By Duck Kolenik
I'm sure that by now most of you have heard the stellar news that our tireless leader, and captain of this pirate ship, has a new show that just premiered on Netflix. As you can imagine, we are all beyond elated for him, and as a result, we are in full-swing Netflix-obsession mode. Many of us misfits were already drinking that streaming Kool-Aid, but now we are completely red-lipped and hooked. With that said, I thought it would be an amusing exercise to ask the folks that help make up this extraordinary company, that is PLG, what their favorite original Netflix series is, besides ‘Stay Here', of course. I received an ardent reception from all. All but one that is. The one weed in the garden is me! That subversive question rocked my world for a few tedious minutes. How could I pick just one?
Life is after all, ostensibly about choices and so I knew I had to woman up and make one. If only Netflix had some pablum options or easily discarded contenders, I thought. Nope. At a loss and needing some cold facts to defend how difficult the choice was, I did some remedial math and came to the conclusion that I have watched about 58.4% of their "originals." I also happen to have big plans to up that already bulky number this weekend with Maniac and The Land Of Habits, so that will put me well over 60%. The problem here is this exercise is like giving an Oscar without categories being broken into genres. That goes against the rules. It goes against nature and logic and life, as we know it! How can one decide between The Fall and The Crown? A winsome serial killer and regal royalty? My brain certainly isn't wired to make such complex decisions. Life is hard, and so is this, but ruminate I shall. (Insert 2-week pause). Without further dawdling, I'll declare that my pick is Ozark.
Where do I begin? Jason Bateman (Marty) is all sorts of magical. His quiet comedy throughout the show is effortless and needed. Also, who doesn't love the rare same-aged couple in a Hollywood production? This leads me to the wondrous Laura Linney (Wendy), who has somehow found yet another award-worthy stride in being the brawn and brains of the whole illicit and intriguing operation. She pulls off being a remarkable mixture of naughty and nice. Human kettle corn.
Julia Garner (Ruth) pulls off a character almost too tricky to deliver. The accent alone is a surefire way to lose all credibility. Miraculously though, she beams authenticity and complexity I'm still trying to unpack fully. I can't help but want to take her home with me, even though I'm aware of her murderess standing. That’s insanity at its core, but also makes complete sense, which is also a statement that I’m now realizing encompasses the sentiment of the show perfectly.
Then, there is the untouchable Peter Mullen (Jacob) Every line he delivers cuts through the air like a sword and lands like a paper plane. At any given moment you don't know if he is going to kill you or hug you, but somehow you are fine with either fate. The story explores some wild and unfounded TV territory, which based on the sheer amount of content out there is bordering on the impossible. And there you have it! Ozark for the win.
Now, let's see what the rest of the PLG family has chosen!
Peaky Blinders: Hands down. Because it's got everything a guy loves. Family. Fights. Babes. And a brotherhood. (Colin Benward)
Sense8: A show that beautifully breaks taboos and celebrates the human connection and what makes us all different - even when so many still fear it. (Teddy Nashed)
Chef's Table: The backstory where food meets art! (Renee Kische)
Ozark: Gripping. (Nigel Rush)
Black Mirror: What the actual f**k (Nick Saremi)
Narcos and Glow: It's a toss-up between Narcos and Glow. Two very different shows. Narcos is a great show. Glow is different and reminds me of the 80s! (Victoria Beliso)
The Crown: I'm fascinated by the life of a Royal I missed my calling! Damn that Markle! (Ruben J. Davis)
As an avid Netflix viewer, I have a few favorite original Netflix shows:
The Crown: every episode looks like an Oscar-winning movie. Amazing acting and, if I'm not mistaken, is the most expensive television show. (They don't film in Buckingham Palace) Ozark: Such a good drama about a bunch of criminal low lives. Magic for Humans: Incredibly clever and pretty fun. Ali Wong: Both of her comedy specials are still hysterical after many, many, many viewings. (TJ Eaton)
Ozark: Our favorite is Ozark hands down. Hypothetically, on a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult would it be for someone to disappear. (The Dentons)
Stranger Things: I always need a day where I am just at home binge-watching the whole season of something! Great acting, suspense, intensity, and the storyline is just so good! And one thing I love about it is the old-school times in the 80s, and the familiarity you feel about it. (Yoori Park)