Yearly archives: 2017

3 posts

Four Netflix things to watch

Sometimes, no matter what you try, you can’t seem to shake a bad mood. It happens to the best, and chirpiest, of us. But here are four Netflix things to watch that will almost certainly pull you out of a bad mood and have you sparkling again.

The Good Place

the good place on netflix
Ted Danson in The Good Place

A delightful and wholesome comedy that will help alleviate your existential angst, whilst teaching you about philosophy. In an afterlife where you can’t swear that was created by a character played by Ted Danson, a pleasant omniscient computer in human form called Janet and a protagonist played by everyone’s favourite Kristen Bell, there is a lot to love about The Good Place. 

​Jim Gaffigan – stand up specials

On Australian Netflix there are five Jim Gaffigan stand up specials: Obsessed, Mr Universe, Beyond the Pale, Cinco and King Baby. His jokes are gentle and unoffensive (except, maybe, to vegans) and it’s a refreshing change from all the shouty, frustrated white man comedy that dominates the stage. Gaffigan gets bonus points for never making fun of “being too PC”.

Schitt’s Creek

schitts creek tv series
Dan and Eugene Levy. Image credit: Getty Images

Created by and starring charming father and son duo, Dan and Eugene Levy (those eyebrows!), this surprising comedy relies on the vigour of all the well crafted characters. As well as the absurd setting that the Rose family have found themselves in. Schitt’s Creek is a “fish out of water” tale that is cringe worthy without being painful. It’s also rewarding when we get to witness vapid characters experience personal expansion.  

Now You See Me

now you see me movie

Perhaps I’m swayed by my love of magic and illusions but this heist movie (and its sequel) is one of the most pleasurable movies to watch on Netflix. The Now You See Me cast is so robust with Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and more. And the ongoing tricks, mystery and sense of theatre are thrilling and unpredictable. Great if you like movies like the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy.

​Watched them all and need more Netflix things to watch? Why not try Pine Gap?

Dark TV series on Netflix

Watch on Netflix

dark netflix series
Image credit: Netflix

Dark TV series is a German made series that has just hit Australian Netflix yesterday. It merges supernatural and time travelling themes with ordinary, small town ennuis.

It is about a missing child that simultaneously divides and brings together a small town. Upon banding together to work out the mystery of where the child went, the secrets of the town are inevitably unearthed.

Fractured relationships, unreliable narrators (many characters of seemingly unsound mind) and multi faceted people with secrets to hide (that they go above and beyond to avoid being unearthed) are one of our (as viewers) favourite things in television at the moment. So it does have that in its favour.

There’s a lot to dislike about the series, given its competition and comparative titles dwarf it a thousand times over. Firstly, the lack of diversity in characters is so obvious and jarring that it hurts the show. And the ability to relate. The stereotypical roles of harried mother that no one listens to, disobedient children and cheating husband are all quite banal. This makes for a boring first episode.

Is the Dark TV series original?

There is a conspicuous lack of originality. It could be considered a watered down version of Stranger Things or Twin Peaks with its retro aesthetic, use of cold lighting and noir/horror tropes. Additionally, i| t has the feel of a Stephen King adaption without his infamous storytelling style of bringing the inciting event right to the start of content. In Dark, it takes until the end of the first hour long episode to give us any insight into what the catastrophe will be. That’s a lot of time introducing and setting up the characters. The voice over dubbing is problematic but unavoidable, so if you speak German you have an advantage.

There are wasted storytelling moments. Such as the merely seconds long scenes of an electric chair style device inside a heavily eighties era decorated room sans explanation early on in the season. Hinting at an intriguing sub plot. Oddly, these are the scenes that will keep me invested enough to watch most of the series.

Trivia: the opening theme song was used in Breaking Bad

Should I watch?

Yeah, I guess.

For those who loved:

  • Stranger Things
  • Twin Peaks
  • Ozark
  • Broadchurch
  • ​The OA
parks and rec tv show

Five writing tips I learnt from Parks and Recreation

Watch on Stan

parks and rec stan australia

There are a lot of lessons that watching plenty of TV can offer particularly when it comes to writing.  Parks and Recreation is one of my most beloved sitcoms and I have spent years falling asleep to its obnoxious “doot a la doot” theme song.

​Here are four things I learnt from the writers of Parks N’ Rec. What I learnt from Parks and Recreation

  1. The character of Lesley Knope was already formed in creator, Amy Poehler’s head, she just needed to write the TV show that would fit around her and refine how the world and responded to her.
  2. Fart jokes are always funny.
  3. Write the lines for the characters, not for the audience.
  4. A writing project is just like any other project and a project needs a good leader – either in a team or a part of yourself.
Stan TV series

Catch all seasons of Parks and Recreation on Stan.