What to watch this winter

Netflix picks: Top: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Foyle's War, Murder on the Home Front; Bottom: Top of the Lake, Frank, Peaky Blinders

Netflix picks: Top: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Foyle's War, Murder on the Home Front; Bottom: Top of the Lake, Frank, Peaky Blinders

There are few better ways to spend a cold winter’s day then snuggled up on the sofa watching a great new TV series or catching up on all the classics. If you’re like me however, you may spend just as much time cruising Netflix never-ending array of offerings as you do actually watching a show or movie. While Netflix’s recommendations are a great starting point, I’ve tried to search beyond this list to find shows and movies, both old and new, that are worth spending an afternoon (or whole day) with. Full disclosure: I have a serious detective drama addiction, so many of my recommendations involve investigations of some sort. For a great list of the best movies available on Netflix check out NY Magazine’s comprehensive list here. They also post monthly updates of new releases so check often!

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries- Set in Australia in the 1920s, the costumes and scenery alone make this show worth a watch. Lots of fun!

Foyle’s War- a great British detective drama (with a dash of humor) set during WWII in the beautiful coastal town of Hastings. As much a murder-mystery show as it is a reflection on the moral ambiguity of war.

Murder on the Home Front- WWII murder-mystery with great characters and period-perfect costumes. Darkly humorous and worth watching if you like period crime dramas!

Top of the Lake- moving to top of my list of shows to watch, this 7-part thriller takes place in a small New Zealand town where a young pregnant girl has gone missing. With Oscar-winning director Jane Campion directing, this show is sure to be a new favorite!

Frank- a quirky indie film featuring Michael Fassbender as Frank, the mysterious bobble-headed lead singer of an eccentric pop band. Strange and wonderful and definitely worth watching.

Peaky Blinders- equal parts family drama and gritty gangster action, this British series gives a stylized sneak peek into the seedy underworld of 1919 England. If that doesn’t float your boat watch if for Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy.

Other shows to note:

Murdoch Mysteries- a really enjoyable detective series that takes place in Victorian-era Toronto. It’s a Canadian Sherlock Holmes of sort, full of interesting storylines and a fun cast of characters.  Only 3 seasons are on Netflix now but there are 8 in total. That translates to weeks of Murdoch marathons (or months if you’re more judicious with your watching schedule.)

The Bletchley Circle- a great WWII murder-mystery drama starring 4 extremely smart ladies.

Luther- a gritty crime drama with great stories and good acting. Rumor has it Netflix will be dropping most BBC shows at the end of the month so catch it while you can!

Psych- sometimes you just need something silly! With the final season now on Netflix you can binge watch the entire buddy-fake-psychic series in one go.

20 Feet From Stardom- an Oscar winner for a reason- this documentary tells the story of all those nameless backup singers whose voices brought soul and style to so many pop classics.

In my queue:

Black Mirror- recommended by several friends, this series is a piece of science fiction that explores what happens when our inventions reduce us to hollow shells” (Slant.) Hauntingly real!

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- based off the true story of French Elle editor-in-chief, Jean-Dominique Bauby, whose life is forever changed by a sudden stroke. I’ve been meaning to read his autobiography but I think I might just watch the film first!

Almost Famous- I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t seen this coming-of-age film, based off director Cameron Crowe’s own experiences as a teenage rock journalist. 70's nostalgia at its best!

Waste Land- a documentary following artist Vik Muniz as he travels to the Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill just outside of Rio de Janeiro, to photograph a group of cat adores, or garbage pickers. “Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives” (IMDB.)

Pina- dance and film come together for this tribute to choreographer Pina Baush. Looks beautiful!


Hopefully this helps you with your Netflix selections this winter! Any shows you're loving these days?

Stay warm!