Friday 19 March 2021

Netflix Recommendations | Part 2

We're back for round 2! Still been doing plenty of bingeing over on Netflix and there's been a good few new releases over the last month or so that I was excited to watch. Here's a roundup of everything that I've been watching on the platform throughout March. 

Note: Most of these are Netflix originals apart from White House Farm therefore this title may not be available in all countries.  

Also if you're viewing on mobile clicking on each image will enlarge it and make it easier to read!

White House Farm (2020)     

Starring: Mark Addy, Freddie Fox, Gemma Whelan, Mark Stanley, Alexa Davies, Cressida Bonas, Stephen Graham

This is actually an ITV mini-series that was broadcast in early 2020 and recently released onto Netflix that somehow managed to slip past me. I'm a big true crime junkie and these types of series nearly always make it onto my radar but I'm glad I eventually discovered it. This series is a dramatisation of the real life White House Murders that occcured in 1985, the killing of a family in their home. The blame was initially put on the daughter, Sheila and the case was deemed a murder-suicide but eventually new evidence came to light that pointed in a different direction. 
This was brilliantly acted by the entire cast with particular praise for Freddie Fox's portrayal of Jeremy Bamber, he truly managed to capture this evil and manipulative character. It's well paced and really captures the 80's aesthetic of the time and setting. I think the only massive problem with it is Stephen Graham's atrocious attempt at a Welsh accent!
Recommended for fans of: Broadchurch, Happy Valley, The Bay.
Content Warnings: graphic scenes, sexual content, strong language. 

City of Ghosts (2021)

Starring: Blue Chapman, Kirikou Shai Muldrow, August Nuñez, Michael Ren, Angel Chipagua

I was not expecting to love a kids show so much but this one completely stole my heart. If you're searching for something that you and your child (suggested for 6+) can watch together then this is definitely the answer. City of Ghosts is a documentary style animated series that follows four young children as they explore their home city of Los Angeles by tracking down ghosts and learning about lives. 
The animation here is stunning, it has a realistic style but has all of the fun and colour that will appeal to children too. I absolutely loved how it was made to look like a documentary with the children doing interviews and filming themselves exploring the area. My favourite aspect was the voiceovers though, they had such a realism about them and you could tell that the voice cast had been encouraged to improvise with the dialogue. I also learned that the 'ghosts' are actually real people living in the L.A area talking about it's history and community. 
This is a really special series that I think everyone will get something from. It has a large focus on diversity and learning about different cultures and what has shaped L.A into the city it is today. Each episode is around 15 minutes long and explores different topics such as food, music and language. 
Recommended if you're kids loved: Octonauts, The Inbestigators.  

Murder Among the Mormons (2021)

I'll start off by saying that this wasn't really for me in the end. I did watch all three episodes if only out of the corner of my eye because by the end of the first episode I was kind of bored and by the end of the second I still wasn't hooked. This is a true crime documentary series about Mark Hofmann and the fake documents he forged that were related to the LDS church that lead to two people being killed in seperate explosions.
I found this very slow and completely different to what I thought it would be. Netflix are churning out true crime documentary's like there's no tomorrow and usually there fast paced and structered in a way that keeps you pressing that next episode button. Maybe it's because I wasn't interested in the religious aspect or the history of the LDS movement but I really struggled to stay focused. 
It's very detailed about the crimes and the historical side of the case, there's plenty of interviews with people involved with Hofmann himself including his ex wife, some of his closest friends and people he worked with so it was interesting to see their accounts. It also uses a lot of video footage and eyewitness accounts to move the story forward which I think Netflix really utilizes really well in their docs. A lot of people have enjoyed this series so it may be just a me thing but if you're looking for a gripping murder story then you might want to lower your expectations slightly.     
Recommended for fans of: Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art, The Most Hated Women in America.       
Content Warnings: references to violence and suicide, injury detail.   

The One (2021)

Starring: Hannah Ware, Dimitri Leonidas, Zoë Tapper, Lois Chimimba, Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Gregg Chillin, Stephen Campbell Moore

I read the book by John Marrs that this series is based on over the weekend because I dislike watching adaptations before I've read the source material and it ended up being a really gripping, creative read. The series however is only loosely based on it, it takes the basic concept of a genetic database that is able to match you with your true soulmate but switched up the characters a bit and introduced a murder involving the CEO of the company that discovered the gene. 
I definitely understand why the series had to be changed as I think the way the book was formatted wouldn't have translated well on the screen so I think they still managed to take aspects of the book but create something new. If you haven't the read the book thought I would highly recommend you pick it up as it's a real page turner, you can read my review of the book here.
As for the series, it was certainly entertaining in it's own way. I don't think it did anything new when it comes to the thriller genre but the whole DNA matching idea is really interesting to play off of.The series is filled with morally grey characters, putting it lightly, they're all connected through this app but they all have different motivations like power, love and revenge. A lot of them are pretty selfish and dislikeable at times but a lot of the time that's what made it so watchable. 
The ending did leave a lot of questions to be answered so it would be nice for it to be renewed for a second season possibly with new characters and situations as I think they could take some more ideas from the book then.
Recommended for fans of: Black Mirror, Soulmates, Humans.   

Content Warnings: language, injury detail, threat, drug misuse.

Zero Chill (2021)

Starring: Gracie Beedie, Dakota Benjamin Taylor, Jeremias Amoore, Anastasia Chocholatá, Sam Stelzer, Jade Ma

I didn't really know what to expect going into this series, all I knew was that it involved figure skating and ice hockey. After watching it it's basically a very sugary version of Spinning Out, a series i'm still annoyed Netflix cancelled. It revolves around fifteen year old twins, Kayla and Mac, who move to England so Mac can join a hockey team coached by a hockey legend. Kayla is a competetive figure skater who struggles at having to move away from her skating partner. 
It's very much targeted at a young teen audience, there's so much drama going on it's hard to keep track at times. Every episode a new problem arises or something happens that knocks everything on it's head. It's quite Disney Channel, I immediately though of it as a mix between Go Figure and The Cutting Edge. As a 24 year old I found most of the characters pretty frustrating and fairly annoying, they make a lot of bad decisions and are pretty bratty. Mac in particular I disliked for the majority of the episodes as he just made everything about him and didn't realise how much his family had given up to help him achieve his dream. I also disliked their parents as they constantly focused on Mac's hockey career and ignored Kayla's figure skating.
It has some cute friendships and Kayla and Mac's relationship does develop nicely by the last episode. I also really liked that the characters appeared to be doing their own skating as more often then not you can spot a body double doing most of it in other skating shows/films. Overall, it was an easy watch and quick to get through but not sure it's a series I'd ever rewatch although there's potential for a second season. 
Recommended for fans of: Free Reign, Degrassi: Next Class, Greenhouse Academy.
Content Warnings: some violence, threat     


Moxie (2021)

Dir. Amy Poehler

Starring: Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Nico Hiraga, Josephine Langford, Marcia Gay Harden, Sydney Park, Amy Poehler

I am so fired up after finishing this film, such a powerful and relevent film that's gonna stick with me for a while. Amy Poehler's sophomore directorial follows a 16 year old girl who starts a feminist zine at her school and with a group of friends, creates a revolution to inspire a new generation.   

One of the cast members described it as a 'coming of rage story' and I think that perfectly sums it up. Teenagers are dealing with so much more then relationships and schoolwork and this film captures the reality of sexism and injustice that young women face every single day. Feminism is often ridiculed for simply being rallied by women and this film shows that even from a young age people aren't understanding that this isn't just a women's issue. It's a movement that effects us all and it's about fighting for equality not a campaign against men. 
The performances in this film are excellent, they all felt like genuine teenagers and not 28 year olds stuck in a cheerleading costume. The group of girls at the center of the action have brilliant chemistry and are wonderfully diverse. The relationship between Vivian and Seth is adorable and I love that Seth accepted Vivian for who she is, supported her and stood for everything that they were fighting for without any ulterior motive. 
I loved this film so much, it's got such an important message. If I had one slight criticism I would say that whilst it touches upon intersectional feminism with there being black, Asian, transgender and disabled members of the group, it would have been nice to have explored their experiences and their encounter with prejudice more then just a passing remark.
Recommended for fans of: Sex Education, Lady Bird, girl power films, the riort grrrl movement.
Content Warnings: discusses rape, strong sexism, underage drinking, some language.    

Yes Day (2021)

Dir. Miguel Arteta


Starring: Jennifer Garner, Édgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner, Everly Carganilla

This was a really sweet, humerous film that explores a family bond in a fun and often slightly dramatic fashion. After realising that their kids see them as harsh dictators, Allison and Carlos decide to create a Yes Day; a day where they have to say yes to whatever their kids ask within reason. This sets off a crazy journey to prove that they can still be fun. 
This was a super easy watch, full of lighthearted moments and also fairly quick with a run time of just under an hour and a half. It's definitely over the top and you just have to suspend belief at times but no one goes into these types of films expecting realism. Jennifer Garner is so adorable, it's just a shame she's only being offered "mum" roles now because she's a terrific actress. The cast had a great chemistry though which made the film very watchable.
Kids will love it just make sure be aware that after watching they'll probably be asking for a Yes Day of their own!
Recommended for fans of: Instant Family, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Content Warnings: rude humour, mild violence, innuendos, mild threat      

1 comment

  1. I want to watch a couple of these! We put Murder Among the Mormons on but it was background noise and we "finished" it but did we reaaaally? lol I couldn't tell you what it was about! haha I want to watch The One but I can't decide if I want to read the book first >.< Great recommendations!


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