Netflix, The Killing, & Theater Seating

 

The Killing

 

* After coming up with a superb coda to the Arrested Development series, Netflix has rescued The Killing from oblivion. The Killing will receive a final season on Netflix consisting of six episodes. While I like the ten to thirteen episode model, someone realized that The Killing could benefit from streamlining so those meandering subplots have likely been paired away. Both Joel Kinnamon and Mireille Enos could use the boost as Joel Kinnamon starred in the pointless Robocop reboot and Mireille Enos joined an ensemble cast in the horrendous Sabotage.

So what series to rescue next Netflix? No, obviously they can’t have Firefly – Nathan Fillion is doing just fine on Castle and Joss Whedon has The Avengers 2.

AMC Seating

 

* Now that all of the new theaters are finally having the soda fountain outside of concessions (YAY!), the latest trend seems to be improved theater seating. Check out these fully extendable lounges in the new AMC set up (above).

Chairs

 

The loungers above here are Carolina Cinemas new ones – listed for the Charlotte location but one can hope for my Asheville one. I like their current couches and footstools but my wife finds them uncomfortable.

EW Top Ten TV Shows

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly is their end of year Top 10 issue. Of course the Top 10 Movies are not available on instant Netflix, some haven’t even hit the theater. Between the two critics, the top films were 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Before Midnight, Fruitvale Station, Gravity, Blue Jasmine, The Past, World War Z, Prisoners, Inside Llewyn Davis, Captain Phillips, Enough Said, All is Lost, Out of the Furnace, The Conjuring, and Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.

Orange is the New Black

On the other hand, their year’s best TV shows (again between two critics) include American Horror Story (2 seasons on Netflix), Parks and Recreation (5 seasons available), Breaking Bad (all but the final episodes available), Orange is the New Black (Netflix exclusive), Mad Men (5 seasons available), House of Cards (Netflix exclusive), The Fall (first series available), Arrested Development (4 seasons – the 4th is Netflix exclusive). With results like that I’d argue that Netflix has changed the face of television. They are even bringing back the cancelled police drama The Killing.

Game of Thrones

TV shows not available on Netflix from the best of list: Time of Death, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Enlightened, Please Like Me, The Good Wife, and The Returned show Netflix’ weaknesses: Lack of premium channel content (HBO, Showtime) and CBS shows. Of course these aren’t just Netflix weaknesses as these aren’t available on Amazon Prime or Hulu either.

I have yet to watch Parks and Recreation and The Fall is still sitting in my queue (I tend to put off watching shows involving rape as I’m looking to be entertained more than enlightened). The other Netflix shows though are amazing and I concur that they are the best series on TV. I’m hoping that they’ll put the final episodes of Breaking Bad on before someone spoils them for me.

Netflix This ‘n’ That

The Killing

* My wife and I have enjoyed The Killing (in spite of the very poor ending of season 1). The show was cancelled but Netflix is rescuing it from oblivion. Like Arrested Development, Netflix is paying for another season of The Killing. I like this trend. Too bad Nathan Fillion has a hit show, everyone would love a Firefly revival.

Netflix

* Netflix is rolling out yet another graphical update. Due first on the Roku 3, PS4, PS3, and Xbox One and 360, it will roll out over a few months to other platforms. There will be a lot more information, better organization, and a much better search feature.

Some More Choices on Netflix & Arrested Development

Okay I can’t believe that you don’t want to watch the new season 4 of Arrested Development but if you don’t, here is what else is new on streaming Netflix:

Netflix

Action: Jack the Giant Killer (NOT Jack the Giant-Slayer), Doomsdayer, Hijack’d (Can I buy an ‘e’, Pat?), Offender, Robin Hood: Ghost of Sherwood, Spitfire

Classic: It’s All Over Town, Miss Annie Rooney

The Dictator

Comedy: The Dictator, Carry On Cleo, Carry On Cowboy, Da Hip Hop Witch, Intern, Isn’t Life Wonderful!, It’s All Happening, It’s Never Too Late, Malibu Spring Break, Mind the Gap, National Lampoon’s TV: The Movie, Nipples & Palm Trees, Pursuit of Happiness, Strictly Sexual, Top Secret (1952), Where is Parsifal?, Wilby Wonderful

Documentary: Hitler’s Children, That Guy…Who Was in That Thing, First Circle, Heart of the King, Keep Your Eyes Open, Out Late, Step up to the Plate

Drama: Capone, In Her Skin, August, Behind the Mask, Chain Link, Death is a Woman, Emile, Everybody Says I’m Fine, Fighting Tommy Riley, Inhale, Jacked Up, Keys to Freedom, Maya, On the Ice, Perlasca, Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You, Wannabes, Yelling to the Sky

Dragon

Family: The Great Bear Scare

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Dark Planet, Infection, Moonbase, Mutant Species

Foreign: Dragon (Wu Xia), The Great Magician, At the Gate of the Ghost, Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre, Drifters, Intimate Enemies, J.S. Bach: The Music, the Life, the Legend, Te Presento a Laura

Horror: Attack of the 50 ft. Cheerleader, Beast Beneath, Cherry Tree Lane, The Club, Crowsnest, Dark Fields, Darkness Falls, The Eternal, The Greenskeeper, Little Witches, The Pact, Rodentz, Sasquatch, Satanic, The Slaughterhouse Massacre

Longmire

Television: Scandal, Longmire, Handy Manny, Jojo’s Circus, Special Agent Oso, 30 Days, new season of Bridezilla and, of course, Arrested Development season 4

Thriller: Among Thieves, Blackwoods, Marked for Murder, Misbegotten, Tracks of a Killer

May This ‘n’ That

Netflix* Netflix has updated their iOS versions so now you can have autoplay and auto suggest on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod just as on the Roku and Xbox.

* In a great big duh!, wherever Netflix streaming goes, torrenting drops. To put it in old Loss Prevention terms, theft is 90% opportunity, 10% determination. Give people something to watch until Game of Thrones season 3 comes out on Blu-Ray and there’s a good chance they’ll wait. Meanwhile, does someone have an HBO Go key I can use so I don’t have to wait until next year to catch up on Tyrion and the Starks (new band name).

Arrested Development

* New Arrested Development season May 26th. Looks like a Memorial Day marathon to me! Remember there’s always money in the banana stand!

* Netflix will premiere another new series, Orange is the New Black, on July 11th. The series is a comedy/drama about a women’s prison. On July 18th, Netflix will get the BBC series Ripper Street, about policework during the time of…well you can guess.

Amazon Prime* As if there weren’t enough boxes out there with the Xbox, PS3, Wii U, Roku, and all the Roku knockoffs, it looks like Amazon is going to bring out their own streaming box.

* The people over at Silver Oak Casino have a brilliant (but far too large to post here) flowchart to help you determine what to watch on Netflix.

25 Best Cult TV Shows – Netflix 13, Amazon 11

I’m culling this from an article in Entertainment Weekly entitled “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years”. Netflix has 13 of the 25 series available on instant.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2002)

“Despite her desire to live a normal life at Sunnydale High, tough-as-nails teenager Buffy Summers fulfills her mystical calling as a Slayer to protect humankind from vampires, demons and other supernatural creatures- with some help from her friends.”

Although nowhere near as good, the spinoff series Angel does have its moments and is also available.

Arrested Development (2003-2005)

“This Emmy-winning sitcom follows the Bluths, a wealthy California clan gone to the dogs after patriarch George Sr. gets busted for fraud. Now, long-suffering son Michael keeps the family business afloat as he spars with his dysfunctional relatives.”

There’s always money in the banana stand.”

Mystery Science Theater 3000

“The hit comedy television show about an ordinary man (Michael J. Nelson) and two robots being forced to watch the worst movies ever made becomes a movie about an ordinary man and two robots forced to watch the worst movies ever made. A demented scientist schemes to subject Nelson to unspeakable horrors, but his test subject has mankind’s ultimate defense: a sense of humor, which he and his robot companions use to make hilarious commentary.”

Netflix has the movie and thirteen of the movie episodes available on instant.

The X-Files (1993-2001)

“Tracing both their personal and professional lives, this award-winning Fox series centers on FBI agents Scully (Gillian Anderson), a skeptic, and Mulder (David Duchovny), a believer, and their efforts to uncover a government conspiracy to hide evidence of extraterrestrial activity. From voodoo curses to bodies found in California that are missing various internal organs, the chilling show also stars Mitch Pileggi and Robert Patrick.”

Not only does Netflix have all nine seasons of The X-Files available but they also have the series that inspired The X-Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1993)

“In the year 2364, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard leads the new Enterprise on missions of discovery. First Officer William Riker, engineer Geordi La Forge, and Klingon crewmember Worf join Picard as they explore the universe and interact with alien species.”

Instant Netflix also has Star Trek, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Enterprise available.

My So-Called Life (1994)

“Suburban teen Angela Chase (Claire Danes) is changing, but her hair color isn’t the only thing that’s different. She’s also pulling away from her parents to spend more time with a new crop of friends — and a major crush (Jared Leto) with amazing eyes. Along with launching the careers of Leto and Danes (who won a Golden Globe in the series’ first and only season), this teen drama garnered a loyal cult following before its cancellation.”

Lost (2004-2010)

“After their plane crashes on a deserted island, a diverse group of castaways adapt to their new home in this Emmy-winning drama. As if learning to survive and get along weren’t enough, they soon must contend with the island’s mysterious forces”

Firefly (2002)

“Set almost 500 years in the future, this short-lived but much-loved sci-fi series follows the adventures of the ragtag crew of the transport spaceship Serenity, who view no job as too small, too dirty or too close to the line of illegality.”

After you finish this marvelous series, watch Serenity, the movie sequel.

Twin Peaks (1990)

“In David Lynch’s surreal cult classic series, eccentric FBI agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of teenager Laura Palmer. Soon, many secrets concealed beneath the small town’s façade of normalcy start coming to light.”

Battlestar Galactica (2003-2008)

Deep in the universe, cybernetic Cylons have all but wiped out the human race, laying waste to the Twelve Colonies of Man. Cast out, the few survivors aboard the Battlestar Galactica search for a so-called 13th colony: the mythical planet Earth.”

Instant Netflix also has the original Battlestar Galactica, Galactica 1980, and the prequel to the new Galactica, Caprica. While the 2003-8 Battlestar Galactica is fantastic, the others are not really worth the time.

Supernatural (2005-2010)

“Raised by their dad to fight supernatural forces, grown siblings Dean and Sam crisscross the country in their 1967 Chevy Impala, investigating paranormal activity and picking fights with deadly demons, ghosts and monsters.”

The first six seasons are currently available on Netflix and by the time you finish those I wouldn’t be surprised to see season 7 be available.

Farscape (1999-2002)

“This Australian science fiction series follows the crew of Moya, a living spacecraft that houses a group of various beings united in their desire to escape from a corrupt military force known as Peacekeepers. American astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) joins them when he accidentally flies through a wormhole. As the series progresses, John makes enemies with brutal Peacekeeper Scorpius, while developing a relationship with crewmate Aeryn”

Better Off Ted (2009)

“As head of research and development at soulless conglomerate Veridian Dynamics, conflicted single father Ted (Jay Harrington) attempts to balance his personal code of ethics with each of his immoral assignments, such as freezing co-workers or weaponizing pumpkins. This scathing corporate culture satire co-stars Portia de Rossi as Ted’s heartless supervisor and Andrea Anders, the new product tester whom he longs to bed.”

Archer (2009-2011)

“Sophisticated spy Archer may have the coolest gadgets, but he still has issues when it comes to dealing with his boss — who also happens to be his mother — in this wicked animated spoof of spy flicks and the sex-crazed agents who populate them.”

Netflix has the first two seasons of Archer on instant.

Amazon Prime has Pushing Daisies, Better Off Ted, Farscape, the first three seasons of Fringe, Firefly (but not Serenity), Lost, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Buffy (& Angel), Arrested Development, The X-Files and while you don’t get Twin Peaks, Prime members get the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Amazon charges for some their MST3K content but they have a whopping 71 free ones with Prime – far more than Netflix.

Amazon Prime comes up a few shorter than Netflix but they are pretty close. Now if only Amazon shores up their movie selection, they can be a real Netflix competitor.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development (2003-2005)

This wickedly funny Emmy-winning sitcom follows the tribulations of the Bluths, a wealthy California clan gone to the dogs after paterfamilias and real estate tycoon George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) gets busted for fraud. Now long-suffering son Michael (Jason Bateman) keeps the family business afloat as he spars with his boozy mother (Jessica Walter), vapid siblings (Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett and Tony Hale) and other wildly dysfunctional relatives.

“Remember there’s always money in the banana stand.”

Well I had intended this week to just cover some truly awful turkeys but I felt I had to digress. Netflix finally announced that they will show NEW episodes of Arrested Development in 2013 and that they will be showing exclusively on Netflix. Now it will be quite a wait but you can start by watching the first three seasons right now on Netflix.

Arrested Development features a wonderful if unwieldy ensemble cast. Jason Batemen anchors the show as everyman Michael Bluth but most of the other characters are completely off the wall. Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Alia Shawkat and David Cross all play quirky relatives – each one vying for attention. Everyone seems to have a different favorite character.

The wonderful ensemble extends to the frequent guest stars. Look for Liza Minnelli, Henry Winkler, Charlize Theron, Amy Poehler, Carl Weathers, Ben Stiller, Jane Lynch and many more in multi-episode story arcs.

The writing is wonderful and it is amazing that they are able to fit all nine family members in each episode. I love the running  joke where each episode has a preview of the next episode and none of those events ever occur in the next episode.

People Watch: Yes that is Ron Howard narrating each episode and look for noted terrible (yet enthusiastic) singer William Hung playing himself in two episodes .