Last year, we started circulating Roku streaming players to our patrons, and one of the things they love is our growing movie collection on the Vudu app. We now have over 400 films in our collection. The other resource that has been very popular is the Netflix app. One of the reasons Netflix is so popular is because of the fantastic original programming that Netflix is currently producing. In fact, their programming has been so fantastic they have been winning Emmy awards, and Netflix is now a major competitor with more traditional media outlets. Some of their shows are available on DVD from the Library, but many are only available on Netflix. If you don’t currently have Netflix, consider borrowing one of our Roku devices to see what you’re missing.
The Crown was released in the fall and is the latest hit Netflix series. It is also the most expensive series that Netflix has ever produced and the results are glorious. The Crown tells the true life story of young Princess Elizabeth and her father King George VI. The main characters are all people we’ve read about for the past 50 years: Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, The Queen Mother, and Winston Churchill. But how well do we actually know these people? What The Crown does best is humanize these famous characters. We also see how much of a burden the Crown is in many ways. One of the most interesting scenes is when the young Queen Elizabeth confronts her uncle, Edward VIII, over his abdication of the throne. She asks him why he never apologized to her for abdicating? Because of his choice the line fell to her and she became the Queen. She tells him that she could have had a lovely life living in the country in an estate where nobody would have known her. Now she’s had to live a very different life. One that she didn’t necessarily want. This is a fascinating story that isn’t available yet on DVD. You can only watch it on Netflix.
Stranger Things was a Netflix hit this past summer. When it was released, everyone was talking about it. It’s part Goonies, part ET, and part Stephen King with an awesome 1980s synth score. A creepy period piece set in the mid-’80s that stars a group of middle school kids who play Dungeons and Dragons and ride their bikes around the small Indiana town where they live. One of the boys goes missing and his mother, played by Winona Ryder in a comeback role, is frantic to find him. The character Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, is remarkable, and even though she barely says a word, her performance was amazing. Stranger Things fans are already hoping for another season. Don’t be surprised if Winona Ryder gets an Emmy nomination for best actress for her excellent performance in this series. Stranger Things is a little creepy and spooky, but the violence isn’t too over the top or too graphic. This is a series that is great for teens and up. Once again, it is only available on Netflix and not on DVD.
Last Chance U
While Stranger Things was the hit series for Netflix last summer, Last Chance U quickly gained attention as well. This remarkable documentary series follows the football team at East Mississippi Community College (EMCC). EMCC is the school that accepts the players who have hit the bottom for one reason or another. This is the school you go to if you didn’t get good enough grades in high school to be accepted to a Division One program. This is where you go if you were at a Division One school and you messed up, did something wrong, and got kicked out. All of the players are looking for a second chance. For many of them it is their last chance. All of them dream of going on to a Division One school and eventually the NFL. You’ll find yourself rooting for these young men to make it. The coach of the football team is a character himself, and you really get a good idea of what it takes to play at that sort of level. Finally, the academic adviser, Brittany Wagner, is simply an amazing person, and in many ways she steals the show. These are real stories about real people that will hit you on a very human level.
These are just some of the shows that are available to watch on Netflix if you borrow one of our Roku devices. Some of the other favorite shows created by Netflix include, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Master of None, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Bojack Horseman, Grace and Frankie, The Get Down, Narcos, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Some of these series are available on DVD but most are only available on Netflix, so check out one of our Roku players and check out some of this excellent original programming available on Netflix!