Now commences the panic and sudden realisation of the amount of work needed to be done over the Easter break…so why not procrastinate further with our next best recommendations on Netflix?
Donnie Darko is a bit of a cult classic, and watching it doesn’t really give you any clue why. I applaud any viewer that ‘understands’ Darko the first time around, as the film really does boggle the mind.
A young Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is haunted by hallucinations of a giant bunny, which uses him to carry out crimes and violent acts. Stay with me here; a giant bunny may not seem like a thrilling watch, but the film takes you on a journey and offers some pretty disturbing scenes along the way. Gyllenhaal’s titular character narrowly avoids a life threatening accident due to some unknown force, and Frank, his fuzzy friend, seems to know something that no one else does.
Donnie Darko will not be for everyone, but it is one that many have seen and discussed due to the indescribably odd feelings it leaves one with, and the uniqueness of its premise. It is creepy, bittersweet and sad all at the same time, and ought to be appreciated for what it is, a film about a giant bunny haunting a mentally ill boy.
With three seasons currently streaming, it is worth attempting to binge this behemoth to catch up to the fourth, and in time for its fifth season scheduled for September, due to its gripping plot and unrelenting intensity episode to episode.
Homeland is adapted from Israeli series Hatufim (Prisoners of War) and is based around CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who discovers that there is an American PoW who has been turned to side with Al Qaeda terrorists. Soon after she learns this information, a captured American soldier, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is found and brought back home. The public accepts him as a war hero, but Carrie’s suspicions lead her on a trail further into terrorist organisations.
Homeland develops and becomes far more complicated, but has a little of something for everyone. At its core, there is the story of a family dealing with having the father of the house back after eight years, and the CIA investigating various terrorist-related suspects. Each episode is caked in tension, and has you clenching fists or grimacing as characters perform actions in the nick of time, or not, as the case may often be.
Without delving into spoilers too much, once passed the opening two episodes, the plot diversifies and the show becomes its own. Homeland is perhaps one of those series that you thought “I’ll get around to it”, but with thirty-six of its episodes now available on Netflix UK, there is no excuse not to use your time productively and develop a strange and compelling interest into the CIA.
With its five completed seasons all streaming, Community is a sitcom based in an embarrassment of an American community college, Greendale, following the lives of an unlikely group of friends made up of every ethnicity, background and age you can think of as they form their own study group.
Including the primary group of seven, the series consists of a failed lawyer, a sassy part time mother, a flirty college girl, a pun-loving Dean, a Señor, Troy and Abed (a duo of a potential sports star and the ultimate nerd), a pseudo-activist and an extremely politically incorrect old man. This odd combo allows for hilarious conversations and situations to ensue, most notably involving Pierce, the old man, as he makes just about everyone feel uncomfortable with his outdated beliefs and sayings.
Community bases its humour around popular culture, puns and general silliness. Whilst its outward appearance may often read like a children’s Saturday morning show, the metafictional mayhem and disregard for conventions within can be considered otherwise for Community‘s maturity in not taking itself at all seriously. With dedicated episodes to giant paintballing wars, a Star Wars themed episode and various homages to films ranging from Goodfellas to that scene in Ghost, its parody-heavy heart is homely for movie and television buffs visiting the recently-added series on Netflix.