wraps it all up in a little perfectly-wrapped box. Featuring actors Ted Danson and Kristen Bell as two of the main characters, how can you go wrong? It’s one and only downfall is the tragic introduction of a storyline set in Australia, which would be incredible if it weren’t for the AWFUL fake Australian accents. I’m sorry in advance. If you want to laugh yourself to tears and contemplate every single life decision you’ve made – this show is the one for you.
One Day at a Time
One Day at a Time features an almost all Latinx main cast, so big points for diversity! One Day at a Time is another one of those spectacular 20-minute comedies that somehow manages to tie in deep storylines of racism, coming out and mental health struggles, all while keeping you laughing throughout. This is the kind of show I can watch a whole season in one sitting and not even realise. I wrote a whole spiel about why I love this show and how mad I am that not enough people watch it which you can read here.
Atypical is one of the few shows that has a main character on the autism spectrum. The highs and lows of this show are hilarious, painful, and keep you enthralled through til the end. The penguin talk, witty humour and awkward interactions combine beautifully to create some of the best television that’s come out in recent years. In an era of every widely loved Netflix Original being cancelled before they get a new season, Atypical has been renewed for a third season to be released on November 1st. (UPDATE: it’s been about 3 days since season 3 came out and I watched it all in one sitting and it’s fantastic. You can continue)
Please Like Me
Please Like Me features beloved Australian comedian Josh Thomas as the creator and lead in this show. It follows Josh dealing with things such as mental health, coming out and suicide in a real and confronting way. Alongside this, are some of the most perfect representations of Australian culture that I’ve seen on any show. It’s full of true stories from Josh’s life which make some scenes more cringe-worthy than others when you step back and realise… this actually happened… to a real person… yikes. The second hand embarrassment sells the show and keeps you invested – I finished this show in 3 days and rewatched it a week later.
I’ve just given you weeks worth of content (or less I don’t know your vibe), so what are you still doing reading this? Close this browser and head to Netflix and log into your friends account – that they don’t know you still have access to – and hit play on one of these cracker shows. They’re all so ridiculously good and widely loved, I empathise with you trying to pick which one to watch first. Happy watching!