I don’t know about you, but I have really embraced Netflix and streaming video. They’ve made an effort to make content available using your computer, television, TiVo, game consoles, even phones1! You name it, and if you are in the right area2, you can access loads of streaming content via Netflix.
Looking through the available content recently, I was impressed with the offering and though I’d mention just five that might interest you. (presented in no particular order)
1. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Buffy Summers is a normal, average teenager. She likes hanging out with her friends, going to the mall, staking a stray vampire on the way to the library… Okay, so, maybe not so normal. Buffy is a Vampire Slayer – the Vampire Slayer, the chosen one. Every generation has just one. This slayer has just moved to Sunnydale, where her mom hopes they can start a new life, put the past (as in, Buffy: The Movie), behind them. But that’s now how the life of a Slayer works. There are still Vampires, and the Watcher’s Council, and, let’s not forget, Sunnydale sits atop a Hellmouth (there’s another one in Cleveland). This is the setup/premise for a tv show that spanned seven seasons and two networks. If you can get past season one (all seven are available on Netflix), Buffy is a fantastic show. One of my favorites.
Six seasons of this drama about two brothers, traveling the country and hunting monsters, are available now on Netflix streaming. The first couple of seasons remain my favorites for this show. The original premise was ‘Route 66 with urban legends’ and played very nicely. You have Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers, searching for their missing father, John, and for the yellow-eyed demon who killed their mother. If you are a fan of urban legends, season one is for you – sprinkled with everything from the Woman in White (Season 1, Episode 1) to Wendigo to Bloody Mary and the Hook Man.
When U.S. Marshall Jack Carter got lost transporting his prisoner back to Los Angeles, and wrecked his car trying to avoid hitting a stray dog (which reminds me – whatever happened to Low Jack? Did Taggert finally get him?), forcing him to get a tow into the little Oregon town of Eureka, he never expected it would become his new home. Or that he’d grow to love it so much. Or that he’d find himself having to save the town full of super-intelligent scientists from themselves, week after week. Or watch his jeep get destroyed every week in the process.
Eureka is the little show that I never thought I would like, let alone love, and Netflix is streaming four seasons. I highly recommend it.
4. The Dead Zone
Honestly, I’d forgotten about this show (which is part of the power of Netflix in that it brings back shows like this). Based on the novel by Stephen King, The Dead Zone stars Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science, 16 Candles), as Johnny Smith, who wakes from a long coma to discover that his life is gone, his girlfriend married to another man and raising a son that may, or may not, be Johnny’s son. He also realizes that he has developed psychic abilities that allow him to see visions of the future. He tries to use that power to help people, but an over-arcing plot develops when he sees a political candidate causing the end of the world. A great show, and one that made me actually care about Anthony Michael Hall as an actor again.
When dinosaurs start turning up in the English countryside, a team of scientists comes together to investigate the so-called ‘anomalies’ bringing the creatures through to our time. These anomalies work both ways, though, allowing the scientists to step through into these other times and places. Soon, they realize that there is more going on, and the anomalies aren’t only bringing dinosaurs from our past, but other creatures from the future. This show is light-sf fun. If you try to focus on the science, you will very quickly lose interest. With better dino-FX than last year’s Terra Nova, Primeval is just plain fun. Pop some popcorn, relax on the couch and enjoy.