First things first, this is not a sponsored post by Netflix. Rather, it’s more of a “Confessions of a TV junkie” list. Ever since I’ve got my Netflix subscription, my life has changed. I can spend an entire night binging on one series – drama, standup comedies, documentaries and more. Here’s my playlist of the must-see shows to cap off your 2016 (no spoilers ahead).
#1: The OA
What: This eight-part sci-fi thriller centres on the events following the mysterious return home of Prairie Johnson (played by American actress and the show’s co-creator Brit Marling) after a seven-year disappearance and a new identity called The OA. The return is marked by a viral YouTube video captured her jumping off a bridge, her blindness gone, unexplained scars on the back, with clairvoyant powers and even occult group dances. Beguiling much?
Why you need to watch it: This Netflix original fills the void left behind by its other sci-fi hit, Stranger Things. Released two weeks ago without any publicity and fanfare, the show bears the hallmarks of an indie film. Or Beyonce dropping a surprise album like Lemonade for that matter. Then there is the soft and delicate cinematography which gives a sense that you’re watching a long-drawn (but beautiful) film more than a TV series. It also marks 33-year-old Marling’s breakthrough role – prepare to hear more of her next year – after stints in cult favourites like Sound of My Voice and Another Earth. And if you’re the kind of viewer who enjoys the frisson of having mind-boggling revelations dropped every now and then, this one’s for you.
#2: Designated Survivor
What: A bomb blew up during The State of the Union Address in DC, wiping out the entire American government except for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Kiefer Sutherland) who’s, well, the designated survivor. If you still don’t get the concept of what that latter is, think of him as the reserve on a football team. The only problem is, no one really believes he can do the job as Commander-in-Chief. A White House staffer quips that he is a “glorified real estate agent”. Plus, a series of nefarious attacks towards his administration makes things even worse for the dude. The job of saving the presidency – and American democracy – might just boil down to a fiesty FBI agent played by Maggie Q.
Why: Because nothing grabs our attention as much now in popular culture as a political showdown and presidential meltdown in the Oval Office. What makes the show so compelling is the fact that you want to root for this underdog of a POTUS and see him defeat the anti-government goons.
What: Billed as a Christmas special before the second season kicks off next year, this almost two-hour installment by the Wachowski sisters follows up on the lives of the eight superhumans who are inextricably connected emotionally, psychologically and even physically. As expected, the show focuses on the holidays and the theme of coming home – albeit with plenty of ass-kicking thrown in.
Why watch it: Possibly the most emotional installment in the Sense8 franchise up to now, the show ties up the loose ends after Season 1’s high-octane finale. Expect plenty of tear-jerking moments and Toby Onwumere replacing Aml Ameen as the bus driver Capheus.
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