It’s almost summer, and Netflix knows it. Everyone’s favorite (legitimate) video streaming website has some big plans in store as you begin to break out the tanks tops and the pools heat up. On May 1st, 2014 we will see a plethora of new films arriving on instant streaming, which means that the nights of mindlessly browsing Netflix for something to watch are over! Let’s get right to it as I break down the best to watch on Netflix streaming this summer.
Making a mature-rated animated comedy is truly an art. Flops like The Cleveland Show and—in my opinion—American Dad prove that just because something is animated doesn’t mean a few fart jokes and f-bombs will make it an instant success. Show’s like Bob’s Burgers and Archer know this very well. They, instead, rely on their writers’ pure comedic absurdity and the artistic license that animation warrants. Both are quick and incredibly witty. I’ve watched Archer through twice now and find jokes that completely went over my head the first time. I’m lumping these two together because the front man of both shows, Bob and Archer respectively, are voiced by the same comedian, H. Jon Benjamin. In fact, the animated cast of Bob’s Burgers makes a small cameo in the 4th season of Archer. If you’re in the mood for a laugh you can’t go wrong with either one of these shows.
Ah yes, the show that had America convinced that Hugh Laurie was a patriotic freedom-lover like you and I. Though I’m sure he loves freedom just like the next guy, we soon came to find that Laurie’s impeccable American accent was nothing more than spectacular acting on his part. So much so that every goddamned late-night talk show host spent their entire time with Laurie asking him about his accent rather than picking his brain on his unique craft. I say this because, in addition to his fine acting chops, Laurie is an incredible musician to boot.
Anyways, House M.D. stars Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, a snarky, glib, brilliant medical mind practicing at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. He specializes in infectious diseases, more specifically he takes on the medical mysteries that no one else can solve. I’m actually rather shocked at the amount of rare medical anomalies that are found in the New Jersey area, but so it goes. House M.D. is a smart and whimsical show that takes on a “Sherlock Holmes” persona. Dealing with large moral questions and supported by a fantastic class it’s not one you’ll want to miss.
Oh my God, the nineties. I could go on a rant about how great Rugrats and The Famous Jett Jackson were while listening to my “Now That’s What I Call Music 7!” album. But, I actually bring this series up for a different reason.
Twin Peaks is a show very reminiscent of this year’s True Detective. First and foremost this means that yes, the show is very slow, and very deliberate in its pace. Written and partially directed by David Lynch—a man often known for his merits on the big screen, Twin Peaks follows Special Agent Dale Cooper as he investigates the murder of Laura Palmer in the quiet logging town of Twin Peaks, Washington. Much like True Detective the characters are staunch and unique, and a fairly conventional plot unfolds in a very vibrant manner. Certainly worth a watch if you’re a fan of the nineties.
007… lots and lots of 007
There is a plethora of old Bond films coming to Netflix Instant this summer. Some good, some not-so-good. The great thing about James Bond films, however, is that you don’t regret watching even the bad ones. Seriously, if you only grew up through the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig era of Bond films I highly suggest you take a look at the oldies. For some reason, ridiculous gadgets, fancy cars, and mischievous women just feel right when they are accompanied by Sean Connery on the screen. Be sure to check them out.
Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2
If your parents were anything like mine I had a sneak out of the house and have my cousin buy me a ticket to see these movies in the theater. It may have cost me a month’s grounding, but it was worth it. Kill Bill was a spectacle of blood and cinema like nothing I had ever seen. I know Tarantino can be a cliché pick but for those of you that may have overlooked these movies in you QT repertoire I suggest you give them a watch.
Kill Bill follows a main character known only as “The Bride.” She awakes from a four-year coma finding that the child she was bearing has died in the womb and vows to bring vengeance to those who wronged her. Moreover it’s a genre blending film bring anything from anime, to the spaghetti western, to the samurai action film to its lens in order to tell its story. That’s always been one thing I respected about Tarantino. You don’t have to love all his films (I sure don’t) but you can’t deny that the man is one hell of a storyteller.
The Legend of the Drunken Master
Staying in the Kung-Fu vein of cinema for just another moment, my eyes stumbled upon this film coming to streaming and I almost had to do a double take. I hadn’t seen this film in years. I was bored one night so I decided to queue it up and boy am I glad I did.
The Legend of the Drunken Master features a young Jackie Chan caught between the typical martial artist dilemma of pacifism and those who disrespect his culture. Perhaps it sound like something you’ve heard before. But, as someone who rants and raves about today’s great martial arts movies like The Raid I think it’s important to remember action cinema’s roots with films like this. Watch it with your bros, it won’t disappoint.
I’ve gotta have one documentary on this list because it just wouldn’t feel right not to. Senna follows the fast paced life of formula-one driver Ayrton Senna. I know docs can sometimes get sappy with their subject matter, but that can never take away from the truly amazing feats that their main subject commit. Senna was integral in creating new safety regulations for drivers in a time when it appeared that no one was looking out for their well being. A truly moving documentary that’ll make you want to live life in the fast lane for at least a little bit.
Luke Johnsen regularly writes about TV and film for BroBible.
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