Sunday, 16 September 2018

3 Unique Netflix Originals You Need To Watch

Any excuse for a binge-watching sesh.

Netflix has completely altered how we consume film and TV. We're impatient; we want all the episodes and new releases right now, so we can swallow them whole in a day. Admittedly, I love the fact that staying at home is now just as cool as going out, it's no longer as embarrassing to say I'm having a night in by the telly, because, let's face it, nearly everyone has got access to a streaming service.

One of the even cooler things about this relatively new platform is how creators can use it. No longer limited by the conventions upheld by the big production companies, so many more topics and techniques are being employed and there's always an audience for it. Today I bring you three Netflix originals I love, that show us just how fresh and unique the streaming services can be.

IMAGE: THE OA - NETFLIX

The OA In December 2016, Netflix dropped this fantasy-mystery series without any marketing or promotions before it; just BANG eight episodes, eat your heart out. I devoured season one in one fabulous weekend, each episode leaving me hungry for more clues and answers as to how in the world Prairie regained her eye-sight, where she had been, and who the feck is Homer?! It's gripping, confusing and does require a little more suspension of your beliefs than usual, but mate, it's complex, exciting and unlike anything you've seen before. If the story isn't unique enough, Netflix serves as the ideal platform for the ever-changing episode lengths, breaking the normal rules of TV and allowing the series complete and exact freedom in it's story-telling. Currently in the middle of my first re-watch and it's brilliant to see how none of the dialogue is wasted – everything you see and hear is meticulously placed for a specific reason, like scattered pieces of the puzzle. I'm absolutely buzzing for season two to get the answers to some of those shocking questions derived from the controversial final episode.

Dark.  Ever since studying film at A-Level back in 2011, I've never been afraid of foreign language entertainment, but the fact is, before streaming companies, it just wasn't readily available. Apparently, this series is the most watched non-English language series on Netflix this year! Our own pool of British entertainment is so washed with tacky Hollywood conventions, broadening your horizons to foreign language is a sure-fire way to find something fresh and innovative, with unique quality. Originating from Germany, this thrilling murder mystery throws you straight in at the deep end, in a small German town. We begin with a suicide and two missing boys; it's intense, nail-biting and mind-boggling, all the while being beautifully shot with some outstanding and believable performances from all of the cast. If you can't manage the original language and subtitles (for shame) there is an english dub, but I promise you, og language RULES.

Annihilation.  Have you ever seen an all female led ensemble cast in a sci-fi-fantasy horror? Me either, until Annihilation, with biologist Lena, played by Natalie Portman, and the all female team of skilled military scientists on an expedition into the strange 'shimmer' orb, in a quarantined region of the US. Not for the faint-hearted, with some shocking mutations and all the weirdly wonderful (and disturbing) possibilities of science, Netflix commandeered the film's digital release as the perfect platform for distributing this unique story, which again, tests the boundaries of conventions. It's so refreshing to see such a complex story without the annoying power-blind big guy heading the team, just real, talented women with a job to do and the emotional backbones to drive them to do it.

Let me know if you give any of these a watch or have seen them already!
What are your favourite Netflix originals?

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