Features & News

Next on Netflix #9

Here at Impact Film, sitting on the sofa and binge watching your favourite shows until the early hours is the only way to celebrate the end of exams. This week, Bharat recommends three TV shows to kickstart your summer in style. 

Scrubs

Scrubs

Hit hospital comedy Scrubs recently checked itself into Netflix’s vast sitcom collection. Its unique blend of slapstick, cutaway gags, drama and just overall silliness makes it the comedy you should give priority to.

Following the personal and professional lives of doctors, nurses and a janitor, being set in a place of such seriousness, Scrubs is a show that works but shouldn’t. The fictional Sacred Heart Hospital often serves as the emblematic space that grounds the idealism, cynicism and other isms that afflict its employees.

Main character J.D. (Zach Braff) usually wraps up the open strands of the episodes with a conclusive voice over narration. It’s cheesy, its slapstick shouldn’t be funny, and its clichéd romance of the will-they-won’t-they relationship between J.D. and Elliot (Sarah Chalke) becomes boorish, yet I always return for more.

Why bother? Amidst its minor flaws, this series has greatness to offer.

There is genuine emotion to the medical madness the inexperienced and experienced characters find themselves in. Early series episodes guest starring Brendan Fraser are notably impactful in balancing comedy and tragedy.

Additionally, J.D.’s antics with Turk (Donald Faison) and Rowdy (name pending) are equally highlight moments to the more dramatic yet more sporadic realism Scrubs has to offer.

If Netflix is the doctor and us the patients, they have thankfully prescribed an ideal sitcom to be abused by our inevitable usage this summer. Hopefully, the dosage will increase to two more seasons to complete the series, because there are eight seasons of Scrubs and no more. I repeat, there are eight seasons of Scrubs and no more.

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Arrested Development

“Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together…It’s Arrested Development.”

Arrested Development follows the Bluths, a dysfunctional family, and the one son who had no choice but, wait I already said that. The show may seem to be repeating that which preceded it: a common family formula, but this couldn’t be further from the Bluth. Sorry, was that too easy?

Its apathetic attitude towards itself differentiates Arrested Development from other family orientated sitcoms. There’s no familial message to take on board at the end of each episode; narratively, little episodic progress made, rather a maintenance of outlandishness; and intentionally amateurish cinematography and overt self-referentiality are prevailing sources of humour by which the series pokes fun at itself.

This cult classic was abruptly cancelled in 2006 by FOX after only three seasons. Left stranded in televisual limbo, Arrested Development was welcomed back as a Netflix semi-original series last year.

Arrested Development‘s new nest on Netflix complements the show’s absurdity, with binge-watching allowing its running gags and references to be fully appreciated. The fourth season in particular relishes in crossover jokes between its 15 episodes, as essentially each installment revises the same timeline but focuses on a different Bluth.

If Bluth family members Tobias, Lindsay and especially Buster fail to hook you in to their eccentric ensemble in the first few episodes, then Maeby Arrested Development is not for you. Otherwise, take pleasure in Netflix’s new property that is far from the hollow quality of those produced by the Bluth Company.

Dexter

Dexter

Dearly discovered Dexter. Adapted from Jeff Lindsay’s bestselling novels, this Showtime serial drama stalks a serial of its own; serial killer that is, whose code of ethics permits him only to kill other killers who have escaped the justice system. Meanwhile, he masquerades around Florida as a mild-mannered blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro PD, a cog of that very system, concealing his extracurricular thirst for blood and self-described monstrosity that lurks underneath his mask known as Dexter Morgan.

Dexter is possibly the most delightfully dark title Netflix has slotted on its slider. With all eight seasons currently streaming, the series is perhaps my personal pick for saying “you should really watch this”, regardless of conversation topic.

Michael C. Hall delivers a captivating, monotone, emotionless performance as the titular character, perhaps one of the greatest fictional anti-heroes of recent time. You’ll find yourself instantly siding with Dexter and riding as his dark passenger in spite of his own incapacity to connect to anyone, the gruesomeness of his crimes and his endless deceit to loved ones. Well, they’d be loved ones if Dexter had any feelings at all.

The psychological thriller balances its sinister psyche with black comedy and humorous relief, primarily through the protagonist’s voice over narration and characters such as the perverted Vince Masuka. Dexter’s inability to grasp social mores often expressed through colleagues such as Masuka unveils a paradoxical innocence to his mental state, that is both comical and yet saddening in his yearning to make any real human connection.

Dexter demolishes browsing through Netflix’s digital catalogue with its deadly grip by determining that you won’t be able to resist telling yourself “just one more episode”. This slice of life will be a killer of spare time this summer, and should stain your televisual senses red long after.

Bharat Samra

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Features & NewsFilm & TV

Writer and Editor for the Film & TV section of Impact, Bharat is a keen previewer, reviewer and sometimes just viewer, of all things cinematic and televisual, with a particular passion for biographical pictures, adaptations and sitcoms.

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