Tag Archives: Netflix

The Watch List: Bojack Horseman

Netflix is there for you when you’re in bed ill, it’s there when you’ve had a bad day at work, and it’s there when it’s just a normal Tuesday evening and you have nothing better to do. When we think of Netflix it will mostly be for the sheer amount of movies and TV shows it has available (especially if you live in the US, land of the free…), but increasingly Netflix is the place for really good original content; and Bojack Horseman is another fine arrow in an impressive quiver.

At first Netflix branching out with original content was deemed an experiment, but one that it managed to succeed straight away with House of Cards; the show that got me to subscribe to Netflix in the first place. It hasn’t always worked, anyone remember Marco Polo? But the underrated Knights of Sidonia and the phenomenal Daredevil reboot has shown the quality and diversity that Netflix is able to support.

Bojack Horseman actually started last year on the service, and seemed to receive mixed reviews from critics, but Netflix deemed the show successful enough amongst its audience to commission a second season pretty quickly. Season two has just come out as I found out from an email from Netflix that I didn’t pay much attention to it, at first. Then a few days later I started seeing a few people that I follow on Twitter, and whom I respect their opinions, tweeting about not just how great the show is in general, but how brilliant the second season was turning out.

Intrigued I decided to give the show a try, because that is the beauty of Netflix, all it costs you to try out a show is your time because everything is included (except for everything US Netflix has that everyone else doesn’t). After a deliberate sitcom parody the true nature of Bojack is unleashed and pretty quickly you will know whether or not Bojack Horseman is the show for you. The show has an 18 rating, which is kind of understandable given some of its content, but the show feels more adult in the sense of how the world is viewed rather than being offensive just for the sake of it; this is not Family Guy.

What also helps the show is that there is some continuity overall as some events either directly carry onto the next episode or will pop up later. But each episode works perfectly well on its own. It is also helped by the supporting characters, Bojack is a great character, one you’ll enjoy watching, and possibly share his world view (I found myself agreeing with him multiple times), but he is not a likeable character. He is lazy, arrogant, and self centred. He also treats his “friends” with little regard, but then again they aren’t exactly perfect people, but this is LA, where everything is superficial.

Praise does need to be given to Will Arnett, as despite almost seeming a little too much like Will Arnett or his take on Batman in The Lego Movie, his tone and delivery are perfect. The cynicism is so precise and damning that, to quote another writer on their Twitter, makes you ask ‘why will I never get to write anything this funny and important and good’.

Am I saying that Bojack Horseman is the best show ever? No, that would be stupid, these days with so many options and increased diversity of content, that becomes a pointless exercise. There is greater choice than ever before, and therefore more to take up our fleeting lives whilst we try to make something constructive out of them. In between trying to achieve something, anything, meanwhile, we can feel a little bit better about ourselves, a little bit worse about the world around us, and watch Bojack Horseman.

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Four Documentaries to watch on Netflix

By Sara Da Silva


Finishing university and moving back home could only mean one thing: Netflix. I’ve been on a bit of a documentary binge recently and there are some truly great documentaries on Netflix. So, here’s a list of a few of my personal favourites.

1. Blackfish

This documentary, which was dairected by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, focuses on the captivity of orca whales in SeaWorld. More specifically, it looks at Tilikum, an orca who was involved in the deaths of three individuals. This eye-opening documentary gives us a behind the scenes look into the awful conditions that the whales face in captivity. After watching this documentary you will never want to visit SeaWorld who, of course, completely denied all allegations made against them. You might even be inspired.

2. Catfish

Yaniv “Nev” Schulman, who you probably know from the MTV show Catfish, was involved in his very own catfishing. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman directed this documentary, which followed Nev’s online relationship with Megan. They later discover that Megan wasn’t who she appeared to be. I won’t give you too many spoilers because this is something you’d want to watch for yourself. There have been critics who have claimed that Catfish is a fake documentary as they question why the filmmakers would obsessively document a seemingly ordinary online relationship. Despite all these allegations, the documentary is still very interesting, so much so that MTV gave them their very own television show.

3. Bridegroom

This documentary will most likely break your heart and leave you angry at the world. You have been warned. It follows the story of Shane Bitney Crone and his same-sex partner, Thomas Lee Bridegroom, who died following an accident. After Bridegroom’s death, Crone was deprived of any legal protection and even threatened and ordered not to attend the funeral. The documentary provides an intense look into the on-going debate over the legal rights of same-sex couples. While this documentary might leave you filled with overwhelming emotion, it’s something that needs to be shared.

4. Craiglist Joe

In order to get over the heartbreak felt while watching Bridegroom, why not watch Craiglist Joe. It is very uplifting and shows the good side to humanity, an aspect that is seldom found in documentaries. Let me first say that that he’s braver than I’ll ever be. This documentary follows Joseph Garner’s travels across the United States as he relies completely on the kindness of strangers on Craigslist. With only a laptop, a cell phone, a toothbrush and the clothes on his back, Garner embarked on a potentially stupid, but nonetheless bold, adventure.

So sit back, avoid all the things that need doing, and go watch some Netflix. The possibilities are endless.

5 Reasons Why Daredevil Will Be Awesome

By Joe Strange


This Friday sees the release of Netflix’s Daredevil, the first in a series of Netflix/Marvel works that will eventually end up with a Defenders series. The plan, as far as we know, is to have a more street focussed series that will centre around the civilians and the street level criminal and heroes, while the Cinematic universe deals with sentient AI, big government conspiracies and elves from space. (when you say that, Marvel does sound ridiculous doesn’t it?)

So, the question is this; will this series, the first in a run, be good enough to warrant your time, your Netflix subscription and your brain power, and more importantly, will it be better than 2003’s leather clad, evanescence filled nightmare?

Probably.

Oh, you want some reasons? How about 5?

1) It should show the real effects of the Battle of New York

Daredevil, like most heroes in the Marvel universe, is based in New York. You might remember New York, it was the city that the majestic space whale died in after running into the Hulk’s fist.

New York, even the few blocks that didn’t get space-whaled, was hugely effected by the events of the Avengers, what with the armies of aliens and that near-miss nuclear strike… What I’m saying is that there’s going to be turmoil, and hopefully we’ll get to see a load of criminals fighting to get the top spot of the spoils of the battle. This could be what inspires Daredevil to go out and help save his city; Iron man and gang saved the world, sure, but so far we’ve not seen them do much on the ground (they even took a day off after, rude.) Perhaps Daredevil’s motivation is to do what the Avengers haven’t; to help clean up the mess. Which is great!

2) It will be darker than Agents of SHIELD

Agents of SHIELD got off to a rocky start, but when the events of the Winter Soldier became apparent it really hit its stride. The show has gone from strength to strength since then, but it’s still very much  a network TV show.

By joining up with Netflix Marvel allow themselves to tell a more mature and darker story, for a more mature and darker character. Aliens are fun, street crime and murders, not so much, and the darker tone will complement the story and hero really well. The kid gloves are off, there are no icers this time round, it’s going to be visceral and brutal, and we could use a bit more of that to bring some threat to the universe. Also, kill someone, for good, in the first season. Show them you mean business.

3) It’s going to be longer than a Marvel movie.

A dedicated, 13 episode run (similar to that of Agent Carter) means that the show’s story arc can be concise and well told. The characters can be developed gracefully and the storyline can be paced quicker than a normal 24 episode season and more gradual than a 2 hour film.

This is even better considering that this will be the kicking off point for the AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist series, they can layer in these heroes as they need to, making it seem organic and natural.

So, yeah, longer than a film, more concise than a long series that doesn’t know if it’ll be cancelled mid-season; I’m all about it.

4) Daredevil is a great character that should be brought into the MCU

I’ve mentioned before how Daredevil is more of a street level crime fighter, sticking up for the little guy and the like, as opposed to Tony Stark’s ‘that guy has my stuff, don’t take my stuff’ mission statement, but just because he’s flipping around Hell’s Kitchen on the weekdays doesn’t mean that’s all he does. He’s a key character in Civil War, siding with Captain America and the secret avengers. But more than his ability to fit in with both levels of heroes, he’s basically Batman.

Well, he’s not rich, and he can’t see… But unlike Batman he’s actually got BAT POWERS. I mean, sort of. Bat’s have echolocation, but so do dolphins… maybe he’s got dolphin powers? He’s an angry man who pushes himself to the limits of his abilities all in an attempt to keep his neighbourhood safe, he fights because he has to, not just because of guilt.

5) It’s NOT the 2003 Daredevil movie. 

This really should be reason enough.

Coffee Time News 17/11/14

Film

Ridley Scott’s definitive cut of Bladerunner will be coming to theatres in 2015, and we might get to see more of the world if the sequel he’s been working on sees the light of day.

Writers/directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord have announced that there will be more female main characters in The Lego Movie 2, as well as more female ‘stuff’ now this could be a reference to the original’s ending.

Star Lord’s parentage in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will serve the plot and not just the twist, according to James Gunn he’s not aiming for a huge revelation for the character.

Television

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is finally coming to video streaming service Netflix, it’s a surprise it’s taken so long considering Marvel’s plan for Daredevil and the Defenders series.

Lucy Griffiths’ Liv character from the Constantine pilot was quickly written out, but there is a chance she could return in another capacity now that the writers have acknowledged their mistake.

Chris Pratt is keen to return to television, especially if it’s a chance to relive Star Lord in Agents of SHIELD.

Games

Sweden want to label games that promote gender equality, the Swedish trade body has been given a grant by the government to research ways to do so.

Far Cry 4 can be finished in a round about thirty minutes, if you decide to stay instead of go.

Telltale’s Game of Thrones has been stringent on the details since the announcement of their episodic adventure series, but it seems that some trailer images have been leaked.

How Netflix is changing television shows.

By Joe Strange


So, Netflix is a big thing now right? Now the ability to watch hundreds of hours of shows from one place (completely legally) for a small monthly subscription isn’t new, that’s what we Brits pay our television license for after all. But what Netflix, and similar providers such as Hulu and Amazon Prime, have given us is a huge buffet of shows to pick from.

You want to watch an entire season of Breaking Bad, or four hours worth of Mythbusters? Go ahead, they’ll be no need to stop to watch the news, or a break to sell you things you don’t need.

I mean, that wasn’t such a big deal when Netflix was just giving us shows that we’d seen before, that’s what DVD collections were for. But Netflix has changed the game in two ways, first is the immediacy of everything. If it’s there, you don’t have to wait until next Friday at 8 to watch whatever it is that’s on on Fridays at 8, if you’ve ended on a morsel of plot that you have to satiate then you go ahead and satiate, and you don’t have to wait to buy it on DVD because once it’s aired, it’s there.

It totally encourages binge watching as well, which may not be all that healthy.

The second change is that they’ve taken to making entirely new series, such as the fantastic Orange is the New Black, or season 4 of cult favourite Arrested Development.

Now this is fantastic for at least two reasons; first of all it means that producers, directors and writers can craft their art into something that’s specifically aimed at a niche market, because they don’t have to ride on the airwaves and hope people catch it, if they hear about it it’s available at the click of a button. (If you post it they will come)

This means that studios can be more adventurous and take more risks, take a look at the next MCU move; four series devoted to four widely unknown superheroes (and Daredevil, who has some making up to do). That wouldn’t fly on regular television, that’s too much airtime for not enough audience, and airtime is pricey. What Netflix does is opens the doors for the risky and exciting projects that wouldn’t normally see the light of day.

It can also act as a device for resuscitating old shows that may have been screwed over by the network or found a new lease of life on DVD and now the fans want more. We saw this with Arrested Development and we’re seeing it with Heroes Reborn. Can you just imagine for a moment what would have happened to Firefly if Netflix was around back then?

But this does bring a few issues to the surface, not for us as consumers, but for the creators of our shows.

They’re going to have to change the way they approach shows, for one we won’t need so many PREVIOUSLY ON segments, because, lets face it, we’ve been watching this for hours, we know what’s going on better than the writers do.

But more specifically it opens up options for the storylines they weave. Big shock endings, the cliff hangers that we both love and hate may become a thing of the past, with the ability to keep watching, and the endless play feature that many providers use means we probably won’t be turning off any time soon. I understand there needs to be a reason for us to keep watching, but this enticement could be more thoughtfully weaved through the episode, and not just relying on one big shock at the end of forty minutes. Entire episodes can be focused on one character, or group, with hints to what’s going on elsewhere placed strategically, something that Arrested Development season 4 did try.

So that’s my two, very small, cents on video streaming and what it’s doing to the industry. I realise I use Netflix a lot in this article, but really it can be replaced with whatever service you use.

But what do you think? Is there anything I missed? Have your viewing habits changed at all since you started streaming? Leave a comment below!

 

The Watch List: Orange is the New Black Season 2

The Watch List is a new feature here at Axby; our team is pretty damn passionate about TV and Film, and we want to spread the good word. This feature’s aim is to add to that infamous watch list that you’ve got tucked away.

 

By Sara Da Silva


 

Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black is back for its second season, and this time it kicks even more ass. I’ll try to avoid too many spoilers because this is a show that you definitely want to be shocked by.

The show is based on Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman, who was sent to prison following charges of money laundering and drug trafficking. Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), based off of Kerman, is one of the central characters in the show. I personally didn’t like her character during the first season but through the newest season I’ve started to like her more. Perhaps it’s because she stopped acting like such a wimp, or maybe it was just the fact that less time was spent on her storyline. In fact, she didn’t play much of a role in perhaps the most important storyline of the season: the introduction of Vee Parker, the new villain in Litchfield.

Amidst the sex scenes and violence, Jenji Kohan, creator of the show, has introduced some new characters and explored the backstories of the other inmates. The second season is bolder and more badass. Not only was this season incredibly tense and unbelievably hysterical, but was also unexpectedly emotional. I even found myself feeling slightly sympathetic towards some of the creepiest of characters; corrections officer George “Pornstache” Mendez, for example.

This season has it all: murder, drugs, sex, love and prison break (the felony, not the television show). The last episode of season two in particular was bloody brilliant. The last few minutes left me with my jaw hitting the floor.

Whilst some may have been annoyed by the release of the episodes in bulk, taking away the time for speculation and general excitement, I was thrilled. Through its bulk release, Netflix lets me do what I do best: binge watch television.

I’m eternally grateful that the show has been renewed for a third season. So, if you find yourself browsing through Netflix and you’re unsure of what to watch, I’d definitely recommend Orange is the New Black, it’s one of the greatest shows on Netflix.

 

Coffee Time News 12/06/14

Film

A new trailer for Laika’s new animation ‘Boxtrolls’  has emerged. Which shows off a bit more of the story than the previous world building trailer.

A little more behind the scenes of Pixar’s emotional story, sorry, story about emotions, could be both I suppose, Inside out, have appeared. Including some of the higher thought behind the concept.

A new trailer for Sin City, A Dame to Kill for, which is released in August, has hit, and it’s looking good man, really good.

Television

Now, unfortunately, I fell out with The Legend of Korra halfway through season 2 ( a habit that I really need to sort out) but there is a trailer for the third season (or Book) right here, featuring a whole host of new characters.

Law and Order’s Vincent D’Onofrio will be playing Kingpin in Netflix’s Daredevil, and it sounds like he’ll be the main antagonist of the entire series. Which is fitting for a man of the king’s reputation.

On the trail of Netflix shows, it looks like the Magic Schoolbus will be getting an online reboot too. Next stop, nostalgia station. Oh wait, that’s trains. My bad.