Netflix is fantastic.

I have always loved TV for as long as I can remember.  I've even joked in the past that I would make a perfect housewife, because I could find something to watch on TV at any hour of the day.  (Disclaimer: I know housewives actually do work, but like I said, it was a joke!)  Sometimes I wish I could be cool enough to be one of those people who says, "Oh, I don't really watch much TV.  I don't have enough time to watch TV."  Well, I do have a life, and I'm a pretty busy person, but I will make time to watch TV, even if I am way behind.  All this being said, I first subscribed to the wonderful, yet soul sucking, website known as Netflix my freshman year of college.  What college student doesn't love spending their free time on Netflix?  Upcoming freshmen, I highly encourage you to subscribe.  Reality: There will be downtime your freshman year, you will miss home, you will realize college is way harder than high school and you will need comedy television to get you through the rough patches.  Or, at least that's how I coped.  So while thinking about how many series I have become a fan of through Netflix, I decided to round up some of my favorite shows in case anybody is in need of a suggestion of a series to watch or already likes the series and just wants to discuss how awesome it is. :)

1. How I Met Your Mother
I like so many shows, but none can compare to HIMYM.  I started watching it last spring and was addicted.  I particularly go on Netflix binges during study week (the week before finals), which might be really stupid, but I always come out fine.  There's just so much downtime during study week, so I spend all day studying and all night watching Netflix.  I watched this whole series during spring finals and rewatched the entire series during winter finals, probably because it's comforting haha.  So where do I begin with my obsession?  I guess I should start with the main character, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor).  The title of the show comes from the fact that the show is actually told through flashbacks as Ted is telling all these stories to his two kids in order to get to the point of how he met their mother.  Ted is a hopeless romantic architect who just wants to find his soulmate.  Who I really love on this show, though, is the married couple of the group - kindergarten teacher Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and lawyer and Ted's college roommate, Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel).  Jason Segel is my celebrity crush, and his portrayal of Marshall only increases that, because Marshall treats Lily the way every girl wants to be treated.  They started dating the first week of freshman year in college, fell in love and are now living happily ever after with their baby, Marvin.  Their nicknames for each other?  Marshmallow and Lily Pad.  I die.  This is the couple full of cheesy, yet cute, rituals like coming home and telling each other what they ate for lunch and calling each other during lunch breaks just to check in.  Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) is the womanizer full of inappropriate jokes who keeps the group on their toes and is usually the one to get them into crazy situations.  Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) is a journalist and was also a Canadian teen pop star, Robin Sparkles.  She became friends with the group after a date with Ted.  They later had a relationship and broke up.  She dated Barney twice and is now engaged to him.  The show takes place in New York, and most of it takes place in the gang's regular booth at a bar called MacLaren's.  The creators of the show used to live in New York and spent much of their time at a bar called McGee's Pub, which MacLaren's is based off of.  When I was in New York in March, I had to visit McGee's and get a cocktail called a Robin Sparkles.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.  I watch reruns of the show on TV all the time, and still can't say enough about it.  It's going to be really hard for another show to take HIMYM's place.
My experience at McGee's Pub

2. The Office
I watched it all this past spring, and it quickly became a close second to HIMYM.  The show takes place at fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  I've always been a big Steve Carell fan, and watching this Michael Scott character (regional manager of Dunder Mifflin) he made so famous only made me love him more.  He and all the other characters were cast so perfectly, and I don't know that another show has ever made me laugh out loud so frequently.  I also loved that many of the actors/characters were normal people.  They weren't super fit, drop dead gorgeous people.  And that might have been what made the show draw me in so much.  While exaggerated and fictionalized for TV, I feel like this office and these coworkers could exist somewhere.  I do have to say that Pam Beesly Halpert (Jenna Fischer) and Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) are in competition with Lily and Marshall from HIMYM for my favorite TV couple.  Pam was the receptionist, and Jim was a salesman.  Who wouldn't swoon over Jim's complete admiration of her while she was engaged to another guy who was nowhere near good enough for her, office warehouse employee Roy?  There were so many cute little moments and gestures between them before they even started dating that you were always rooting for them to end up together.   Pam kept candy for everybody at her desk, so Jim would constantly walk up and grab some candy just so he could talk to her.  Pam fell asleep on Jim's shoulder during a  meeting.   Pam was caught snooping around Jim's room during a barbecue he hosted, and she became infatuated with his high school yearbook picture.  For one secret Santa gift exchange at an office Christmas party, Jim got Pam's name.  He filled a teapot with little knick knacks that represented their inside jokes (yearbook picture included).  After Roy decided he wanted to leave their office award ceremony, the Dundies, Pam got drunk off Chili's margaritas and kissed Jim after winning an award.  Then, during an office casino night, Jim and Pam snuck up to the office, he kissed her, told her he was in love with her and Pam insisted she was sticking with Roy.  Pam then called her mom to tell her about it, and how she was confused, because he was her best friend.  So, they do eventually get together, get married and have two kids.  There are so many memorable quotes from Jim and Pam about speaking about one another, but this might be my favorite, which occurred at their rehearsal dinner:
Jim: "Four years ago, I was just a guy who had a crush on a girl, who had a boyfriend. And I had to do the hardest thing that I've ever had to do, which was just to... wait. Don't get me wrong, I flirted with her. Pam, I can now admit in front of friends and family, that I do know how to make a photocopy. Didn't need your help that many times. And, uh, do you remember how long it took you to teach me how to drive stick?"
Pam: "Like a year!"
Jim: "I've been driving stick since high school, so... For a really long time that's all I had. Little moments with a girl who saw me as a friend. And, a lot of people told me I was crazy to wait this long for a date with a girl I work with but I think, even then I knew that... I was waiting for my wife."
I mean, honestly, what girl doesn't hope for a guy who pursues and treasures her like that?  Jim Halpert has set the bar high, gentlemen.  I promise there's so many other great parts to the show; I'm just enamored with Jim and Pam.

3. 30 Rock
I just watched this at the beginning of the summer.  I have always loved Tina Fey, and the show takes place in New York at, you guessed it, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the address of the NBC studios.  Both times I've been to New York, I've toured the NBC studios, so I really enjoyed seeing some of those locations on the show.  Tina Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer of a sketch comedy show, The Girlie Show (TGS), which is very similar to Saturday Night Live.  Lorne Michaels, the creator of SNL, was an executive producer for the show.  I read Tina's memoir, Bossypants, and she said that she had originally wanted 30 Rock to go in a different direction, but Lorne encouraged her to write and act about what she knew.  Many of the things that occur behind the scenes on TGS were inspired by Tina's time at SNL, and both 30 Rock and TGS (fictionally) air on NBC.  So, it's almost like a show within a show within a show.  Make sense haha?  Alec Baldwin plays Jack Donaghy, the head of NBC.  After not liking each other at the beginning of the show, he and Liz quickly become friends, and Jack acts as Liz's mentor.  I hadn't seen Alec Baldwin in too many things before, and although irrational, I was never too crazy about him, because of the scandal where he drunkenly called his daughter and left her that voice mail calling her a "rude thoughtless pig," but I quickly forgave him after starting 30 Rock.  I loved his work on the show, and Alec seems to have bettered himself with his new wife, yoga instructor Hilaria, who has inspired him to become more fit, and now they have a baby on the way.  Yay, Alec Baldwin lives happily ever after.  Jane Krakowski plays the star of TGS, Jenna Maroney.  Jenna's a self-absorbed actress/singer who needs people to praise her and pay attention to her at all times.  This is the woman who, after her dressing room mirror was removed at the end of the series, a montage complete with song plays of all the good times Jenna had looking at herself in front of her mirror.  Tracy Morgan plays Tracy Jordan, a character very much based on his controversial self.  After criticism that TGS needs a male actor, Tracy is hired and the show becomes renamed TGS with Tracy Jordan.  Jenna is furious at first, and they butt heads throughout the show, but they love each other at the end of the day.  After all, in a weird way, they're pretty similar since they just both want to be huge stars and have all the attention.  Jack McBrayer plays NBC page Kenneth Parcell.  Once again, I love how each character is basically an over exaggerated version of themselves.  Kenneth is from Georgia and still has his Southern accent and makes references to a country way of life.  Kenneth is too old to be a page (a position normally held right after college - also a job I'd love to have!  NBC, if you're reading this, call me!), and never mentions his true age.  He just can't imagine leaving his job, because he loves TV and serving these people so much.  I just think all his mannerisms and facial expressions are so hilarious and goofy.  He does everything for everybody and is so loyal and gullible, I just love him.  Perhaps what I love most about this show is that I kind of realized I'd describe myself as a mixture between Liz Lemon and Jenna Maroney, which might seem super confusing, since they're so different.  Just hang on with me.  Liz is self-deprecating and so driven that she often puts her career ahead of her love life.  She's a homebody who once declared, “One of my New Year’s resolutions is to say, 'Yes!'  Yes to love, yes to life, yes to staying in more!"  Jenna Maroney is very theatrical.  She bursts into song to depict her emotions and reacts very prominently to any situation that happens.  While conflicting, I tend to possess those Liz and Jenna qualities.

4. Parks and Recreation
I just started this show a couple of weeks ago, and I'm only on the fourth season (the fifth season just concluded), so I'll do my best with what I've seen so far.  Same goes for how I loved Steve Carell (The Office) and Tina Fey (30 Rock) - I loved Amy Poehlor.  I actually created a mental list a few months of ago of the next shows I wanted to watch on Netflix, and it was in that order: The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and Rec.  Should I be embarrassed I've steadily made my way down that list in just the past three months?  I don't care.  I've still maintained an internship and friendships, and the shows make me happy, so I think I'm alright. :)  Parks and Rec has the same creators from The Office and is shot in the same documentary style.  Amy Poehlor plays Leslie Knope, the deputy parks director of the parks and recreation department of fictional Pawnee, Indiana.  She works harder than anybody else in her department, and is all about women in powerful, leadership roles.  Nick Offerman plays her boss, Ron Swanson, a manly man with a great mustache who loves steak, the outdoors, hunting and fishing.  Chris Pratt plays Andy Dwyer, the not-so-smart shoe shiner at the government building who also sings and plays guitar in the band Mouse Rat.  Aubrey Plaza is April Ludgate, Andy's wife and the negative intern who doesn't do anything and rarely smiles.  Rashida Jones plays Ann Perkins, the part time nurse and part time director of public relations for the health department.  She is Andy's ex-girlfriend and Leslie's best friend.  Who do I really love though?  Aziz Ansari who plays parks and recreation department administrator Tom Haverford.  I am really confused, because I've always thought Aziz Ansari was hilarious, but I do not know where I know him from!  I know he had a small part in I Love You, Man, which I've seen, but I swear I have seen him in something else where he had a much bigger part, but after much research, I still can't figure out what it is.  Either I made it up, or it must have been in a past life.  I had always seen things on Tumblr about Tom's most memorable quotes, and actually seeing them on the show is hilarious.

Then he says, "Wait, actually, I'm gonna pick that up real quick." hahaha

The treat yo' self concept is so great, and that cheesy smile makes me laugh every time.

So there you have it - In the past little over a year, I have watched all four of these series on Netflix, and they've become my top favorite shows.  I highly recommend them and would love any other suggestions you have!

1 comment:

  1. I love all of these except HIMYM. I watched it to see what all the hype was about but never really liked it that much.