by Joi Bass
It has been over a month since the coronavirus outbreak here in the United States. Some states have recently lightened their stay-at-home restrictions and some businesses are gradually reopening. One thing that has kept people entertained while in quarantine is Netflix. According to Forbes Magazine , the popular streaming service has seen a spike in subscriptions and millions of people are tuning in to watch their favorite shows and movies.
For most people, including myself, condensing my list of Netflix recommendations is extremely difficult. However, I believe that these five shows and movies will not only keep you entertained, but it will be very impactful.
5. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Let us go back in time to 1969. The ’60s was a decade of liberation, activism and resistance. While everyone was living life carefree there was a young man preying on young women and one by one they vanished. It wasn’t until 1978 when two young women from Florida State University were murdered in their sorority house that police and the public were able to put a name to the monster in the shadows: Ted Bundy. The movie is told from the perspective of the notorious serial killer’s longtime girlfriend Liz Kendall, played by Lily Collins, and is based on her book “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy.” For years, Kendall refused to believe that her boyfriend was behind all these heinous crimes against women despite a composite sketch that looked eerily like Bundy, who is played by Zac Efron. However, when Bundy is on trial for the murders of the FSU students and is named a person of interest in several disappearances including that of a 12-year-old girl, the man Kendall thought she knew who was charming, captivating and loving to her and her daughter is unmasked as someone who is wicked, evil and vile.
4. Big Mouth
In 2017, Netflix decided to go through some changes just like the characters in this show. Big Mouth centers around seventh graders Nick Kroll and Andrew Globberman along with their classmates at their junior high school as they try to navigate through the horrors of puberty. To survive these drastic changes, the teenagers are given hormone monsters who help them as they are going through experiences with their sexuality, friendships, and relationships.
3. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
Well all you cool cats and kittens, Tiger King has truly become an international phenomenon during quarantine. The seven-part true crime docuseries centers around the rise and fall of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, commonly known as “Joe Exotic, who went from Tiger King to convicted criminal. For over 20 years Joe has operated the Greater Wynnewood Zoo formerly known as The Garold Wayne Zoo in Oklahoma which was known for housing big cats and other wildlife. During these two decades, Joe Exotic, a “gay, gun-toting cowboy with a mullet,” has found himself in an ongoing battle with animal rights advocate and zookeeper Carole Baskin who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida. During the show, viewers are taken on a roller coaster ride of Joe Exotic’s eccentric life and are introduced to other figures in the big cat industry. Viewers are also introduced to a story that involves polygamy, mysterious disappearances, drug use, cult-like leaders and the exploitation of humans and animals. Earlier this year, Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder- for-hire plot against Carole Baskin and the killing of five tigers.
2. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
Author, poet, and orator Maya Angelou once said, “The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.” That is the beauty of black history. We not only learn about the prominent historical figures we have grown up to know, but we also discover hidden figures who were in the shadows. Self-Made is the inspiring story of African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, played by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. This series is a rag to riches story of how an African American woman was able to escape her life of poverty to build a beauty empire and become the first female self-made millionaire.
1. The Innocence Files
Across the United States thousands of people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem in our society. Since 1992, the Innocence Project has made its mission to help exonerate those who are completely innocent and to expose the flaws of our criminal justice system. The series features Innocence Project co-founders Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld and other experts fighting for justice on the behalf of various people who have been wrongfully convicted. The Innocence Files follows eight cases of wrongful convictions and explains why the journey to exoneration can be a long and difficult one. One thing I love about this series is the fact that it focuses on three different causes of wrongful conviction: prosecutorial misconduct, eyewitness misidentification and the use of unreliable or invalid forensic science. I believe that this show will inspire people to challenge the criminal justice system and help make it fair and just. Right now, there are countless innocent people sitting in prison suffering and waiting to be executed for a crime they did not take part in. The Innocence Files sheds light on the pain and trauma that impacts the families, communities and the victims of the crime; it challenges us to do better and call out the American criminal justice system when they get it wrong.
Disclaimer: These recommendations are rated MA for mature audiences and contain graphic language and scenes of violence. Viewer discretion is advised.