What you need to watch on Netflix this winter

Categories: Culture

As the weather gets colder and the evenings darker, ‘tis suddenly the season of Christmas revelry. However, it’s also the season to celebrate the delights of a quiet night in, enjoying whatever food and films one can get their hands on. Unfortunately, heated debates with friends, family or partners over what to watch can so often mar such scenes of perfection.

Christmas films are a must, but there’s only so many times you can watch Hugh Grant shimmying through Number 10 to ‘Jump (for my love)’ without feeling the need for some relief. Luckily, with each month providing Netflix’s millions of subscribers with an abundance of new films and series, the options have never looked so tempting.

Its move from Channel 4 to Netflix not only allowed the production of more episodes and amplified international interest, but allowed a greater budget and therefore even more impressive visual effects. The producers of this science fiction series zoom in on the dark possibilities and actualities behind modern society and technology, creating an array of unforeseen and unsettling circumstances. 

Each episode presents viewers with a new cast, and new version of reality that packs a shocking and satirical punch each time. With Season Four due in 2018, now is the perfect time to get hooked.

The $50 million blockbuster premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where it received a four-minute standing ovation.

South Korean child actress Ahn Seo-hyun, backed up by a cast of Hollywood A-listers including Tilda Swinton, Lily Collins and Jake Gyllenhall, portrays the story of a young girl’s life-threatening struggle to save her genetically modified super pig, Okja, from the hands of a multi-national agrichemical corporation. This is no children’s story, or simple vegan propaganda, but a chilling and thought-provoking exploration of consumerism and capitalism.

Another Netflix original, the plot of ‘3%’ might sound a little ‘Hunger Games’, but the Brazilian series is certainly a fresh take on the survival-of-the-fittest model. The series portrays a world where just (you guessed it) 3% of the world’s population reside in a man-made paradise, whilst the other 97% are consigned to a life in the slums.

To earn a place amongst the celebrated minority each person must undertake a gruelling and at times deadly selection process, grippingly enacted in this first season (and set to be continued in a second). 

Prequel to the 2015 film Suburra, and the first Italian Netflix Original, Subarra: Blood on Rome is gritty tale of warring mafia families in Italy’s holy capital, inspired by real life political scandal of 2008 over complex land development. It is not only a grittily complex plot that the series has to recommend itself, but an explosive combination of fascinating yet believable characters which will have you hooked in not time.

The comedy series was created by the combined genius of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. With the former starring as its lead role, Master of None follows his journey through romantic, professional, and cultural conundrums. The degree to success with which he does so can be guessed by the title (referring to the phrase ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’).

Luckily, the success of the series itself is far more admirable; multi-award winning and boasting a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is sure to add some much-needed comedy to bleak winter evenings.