10 Netflix Gems You May Have Overlooked

Netflix is a wonderful thing. Whilst it’s easy to miss the days of old, browsing through rental stores like Blockbuster or Choices to find the perfect film for a Friday night, Netflix certainly gives users far more options at easy disposal. Netflix Original Series such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black are frequent favourites amongst users as well as shows like Breaking Bad which originally aired on TV. However, it’s easy to find yourself wanting to stray far from the beaten track in search of something different so here are some of the best films and TV shows that you probably won’t find scrolling through the Trending Now list: 


Adam Scott in A.C.O.D

10. A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce)

For the Parks and Recreation fans out there, this is a perfect choice. The initial pull of this film is main star Adam Scott, who’s always funny, and though he’s often portrayed as a loser in most films (see Step Brothers and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), his likeable character here is even better. The story follows Carter, a successful restaurant owner, as he tries to convince his divorced parents to both attend his brother’s wedding. With a wonderful supporting cast including Amy Poehler, Jane Lynch and Jessica Alba to name a few, A.C.O.D. is great for when you’re looking for something fun and not too intense.


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9. Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings gives us one of Daniel Radcliffe’s best performances as he portrays Allen Ginsberg, one of America’s most iconic poets as he discovers the beat generation, something that would later shape his career. Co-star Dane DeHaan gives a fantastic performance alongside Radcliffe, whose American accent is surprisingly convincing. A heart-wrenching story that battles themes of identity and homosexuality, it’s a great watch for when you’re in the mood for something a little more emotional.


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8. Begin Again

A relatively new addition to Netflix, Begin Again is a feel-good film that is great for anyone feeling remotely musical. Gretta (Kiera Knightly) is having a bad time in New York and is about to travel home when washed up music producer Dan (Mark Ruffalo) sees her play and wants to produce her album. Other cast members include James Corden and Adam Levine, and the film will leave you feeling good long after the credits have rolled.


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7. Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Starring Jason Segal and Ed Helms, most watch this film on a complete whim. Jeff (who still lives at home with his parents, in case you didn’t get that from the title) is sent on a simple errand by his mother, only to have his day turn into a mission for truth when he thinks he sees his brother’s wife with another man. This film can get rather philosophical at times and by the end, you’ll be glad to have added it to your Watched list.


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6. Portlandia (TV Series)

Portlandia is a sitcom that showcases the people of Portland, Oregon. If you’re the kind of person who thinks hipsters can be somewhat ridiculous at times, this show is most definitely for you. Each set of characters is played by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, and each are completely hilarious in their own way. With a new guest star each episode, including Steve Buscemi and Aubrey Plaza, this show is purely fantastic.


5. Wish I Was Here

Funded by a Kickstarter campaign started by Zack Braff himself, Wish I Was Here is a great independent film with a great cast. Aidan (Braff) is a failed actor who is trying to find work whilst simultaneously trying to keep his family together and take care of his dying father. Zack Braff gives a great performance, showing he can do much more than just JD from Scrubs, and the kids of the film (Pierce Gagnon, Joey King) support him better than an adult cast ever could.


4. Sharknado 2

Though you may groan at the likes of Sharknado appearing on this list, never judge a book by its cover. The aptly named Fin travels to New York where the Sharknado strikes and forces him to save the day again, like in its predecessor. You would be correct in thinking that they’re far from the greatest films ever made but the Sharknado series knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything other than B-Movie trash. The films offer a plethora of good, cheap laughs and are perfect to watch with friends. If you get the opportunity, watch the first Sharknado before the sequel but alas, Netflix only features Sharknado 2.


3. Departures (TV Series)

Get yourself into 3 episodes of the show and it’ll become one of your favourite things to watch. This documentary series follows two best friends and their cameraman as they take a year away from their jobs and lives to go and see the world. These guys just want to appreciate everything about the world which makes it truly admirable, from the sights, to the culture, to the people. Departures is an inspirational show that will definitely make you want to travel.


2. Arrested Development (TV Series)

Arrested Development is the story of the Bluths, a wealthy family whose business is involved in questionable activities and so Michael Bluth, the son, has to step in to not only save the company but to save his family. If Jason Bateman and a baby-faced Michael Cera isn’t enough to entice you, the cast also includes Portia de Rossi, Jeffrey Tambour and Will Arnett. Having been cancelled after its third series in 2005, it was brought back in all its glory in 2013 by Netflix. Rumour has it that new episodes are in the works too!  Shown in easy 20-something minute instalments, it’s easy to get into and you’ll quickly feel like a Bluth yourself.


1. Clerks

Kevin Smith’s directorial debut, Clerks is a day in the life of two convenience store clerks and all of the strange, weird, annoying things that happen to them. Made on a budget of $27,000 which Kevin Smith financed himself through credit cards, it had an unsuccessful original screening but was then picked up by Sundance Film Festival, thus launching Kevin Smith’s career. This film is shot solely in black and white but don’t let that put you off as Clerks contains some of the best written, most hilarious dialogue you’ll ever hear.


Do you agree with this list? Would you add a few titles or take a couple out?

Comment with your thoughts.

Brian Smith

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