Best of Canadian Netflix

Although my lovely flat screen television gets very little play and I haven’t had cable in years, I love movies and get readily hooked on a good tv series.  I am a member of the internet generation – we stream, we download and for the low price of $7.99/month, we subscribe to Netflix.

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Relative to American viewers, Canadian Netflix selection is extremely limited (a fact I discovered upon logging into my account during a trip to the U.S. last year), but if, like me, your lack of cable says something about your taste in film and tv (less reality television and Hollywood blockbusters, more off-beat comedy and indie flicks) you’re in luck.  You might have to dig a little deeper to find the gems on Netflix in Canada, but here’s a list to get you started. For a second list created by Robyn, check out Part Two of our Netflix choices.

Television Series

If you haven’t already jumped on the zombie train, the Walking Dead is a damn good place to start.  I expected to hate this series, resisted it as long as possible, then caved and became rapidly obsessed.  The first two seasons of the AMC production are currently on Netflix, with the third season currently airing live.  It was surprisingly easy to get past my initial eye-rolling and become consumed with the lives of Sheriff Rick and his merry band of survivors in post zombie apocalypse America.  If you don’t believe me, check out the series’ long list of television awards and nominations.

I am currently watching the 4400 – a mid 2000s series that dramatizes the lives and investigation of 4400 individuals from around the world who mysteriously went missing over the course of five decades.  In the pilot episode, a comet deposits the missing 4400 back on U.S. soil on a deserted beach somewhere near Washington.  It turns out the 4400s were taken by the future and returned to the present with special powers to change the course of history.  Despite the sci-fi sounding premise, we never actually see the future; instead, the plot focuses on the development and difficulties faced by the 4400s  as they come to terms with a world that has continued without them and on the two National Threat Assessment Command (NTAC) agents charged with investigating the events.  The series ran for four seasons from 2004 to 2007 and if you can handle the dated fashion, is worth checking out.

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Former favourites at my house include Damages (a legal drama on speed) and Community (hilarious character-driven comedy).  Next on the list are the much talked about House of Cards; the cult classic, Twin Peaks; and the animated adult spy series, Archer.

Movies

Netflix is generally pretty behind the times when it comes to new movies, but has a great collection of cult classics (Donnie Darko, Pulp Fiction, Team America) and indie flicks (including Lena Dunham’s directorial debut, Tiny Furniture and Elisabeth Olson’s breakout film, Martha Marcy May Marlene).  Personal favourites include Howl – starring James Franco as Alan Ginsberg and anything starring or directed by Woody Allen (of which Netflix is home to several).

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