Recently I have been watching a lot of Netflix - was there really anything else to do whilst it was monsoon like conditions outside?! And therefore I have binge watched quite a few shows so I thought I would tell you about them so you can watch them too - and my melding-to-the-sofa sessions haven't gone to waste!
This was suggested to me by a chef at work although I had seen it around and been told it was really good so this was the kick I needed to actually watch it. So I did! It took me just over 3 weeks to watch all 5 seasons which I've been told is pretty impressive so that's my new superpower!
I'm sure a lot of you know about the premise of this show but I'll run through it quickly just in case you're new to it! It tells the story of how chemistry teacher Walter White teams up with high school drop out Jessie Pinkman to make meth in old RV when he (Walter) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He can barely make ends meet as it is and with his wife expecting their second child, and their teenage son Walter Jr has cerebral palsy.
They go from this backyard almost home-brewing cookshop to making meth in a state of the art, purpose built lab for one of the country's biggest undercover drug lords this side of the Mexican border, Gustavo 'Gus' Fring.
It doesn't help that Walter's bother in law is DEA and is put on the case of uncovering the truth behind the maker of the blue meth. As the seasons continue, Walter and Jessie's relationship is pushed to the limits as they get in deeper and deeper with Gustavo Fring. He is regarded as a stand up member of society and a benefactor to many charities - including being on the board of the hospital where Walter is having his treatment. He also runs the local chicken shop which makes the perfect cover to hide run his meth around the country.
What I loved most about Breaking Bad was Jessie's and Walter's friendship. It goes through many ups and downs throughout the 5 seasons but they always remain loyal to one another no matter what they go through. This remains as a constant throughout and really pulls the viewer in to see where they go next on their meth adventure.
I highly recommend Breaking Bad if you're into hard hitting, dirty, crime, gang programmes. It's not based on real life (I don't think!) but it certainly grips you from the first episode and pulls you in to the dark, gritty underworld of the drugs trade and the makings of methamphetamine - Walter's chemistry background is obviously the best one to have when you're cooking drugs! He's a great character but at times you do hate him - he started out as my favourites but by the end I really loved Jessie. I felt sorry for him as he'd been screwed over by Walter quite a few times throughout the 5 seasons but always managed to come through it.
The ending was, well, let's just say it could have been better but it was fitting for what the show represented If you've seen it, let me know if you thought this too!
Narcos Mexico (Spanish with English subtitles)
I started watching this after finishing Breaking Bad as it was recommended to me in the way that only Netflix does! I didn't really know what it was about upon first watch but it soon became apparent to me that it's a spin off show (if you will) of the infamous Narcos show - which I had heard of.
There is currently only one season of this show, but thankfully season 2 is confirmed so no need to panic and I could watch on happily! First off, I have to say that the best thing about this show, is Diego Luna who plays drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, I mean, hello!
Anyway, on with the plot....
It tells the story of how Felix unified all the smaller cannabis growers and dealers in Guadalajara, Mexico in order to build an empire. He became the biggest cartel boss in Mexico's history and went to any lengths to protect what he'd built.
If you're into your true-to-life crime series then I'd highly recommend Narcos Mexico to you. It's almost shocking how easy it was for Felix and the other cartel bosses to move massive amounts of cannabis and eventually cocaine through Mexico and beyond.
I loved this show and finding out about the Mexican cartels and drug trade. I liked how it was partly narrated by the DEA agents who were there to taken them down, this alongside real news footage of the events really helped to give the story narrative and depth. If you'd already seen Narcos then this spin off/companion series would make much more sense but I watched this first so some things didn't quite fit in but on the whole I absolutely loved it and am eagerly awaiting Season 2!
Narcos (Spanish with English subtitles)
Narcos tells the story of Columbia's most infamous drug cartel boss, Pablo Escobar. Seasons 1 and 2 chronicle his life (and eventual death) and Season 3 chronicles the rise of the Cali cartel after his death. It is again narrated by the DEA agents who are tasked with capturing him and shutting down the cartels.
Escobar had so much control over the whole of Columbia, he was a billionaire cocaine dealer who had the power to conduct his business in any way he chose. This included killing anyone who crossed him - didn't matter if they were police or not. He had the whole country in the palm of his hand who bent to whim whenever he wished it. Ironically he was nicknamed Robin Hood because of his good deeds to his community. It's like outwardly he's showing what a good guy he is whilst also ordering the murder of anyone who tries to leave his organisation. You've gotta be pretty ballsy to do that but I guess when you've as much money as Escobar you CAN!
I found this series to be incredible fascinating as I'd previously started to read the book 'Killing Pablo' and found myself to be completely engrossed in this master of the criminal underworld that I started to read it again whilst also watching this Netflix series. He certainly was an interesting chap and so for me watching this was like a history lesson of sorts, although a lot of it was dramatized for fictional purposes. With the story of Escobar being so popular and well known, I felt this Netflix series was a good way of telling it to an audience who perhaps didn't know who he was. It's an easy way for us to digest something as big as Escobar's history in a form which isn't so much as boring as some video in a history lesson!
I have just finished the second season of this and I have to say I am already wanting season three!! Basically it tells the story of three bored housewives, Annie, Beth and Ruby who end up being in debt to a gang boss called Rio after they decide to rob their local grocery store to help solve their financial problems.
What they don't realise is that the money that's stored there doesn't belong to 'Fine & Frugal' but to a notorious gang leader who ends up being in their lives way more than they ever intended.
It's a fun look at what happens when you break the law for the sake of your family. More like Desperate Housewives meets Thelma and Louise style series which makes for a more light hearted take on good girls gone bad!
I'm sure you've seen this advertised and maybe you've even watched it but if you haven't then I'll quickly explain a bit about what happens. After they rob 'Fine & Frugal' they get into trouble with Rio's gang and end up having to pay him back what they stole, which they end up doing quite successfully.
You learn how to launder money and that some people are quite easily manipulated/turned when there's money involved - as well as the real truth about characters involved in the show.
Good Girls was also another show which had a bad character that looked good and the chemistry between Rio and Beth was tangible. I ended up rooting for them to become the ultimate power couple of the underworld but sadly this was not to be! Ah well...
Dead To Me
Another show which I quickly binged all of! It tells the story of Jen and Judy who meet at a grief support group. Jen's husband was killed in a hit and run and she is *quite rightly* over come with grief as she tries to deal with life without him and raising their kids alone. In Judy she finds an unlikely friend who helps her come to terms with her grief and allow her to start piecing her life back together. Judy on the other hand holds a dark secret and we only learn what that is as the series progresses. What I loved most about this show was how it wasn't afraid to show real, raw emotion and delve deep into the reality of being left behind when someone you love dies and how important it is to have people around you to support you at such a vital time. One aspect which Jen holds onto to help get her through her husband's death is finding out who was behind the wheel of the car that killed him. She almost becomes obsessed with finding out who did, to appease her mind and ease her guilt. I'm almost sad that this was only one season as the acting and story was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I recommend you watch this one if you haven't already. Add it to your list!
I started and finished this in one day, whilst I was writing this post actually! I resisted watching this for a while as I wasn't sure about it to be honest, but once I started I couldn't stop! It tells the story of the teenagers of a town called West Ham going on a field trip without their parents one night but being told they're going back home due to bad weather. The kids are confused but make their way back to their own homes, all the while trying to find their parents, who, as they later discover, have all gone missing. There is no phone reception, no internet and the only people the kids can contact is each other! Spooky.... For a while the teenagers go a bit mad, throwing parties, eating all the available food, using up all the precious resources in each of their massive houses. After a while they come to a decision that having someone in charge is the best way to go. So jobs are handed out, curfews are put in place, houses are assigned (5 to a room!) and order is *somewhat* restored. It's a good look at what your world would be like if your world completely changed and you ended up in what looked like your hometown but was in some way different. The kids come to realise that they may be in some sort of parallel universe, which is weird considering there's nothing science fiction about The Society at all. I really hope there is a second series because I really enjoyed it once I pressed play. There's definitely a sense of George Orwell's Animal Farm about it as the ones who are oppressed rise up to become just like those they took over from. When there are rules in place there's bound to be an overthrow in the offing, it's just a matter of time. The ending did confuse me though! So if you've seen it, please do comment and tell me what it meant!
So there you have it! Just a few of the shows I've been currently binge watching. I do have a few more I could review for you so if you want that please do let me know!
What have you been watching on Netflix?? Let me know!