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Freddie’s Netflix Recommendations

Here are some recommendations for TV shows that are on UK Netflix and a bit about each one. Some are the typical shows you’ve either seen or think you should see- in which case I will try my best to convince you, however, some are pretty obscure but brilliant I promise.

Red Dwarf

One of the most charming shows I’ve ever seen. Originally from the 80s but set three million years in the future, the show follows a small collection of three, then later four, characters, the only ones still alive, on the spacecraft Red Dwarf. It’s so lighthearted and the characters are so very lovable and the stories make very little sense anyway so you can dip in and out but it will always have a special place in my heart.

The Mighty Boosh

Probably my favourite of all of these shows. Essentially, a surreal comedy with extraordinary story lines but with a good few songs and a crew of ridiculous characters, pretty much all portrayed by the same few people. Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt write the show and also play the two main characters and their dynamic and comedic timing still has me in stitches although I’ve seen it at least six times through.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp

Although I would recommend watching the Wet Hot American Summer 2001 movie first, the 2015 Netflix show (set a month or so before the film) is just as genius on it’s own. A cast consisting of Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine as well as Michael Showalter and David Wain, who wrote the show, and who are probably definitely too old to be playing 16-year-olds (and are very aware of this) make this surreal spoof of 80s camp movies unforgettable.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Either you’re sick of people talking about this show or you’ve never heard of it. This is the most recent discovery on this list but Rachel Bloom’s genius comedy-musical is not at all as cliché as I thought it would be based on it’s title. Her brilliant character creations are scarily relatable sometimes and perfectly reflected in the fantastic music- especially the main character Rebecca, the feminist dedicating all her time chasing her ex-boyfriend through ridiculous, yet hilarious schemes.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

A hilarious show, one of my favourites, about four friends and Danny DeVito, all of whom are completely terrible people, that run a bar and come up with senseless schemes for their own gain and will not have each other’s backs in any situation. Don’t dismiss it because of how awful and offensive the characters are- it’s the best satire on TV that, if nothing else, will make you feel a lot better about yourself.

How To Get Away With Murder

I always compare this show to Sherlock, because it really is that good. It follows law students in Viola Davis’ ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ class who end up working for her and also find themselves entangled in the murder of a local girl. The show begins with flash-forwards to (no spoilers, I promise) to VERY intense moment that is even more intense when you catch up with them. The cast are flawless and the show is so intricately thought out and well written- I couldn’t recommend this one enough.

Bad Education

The first series of this show is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen and honestly I think I know every word. The second season is great too but the third isn’t really my cup of tea. HOWEVER, the first series is genius. Jack Whitehall stars as a man-child who is teaching the most dysfunctional class of teenagers who end up going to an ink museum and having the world’s funniest sex education class. The jokes and timing are just brilliant and it’s definitely worth binge-watching.

That ’70s Show

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Laura Prepon getting high in a basement in the seventies- do I need to say more? I won’t lie, the comedy on this show is funny but it’s not hilarious- however, it will keep you hooked to the point where you don’t care about the jokes, you just really want all the precious characters to be happy. This show is so much fun and will give you serious wardrobe envy- in my opinion it’s a must.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I think I started watching this by accident but I’m so glad I did. Our title character, Kimmy, was kidnapped for 15 years and emerges as a teenager in a thirty-something-year-old’s body and watching her navigate her way through the modern world is both hilarious and heart-warming. Quirky characters and satire throughout, this show is gold.

Merlin

I missed the Merlin bandwagon when it was actually on TV but a friend of mine forced me to watch it on Netflix and I really do love it. Endless magic and fun with characters you don’t realise you care about until something happens to them. The setting of Camelot is also so gorgeous and I could rave about the score for hours- this is a great one to completely immerse yourself in.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS GO TO:

  • House of Fools
  • Cuckoo
  • Hustle

 

Now I have two recommendations of shows I found via Netflix that are sadly no longer on there (in the UK at least) but I would definitely suggest you watch if you can!

Misfits

The most random concept you could possibly think of- a group of teenagers doing community service find themselves with various superpowers after they’re caught up in a storm, leading to various relationships and maybe murder? (It’s been a while I’m genuinely not sure- that’s part of the mystery). The sort of show that will make you laugh until you cry and you’ll find yourself quoting it all the time.

The IT Crowd

In my opinion, probably the best British sit-com. It’s about an IT department consisting of “a genius, a dynamic go-getter, and a man from Ireland” and their interesting, but hilarious boss and the goth who lives in their cupboard. The writing of this is exceptional and Richard Ayoade honestly makes it just as brilliant as it is.

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Girl Up Review

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Warning: swearing, tap dancing vulvas and strong opinions in this book

Girl Up by Laura Bates is a fascinating read about the necessity of feminism in our world and how the inequality affects everyone – including men! Bates very cleverly doesn’t mention the word ‘Feminism’ until the last chapter of the book, as it has an unnecessary taboo around it which makes women, men and others around the world feel like they can’t be a feminist as there are so many negative stereotypes attached to the word.

I picked up this book in the new bookshop in my town (I’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time and money in it despite it having only been open for about a month.) as its bright pink cover caught my eye. I had heard of Laura Bates through the website that she created called Everyday Sexism where people are invited to share their experiences of everyday sexism. Many of these accounts are things that happen to women all over the world, every day, and are passed off as normal, which is not okay. Girl Up is Bates’ second book, the first – Everyday Sexism – included many of the accounts uploaded onto her website and was highly acclaimed.

Emma Watson did the preface for the book which was one of the (many) reasons that I decided to buy it. The book is ‘well researched’, ‘intelligent’ and most importantly ‘0% patronising’. I thoroughly enjoyed it as it is all the thoughts and arguments that I have been having with the idiots in my computer science class for the last three years, all collected and written in a well thought out book that is ‘mature, eloquent and passionate’.

I agree with everything that Bates says in this book and have recommended it to almost everyone that I have seen since finishing it in one sitting. One of the things that I loved was the use of colour as she has included passages in a teal blue which adds interest when reading.

The book costs £12.99 RRP, but it is well worth it and I would definitely pay more for it if the price was different. The paper quality is good and the pages are quite thick. The book itself is quite heavy, which I really liked and the fonts that she used are good.

I live in a relatively remote area and rarely go outside, so I haven’t heard many sexist “compliments” shouted at me, although one of the older boys in my year tried to chat up my 12-year-old sister, whilst I was there. I don’t get why it is necessary to inform women how nice their legs/bum/breasts look in the dress/top/school uniform that they are wearing. I’m sure they know (if they’ve managed to still have self-confidence after being bombarded with reasons why they aren’t good enough by the media).

The book really proves that ‘young women are superheros’ with all the shit they have to put up with. There are constant judgements on the internet from people who you may or may not know and comments from people who are comfortable sending hate mail when hiding behind their screens but would never say it to your face.

Bates includes many slogans to think about such as:

If it makes you feel good, keep doing it, it if makes you feel bad, stop.

Which applies to almost any situation that you can think of. The book also has a colour-by-numbers vulva and many doodles of dancing vaginas

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One of my favourite chapters was called ‘Sluts, Unicorns and other Mythical Creatures’ which addresses the idea of a so-called “slut” and how it really isn’t a real thing, other than an insult used to devalue women. Many people will define a slut as a woman who has a lot of sex, or who has a lot of sexual partners, but this contradicts with women being called sluts for not wanting to have sex with a man, so what is the real definition?
Girl Up also mentions the idea of the “friend-zone” and “virginity” which are talked about so much that people think that they must actually mean things. What is so wrong with being someone’s friend?

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The concept of virginity has no physical meaning and is purely an emotional thing. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you meet the right person, but there’s also nothing wrong with having sex whenever you want (between two consenting adults). People may claim that virginity is the breaking down of the hymen (a thin tissue in the vaginal opening) but this can break down of its own accord, through tampon usage, menstruation, exercise, hormones, and other things. It is not a ‘button-on-the-top-of-the-jam-jar style indicator of whether or not the seal has been tampered with and this item should be returned to Asda’.
Virginity is also a thing that has very sexist connotations, given that it is something that is usually taken by men and lost by women, almost as if it isn’t our own. It also brings up questions like what consists of “losing” your virginity? Oral/anal sex? Masturbation? Tampon use? But it’s talked about all the time, with boys at school boasting about how many girls have lost their virginity to him.

‘It’s my face and I’ll smile if I want to’ brings up the idea of flirting against harassment. ‘It’s my _ and I’ll _ if I want to’ is a good retaliation to many things that people will say to you (except if you’re telling your parent that ‘It’s my room and I’ll tidy it if I want to’ because that’s rude).

The last chapter – ‘The F-Word’ – brings up the taboos around the word feminism and how people will think that they aren’t feminists as they are male (see the HeForShe campaign) or don’t understand that the only way that you are not a feminist is if you don’t believe that men and women and people of any other gender identity are equal.

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At the very end of the book, there is an extensive list of helplines, websites and other places that you may need to contact or may want to look at after reading this book.

I think that Girl Up is a well-written book with ideas and arguments that more people should listen to. I would definitely recommend this book, although I think that it is probably aimed more towards young women

By Betsy

PS. The Guardian has done a review that may also be of help if you are looking for a more critical review.

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