Netflix Originals: Review & Recommend | TV SHOWS

When you have 4 deadlines and 2 exams looming, the only rational way to deal with the stress is to binge watch shows on Netflix (admittedly, other streaming services act as equally effective methods of procrastination, but I prefer Netflix, and I’m focusing on Netflix original shows here). As I watch way more TV shows than I do movies, and am a big fan of many of the Netflix original shows I thought I’d talk about some of the shows I’ve watched and loved that were developed by the streaming service.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Season 2 of ASOUE was released in full on March 30th, and I finished the 10-episode long series on April 3rd. The show is based on the book series of the same name by Daniel Handler, and follows the story of the three Baudelaire orphans (Violet, Claus, and Sunny) as they are chased across the country by Count Olaf, the actor trying to steal the children’s inheritance. I fell in love with ASOUE from the first shot of season 1. The semi-realistic graphics grabbed me from the start, and I’ve remained hooked ever since. The attention to detail in character and set design is phenomenal, and thankfully carried over from season 1 into season 2.

Each book from the series is split into two episodes, giving time to flesh out supporting characters as many only survive for long enough to be featured in a single story, and time to develop the stories rather than rushing to fit each story into a single 45 minute long episode.

The casting is superb, especially Neil Patrick Harris’ Count Olaf. For those who have seen the 2004 film adaptation featuring Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, it can take a second glance at Harris in costume to realise that this is a different actor. The attention to detail in the costume and character design is impeccable, and Harris pulls off the role of the creepy, money-hungry, murderous Olaf beautifully. The musical numbers felt somewhat toned down for season 2, with Harris getting notably fewer chances to belt out a ridiculous song accompanied by a perfectly choreographed routine (routines which add to the semi-realistic tone).

Many viewers of ASOUE will have grown up having read the books and will therefore be familiar with the stories, however prior to the release of season 1, my only knowledge of ASOUE was the 2004 film adaptation. Since watching season 1, I started to read the book series, but never got further than book 4, though I blame my friend, who stopped lending me them. Season 3 of ASOUE will cover the remaining books in the series and will be the final season of the show.

Sense8

Sense8 has been a massive success for Netflix. The first series was released on the streaming service in 2015 and was received enthusiastically by fans, who praised the series for its diversity and originality. The series follows 8 protagonists from a mixture of backgrounds, including LGBT characters and a global cast. Only 2 out of the 8 protagonists are from the USA, with others from Mexico, Iceland, South Korea, Germany, India and Kenya.

These 8 protagonists are all telepathically connected and are able to communicate and utilise one another’s skills from across the globe. The first series explores the characters discovery of these abilities, and their origin, while simultaneously addressing relevant issues from the character’s respective lives, and dealing with a secret organisation trying to hunt down those with such abilities.

The show portrays such diverse characters in an immensely respectful and believable way, creating characters that the audience begins to root for from the first episode. A show with 8 protagonists can initially sound like a lot of work, especially when the characters have such dramatically different story lines, but each story line is well developed and easy to follow, leaving the audience to focus their confusion on where the abilities come from, and why the protagonists are being hunted down. The editing is beautifully done, especially in scenes where characters use one another’s skills. The cinematography, too, is gorgeous, and the diversity of location paired with this incredible editing and cinematography helps you to understand just why the series takes so long to make (season 2 didn’t come out until 2 years after season 1, though there was a Christmas special episode released to tide fans over).

The second series was intended to be the last, due to the cost of creating the series. The fan reaction to this news was so strong that Netflix agreed to release one more one-off episode as a finale, to tie up the loose ends and cliffhangers left at the end of season 2. Rumours are that this episode will be released in 2018, but with no date as yet given, it may well be a slightly longer wait for the conclusion of this series.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Netflix Originals: Review & Recommend | TV SHOWS

    • It’s definitely worth watching!! It’s obviously aimed at a younger audience than Sense8 but I know loads of people around my age (19) who are loving it because they grew up with the books. There’s a couple of more adult jokes thrown in as well that I appreciated, and I love the balance between the humourous moments and the darker ones.

      Liked by 1 person

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