14 Unique Series, Specials, & More Currently on Netflix

Let’s hit this off sprinting. This list is going to cover pretty much every category from sports, entertainment, action, adventure, documentaries, films, series, animation, food/drink, and travel. I fought through the trenches to get the 14 best and most unique viewing experiences on Netflix as of August 16th, 2017. I watched and sorted through a variety of different things from alien conspiracies, documentaries about serial killers, a British version of the show Dirty Jobs except instead of dirty jobs it was about badasses, and narrowed it down to 14 ELITE. This list is not going to have House of Cards, Parks & Recreation, The Office, and any other incredibly popular viewing experience Netflix is known for. It’ll have a few on the hype train but many we probably would have never heard of unless we actively searched for it. So let’s do this shit.

1 GLOW (2017) – 1 Season, 11 Episodes, 35 minutes each

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.41.00 PM
IMDb.com

GLOW is based off of the real events of women performing for a professional wrestling circuit in Los Angeles during the 1980’s. Alison Brie excels, which is not surprising because she is a phenomenal actress who continues to prove herself as a lead. She plays a character named Ruth who is a struggling actress as she finds herself awkwardly auditioning for parts, until she stumbles upon something she may be good at. Wrestling. What makes this show so great is its 80’s nostalgia, humor that sometimes goes rather dark, and the likable characters who are imperfect in their own ways. The hype behind this show is there for a reason. And if you’re curious, there is a documentary about the real women also on Netflix titled GLOW: The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.

2 Some: Into the Bottle (2015) – 1 hour and 30 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.42.54 PM
IMDb.com

What’s better than having a glass of wine on Sunday while you battle the #SundayScaries and wait for Game of Thrones to come on? It’s learning about the different intricacies in making, consuming, loving, and shaming wine traditions from all over the world. It dives into what grapes are selected for certain types of wine, the process in making a bottle, typical vineyard locations, best times of the year to harvest, and more. You’ll definitely be surprised into how much detail is covered from the history, traditions, and families involved.

There are wines that are hundreds of years old. Some of the wines are stored similar to that weird jelly-like stuff that looks delicious found in the middle of the desert by Stanley (Shia LeBouf) in the film Holes. And if you don’t remember, just imagine a container covered in sand, dust, mold, boogers, and every other nauseating substance found on the bottle of a coveted and delicate drink. It could be covered with pigs intestines and if it tasted like it was meant as a gift from a totally badass medieval psychopath Khan Krum the Horrible to be drank out of one of the skulls of his slain enemies, I’d indulge immediately. I’ll take a refurbished skull wine glass thingamajig – not the real thing because ya know, I’m not a monster – for one please.

3 Ozark (2017) – 1 Season, 11 Episodes, 1 hour each

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.46.51 PM.png
IMDb.com

Jason Bateman’s incredible display has established his expertise as both an onscreen protagonist and behind the camera as a director. Ozark tells a fictional and reveling story about a family who must move to the Ozarks of Missouri to launder money for one of the largest Mexican Drug Cartels. Marty’s (Bateman) decisions and quick thinking abilities towards judgements temporarily save his life, however they open new problems he must weasel his way out of. With any Jason Bateman film, we get the witty sarcasm that lightens the mood. There were times I was laughing out loud when the scene before me was rather morbid often involving dead bodies.

What stands out is the pace. Some reviewers have said Ozark fell off after the first few episodes because there wasn’t a lot of action but I think that is hogwash! The constant feeling of uncertainty for what’s about to happen next allows the viewer to experience fear that isn’t immediate. It’s a prolonged sense of worry over the course of an hour. It’s pretty rare for a show to capture that essence especially if it appears that their is no danger at the moment.

The multiple storylines from the FBI investigating Marty –  to Marty mingling with degenerate criminals one day then talking to the Mexican Drug Cartel the next – takes it toll on him and his family. You’ll shake your head at the scenarios Marty gets himself in and smile when he gets himself out. Jason Bateman’s Ozark gets my seal of approval as well as the critics because it was just announced it’ll be renewed for a Season 2.

4 Fastball (2016) – 1 hour and 27 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.47.58 PM.png
IMDb.com

What’s more American than baseball and apple pie? I loved watching how the fastball has evolved since the beginning of the sport. This is a chronologically accurate representation of the fastball and how pitchers approached throwing one of the most important pitches in baseball. The film compares coveted pitchers from baseball’s past, while head-nodding the current generation and are astonished at the speeds they are reaching. I predict the fastball is going to continue to be thrown faster and faster as we as humans are focusing more on science, advancing our bodies in performance, and studying the mechanics of throwing. Previous generations never really considered this factor. I recommend this to any baseball fan or someone who appreciates the type of focus one needs to compete in a sport at the highest level and excel.

5 Chasing Coral (2017) – 1 hour and 29 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.49.02 PM.png
IMDb.com

As a recent Underwater Bartender SCUBA Diver myself, I am fascinated with exploration and adventure. Chasing Coral follows a team of photographers, divers, and scientists around the world as they explore and study why coral reefs are vanishing at a rapid pace.

I’ve always been drawn to the magic of the ocean. It feels like time slows down. Most people stare up in space in wonder, yet we have this almost alien world on our own planet just teaming with life. But it’s a world most people never explore.” – Richard Vevers

If you’re a fan of Shark Week, enjoy watching the Discovery or Travel Channel, liked Planet Earth, or want to see the miraculous wonders the ocean has to offer, you know what to do.

6 The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) – 1 hour and 37 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.50.02 PM.png
IMDb.com

Starring Paul Rudd (Ben) tasked with being the care taker for Craig Roberts (Trevor). After sitting around and talking to Trevor about his life goals, Ben decides to take Trevor on a road trip to get him outside of his comfort zone and see the world. Met with the added responsibilities of supplying lifesaving pills, oxygen machines to sleep, and special ramps to enter places, these factors set this film apart from the typical drunken road trip themed storylines. The relationship between this duo hangs on by threads when the hardships of life on the road get in the way. The intense practical jokes make the viewer feel guilty for laughing, yet it allows the viewer to understand the type of relationship that’s being formed before them.

It’s a poor man’s The Intouchables (2011). Sharing similar plots, extended practical jokes and quick-witted banter between two completely different people, The Fundamentals of Caring arises as one the best Netflix Original Films to date.

7 Underdogs (2013) – 1 hour and 25 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 7.55.17 PM
IMDb.com

A story far more than what I first envisioned as, “An animation film about foosball…how lame”. Oh how wrong I was. Underdogs follows a teen named Jake who enjoys playing foosball at his local cafe. One day he is challenged by Ace a phony British wise guy in a game and Jake ultimately beats him into next week. This leads Ace to form a lifelong vendetta against him as he soon returns a decade later as a professional soccer player. Ace’s master plan is to buy the town and destroy the cafe to stick-one-last-jab-to-the-man (Jake) all over that one foosball game. Jake challenges Ace to a game of foosball, but Ace declines and challenges him to a real life soccer (Fútbol) match in order to save the cafe and the rest of the town.

Underdogs has been on “My List” for quite sometime but I never got around to diving all-in on it. Only until recently I’ve been brushing into my backlog and this was the greatest pleasant surprise in the history of pleasant surprises. Granted it definitely has it’s flaws in terms of animation choreography; the mouth movements when the characters talk don’t always match perfectly and it’s significantly noticeable.

Yet the storyline, amusing humor, and unpredictable action sequences had me smiling and rewinding to watch it again. I didn’t originally give this movie a chance because the plot surrounded foosball. But some of the best movies are those we least expect to be great.

8 Secrets of Her Majesty’s Secret Service (2014) – 54 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 10.04.02 AM.png
IMDb.com

A documentary surrounding the UK’s secret MI6 intelligence agency. MI6 is comparable to the US CIA. And if anybody has a brain, then we know that whatever is considered “secret” is usually totally badass. This is a solid documentary about some of the well known events that have occurred during its tenure, while sprinkling in some rad tidbits we probably have missed.

We all know of the legendary James Bond being a member of the exclusive MI6. But did we know that at the peak of the James Bond films’ success, Egyptian Intelligence nimrods thought he was a real person and everything in the books were based off of real events? They would have their agents based in London buy every book and skim through the “facts”. They must’ve thought they were screwed if the Brits had dudes like James Bond as agents all over the world. Score 1: Brits.

9 Given (2016) – 1 hour and 12 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 10.05.24 AM.png
IMDb.com

I found Given on my “Because you watched Chasing Coral” scroll. Sometimes good things happen to good people. Given follows a family’s legacy told through the perspective of the young son as he travels from his island of Kwai with his family on a year long trip around the world hoping to find “The Big Fish”.

What separates this documentary from everything else is the way it’s shot and the story it takes us on. This isn’t you’re stereotypical surfing narrative. It’s the type of viewing experience where you find yourself immersed into what’s appearing on screen, finding it hard to look away even if it’s only for a few seconds. I thought about packing up all my things and becoming a nomad once this film was over.

The clear blue oceans, polka-dotted spots on slimy frogs sitting in the bush, sounds of waves crashing and island music, are just some of the imagery and sounds part of this experience. It’s a beautiful life lesson covered through many experiences across many lands, through meeting and forming relationships with culturally different people. “Give” this one a chance.

10 Skins (2007-2013) – 7 Seasons, 61 Episodes, 46 minutes each

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.02.46 PM.png
IMDb.com

Skins is my favorite show to binge on Netflix currently. I watched the American version which only lasted a season or two when I was in high school. This version (British) kicks the American version’s ass and shames it’s audacity to coexist among this legendary show. Skins is a Drama series about a group of teens living in the UK battling the hardships teenagers face despite the overall lacking of authority figures in their lives. I think every teen should watch this show as a prerequisite before graduating high school. It covers relationships, sex, depression, anxiety, friendship, abuse, harassment, alcohol and drugs, and every other topic we came across as we grew up at that age.

The soundtrack is great, the characters each have their own problems, and every episode will be a rollercoaster of different emotions and magnitudes. Sometimes you’ll be second-guessing the actions of the character involved or you’ll be laughing along with the jokes. It’s one of the few Dramas that I think can capture and portray comedy despite dealing with typically unfunny situations at times.

One of my favorite aspects is that every two seasons, the characters change indicating their recent graduation. At first the viewer is sad to see the characters they were drawn to go, but excited to learn about the new and peculiar teens that entered.

11 Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – 1 hour and 34 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.04.51 PM.png
IMDb.com

Moonrise Kingdom continues the trend in this list of “I never heard of it and didn’t expect that. But I’m glad I watched it.” This follows a boy and girl who fall in love with each other on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960’s. They run away together as a storm approaches only days away, which sparks a massive search to find them. An incredible cast starring Ed Norton, Bill Murray, and Bruce Willis to name a few, display an extraordinary performance packed with adventure, comedy, and drama.

This film runs along the edge of surrealism, shows off melancholy landscapes, and still manages to emphasize the innocence of young love. Seen as a quirky film, only delivers in ways that’ll leave you marveling for weeks afterwards.

12 Tales by the Light (2015) – 12 Episodes, 23 minutes each

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 10.20.50 AM.png
IMDb.com

“Behind every image is a powerful story. Uniting exploration, photography, and the natural world, Tales by the Light follows photographers from Australia and around the world as they push the limits of their craft”.

Tales by the Light exhibits the experience behind an image, the work and distance traveled to take it, and the people met along the way. Photographers accentuate the famous mud men and the Hull people in Papa New Guinea, Bushmen of Kalahari, Great Brown Bears in Alaska, wildlife in Antartica, tigers of India’s Bandhavgarh National Park in the Himalayas, mythical creatures like the green anaconda in Brazil, and more.

This is a look behind the camera at how some of the most renowned photographers spotlight imagery through a lens. The approach to the perfect shot. The meaning behind each frame. The reasoning for why the image angle is important. Highlighting what makes these pictures so paramount to the rest of the world. Each image has a story and the photographer is the link connecting the outside world to its beauty.

13 What the Health (2017) – 1 hour and 37 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.05.47 PM
IMDb.com

Over 17 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease. It is the leading cause of death around the world. Nearly 1 out of every 3 people will die from this disease. The amount of people who die from cardiovascular disease is the equivalent of 4 jumbo jets crashing every single hour, every single day, every single year.”

What the Health turned me into a vegan for approximately 7 hours and 27 minutes until I awoke from my beauty sleep and had bacon and eggs for breakfast. It’s the ultimate informational viewing experience I’ve had in terms of nutrition. It’s sickening how capitalists suffer from greediness and don’t give a crap if people suffer.

The diet trends and recommendations from the food industry are all supported by incredibly popular brands that don’t make any sense. Marketing and advertising are simple ways of manipulating society in following their lead. What the Health documents the importance of having a balanced diet and why more and more people are becoming vegans because of the natural health benefits that come from it. This is the perfect watch for anybody who exercises regularly, cares about the health of their body, and wants to learn about how much big food companies have conned the world.

14 The Defenders (2017) – Season 1, 8 Episodes, 50 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 8.46.32 AM.png

Release date is today, Friday, August 18th. I highly suggest watching all the other series – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist – before jumping in, so you know the back stories, special powers, enemies, and the like. The reason why I’m adding The Defenders onto the list without watching it yet, is because Jessica Jones is like Twitter, Iron Fist is like Instagram, Luke Cage is like Facebook, and Daredevil is like Snapchat. They all are unique yet equally addicting, flawed, and awesome in their own way.

I’m not going to dive into what makes each great, just understand that they turned me into a Marvel fan, not being one before watching these series.

Upcoming Netflix Releases

  1. Fire Chasers – September 8th 
  2. American Vandal – September 15th
  3. Stranger Things (Season 2) – October 31st
  4. The Punisher (Season 1) – November 2017
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – November 2017

I plan to cover in a future article describing some of the most unique shows currently on TV with similar range as seen here from Netflix. 

14 thoughts on “14 Unique Series, Specials, & More Currently on Netflix

  1. Oooh just started watching Ozark and loving it so far. Only on episode 3 I think. Also, you mentioning The Defenders show really makes me want to see all those others, like Jessica Jones. I haven’t seen any of the ones you said we should see first! Did you see Bloodline?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I liked all of them! There were a couple episodes towards the end that I didn’t like, but other than that it was great :)) the first season was my fave — flustered Kevin made me laugh lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished Ozark and loved it. Great show. I think my next Netflix project will be catching up on some of the Marvel shows. I have only watched Jessica Jones which I liked a lot. I’m not a big superhero guy I guess. I more watched JJ because of the private eye stuff (and the sarcasm). Hopefully I will dig the other ones too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did the same with JJ. Luke Cage is decent and Iron Fist reminds me kind of like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a degree because it’s martial arts focused. I still need to crush Daredevil before I dive into The Defenders.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s