What to watch on Netflix: Week of 2/17

Matthew Ellmore/Staff Writer

Netflix offers a wide array of content for its viewers to watch, and it can be daunting to skim through its large collection to try and find something that interests you. However, there are some documentaries, series, and movies that are available on Netflix and that stand out from the rest. Some of them may be well-known, others may not. Hopefully, you can find something that interests you.

“Swiss Army Man” (2016)

To describe “Swiss Army Man” as strange would be an understatement. “Swiss Army Man” follows Hank Thompson, a man who’s lost on an island and contemplating suicide. Hank discovers a corpse that’s washed ashore and finds that he can manipulate the body like a Swiss Army knife. As Hank continues to find different ways to use this corpse, he begins to develop a relationship with it, and the absurdity escalates throughout the rest of the film. From the plot alone, it’s clear that the movie is something totally unique and in it’s own world. The world that Hank and his new-found friend build as they try to stay alive is engaging, lifelike and odd at times. Despite that, “Swiss Army Man” doesn’t attempt to take itself seriously, but it does have some pretty thoughtful themes. One of these themes is the idea of societal behavior and what is considered normal. Since Hank and his friend are now the only “society” on this deserted island, what they consider weird and natural is a complete contrast to the norms of the real world. While the audience may feel a bit uneasy watching someone interact with a corpse, the film attempts to show that these absurd things Hank attempts to normalize are his way of finding comfort in a pretty depressing situation. “Swiss Army Man” is a bizarre and eccentric film, but it hits on things that we all experience: the desperation of finding companionship, attempts to make ourselves into what we feel is normal and the lengths that we’ll go to find comfort and love.

“Russian Doll” (2019)

“Russian Doll” follows a woman named Nadia who gets stuck in a loop of the same day. Although this plot has been rehashed over and over again, “Russian Doll” is anything but formulaic. There are plenty of twists and turns that make the story feel much more different than shows that follow a similar theme. A strong aspect to the show is how it decides to depict its characters. There are plenty of comedic aspects to the show, but for most of the series, the characters are realistic and flawed in the ways that they deal with the situation they’re in. Rather than constantly laugh their troubles off, characters’ reactions are given weight and depth. These characters and their reactions to certain situations lead to the overlying message of the series which revolves around seeking help. The show explores the obstacles that we put in our own way to get help or to change, using the time loop as a metaphor for the rut that so many people find themselves in: a repeating cycle of things that look and feel the same, with no real way of escaping. Though it has its laughs, “Russian Doll” offers more than just an overdone gimmick. The series attempts to figure out what life is about, and what we can do to make the best of it. It asks how we can make ourselves better and how we can better those around us.

“Trigger Warning with Killer Mike” (2019)

Killer Mike has gained most of his early popularity as one half of the rap group “Run the Jewels,” but is now making a name for himself as an activist. In his new Netflix show, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” the rapper explores issues in Atlanta that affect the African-American community, such as drugs, gangs, religion and poverty. Each of the six episodes follows Killer Mike as he addresses a different issue. While this may seem formulaic, Killer Mike brings a sense of individuality and personality that helps to brighten the show. It doesn’t feel like Killer Mike is reading from a script or following any sort of agenda; he just goes with whatever is in front of him. Whether it’s sleeping on a park bench, buying a farm or launching a new soft drink, the situations that Killer Mike encounters very rarely feel forced. They’re unique, topical, and fun. Killer Mike looks at the individual perspective, instead of trying to tackle a global one. What’s also interesting about the types of issues that Killer Mike encounters is the way that he handles them. At a time where people and views are trying so hard to be right, Killer Mike isn’t afraid to be wrong. Some of the ideas and plans he tries to set in motion either don’t go as planned, fail altogether or get proven wrong. And instead of cutting that from his show, Killer Mike includes these mistakes, adding to the realness of what he’s trying to portray. People and ideas can’t always be right, but listening to other perspectives can help make those ideas better. Instead of a guided show where the host takes you into prearranged situations, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike” feels like the host is really a part of the places and themes that he’s encountering. It’s a reminder that it’s alright to be wrong and that change can happen on the smallest front and evolve into something more.

Featured photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash.

Be the first to comment on "What to watch on Netflix: Week of 2/17"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.