27 October 2012, 16:25
As I write this, everyone in New York City is battening down the hatches in preparation for this “Frankenstorm” we’ve been promised. The news is awash with threats to stay inside at all costs… & quite frankly, it sounds like the perfect excuse to watch a little television!
My husband & I cancelled our cable television subscription a couple of years ago, & truthfully, we don’t miss it at all — especially since we have a Netflix account. The problem is that sometimes, the selection isn’t all that incredible. At least, it’s not that amazing at first look. The good news is, there are some fabulous gems to be found if you’ll take the time to do a little bit of research. Even better news is that I have done this research, & now I’m going to share the fruits of my labour!
Some of these are movies I’ve known & loved for ages, but some are new (at least to me). They range from drag queen reality shows to stand-up comedy, from easy cheesy enjoyable Hollywood movies to documentaries about spiritualism & factory farming! I’m pretty sure you’ll find something to enjoy in this bunch, & I’d love to hear what you’ve seen & loved recently, too!
I’ve provided links directly to the titles on Netflix so you can instantly add them to your queue if you so desire! If you don’t have a Netflix account, you will have to come up with some other way of watching ‘em!
I ended up watching this marathon-style! It’s a fascinating look at the fashion industry, & the trials & tribulations behind the scenes of getting a label off the ground. It is certainly not all champagne-quaffing & fierce fabulousness!
Okay, don’t kill me, but I haven’t seen this one. All I know is that it’s funny, & it features Anna Karina, who is a babe & a perpetual style inspiration to many.
I totally cried watching this, it’s an incredibly touching documentary about a boy who grew up wanting to work with Jim Henson. It is amazing. You’ll adore it.
Funniest EVER. Best In Show is a mockumentary about people who show dogs. Honestly… It is amazing & it will make you laugh really hard. I also love A Mighty Wind, which features the same cast of characters.
Mike & I discovered Bill Burr recently & we cannot get enough! There are about 3 of his stand-up specials on Netflix right now, & I implore you to add them to your queue & then WATCH THEM ALL! He is so funny & makes us laugh our heads off.
Anyone interested in fashion, personal style or New York City should watch this. I took my parents to see this last time I was in New Zealand, & we all loved it. (This is a rare thing since we all have very different taste in movies!) Then I got my husband to watch it, & he enjoyed it too. I think it is such a sweet & interesting portrait of an incredible man… & it’s a bit of a tear-jerker, too.
British humour is the best. Black Books is a great example of it: it’s so silly & the humour is so dark. Somehow, it’s the perfect thing to watch when it’s cold outside.
I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I somehow managed to avoid seeing this movie — which, by all accounts, is a total classic — for years. I saw it earlier this year & it is perfectly charming.
OH MY GOODNESS. My husband & I just started watching this show recently, & it is blowing our brains open. I think this is one of the smartest, most well-written shows on television right now. It’s the most anxiety-inducing show I’ve ever seen, & it keeps twisting & turning in the most captivating way. AMAZING.
This movie is extremely dark & creepy, but it’s beautiful & brilliant at the same time. Additionally, if you think Tom Hardy is a looker, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
You should watch the entire thing, start to finish, this autumn. It’s 100% worth it.
Who loves The Avengers? I do! Okay, truthfully, Iron Man will always be my favourite, but this movie is great too.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from this show. Celebrities with a host of different addictions check into rehab with Dr Drew, & they detox & process their feelings throughout the duration. It’s fascinating & scary all at once.
The definition of light entertainment, but way too much fun to ignore.
This is probably my favourite movie from my adolescence! If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out in a huge way. Cher was my style inspiration when I was 13 years old. P.S. Paul Rudd!!!
This is one of the weirdest stand-up shows I’ve ever seen. Colin mixes history in with his humour, taking us on a journey through the evolution of the planet & its people. It’s pretty amazing, & very smart!
I wanted to see this at the cinema but didn’t get around to it, so you can imagine my happiness when I saw it on Netflix. This documentary follows Conan after he was fired from his own show — ouch — & how he absolutely, definitely made lemonade out of some particularly sour lemons. It’s not all sweetness & light, though; you see him go through the emotional wringer as he struggles with feelings of anger, despair & hopelessness. I would definitely recommend this if you’re going through a tough time. It will strengthen you!
When I first read about the “mole people” of NYC — people who choose to live permanently underground, in the subway tunnels — I was completely fascinated. This documentary is an illustration of what it really means to live underground. WOW. Incredible.
Any movie that opens with Echo & The Bunnymen is okay in my book. Donnie Darko is a really unusual yet brilliant film about time travel, high school, & hallucinations. Also, I consider dressing like Donnie Darko, in a skeleton one-piece with a grey hoodie over the top, almost every halloween.
Typically, historical dramas are not my thing, but I will make an exception for this marvellous show. It is massively hyped for a very good reason!
From the creator of Buffy comes this short (42 minutes) musical about a super-villain wannabe… & his blog. Hahah. So cute.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED this film by Banksy about street artist Mr Brainwash. It is just as much about performance art as it is about street art, & while there is a lot of debate as to his legitimacy, most people seem to agree that Mr Brainwash is a creation of Banksy (& maybe Shepard Fairey). Anyway, it’s fantastic. Watch it!
I’d been meaning to watch Food, Inc. for ages, but always put it off. Somehow, I felt that watching it would signify a kind of turning point that I wasn’t sure I was ready for. Well, my intuition was bang on the money. This movie is an absolutely shocking expose of the food industry. We all know the animals are mistreated, but I had no idea the workers & farmers were treated so badly — literally like slaves. Honestly, this movie made me cry, & halfway through, my husband — who likes nothing more than a plate of barbeque — turned to me & said, “Let’s become vegetarian.” I feel like this movie is essential viewing for Americans, & I think it will inspire you to make smarter, kinder choices.
You can’t go wrong with a little James Bond action, & this is one of the best. Oh, Sean!
My husband persuaded me to start watching this & I am so glad he did! It’s one of my favourite cartoons of all time & it makes us both laugh so hard. I adore Dr Zoidberg (woopwoopwoopwoopwoop!) & am seriously considering dressing Dolly as Nibbler for halloween…
Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder & Brittany Murphy make for a fantastic cast. This is one of the best performances of Angelina Jolie’s career, hands down. Her portrayal of a sociopath in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s is amazing. This movie was based on the book of the same name, which is also a pretty good read.
I love this silly show so much. It’s extremely light fare, following the ups & downs of college kids in fraternities & sororities. Also, the character of Ashleigh, Casey’s best friend, has wicked style.
This documentary tells the story of the crazy life of Hunter S. Thompson, & is narrated by Johnny Depp, who became one of his closest friends. I love Hunter & basically devour anything that involves him, so this movie is a treat if you, like me, are similarly obsessed.
Man, do you remember when this first came out?! I loved the first half of the first season of this show, but then it went off the boil, & became ridiculous. The GOOD news is that the styling is amazing & you can mute the show & have it going in the background as eye-candy!
Heathers is a totally dark, weird, awesome 80’s high school comedy featuring Winona Ryder & Christian Slater. If you don’t want to watch it based off that introduction alone, there is no hope for you!
I haven’t seen this yet, but plan on watching it this winter. It follows the life of former Hole drummer Patty Schemel, & apparently contains a lot of home footage of Kurt, Courtney & Frances, as well as being a great musician bio in general.
Hugh Hefner is such an interesting man, & even if you aren’t a fan of his magazine, Playboy, this documentary shows that he is much more than a creator of centerfolds. He has championed civil rights, supported gay rights, & continually published new, up-&-coming writers, like Ray Bradbury. This is a multi-faceted documentary that will challenge how you think about Hef.
So, so funny. Mike & I watched this from start to finish last winter & it was fantastic.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie. It verges on being embarrassing. Either way, this is so much fun to watch & of course, Robert Downey Jr. makes it even better. His portrayal of Tony Stark couldn’t be more perfect.
This was my favourite show as a kid & it’s not hard to see why. I mean, Jem has pink hair! Though, honestly, I was kind of always on the side of The Misfits. Anyway, I love that it is on Netflix now!
Truthfully, I am not a huge fan of Joan Rivers humour. (The show Fashion Police goes against absolutely everything I stand for!) But this is an incredibly interesting documentary, showing the journey of a woman with an extremely long career & all the changes she’s been through. I really enjoyed it.
Kelly Cutrone is a fashion publicist with a no-bullshit attitude working in a cutthroat business. It makes for good watching! I am actually a bigger fan of her books, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside & Normal Gets You Nowhere, which are both very compelling reading. Kelly is surprisingly spiritual & thoughtful. You should seek them out.
Bill Murray + Scarlett Johansson + Sofia Coppola = a wonderful film. Two people who feel lost meet in Tokyo, & even though they’re both married — & there is a significant age difference — they form a special bond. Ugh I love this movie so much.
Louie is a semi-autobiographical show about comedian Louis C.K., who is recently divorced, living in NYC & trying to raise his two daughters. It’s silly & surreal & very, very funny. I think you’ll like it a lot!
Hello Don Draper, I love you way more than I should love such a dysfunctional man. Hello Betty Draper, you have the most amazing style in season one. Hello Megan, you are a mega-babe. Hello Sterling, I love your arrogance. I could go on. I won’t. You just need to start watching this if you’re part of the 3% of people who haven’t seen it.
This is one of my favourite documentaries EVER, even though it is not really a documentary. I mean, it is, but it’s so engineered that it isn’t really. This is around the time she was dating Warren Beatty, & seriously, it is so great. One of the funniest bits is when Kevin Coster comes backstage & later on she makes gagging noises to the camera. So impetuous & bratty! Haha. I love Madonna.
If you haven’t seen this, you should. I kind of feel like it’s one of the stand-out teen movies of its time, like Clueless was in the ’90s. It’s really funny & very silly, perfect for a cold day.
I adore Natalie Portman, so I was definitely going to watch a romantic comedy she starred in. This isn’t the best movie ever but it’s perfect for light entertainment. Actually, Friends With Benefits, which came out around the same time & stars Mila Kunis & Justin Timberlake (both of whom I LOVE), is better. But it’s not on Netflix. Hahah.
This show is centered around Obscura, one of my favourite shops in the East Village. They deal in curious objects & weirdo antiques, & the show is a hilarious look at the things people buy & collect, as well as serving as a really unusual & interesting portrait of some of the people who live in the East Village! It’s basically Pawn Stars for weirdos. PERFECT!
Don’t let the subtitles put you off. This is one of the funniest spy movies of all time, & it stars Jean Dujardin who is so so so great (he was in The Artist, too!). It’s a movie my husband talked me into watching. I have learned by now to trust his taste!
Amazing. Party Monster is based on a true story. P.S. I met James St James a couple of years ago & he fawned over my outfit. It was a bit of a life highlight!
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at the New York Times? Page One gives you an inside look. It came out around the same time as The September Issue, & isn’t a patch on it, but it’s still fascinating for anyone who is curious about the publishing industry.
FAB-u-lous with a capital F! This is the ultimate movie about drag culture & old school New York City. It also gives a look at the early evolution of voguing — yeah, that thing Madonna ended up singing about a few years later!
I cannot even tell you how funny I think this show is. It’s a real poke-in-the-eye to hipster culture, & even though I haven’t visited Portland yet, this show could just as easily be called Williamsburgia or Austinia! A couple of my favourite clips include did you read?, & put a bird on it!
I haven’t seen this one yet, but it’s in my queue for sure! This documentary explores “the connection between fear, hope & digital culture”, & profiles “the leaders of a digital revolution that’s allowed anyone with a creative spark to become an artist.” It features interviews with people like Moby, Lena Dunham, Lykke Li, & others.
Mike & I saw this one at the movies & have re-watched it a couple of times at home. It’s a brilliantly animated movie with a quirky sense of humour — I mean, what else would you expect when Johnny Depp lends his voice to a character? It also won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, so don’t sleep on this one!
It took me way too long to see this one, & as a massive Tarantino fan, that was such an oversight! The cast of Reservoir Dogs is excellent — it stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen & Steve Buscemi — & the story is a great character study. Love.
Again, I don’t know how I neglected to see this for such a long time! I absolutely adore RuPaul & all her gorgeous girls. If you haven’t seen this show, it is like Project Runway meets America’s Next Top Model, except it features drag queens. Honestly, it is amazing… & will inspire you to be much more fabulous in your everyday life!
Way back when Mike & I were first thinking about getting married, I got really obsessed with this show. It’s still pretty fun to watch on a dreary day. It’s funny, bizarre, sometimes heart-warming, & sometimes you just want to grab those mean mommies by the shoulders & SHAKE ‘EM!
Season One is my favourite season from this British show centered around a group of weird — but also, very normal — teenagers. When this came out in 2007, the content & the cinematography was completely groundbreaking. It’s still excellent today.
Snatch is hilarious & action-packed, about a selection of gangsters & the assorted trouble they get themselves into.
Oh Jack Nicholson. No matter how old you get, I still have a crush on you, always & forever. I watched this romantic comedy a few weekends ago, & I loved it!
I really enjoyed this view of America through the eyes of the quintessentially British Stephen Fry. It’s especially great if you, like me, are a recent immigrant to the U.S.A.! (It will make you want to go on a road-trip, too, so be warned!)
One of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. This was another suggestion from my husband, who clearly has an eye for these things!
Michael Douglas stars in this movie about a cold man with a cold life, whose world is turned upside down when his brother buys him a mysterious birthday present. I absolutely love this movie, it is completely terrifying, thrilling & brilliant!
Okay, I think it’s fair to say that The Hills is a terrible show, but it is also terribly entertaining in small doses. This show is really a show about nothing — the “cliffhanger” at the end of each episode is someone gave someone else a salty look & OH NO! Etc. Ridiculous… But fun.
The IT Crowd is so, so funny, especially if you have ever worked tech support or know any geeks. Have you tried turning it off & on again?
I haven’t seen this yet, but am desperate to rip into it this winter! Apparently, it is superbly-written & acted.
Johnny Depp stars as Hunter S. Thompson in this semi-autobiographical movie based on the book of the same name. It’s all about Hunter’s time in Puerto Rico, falling in love with unavailable women & dealing with dishonest men. It’s a great movie & will definitely have you hankering for warm weather & blue oceans…
This movie isn’t perfect, & cynics love to ridicule it… But there’s a lot of truth here, if you can only manage to be open-minded enough to let it in.
This movie about the making of Vogue’s September issue is absolutely riveting. Perhaps more interesting than the putting together of the issue itself is the behind-the-scenes look at Anna Wintour, a woman who has been turned into a caricature by the press. I think she is just so interesting.
Like Breaking Bad, this is an excellent — & anxiety-inducing — show that will become an obsession. Really, if you can watch just one episode without NEEDING to see the next one immediately, you should be given some kind of medal!
All I can say about this movie is: wow. This documentary follows the lives of the White family, a bunch of outlaws living in West Virginia. In the trailer, one of them shakes a prescription pill bottle & says it’s the “Boone County mating call”. Really! This movie is so far removed from anything that I have ever experienced, it is completely gobsmacking.
This might come as a surprise, but then, I love to surprise! I’ve been watching Top Gear since I was a little baby, since my father is a complete car maniac… & now, my husband is too. We marathoned this entire series last winter & loved every minute of it. It is stupendously entertaining, & even if you’re not car crazy, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
You might think a movie about heroin addicts in Scotland wouldn’t be so good… but you’d be wrong. I saw this when it came out in around 1996 & have loved it ever since. Ewan McGregor & Robert Carlyle are particularly excellent.
This documentary is about the weird life of Roky Erickson, whose band, the 13th Floor Elevators, coined the term “psychedelic rock”. It’s a bizarre look into an extremely odd family dynamic, & it’s sad, touching & hopeful all at once. We loved it.
I hope this is enough to get you started! What are your favourite movies to watch when you’re stuck inside? Tell me!
Love & blanket forts,
P.S. If you want more movie ideas, check out 33 Movies To Watch When You’re Sad, Glum or Bummed Out!