7 Netflix Shows to Binge This Spring

Lately, Netflix has been stepping up its game in terms of selection by adding more Netflix originals, popular shows and movies, making "Netflix and chill" more appealing than ever.  Some days committing to a new series is far easier than facing reality, so here are some suggestions for your next Netflix binge.

13 Reasons Why

 

"13 Reasons Why" is Netflix's newest talked-about drama, based on the successful 2007 book by Jay Asher.  The Netflix original series, produced by Selena Gomez, tells the heartbreaking story of one teenager's tragic high school experience, and everyone who played a part in it.  Hannah Baker committed suicide her junior year, leaving behind 13 tapes explaining her decision.  The show is gritty, powerful and extremely difficult to watch at times, addressing difficult topics such as depression, suicide and sexual assault.  It contains highly realistic themes and showcases the struggles teens and young adults face related to bullying, which makes watching even more difficult.  Despite the sadness and somber nature, "13 Reasons Why" is incredibly well made and is extremely worth watching.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

 

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is a quirky, hilarious musical series following a woman who leaves her prestigious job in Manhattan to follow an ex-boyfriend to small town California.  It is funny, feminist, infectious and unlike any other show out there.  The co-creator and star, Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom, provides catchy songs with irreverent lyrics tackling depression, insecurity and the challenge of balancing careers and love lives.

Shameless

It seems like everyone is talking about "Shameless" these days — and rightfully so.  The show is an accurate depiction of what it's like to be poor in America.  Set in Chicago, "Shameless" follows the lives of the Gallagher family as they struggle beneath the poverty line to make ends meet.  It's hilarious, gritty and addresses real issues associated with alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, poor decision-making skills and terrible luck often associated with poor families.  It's not always pretty, but the Gallaghers always keep things real.

Life in Pieces

 

Everyone loves a good multifaceted family dynamic tale — take "Modern Family", "Parenthood" or "This is Us".  "Life in Pieces" is no exception, following the comedic crises of a single family through the eyes of the aging patriarch, his wife who will do just about anything for those she loves so long as she agrees with it, their daughter who is a mother of three, one son who has moved back home and their coddled youngest son and his wife.  The various perspectives help characters' stories unfold and keep a steady pace.  The sharp writing and accomplished cast make it a must-watch if you're a fan of similar family comedies.

Jane the Virgin

 

"Jane the Virgin" is a comedy-drama following a chaste young woman who is accidentally impregnated via artificial insemination as she struggles to inform her devoutly religious parents and make the right choices concerning the child.  It's funny, insightful, heartwarming and over-the-top ridiculous.  The show doesn't take itself too seriously but doesn't shy away from relevant issues, making it overwhelmingly popular among viewers.  "Jane the Virgin" brilliantly parodies Spanish telenovelas and combines sharp humor with an unbelievably clever murder mystery storyline that twists the plot every episode.  

Love

 

 

Judd Apatow is an incredibly talented writer and director, and "Love" is a perfect example of his skill set.  The "down-to-earth" romantic comedy explores male and female perspectives on romantic relationships by following Gus and Mickey, whose chance encounter ties them together at a pivotal time in each of their lives.  It's a unique look at life and relationships in Los Angeles, and it is filled with side plots, solid jokes and hilarious writing.  Warning: critics have said the show is somewhat dry and predictable, but aren't all rom coms? 

Narcos

 

"Narcos" might seem out of place on this list of primarily female-driven comedies and dramas, but "Narcos"' gritty, violent depiction of the rise and fall of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the DEA's quest to hunt him down constantly keeps you on the edge of the couch.  The story is told largely from Escobar's point of view and begins with the early days of the drug battle, when the biggest offenders were "hippies in flip-flops" caught with up to a kilo of marijuana, continuing to the violent, bloody battles between members of the cartel peddling tons of kilos of cocaine.  It's extremely brutal and violent nature makes it difficult to binge for long periods of time, but the two seasons are definitely worth watching before season 3 hits Netflix.

Final Sidenote: Netflix is also scrapping its five-star rating system, opting for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down approach that aims to ease confusion.  Did you know that the stars did not imply overly popularity, but aimed to explain how likely you were to like that show or movie?  That would have been nice to clarify.