Hurray for Friday! Even though we’ve only had a short week following the long weekend, TGIF is never an unwelcome phrase in our books. The question is, what are you going to do with your weekend?
If you’re still getting over the Easter festivities and are looking for a cosy relaxing weekend in front of the telly, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a new show to satisfy those binge cravings or want to discover a new favourite film, read on for our best Netflix picks for this weekend.
If you’ve been on Netflix recently you will doubtless have noticed the trailers hyping up this new girl-power, Britt Robertson led caper that premieres today. Very loosely based on Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography “#Girlboss”, the show is set in 2006 and follows a scrappy but plucky shoplifter’s rise from flipping vintage clothes on eBay, to running her own online clothing business.
The preliminary reviews are mixed but the general consensus seems to be that Girlboss presents a charming (if light and airy) comedy that’s perfect for a Sunday afternoon binge.
The critics who loved it: “Though its real-life subject crashed and burned businesswise, Sophia's rise from shoplifting-street-rat to CEO is a whole lot of fun to watch, particularly since successful-women bios are rare.”
The critics who hated it: “Despite some genuinely charming moments, Girlboss has a flimsy narrative and gives some of Sophia's personal relationships only a passing glance.”
Since its premiere back on the 31st of March, 13 Reasons Why has been causing quite the stir in the media, polarising audiences with its graphic depictions of sensitive content.
The show is concerned with the story of Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of cassette tapes that detail the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life. The list is cumulative and each tape is dedicated to a particular person that Hannah blames for her untimely demise.
The reactions as noted, have been extremely mixed. Opinions amongst the target teenage audience seem to be largely favourable with many teens the world over taking to social media to express their appreciation of the show with some even stating that it should be required viewing in secondary schools because it deals with the highly relevant topics of cyberbullying, mental health and sexual assault.
However, there has been an equal amount of backlash, with suicide prevention groups in particular coming forward to condemn the series. They argue that the narrative over-simplifies the complexities of depression and mental health issues and essentially glamorises suicide as a viable option to these problems.
Give it a go: If you are looking for a sensitive (if occasionally graphic) portrayal of the perils of the modern American teenager.
Give it a miss: If you can’t cope with slow-burners. With 13 one-hour long episodes it’s a lot of teenage neuroses to slog through; and the action and intrigue only really ramps up in the last few episodes.
There’s one thing we can all agree on; Netflix is an invaluable resource when it comes to quality documentaries. It gripped the world with Making a Murderer in late 2015, and quiety releases quality original content on a regular basis.
Into the Inferno is one of these originals; a nature documentary that showcases awe-inspiring footage of some the world’s most formidable volcanoes. The film is one part straight forward nature doc and one part anthropological study as it is directed and presented by the legendary and eccentric Werner Herzog.
It follows Herzog as he visits the world’s active volcanoes and we are entertained with such winsome Herzog gems as “This boiling mass is monumentally indifferent to scurrying roaches, retarded reptiles and vapid humans alike.”
Give it a go: If you love nature and the quirky sensibilities of a master documentary maker.
Give it a miss: If you’re not too fond of a meandering style.
Looking for a hidden gem of a romantic film? This is it. In Your Eyes is a romantic drama with a fantasy twist. From the mind of Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) the story follows the lives of Dylan and Rebecca, two young people living on opposite sides of the US. Despite being total strangers to each other, they begin to see and feel what the other is feeling and they are able to talk to each other in their minds.
If you can get past the farfetched (some might say contrived) premise, In Your Eyes is a very enjoyable and accessible romance that aptly captures the dizzying feelings of early romantic connection.
Give it a go: For the charming performances and a whimsical romantic story.
Give it a miss: If you don’t like predictable plots or sappy romantic plotlines.
Since the dawn of Netflix and other streaming services, access to foreign language film and particularly TV has become infinitely easier, yet it’s still easy to overlook some truly stellar foreign fare, simply due to lack of awareness (or laziness when it comes to reading subtitles if we’re honest).
So if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary to watch this weekend why not try Divines? This multi-award winning gritty French drama chronicles the exploits of a pair of teenage girls who plan to get rich or die trying by following in the footsteps of a local flashy drug dealer.
It’s a coming-of-age story with bite, reminiscent of the violent atmosphere of 1995’s wildly and internationally popular banlieue-set “La Haine”.
Give it a go: If you like coming-of-age stories, strong women or stories about friendship.
Give it a miss: If you’re used to cleaner coming-of-age narratives.
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.
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