We give our take on the five best Netflix picks to watch this bank holiday weekend.
Ah the May bank holiday, the first time of the year where it actually feels like Spring has well and truly sprung (even if the weather doesn’t always reflect it); the abundant green and blossoms everywhere are enough to brighten up anyone’s day.
Hopefully you’ve got some nice plans lined up for the long weekend, but if you’ve got a spare few hours to lounge in front of some quality telly we’ve got you covered as far as Netflix recommendations go. Here are our best Netflix picks for this coming gloriously long weekend:
Hot New Arrivals: Dear White People and Cable Girls
Dear White People:
Released today, this satirical Netflix Original is based on the 2014 film of the same name (which you can also find on Netflix) and follows the lives of a group of students of colour as they attempt to navigate the racially charged halls of a fictional Ivy-league college.
If the trailer is anything to go by, Dear White People appears to have lost none of the cutting wit of the film as students muddle around tricky political waters; one student radio host tells a caller to “check your white privilege” only to be informed that she is speaking to a black person.
Initial reviews are also extremely positive; the show currently holds a 100% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the praise just keeps rolling in.
What the critics are saying:
“Dear White People balances satirical irony and deep-seated rage to tell its richly entertaining, wildly funny yet deadly serious character-driven story of identity politics: racial, sexual, human.”
Also released today, Cable Girls is the first Netflix Original series from Spain. A period drama set in 1920s Madrid, the series follows the lives of four very different women working at The National Telephone Company as ‘cable girls’; the only job that represented progress and modernity for women at the time. From the day one of the job, jealousy, envy and betrayal get mixed up with the hunger for success, friendship and love.
The media coverage so far has been sparse, so the jury is still out as to whether Cable Girls is worth your time but the trailer indicates a lushly shot period drama with spectacularly beautiful costuming at the very least.
One to watch with Mum: Philomena
The emotional and much critically acclaimed 2013 film Philomena is coming to Netflix this bank holiday Monday (01/05). Based on a 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith; the film follows the story of Irish woman Philomena Lee’s journey to find her long-lost son who she was forced to give up for adoption by - you guessed it - the Catholic Church, 50 years previously.
This is a rich and emotive human interest story that once you go below the surface, as one critic put it; “you find a story of cruelty and evil, of shocking acts committed under a veneer of civility and sanctity.” Both Judi Dench (who plays Philomena) and Steve Coogan (who plays Sixsmith, the journalist who helped her on her journey) were lauded for their nuanced performances in a tale that will no doubt resonate with countless Irish people who have connections to the Magdalene Laundries.
Reality TV Fix: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Looking for your trashy reality TV fix? The good news is there are 8 full seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix and Season 9 has just reached its midway point with new episodes added every Saturday.
To the uninitiated, RuPaul’s Drag Race is a reality competition series in which 13 drag queens battle it out to be named by RuPaul as “America’s next drag superstar”; a title which comes with the grand prize of $100,000, a one year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics and a crown from Fierce Drag Jewels. Each week, the contestants compete in a series of tasks and are judged by a panel of judges.
Last week we saw the queens battle it out by trying to outperform each other in a Kardashian themed musical spectacular and we also saw contestant favourite Eureka forced to leave the show due to an injury. Fans needn’t be too worried though! Her return is confirmed for Season 10.
OTT in all the best kinds of ways, if you are looking for a fun and light binge or something like America’s Next Top Model with a hell of a lot more sass, why not give RuPaul a go?
Hungry for Horror? Try: The Descent
Looking for a genuinely terrifying piece of horror? Neil Marshall’s The Descent comes to Netflix on Monday and if you’ve never seen it before get ready for a horrifyingly claustrophobic caving-expedition-gone-wrong nightmare that will leave you struggling for breath.
The story follows a group of six female caving enthusiasts who bite off a bit more than they can chew when they decide to explore a previously unmapped cave. Without wanting to give away too much of the plot; getting lost, stuck in small tunnels and cave ins are the least of these misguided friends’ problems!
The Descent holds an extremely respectable (especially for a horror film) score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and is particularly notable for its talent at sustaining terrible tension for almost its entire 90 minute length. As fresh today as it was upon its original release in 2005; as one critic put it, The Descent is “super-scary and vicious, both psychologically and physically, this cleverly produced chill-ride is edgy British horror at its very best.”
Like the sound of everything but don’t have Netflix?
If you’re looking for a way to get Netflix for free and you’re due a broadband provider switch you could be in luck. Virgin Media is currently offering 6 months free Netflix subscription to new customers who sign up online, (or a €60 voucher if you already have a subscription).
By switching providers you could save money on your current offer and also get the amazing bonus of 6 months free movies and TV. No brainer if you ask us.
Want to compare broadband providers and find the best deal for you? Click here.
Want to check out last week’s Netflix recommendations? Click here.