Hidden Treasures of Netflix Revealed

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According to Statisticbrain.com, 29.2 million people worldwide have a subscription to Netflix, with 22 million of those being American. Netflix began as a mail-based video renting service and has grown over time into its most popular form, video streaming via the internet. Its affordability and high quality is the reason that those millions of subscribers have accumulated 2 billion hours on this site. Still, one has to wonder what people are watching for 2 billion hours. Is it the Netflix original series? Maybe 90’s sitcom reruns? With so many options available for streaming, every viewer can find a program they can enjoy. What those viewers may not know is that buried deep beneath those “most popular” series on the home page, there are many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. These five Netflix shows in particular should have McNicholas students jumping to tune in.

Friday Night Lights (2006)

Based on a book and movie with the same title, Friday Night Lights brings all the excitement of football right to the viewer’s living room. This drama series focuses on the local football team in Dillon, Texas, the Panthers. They are ranked number one in the state and about to start a new season with a new head coach when tragedy befalls the quarterback. They carry all the hopes of their town on their shoulders as they come together to become the best football team in Texas. Students will especially find this show relatable to their own lives through the many personal struggles the football players and other Dillon students face. With lots of drama and plot twists, this show will have all viewers on the edge of their seats through all five seasons.

Heartland (2007)

For all the animal lovers out there, there is no better series to tune into than this CBC drama. Based on the novels by Lauren Brooke, Heartland follows young Amy Fleming as she attempts to continue the work of their family horse rescue business after the passing of her mother. When her older sister Lou returns from New York City to help the family and Grandpa Jack decides to take in a juvenile delinquent on community service, things are just starting to get interesting on the family farm. This heartwarming series demonstrates the themes of the importance of family and how important it is to never give up hope. The series is on its seventh season in Canada, and seasons one through four are available on Netflix with the promise of more to come.  “I think this is a great show because it’s got plenty of drama to keep you constantly excited about it, but it’s not so dramatic that it seems overdone,” senior Rachel Ecker said. “I like it because of the drama and how it shows a loving family dynamic who are always there for each other.”

Life (2007)

Some who haven’t experienced it may write off Life as any average crime show, but this show is far from the norm. Charlie Crews is one of the best police officers in the LAPD when he is falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t do. The show picks up when he is released from prison 12 years later as an innocent man and is back on the beat. Still, 12 years in jail definitely changes a man. His time in prison has definitely altered his perspectives, and his unconventional ways of thinking shock the other officers as he tries to adapt back into his lifestyle of freedom. His unparalleled understanding of how these criminals work, though, may just be the tool he needs to solve the toughest cases in L.A.

Students will enjoy this show because the mystery and action will keep them intrigued from the moment they hit play to the moment the screen goes black. Crews has a personality so unlike the stereotypical cop show protagonist that it keeps the show fresh and exciting for viewers. His devotion to protecting the innocent due to his experiences of abuse in jail pull on the heartstrings of the viewers and makes for the perfect mystery TV show.

Sherlock (2010)

Many people are familiar with the character of Sherlock Holmes, but they’ve probably never seen him like this. The BBC TV show Sherlock takes the popular detective and puts him on the modern day London scene with the British Police. Sherlock’s best friend Watson also makes an appearance in this rendition, but as an Iraq army veteran who suffers a severe leg injury. Unlike most TV shows, each episode is an hour and a half long, which allows each of the mysteries to be much more in depth than they could be in a 30 or 45 minute show.

“The episodes are more like movies than episodes, but it is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen,” senior Anna Schuh said. “The episodes are so well-written you can watch them multiple times and get more and more out of it each time.  Not to mention it’s hilarious and the actors are some of my favorites.  If nothing else, watch it for the British accents.”

West Wing (1999)

This NBC original TV show takes viewers inside the White House. The storyline focuses on fictional President Bartlet and the members of his administration as they go about their day, working through government and personal crisis. The show is very fast paced and busy, as the day of a government worker most likely is. The show is known for dialogue “walk and talks,” where the cast members are hurrying from one place to another. The show is constantly moving with lots of plot twists and gives the viewer a closer look into White House life.

“I like it because I’m interested in politics,” senior Cameron Engel said. Even for people who are not that interested in government, the show is still a great one to watch. Engel said there is never a slow moment, and the plots are very in depth since they are portraying the highest level of government.  “It’s very dramatic and humorous, and there is always something interesting going on.”

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