January 26, 2018
Our writers are dedicated to guiding you toward the very best entertainment in Charlotte and beyond, especially if you can watch it while cheating a little on your New Year’s resolution diet, just this once, you promise it’s the last one, you’ll definitely start tomorrow so you might as well finish them now. Our staff writers and creatives will help you sift through the myriad of options on Netflix to help you find very the best movies, documentaries, and TV series.
Here is what we’ll be watching this month:
Mindhunter (series) – Years after the explosive success of his first Netflix series, House of Cards, master filmmaker David Fincher deepens his thrilling career-long intellectualization of depravity with Mindhunter. This 1970s period piece dramatizes the true story of a small group of FBI agents whose groundbreaking research led to the invention of the term “serial killer.” Following the trajectory of his recent films, Fincher continues to be less interested in the acts of violence than in the black hole of psychology they represent. Mindhunter may be the most hypnotic and perverse character study in TV history: a ten-episode tour of the darkest minds on earth and the price that was paid to understand them. – Dan Cava, Film Editor
Long Shot (documentary) – True crime is becoming increasingly popular, and recently has often been presented in a heavy-handed manner that leaves no room for discussions of the larger issues at play. Long Shot focuses on falsely accused murder suspect Juan Catalan and his fight for the truth. Add in baseball, Larry David, and a short runtime and you have a winning combination that will leave you with the time and space to think about justice in America without having the answers spoon fed to you. – Mandy Couch, Music Writer
Riverdale (series) – Let’s be honest. We may be in the third Golden Age of television, but sometimes you just want a campy, over-the-top teen drama, full of pop culture references and aging former heartthrobs. In those moments, Riverdale has got you. This dark modern-day adaptation of the Archie comics doesn’t have much in common with its source material beyond character names, but the first season is compelling and fun with some genuine surprise twists and a whole lot of school spirit. It also firmly establishes Luke Perry and Skeet Ulrich as DILFs. Go Bulldogs!! – Michelle Wheeler, Film Writer
The Toys That Made Us (documentary series) – If you’re an 80s and 90s kid, consumed with nostalgia and in love with discovering the history behind iconic toys, then The Toys That Made Us is for you. Learn how Star Wars changed the toy game and did more to financially fill the pockets of George Lucas than the films that inspired them. Travel through the history of womanhood with the glamorous Barbie, who crushed all competition. Find out how the beloved animated action series, He-Man, was a hulking toy line that tread new ground with television, and relive the GI Joe experience that perfectly brought the highs and lows of the cold war into every boy’s playroom. – Ryen Thomas, Film Writer
Burn Notice (series) – The weather’s turned frosty, so warm on the beaches of Miami with Matt Nix’s USA hit – Burn Notice. Largely a drama due to main character Michael Weston’s (Jeffrey Donovan) quest to find out why he’s been blacklisted from the CIA, it’s also hilariously mind-blowing as Weston, his girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), best friend Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), and his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) help the citizens of Miami fight back against drug-dealers, blackmailers, car thieves, and other ne’er-do-wells. So curl up on the couch and dive into all seven ever-escalating seasons of a spy-show that reveals itself to be so much more. Basically, it’s perfect couch-surfing this time of year. – Douglas Davidson, Senior Film Critic
Dark (series) – Dark is hands down your quintessential science-fiction tv show. Secrets, unexpected twists, and ultimate cliffhangers put a nice bow on each episode while enticing you to immediately select ‘play next episode.’ The series is Netflix’s first German original and can be watched with English subtitles or dubbed in English. Set in a small fictional town in the shadow of a mysterious nuclear power plant, the ten-episode series spans over a three-generation timeline. It involves children who go missing, underground passages, and a great music soundtrack. Dark has 20 plus main characters to keep track of, which can be a deal breaker for some, but if you stick around, it is totally worth it. – Vanessa Martinez, Writer
Planet Earth II (nature series) – Even though Planet Earth II has been on DVD for over a year, the high-definition series debuted on Netflix at the start of 2018. The BBC America series uses a combination of birds-eye and drone-style shots along with point of view scenes to create a stunning intimacy that many other documentaries fail to achieve. Planet Earth II highlights captivating nature scenes of romance, life and death in the wild using shots from over three years of filming in forty different countries. With only six episodes (“Islands,” “Mountains,” “Jungles,” “Deserts,” “Grasslands,” and “Cities,” all in 4K ultra-HD,) this series brings you on a visual journey around the world. – Stephanie Hoyt, Food Writer
Godless (series) – This outstanding Western series from Steven Soderbergh and Scott Frank (Frank wrote Soderbergh’s Out of Sight and this year’s Logan) about a young outlaw (Jack O’Connell) on the run from his notorious mentor (Jeff Daniels) may sound like a simple premise, but the end result is anything but. In true Soderbergh style, Godless subverts nearly every genre trope imaginable, including a non-linear narrative and some deeply effective female characters, to create the best Western series since HBO’s Deadwood. With breathtaking panoramas and fits of brutal violence, it’s so good that once you finish it, you’ll want to saddle right back up. – Jonathan Shuping, Film Writer
Young Frankenstein (movies) – I grew up with this movie and it’s one of my greatest artistic influences, an important and absurd balance to all of the Nietzsche I read in college. The perfect sendup of the horror classic, Young Frankenstein is Mel Brooks at his most Brooksian, and Gene Wilder’s unhinged performance as a young ancestor of Mary Shelley’s tormented necromancer is the crown jewel of a film that fairly bristles with comedic gold. It’s so stupid, y’all…you’re going to love it. – Matt Cosper, Arts and Community Writer
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (series) – Seinfeld’s brand of offbeat comedy following the lives of four neurotic New Yorkers changed the way we view television sitcoms. After almost 20 years since it’s been off air, mass syndication, and a pseudo reunion on Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, we still can’t get enough of Jerry Seinfeld. Following a similar paradigm to Sundance Channel’s Iconoclasts (November 17, 2005 – November 13, 2012) Jerry Seinfeld, an avid classic car enthusiast breaks out one of his vintage whips in each episode as a backdrop to some hilarious conversation and industry banter. Notable guests include Jim Carey, Barack Obama, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Hart, and many more. Part interview, part comedy, a little food, and some riveting automotive history, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s splendid entertainment. – Cameron Lee, Founder, Editor-in-Chief
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