If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for reasons to procrastinate. If you’ve already watched all of “House of Cards”, “Jessica Jones” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” you do not have to look any further for new material. Here are the best six things you should watch next on your respective streaming services:
A Lifetime Original dark comedy series, “UnReal” is a mythical, “behind-the-scenes” version of reality television dating shows like “The Bachelor.” The show that directly mimics “The Bachelor” is entirely fictional and is called “Everlasting.” The main role, Shiri Appleby, a 37-year old actress who has been in Hollywood since the 1980s, plays the video producer. The show is at once gritty and whimsical, and you get to see what (possibly) goes on behind the scenes of your favorite reality TV shows. Sometimes, this includes dastardly plans to bring up a contestant’s dark past in order to get a more dramatic scene. It is the perfect 42-minute “dramedy” that answers all of your questions about what really goes on behind those sets.
5. “Mozart in the Jungle”
This Amazon original comedy stars Lola Kirke in her first television role as Hailey Rutledge and Gael Garcia Bernal as Roderigo. The premise of this show surrounds a young college graduate and talented oboist (Hailey) who is trying to make it big in the classical music world. Roderigo, the newly appointed maestro of the New York Symphony, takes Hailey under his wing. This show is a thirty-minute comedy filled with enough laughs and beautiful scores to keep you thoroughly enthralled.
4. “The Barkley Marathon”
The Race that Eats its Young”: This documentary, found on Netflix, chronicles the 2012 Barkley Marathon event. If you ever thought completing an iron-man was impressive, you’re sure to be wowed by the show’s depiction of the competitors in this race. Limited to 40 participants, the runners have to send in an essay explaining why they should be allowed to enter into the race. The course is a stretch of untamed wilderness that makes a single loop of 20 miles. Runners must complete the loop five times in order to be considered a “finisher.” Many however, only make it through the “fun-run,” which totals in at three loops, or 60 miles. Competitors are truly put through the ringer when they embark on this journey. Often, on lap completions, runners will come back bloody, injured and completely exhausted from the run. But, because it is a race, they often only spend 20 to 30 minutes at the campground before beginning the race again. Since its inauguration in 1986, the yearly event has only seen 14 winners. The show effectively depicts the intensity and impressiveness of the runner and the race, making it well worth watching.
3. “Austin to Boston”
Another documentary, “Austin to Boston” chronicles the cross-country road trip of four up and coming bands travelling in Volkswagen vans. The documentary follows The Staves, Ben Howard, Bear’s Den, and Nathaniel Rateliff, four different bands with similar sounding folk-influenced tunes. If you have ever dreamed of traveling the country with your friends and playing music, then this is the documentary for you. However, much like the film’s tagline states, you’ll soon “be cured” of the dream. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies for these bands, and the documentary clearly shows that. Even so, you will probably only end up admiring the bands more, if only for the sheer grit it takes to tour the country as extensively as they do.
“Love” is a fairly new Netflix Original Series that was created by and stars Paul Rust. He and his costar, Gillian Jacobs star respectively as Gus and Mickey, the two main characters. The two have been unlucky in love, and they are both far past their early twenties with fairly successful jobs. Yes, this is yet another show with white actors in the lead role and only a couple people of color as side characters, but please give it a chance. The show depicts love compellingly as dark, funny and enlightening. And it’s particularly interesting that the show’s main characters are really unlikeable on purpose. Mickey is semi-depraved and Gus is so nice that you want to punch him. Yet somehow, it works. Give the show a try: at the very least, you’ll be interested in the fictional witch show that Paul’s character, Gus, tutors actors for.
Have you ever thought that, while entertaining, “Orange is the New Black” still has many moments when you forget the women are in jail? Have you been bothered by that fact, since it’s supposed to be a show about prison? What about the ever-growing cast of characters, not all of which we care enough about to see their backstories? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then “Wentworth” might be the show for you. This Australian female-prison drama has all of the darkness that “Orange is the New Black” lacks. While “OITNB” isn’t constantly happy, “Wentworth” truly trumps it in the intensity and realism. I really encourage you to watch this series! You won’t be disappointed.
There you have it: a wide variety of shows and documentaries to keep your mind off that ever-growing pile of work on your desk.