The snow is finally starting to melt and it’s becoming fun to be outdoors in Montreal again. But we all still have those lazy days and nights where binge watching sounds a lot more appealing than getting fresh air. Here are some things to check out on Canadian Netflix for when you’re in that sort of mood.
How I Met Your Mother
Though the recent finale alienated many fans, How I Met Your Mother had a solid run prior to its disappointing conclusion. The show’s combination of romance and quirky humour keeps it consistently entertaining even when it’s not at its best. Its flashback storytelling style makes it stand out from typical network sitcoms. Even better, Neil Patrick Harris’s standout performance as the bro Barney makes it worth watching on its own.
Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon
Louis C.K.’s blend of righteous outrage and witty insights always make him fun to watch. This set, recorded in 2011, documents the comedian in particularly fine form. He riffs on a variety of issues including fatherhood, white privilege, and flying first class. There are also some pretty great dick jokes.
Add this one to the list of stoner comedies that you don’t have to be high to appreciate. Seth Rogen and James Franco star as two friends in search of a potent strand of weed. Their hunt gets them on the wrong side of a dangerous drug lord. Rogen and Franco’s chemistry elevates the film beyond its buddy comedy tropes.
David Lynch’s surrealist series set a new benchmark for TV drama long before The Sopranos supposedly brought in its Golden Age. The show tells the story of an FBI agent trying to find the murderer of a prom queen in a small town. Lynch deftly weaves surrealism with more conventional TV forms such as the soap opera and the murder mystery. It’ll make you laugh and keep you on the edge of your seat. Twin Peaks is a damn fine show.
Tired of the grim seriousness of The Walking Dead? This zombie comedy is your antidote. The film is laugh-out-loud funny without sacrificing the intensity found in more straight-faced tales of the undead. Jesse Eisenberg’s lovable nerd shtick gives it an emotional center underneath the gore.
This BBC series about motor vehicles provides enough humor to be entertaining, even for viewers with no interest in cars. The witty banter between the hosts and the outlandish driving-related challenges keep the show fast-paced and fun. The celebrity cameos make for a fun way to see stars out of their element.
The Good Wife
The best show you’re not watching. It tells the story of a litigator whose husband goes to jail after a sex scandal. Brainy dialogue and compelling performances make it a must-see. The series shows how network TV can equal to, and even surpass, shows found on cable networks like HBO.
Remember Stringer Bell from The Wire? In the BBC series Luther, you get to watch him on the other side of the law. Idris Elba stars as an ass-kicking detective who tracks down criminals and makes them regret their iniquities. The show doesn’t reinvent the cop drama the way The Wire does, but it’s great to have Elba on screen in any capacity.
Quite possibly the most depressing film you’ll ever see. It shows the lifespan of a relationship, from its happy beginning to its tragic ending. Director Derek Cianfrance originally wanted to shoot the film over several year period which it depicts. He opted for a more conventional shooting schedule, but his commitment to realism still shows throughout the movie.
The vulgar animated comedy doesn’t always work, but its successes more than compensate for its misfires. Showrunner Seth MacFarlane combines a dizzying array of pop culture references with some pretty well-timed fart gags. The diabolical baby Stewie gives the show a unique character to counter its sometimes stale recycling of sitcom archetypes.
Though its mostly known as Matt Groening’s other show, Futurama warrants quite a bit of merit on its own. The series brings the satirical wit of The Simpsons into the context of science fiction. It has garnered a well-deserved cult following for its bizarre sense of humour and fast-paced gags.
This dark crime show takes the antihero concept to a new level. Michael C. Hall stars as the titular character, a cop who leads a double life as a serial killer who targets criminals. His mesmerizing performance makes Dexter both sympathetic and repulsive. If creatively gory deaths are your thing, than look no further for your next show.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Let me explain: Kevin Hart is hilarious. His frantic style can be exasperating, but his wit and energy make him a captivating performer. In this TV special, he shows off why he’s been in such high demand lately as a leading man.
From Dusk till Dawn: The Series
Tired of the soapiness of Twilight and True Blood but still craving vampire action? Check out From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, the latest incarnation of a story originally told through a Robert Rodriguez film. The show tells the story of the Gecko brothers, two criminals with the FBI on their trail. Their efforts to evade arrest bring them into contact with some thirsty bloodsuckers.
Sort of like an East Coast version of The O.C. This show documents the lives of wealthy teenagers in the ritzy world of New York City’s Upper East Side. Their love affairs and backbiting make for an enjoyably trashy watch. The smolderingly hot cast doesn’t hurt, either.
All the fun of the medical world, without the years of training for arduous hours. Hugh Laurie stars as Dr. Gregory House, an unconventional doctor with a jones for prescription drugs and saving his patients. Laurie’s charisma makes House a simultaneously appealing and repulsive character. If you’ve got the stomach for guts and gross diseases, this is a fun show to check out.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
This horror comedy cleverly flips the “hot college kids stranded in the woods” formula on its head. This time, the coeds are the bad guys, and their intended victims are two hillbillies who look like serial killers. Despite their appearances, Dale and Tucker are actually just two lovable hicks looking for a good time. Their encounter with the students leads to gore and gags galore.
This independent drama failed to find much of an audience after being acclaimed at Sundance. It’s a shame, because it deserved more viewers than it got. The film tells the story of John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, the father and son sniper duo who terrorized Washington D.C. during October 2002. The strong performances humanize the shooters without condoning their crimes.
We Need To Talk About Kevin
You need to see this movie. The disturbing drama depicts a mother’s struggle to come to terms with her son’s perpetration of a school shooting. The story is told non-linearly, and its complexity mirrors the complications of her woes. Tilda Swinton gives an affecting performance as the mother.
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
The all-time highest grossing film in Brazil. This crime drama provides a fictionalized look at the BOPE, the Brazilian equivalent of the SWAT. After the BOPE is invaded, Lieutenant-Colonel Roberto Nascimiento gets accused by activists of committing human rights violations. The film is dark, violent, and gripping.
The French Connection II
If you think that the car chases in Need for Speed are cool, you should check out this film and its predecessor, The French Connection. Gene Hackman stars as Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, a cop eager to track down the drug dealer who eluded him in the first movie. Both films have become landmarks in the action genre, and for good reason.
Liam Neeson, though! The actor has become a punchline for his string of appearances in genre movies like this one, but his abilities as an action star are no joke. In the film, Neeson plays an oil-man tasked with killing wolves that threaten his team. When a plane transporting his team crashes, they need to survive with limited resources. The wolves that stalk them don’t make their lives any easier.
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap
The key word in the title of this documentary is “art.” The film compellingly makes the case for hip-hop as an art form through a series of interviews with MCs and DJs both contemporary and legendary. The insights revealed in the film provide a fascinating look at how rappers and hip-hop producers approach their music. Ice-T narrates and co-directs.