Thursday, March 2, 2017

Netflix Review and Top Picks

Netflix has been around for a while now and I had been slow to jump on the bandwagon, instead opting to just watch network tv for free and an occasional episode online. I try to live frugally and avoid unnecessary expenses, but a couple months back I got the opportunity to try out Netflix for free, so I decided to give it a go. 

I was surprised at how much content was available, from original shows and specials to movies and even full seasons of shows from other networks. I started with the 30 day free trial figuring I would try it out and probably cancel at the end of the 30 days, but after trying it out, I decided it was good enough to continue.

The monthly subscription starts at $7.99 which is pretty reasonable considering how much unlimited streaming entertainment is offered at this price. The base price is for 1 streaming device at a time and standard definition. You can also upgrade to higher definition and more streaming accounts for a few extra dollars per months. I compared the SD to the HD and found the standard definition still had very good picture quality. HD is a little more crisp, but I found SD quality to be just fine.

The Netflix layout lets you search by recommended titles and you can add shows and movies to your list to watch later. It also has a rating and reviews system to help with recommendations. I found it is a lot easier to navigate on a computer vs on a streaming device like Roku. I have the Roku to use with the tv, but I do most of the searching for new titles on the computer since it is a lot more efficient.

You might think that once you watch everything you were interested in, there would be no reason to continue the subscription, but Netflix continuously adds new content each month. Not to mention, the library of current content is enormous and would take many months to really cover everything that catches your interest.

After having watched many of the shows and specials, here are some of the top picks I would recommend:

Stand Up Comedy:
If you are a fan of stand up, Netflix is great because they have a lot of comedy specials like this. Some of my favorites so far are Chelsea Peretti – One of the Greats, Todd Barry – The Crowd Work Tour, and Sebation Maniscalco –Aren't You Embarrassed. Chelsea's special has good production value and gets creative with the editing taking it to the next level. Todd special is also different in that he goes on tour with no material and pretty much just talks to the audience and creates jokes on the spot. Sebation has great stage presence and is not shy about calling people out when they are doing things they shouldn't.

Documentary:
There are a couple related shows in a comedic documentary style: An Idiot Abroad, and The Moaning of Life. The both feature a guy named Karl Pilkington who is pretty much an average Joe who reluctantly travels the world learning about different countries and cultures. He often has funny and brilliant reflection on his experiences and what he has learned.

Another pick in the travel documentary style is The Kindness Diaries which features a guy named Leon who goes on a motorcycle trip around the world but brings no money and instead relies on the strangers he meets for food and a place to stay. For those who help him a lot, he returns the favor and helps them with whatever they need.

Quirky/Funny:
For another funny original series, I recommend Garfunkel and Oates. It is a full season show featuring the musical comedy group Garfunkel and Oates. The show is based on their lives and integrates many of their songs into the episodes.

Also I recommend 2 more original series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Haters Back Off, both of which I reviewed here on the blog a while back.

Overall if you are looking for a good source of entertainment from tv shows to movies, all at an affordable price, I recommend trying out Netflix and check out the shows mentioned above!

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