5 Netflix Original Series worth the Price of Subscription
Netflix had a big surprise up their sleeve during their Consumer Electronics Show presentation last January. In a bid to truly bring its services on a global scale, Netflix announced its biggest international expansion to date by entering 130 new markets, including the Philippines. If you’ve been living under a rock, Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that brings hours of television and film content on demand. It has essentially changed the game for professional couch potatoes worldwide and is definitely a welcome addition to the Filipino household.
The Philippines, as usual, gets the shorter end of the stick, however. Despite the buzz around the Netflix Philippines launch, it’s been revealed that the local content library is vastly inferior to that of the United States’. Reports say that 92% of the US library is not available to Filipino subscribers. That’s not to say that a subscription isn’t worth it, though. Even with a reduced library (one that might rapidly expand too), we still get access to dozens of Netflix Original Series. These Originals are content exclusively shown on Netflix, and some of these are arguably the best TV shows around! These shows (comment: unclear antecedent) quickly becoming a key component of the Netflix model too, with 2016 boasting dozens of Netflix Original Series set to return or debut. These five Netflix Original Series definitely make every centavo worth the subscription (trust me, I’ve seen every episode).
Television has lately been powered by stories revolving around antiheroes. Some of the most beloved television characters are the ones with skewed morals and irredeemable qualities. Think Walter White, Tony Soprano, and Don Draper. Narcos is the story of arguably the most famous drug lord in history, which automatically makes him an antihero (if the drug dealing wasn’t enough to convince you). But unlike the names I mentioned earlier, Pablo Escobar was as real as it could get. In his peak, he controlled 80% of the global cocaine market. At one point, Pablo Escobar was raking in almost $420 million a week from the cocaine trade. What’s fascinating about Pablo is that he’s generally well-loved in his home of Medellin, Colombia (fondly nicknamed Robin Hood for his charitable causes around the city) while still being able to show defiance and ruthlessness in the face of authority. His whole life was practically made for the small screen, and Narcos is certainly a fantastic way to relive the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar.
For almost a decade (Yes, it’s been that long), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought the world’s most beloved superheroes to life. The wonderful thing about Marvel Studios is that they seem to have the fans’ interests in mind. They’re always looking for ways to expand their growing universe. Daredevil isn’t your Iron Man or Captain America; he’s a street-level vigilante, with all the grit and brutality that comes with it. Marvel’s Daredevil is action-packed, but it doesn’t forget how to make interesting characters. Charlie Cox’s portrayal of the crime-fighting lawyer is what Ben Affleck’s version should have been all those years ago. And who doesn’t love Foggy Nelson? It’s also safe to say (especially to those comic book geeks such as I) that the show is more or less faithful to the source material too. All of that just makes Marvel’s Daredevil a seriously enjoyable comic book adaptation that will leave you hooked. Plus, Season 2 is coming up this March as well. What’s to hate?
3MARVEL’S JESSICA JONES
Jessica Jones is by no means a household name. In contrast to the already established heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who have been around since the 20th century, the Jessica Jones character was only created in 2001. Marvel took a big gamble in producing a show that revolved around a relatively unknown property, but boy did they win big with this one. Much like Daredevil, the tone of the show is relatively dark compared to the main entry films. Jessica Jones is a PTSD suffering alcoholic with superhuman abilities who decides to become a private investigator in New York. Krysten Ritter plays the titular character and knocks it out of the park. Her portrayal of the angsty antiheroine is enough to get you hooked, but thankfully there is so much more to Jessica Jones. Often referred by critics as a psychological thriller, Jessica Jones deals with mature themes that you’d forget that this existed in the same universe as The Avengers. But that’s a good thing because Jessica Jones has established its own identity, and there’s nothing quite like it. Like Daredevil, expect Season 2 of Jessica Jones to drop later this year.
4MAKING A MURDERER
The only documentary on this list, Making a Murderer has been making waves in the US for the debates that it has caused in the American justice system. Film students Laura Riccardi and Moira Demos chronicle the case of Steven Avery over the course of 10 years. Avery was convicted of a rape he did not commit in 1985. The only reason Steven Avery was released from prison was because of the advancement of DNA technology, and even so, that took 18 years of his life. Two years later, in the middle of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the county he was arrested in, Steven Avery was taken into police custody once again for the murder of Teresa Halbach, a freelance photographer. Avery insists he is innocent, and the documentary is presented in a way that would support this. The documentary is praised for its comprehensive nature, and it really sheds light on how flawed the justice system can become, as evidenced by the mishandling of Steven’s rape conviction and the inconsistencies presented during the subsequent murder trial. Making a Murderer is as infuriating as it is immersive, making it hard not to binge-watch this emotional roller coaster of a series.
5UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Picture this. A woman is finally rescued from an underground doomsday cult after 15 years of captivity. Having spent half of her life as a prisoner, she is suddenly thrust into a world that won’t stop for anyone. Sounds like the perfect set up for a psychological thriller, if you ask me. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt takes this premise and turns it into a hilarious sitcom. Odd? Yes. But that’s only the initial hook. Kimmy Schmidt adjusts to her new life as a regular person with nothing but smiles and a positive attitude. Along the way, she meets a colorful cast of misfits that make an already odd show even more odd. Odd is good, though, because it provides us with so much laughs over the course of the season. The cast is awesome especially Ellie Kemper as Kimmy, who exudes the right amount of charm, wit, and silly. There are many cameos and guest stars that they are jokes in themselves as well. The whole series is perfect for multiple viewings as it is a great way to lighten your mood amidst the hilarity that ensues. There’s just so much contagious good vibes around Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that I’d recommend it to even the most soulless creature on Earth.