It’s not TV or HBO. It’s Netflix.
The streaming giant has plenty of competition these days. Amazon Prime is making a serious play in the streaming space, both with existing content and strong original fare. Hulu boasts a heady amount of network shows to be seen at our convenience.
Yet Netflix remains on top, in part, because of its impressive slate of originals and content depth. The company sinks serious coin into its programming slate. That not only makes up for its dwindling but still strong catalog of old films, but offers consumers plenty of reasons to pay $10/month for its services.
So here are 5 reasons to pony up for Netflix, including the service’s best series (so far).
Think the Marvel Cinematic Universe represents superhero storytelling at its finest? You might change your mind after watching “Daredevil.” Yes, the scale is smaller, the threats centralized around Hells Kitchen and not the earth in toto.
Still, Charlie Cox is terrific as the blind lawyer/crimefighter, and the series makes the most of its singular villains. Season One showcased Vincent D’Onofrio’s bravura turn as the Kingpin, while Jon Bernthal’s Punisher proved fascinating in an entirely different way in Season Two.
Best of all, whoever is handling the fight choreography deserves a raise. This isn’t shaky cam central. It’s elegant and fierce, and it makes every super skirmish feel like something swiped from a major Hollywood blockbuster.
One reason people have an affinity for Netflix is how the channel saves shows from cancellation hell. Case in point: this modern-day western got a pink slip from A&E after its third season. Enter Netflix, which brought it back from the dead for two more sterling seasons. The sixth and final season will air later this year.
Robert Taylor is solid as Walt Longmire, a laconic lawman nursing some serious emotional wounds. The strong supporting cast includes Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Netflix similarly “rescued” “Arrested Development,” but the fourth season of that series failed to match the magic of Seasons 1-3 over at FOX.
3. Indie Gems
“The Invitation.” “Dementia.” “The Sacrament.” “American Hero.” “Hush.” The first four indie films got little attention during their theatrical rollout. The latter is a Netflix original that provided bigger scares than most theatrical shockers.
They’re all available on Netflix, and each is well worth your time. The service offers a robust selection of independent films. Sure, some are flat-out awful or as pretentious as you might fear.
The rest are perfect for a Saturday night viewing. Do a little research before you stream and enjoy some fine surprises.
Have you seen “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey”? What about “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”? Maybe you’re curious about the tragic decline of a country music superstar showcased in “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.” They’re all available via Netflix. The service’s rich documentary trove is perfect for those times when you can’t come up with a movie to watch.
You can select from music features (“Muscle Shoals”), political diatribes (“Chuck Norris vs. Communism”) or even stories about the musicians who helped make ’60s music rock (“The Wrecking Crew”).
“Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards” scoop up most of the attention when it comes to Netflix originals. The service’s best show so far is “Bloodline,” set to wrap its third and final season in May.
The series stars Kyle Chandler as the patriarch of a large Florida family that oversees a coastal inn. The clan’s black sheep, a diabolically good Ben Mendelsohn, stirs serious trouble in the first season. What follows captures just how far some people will go to keep up appearances and secure what they think is their rightful legacy.
It’s hard to say goodbye to such a terrific series. If you’ve seen the first two episodes, though, it’s clear this twisted tale deserves an organic finale worthy of its story so far.