What to watch on Netflix: Week of 4/14

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.

“Unicorn Store” (2019)

“Unicorn Store” is Academy Award winner Brie Larson’s directorial debut and follows Kit, a 30-year-old woman who lives with her parents and has a passion for the fantastical, especially rainbows, glitter and unicorns. After receiving some mysterious letters, Kit eventually meets a man called The Salesman. He tells her that she may be the perfect companion for a unicorn, but she has to earn it. This sends Kit on a journey of self-exploration and development where she’s forced to act like an adult and seemingly abandon the things that she most enjoys. As she takes on this new life, Kit has to find happiness in different forms and ponders what happiness really means to her. The premise itself may seem a bit weak, but Larson tells it in a colorful and engaging way that feels unique. Kit is never made out to be a know-it-all or someone who navigates life with ease. Instead of settling for the humdrum of going to a job that she hates or going to school to study something that she has no interest in, Kit holds on to what makes her happy and tries to weave that in to her life. Sure, some people may think that her attraction to things like glitter, rainbows and unicorns is childish or strange, but Kit knows what makes her happy. This ongoing relationship is written and acted with such honesty and realism that it keeps viewers engaged even when the movie travels to the fantastical and quirky.  While not all of us may share Kit’s same passions, her confusion and apprehension towards adulthood is something all too common. Like Kit, all of us are just trying to be happy in whatever way that comes.

“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (2019)

The second season of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” picks up right where the first season left off, returning shortly after Sabrina’s unholy awakening. Whatever wonderment existed in the first season is now totally gone, with Sabrina throwing herself into her coven and growing more confident. The first five episodes focus on Sabrina’s newfound confidence as she begins to understand what it means to be a witch. The show expands on its world-building as it travels to different parts of the witch world; rather than dump information on viewers from the start, the show takes its time in unwrapping all the inner dimensions of its world. Although Sabrina is much more involved with her witchcraft, she still attempts to find a balance between the good and the bad in her life. The switch to a heavier focus on the supernatural side of the show still manages to tackle relevant social issues like gender inequality, much like the first season did. But instead of pushing for equality in a high school, Sabrina is now fighting for equality with witches, monsters and Satan himself.  Much of season one is still present throughout the show; homages and visual references to past horror media are plentiful, and the show maintains a campy feel that balances between serious but not overly dramatic. Season two of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch” feels like a much more confident series that’s embraced its darker side.

“Our Planet” (2019)

Sir David Attenborough partners with Netflix in the new nature series “Our Planet.” The eight-part series is narrated by Attenborough and travels all around the globe, focusing on different habitats like coastal seas, deserts, jungles and forests. Not only does the series share the same narrator as the popular show “Planet Earth,” it’s also from the same creator. Although it does share similarities with “Planet Earth,” this series is more than just a carbon copy. There are plenty of gorgeous shots of the countless wildlife that inhabit the different environments all over Earth, but “Our Planet” includes statistics and warnings of the effects of climate change instead of just footage of cuddly animals and cool locations. “Our Planet” makes its viewers think about the animals on screen and the actions they can take to keep its subjects alive. It also encourages viewers to think about their own roles in keeping the environment healthy, a hefty invitation that few nature documentaries attempt. Every episode opens and closes with facts about how much damage climate change has done to the environment, and specific figures and numbers are used to back up certain claims. Not only are these warnings laid out clearly and thoughtfully, but the show also lays out different ways that people could help, whether it be conserving water usage or electricity, using paper over plastic, or researching the different types of volunteer services around them. “Our Planet” asks its audiences to be both contemplative and respectful all while showcasing the beauties of planet Earth.

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