By Karla Marrero
10. Grace and Frankie
After being married for forty years, Grace and Frankie’s respective husbands announce they’re gay and wish to marry each other for the remainder of their years. Feeling lost and tossed out of their old lives, the two estranged friends are forced to become roommates in a beach house owned by both families. Both friends are polar opposites: Frankie is a free spirited, pot-loving hippie, while Grace is the perfect example of the cliché housewife who brunches, loves her vodka tonic, and every now and then pops a Xanax…or two. Grace and Frankie is far from a bad show, but it has enough going for it that one wishes it was so much better.
9. Master of None
There are a lot of striking things about Master of None, which is shocking for a show that looks like there might be nothing special about it at all. The short form: Aziz Ansari stars as Dev (loosely based on himself) an actor who’s living principally off the residuals from a Go-Gurt commercial he did once. However, he may get his huge break in a horrendous catastrophe film titled The Sickening. The show goes in depth many topics such as racism in the entertaining industry, the patriarchy, and the cultural disconnection of first and second generation parents. It’s a laugh-out-loud show that also stings: Master of None shows you still have opportunity for growth. The show is entertaining and sneaky. How many series slip in moral problems with a light hand and make them stick? Pretty rare…
In this series we meet Gus, a shy, submissive, “good guy” and Mickey, a reckless, emotionless woman dealing with her sobriety. They are both healing from tough breakups and are falling in love while dealing with them. They’re an unlikely pair, but likable enough to root for them.
7. Bojack Horseman
This show is above its vicious banter, cruel jokes, and cheap laughs–it also focuses on some of the hard realities of life. As a retired actor aching for a comback, Bojack Horseman, voiced by Will Arnett, deals with the daily struggle of being a better person or looking more to life than drinking and partying, and deals with subjects of depression, self-destruction and addiction in bitingly nuanced ways. There are many times you will hate Bojack for the way he deals with situations and acts out, but he will win you back eventually. Don’t let the animation and bizarre anthropomorphism fool you: allow yourself to be astounded by this comic drama that dances between the fine lines of amusement and despair.
6. Las Chicas del Cable (Cable Girls)
Madrid, 1920: a newly-founded telephone company opens positions for women operators. This was the most appraised job for modern women, who were once supposed to stay at home, marry, and take care of the children. Four different women all with different struggles will fight for independence and happiness on their own terms. Lydia, a former thief must steal one more time to save her life. Angeles, a woman with a very high position in the company is being forced to quit her job because her husband is having an affair with someone in the company and does not want her to find out. Carlota has always been a rebel and independent no matter how many times her coronel father had to drag her back home to become meek and submissive just like women were supposed to be at that time. Finally, Margo, a shy homesick girl who was raised in a small village and is finding her way through the big city and falling in love with it at the same time. In the few weeks since its release, Las Chicas del Cable, Netflix’s first Spanish Original Show, has already won the hearts of audiences.
5. Dear White People
At a predominant Ivy League school, a group of students must navigate and deal with daily discrimination and social injustices. When first announced, the show caused such an uproar that it prompted certain sector to #BoycottNetflix, claiming it promoted “anti-white racism and aggression.” Dear White People is controversial indeed, as it addresses subjects such as “reverse racism” and shows many of the real issues that are happening nation-wide in a more condensed environment, the university. In one particularly biting episode, a fraternity throws a “Blackface party,” where everyone was encouraged to dress stereotypically or like their favorite black celebrity. Most of the students saw nothing wrong with it because they are not aware of America’s history with “blackface.” It is an eye-opening series and if you are one of those who have no idea what “blackface” is, and a welcome rallying-cry for those who are all-too aware of the subject DWP addresses.
4. Chewing Gum
A show about a preacher’s daughter exploring her sexuality–say what?! Tracey is a 24 year old virgin who praises God but also religiously loves Beyoncé so, at this point, she just really wants to get laid. We’re used to seeing a lot of sex on TV that can be alternatively sexy or cringe inducing. This is not the case with Chewing Gum: the sex is just so funny. Tracey passes through a series of awkward sexual encounters, each one more absurd than the last. In one of the first few episodes, she is told that sitting on a guy’s face is incredibly sexy. When she eventually goes home with a date, she does exactly that: smother him with her pajama bottoms. She looks at the camera confused, and says: “I’m not sure if I was supposed to have clothes on for this bit.”
This Spanish-language drama, starring Kate del Castillo, focuses on the First Lady of Mexico turned fugitive. Ingobernable starts with a domestic discussion involving the President of Mexico and his wife after she served him with divorce papers. The first lady was all but ready to leave with her kids when her angry husband bolts through the door. Charismatic to the public and abusive at home, he ends up toppled over the balcony. With a gun in hand, the President dead, and no witnesses, things do not look good fo the First Lady. She flees even though she is innocent, but her decision to escape is what drives the story.
2. The Get Down
The Get Down is an American musical drama set in the South Bronx in the late 1970s. The series follows the rise of hip hop, disco, and DJ-ing through the eyes of a group of teenagers. Each episode begins with Mr. Books, a renowned artist rapping his story to a large crowd during a concert in 1996. The rap shows as a recap of previous episodes and a set up of the events of the next. Each episode shows real footage of 1970’s depicting the poverty and violence in the Bronx. There’s even an episode about the New York city blackout in 1977 which resulted in mass looting and vandalism.
1. Black Mirror
This show will make you want to delete all your social media accounts, move to the woods, and live under the grid. Black Mirror’s dark, satirical theme examines modern society and how technology has overpowered it. Each episode has a different cast and setting, so there is no need to watch it in order. However, after finishing a single one you’ll end up messed up for a while. It’s a sensible calculation for our technological abilities which cautions that the devices we rely on ought to be examined and not blindly trusted. When you look at the dark reflection of your iPhone or iPad, what you see is, as the Netflix show may contend, a considerably darker form of yourself.