top 5 tuesday: summer netflix picks

dude i am so weird when it comes to picking things to watch on netflix. i’m not that adventurous. unless i’ve heard good things about it, it’s very rare that i watch something just because i’m curious about it. the odds get even worse if i’m watching netflix with someone. god forbid i pick something horrible and we either have to endure it, or i have to suffer the shame of failure.

hopefully you’re not as self-conscious about this as i am, but either way, allow me to put forth some recommendations, in case you’re looking for something new to watch. if anyone asks, you can just be like, “i got it on this random blog.” i’ll take the heat for it.

1. sci-fi: Ex Machina

think I, Robot except a lot closer to a psychological thriller (and no snarky Will Smith). it’s about a guy who gets to participate in his boss’s experiment to see if he’d successfully created artificial intelligence. the robot girl sure as heck seems intelligent–and then creepy shit starts happening. my creepy tolerance is pretty low (hence no horror picks from me) but this was just the right amount. plus, i thought it was just darn well-made. good writing, good acting, and almost indie film-like in quality.

2. action/adventure: The Man in the Iron Mask

do you like the three musketeers (not the candy bar, the actual dudes)? how about an evil Leonardo Dicaprio? then have i got the movie for you! no, for real, this movie is great. it’s from 1998, so it’s old enough that maybe some people in my age group haven’t actually heard of it. the plot: the three musketeers reunite for one last mission to restore an unjustly imprisoned man’s honor. the man in iron mask, that is! apparently what i thought was the plot twist is right there in the summary, but i somehow didn’t read it beforehand, so it sure as hell felt like a plot twist to me. it was kind of fun not knowing. if you can help it, i recommend going in blind.

3. comedy: John Mulaney: New in Town

maybe some of you have seen the memes floating around with stand-up comedian John Mulaney. like this one about being an english major that is so accurate it hurts:


the Kid Gorgeous special from which this joke comes is amazing and hilarious, but if you’ve never watched John Mulaney, i recommend his first comedy special, New in Town. i haven’t watched it in a while, but i remember being in stitches. then again, comedy is so dang subjective, you might think he’s the least funny person ever. however, if you’ve seen anything from kid gorgeous, you’ll probably like his earlier stuff, too.

4. drama: Medici

i was trying not to do a netflix original, but this show is so good i can’t help it. if you haven’t watched it yet, and you like historical dramas, i highly recommend this one. i can’t vouch for its historical accuracy, but my sister, who’s an art major and loves all things italian renaissance, says the art stuff isn’t too far off, so hey, can’t be too bad. the Medici were a bourgeois banking family who ruled de facto in florence, italy for, like, a long time. there’s a lot of them. there were popes and a queen and just… they got around. but this show starts basically at the beginning of their reign. is it dramatized? you bet. but it’s got some really solid writing and pretty darn good character development, in my humble opinion. also, Richard Madden. even though his character can be kind of a jerk, he’s a jerk with a nice face.

5. documentary: Blue Planet

i know there’s like a million of these nature documentaries nowadays, and admittedly i’ve watched very few of them, but i just love this one. if you’ve exhausted your bob ross compilation options on netflix, it’s a great thing to nap to. i’m serious–one summer this was my go-to for pre-work naps. David Attenborough’s voice is oddly soothing, maybe even (dare i say it) asmr-like. but if you stay awake and watch the thing, it’s actually a really fascinating and stunning ocean documentary. the deep sea episode will blow your mind.

disclaimer: naturally, i have no idea how long some of these things will stay on netflix, but to my current knowledge, at the time of this post, all five of these are still available and will be through july.  

like any of these picks? have any of your own to recommend? share it in the comments!


images courtesy of Marc Pascual from Pixabay (tv) and tumblr (john mulaney)

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