Thursday, July 16, 2020

4 Of The Best New Shows We're Watching On Netflix

I'm behind on all the stuff I want to share with you guys, but I've reached the point with my current post where I keep writing and re-writing and then deleting the whole thing to start over. By the 5th day of this, as I grimly entered my office to try again, John gently suggested (from a safe distance, ha) that I take a break and maybe tell you guys what we've been watching on TV, instead?

I scowled at first, but then I realized I could be fangirling over my new favorite show with you guys. AWW YEEEEEAH. In fact, I'm not even saving it for last, I'm starting with it, boo. Here 'tis, the dark horse that won my heart, the scream-worthy, eminently bingeable, completely ridiculous thrill ride with the best sets EVER:

 The Floor Is Lava.

Y'all. Y'ALL. Watch this show the next time you're super grumpy and need a distraction to cheer you up. I promise it will suck you in, make you laugh, and eventually have you yelling from the edge of the couch like a diehard sportsball fan.


The concept is simple: Teams of 3 have to cross a large room without falling into the surprisingly realistic "lava." The sets are what really make the show, although the snarky narrator/host adds to the overall enjoyment, too. This is perfect to watch with your kids, or in a group; the more people yelling and cheering at the screen, the better!

My only complaint is that they spoil us by debuting a brand new set every episode for the first 6 shows, and then go back and revisit each "room" with only 2 teams instead of 3. So really I'm just complaining there's not more of this to watch, because I WANT MORE. Please go watch it so Netflix will order season two.

*****

It's hard to follow that up, but Netflix is doing a great job with their reality shows lately. For you foodies, I highly recommend:


Crazy Delicious

Don't let that photo fool you; this is NOT a baking show, it's all forms of cooking. Once again, the set is what made me fall in love, so please watch at least one episode to see what they've done! Imagine a mini forest themed after Willy Wonka & Alice in Wonderland. Nearly everything is edible, and the contestants have to "forage" for their ingredients for each challenge. 


The host Jayde is a delight, and my only complaint is that she wears the same (fantastic) outfit every episode. I want to see more of her clothes, dangit! Also I know I'm sensitive to this, but there are one or two times when she makes a disparaging comment about her size, which is a shame - both that she feels that way and that they included it. Doesn't make me like the show any less, just thought I would mention it.

Oh, and the 3 judges are wonderful. Super encouraging, never too harsh, and it's fun watching these world-famous chefs get excited over the food. (John has a total man-crush on Niklas.)

*****

 One more gentle reality competition, because I *clearly* have a type:

The Big Flower Fight

I'm pretty sure this is the first reality competition involving topiaries, but they actually manage to make them interesting! :p I admit, this one's more of a slow burn for me: the hosts are completely forgettable, and the judges are... fine? What keeps me coming back is the flower art and the contestants, who I like a little more every episode. (Well, most of them. There are a couple of meanies.) The two gents in top hats in that photo up there are slowly becoming my favorites, but there are lots of great people you'll find yourself rooting for.


*****

And finally, my one NON-reality show recommendation for you today:

Kipo

Kipo is nothing like I expected, and a little hard to describe. It's post-apocalyptic, but this is no Mad Max; there are bright rainbow colors, giant mutated animals that talk, and a soundtrack that keeps surprising me in good ways. The show rollercoasters from silly and touching back to silly again, and the use of music - particularly during fight scenes - is incredible. Kipo is easy to love and cheer for, and while the "mystery" of season 1 isn't much of a surprise, it's really fun to watch it play out.


There are two seasons of Kipo so far, and the first ends with some truly fantastic moments. When John has to exclaim, "WOW this show is good!" after nearly every episode, I know I've found a winner. We're still working our way through season 2, but so far it's just as excellent. In fact, the continuing themes of self-sacrificing kindness conquering evil is exactly what we need right now.

If you're looking for more, here's my list from March of shows that are like a warm happy hug - including The Repair Shop!

So what are you watching right now? Any gems we should check out?

******


P.S. Feeling crafty? Then check out my giant page of DIY tutorials:

There are over 150 different project previews for you to browse!

50 comments:

  1. Love, LOVE "The Floor is Lava". Have you tried "The Final Table", "Blown Away", "The Repair Shop", "Say I Do", or "Sweet Magnolias"? Loved them all. Going to check out Crazy Delicious and Kipo now. :)

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    1. I had to stop watching Blown Away because it was causing me too much anxiety. It is really cool watching them work, but the dropped projects and close calls -- ack!

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    2. We LOVE Repair Shop, and Blown Away was a mostly fun romp. I'll have to check out Final Table & Sweet Magnolias, though!

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  2. I love Floor is Lava! I thought it was going to be ridiculous (which, it kind of is), but it's actually really good. And when someone falls in and disappears into the lava, totally hilarious! The baking one keeps coming up on my recommended list and I haven't tried it yet because I keep just seeing that image of the apple, but I'm going to now.

    If anyone is interested in a bit darker type of show, I binged Warrior Nun on Netflix last weekend and it was surprisingly good. I'm not particularly religious and it's main focus is on a secret sect of nuns and the Catholic Church, but it had some really cool takes on the genre. It also touches on the divide between the Church and science, along with following along with a young girl that is thrust into this crazy world. I hadn't expected to like it as much as I did - or spending the weekend watching the entire season in one go, lol. :-)

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  3. The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix! They work in so many important issues in such a kind and gentle way. I was a little too old for this book series, I think. But I am enjoying the series with my 7 year-old son (some things are over his head, but I like that he is being exposed to it in a subtle way)

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  4. The BabySitters Club on Netflix is surprisingly awesome, and not just for those of us who devoured all the books as children. My husband watches it with me. It's light and fun and so interesting how they update it for 2020. Highly recommend!

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  5. It’s a serious science fiction show but I’ve really liked Dark on Netflix. It’s German and either subtitles or dubbed. It’s been really interesting so far. It’s been a nice distraction since you need to pay attention.

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    1. I second this - it is so, so good. And I URGE you to watch it in German, with subtitles, because although the English dubbing is admittedly better than most, something is really lost from the experience :)

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    2. One of my favorites also. I am watching the 3rd and last season right now. It can get confusing though so have to be ready to focus when watching.

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    3. I love Dark and can’t believe this is the final season! And I agree with Konen that it is much better in German with the subtitles. I tried the English dubbed version and the tone of the voices just didn’t match the characters for me.

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    4. The dubbing really takes me out of it, but my husband won't watch with subtitles 😕

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  6. Wait, how could you say that Nadja from What We Do In The Shadows is forgettable? (She's the female host on Big Flower Fight) She even wears giant, ridiculous dresses!

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    1. Same!! I adored her :)

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    2. Ohhh, it's been a while since I saw WWDITS, so I don't remember her! Which is proving my point a little, but I digress... :p

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  7. Binged Kipo in 2 days. LOVE LOVE this show. It's a must-watch for sure!!

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  8. The Repair Shop is great! Such interesting projects with sweet stories behind them. Everything from upholstery and furniture repair to toy refurbishing and watch repair.

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    1. We adore The Repair Shop! It's in my list from March of happy shows to binge.

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  9. Love, love, LOVED The Big Flower Fight! If you've not watched Queer Eye and Say I Do, I highly recommend both. Grab a box or twelve of tissues before you start either. Tears will flow. Good tears, but tears nonetheless!

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    1. I’ve been binging the new Queer Eye guys and don’t know why I didn’t watch when it first came out. I can’t decide which of the guys is my favorite...they are all so amazing. I don’t think I’ve made it through a single episode without tearing up at least once.

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  10. If you haven't seen "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" you DEFINITELY need to. They added the last season (season 5) earlier this year and my husband and I, who never binge-watch, sat through all thirteen episodes in one sitting. It's an emotional roller coaster at times, but I can confirm that the ending is supremely satisfying, and they pulled off a villain redemption arc I didn't think ever *could* be pulled off. My favorite character is Entrapta, but all of the characters are great. Seriously, I cannot say enough good stuff about this show.

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  11. Handsome Siblings (on Netflix) - its a stunningly beautiful show with memorable characters and gorgeous costumes (and wigs, and scenery, and music). The show itself is in Chinese (Mandarin, I think?) with English subtitles. The plot most closely resembles a soap opera, but don't let that put you off! It's actually based on a book and the story will draw you in after a couple of episodes. There's only one season, but it's something like 40 episodes long, so there's plenty to drool over.

    The show does come with warnings for self-harm and suicide.

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    1. If you like Handsome Siblings, then I highly recommend Once Upon A Time In Lingjian Mountain (also Netflix) - it's every bit as pretty and absorbing, but it's got a bit more tongue-in-cheek humour and there's a few geeky references that I know will have Bots giggling!

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  12. I'm still racing my way through Critical Role - The Mighty Nein (in the past 38 days, I have watched the first 40 episodes plus most of the corresponding Talks Machina interviews and five of the Narrative Telephone videos :P ), but my most recent Netflix binge was Dragon Prince, which I really loved! I will definitely add Kipo and the Lava one to my watch list, though!

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    1. I love that you're a fellow Critter now. :) And Dragon Prince is awesome, we enjoyed that one, too!

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  13. My DH showed me Palm Springs on Hulu yesterday, which is Groundhog Day-like, but entirely different as well. Big big belly laughs

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  14. If you haven't watched The Repair Shop, go NOW. It will be your immediate new favorite. It's a team of craftsmen restoring family treasures, from antique clocks to treasured childhood dolls.

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  15. OMG! I’m watching Kipo, too! My daughter loves it and nagged me to watch it, even though her explainations were nothing at all like the show. I really like it too, and we’re on season two now. Can’t wait for Into the Spiderverse with you guys tonight! Yay! One of our favorites! Have a marvelous day!

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  16. My child's current favorite show is Holey Moley, and they love to play the floor is lava around the house. I thought the show would be a hit but it went over like a lead balloon. I think the Lava was too realistic as they were very concerned about where the contestants went when they fell in (they just turned 6)

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  17. Warrior Nun on Netflix is quite good (and quite short).

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  18. My kids and I recently watched The Last Kids on Earth on Netflix, and I definitely recommend it. It is also a post-apocalyptic animated show and definitely geared toward kids, but highly entertaining for adults, too. We loved it so much, we are now reading the books the show is based on.

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  19. I was so pleased to see this post! I've enjoyed all three of those Netflix shows. I'd also second "Blown Away", marvelous glass-blowing craftsmanship. And for cooking shows, there's the wacky "Nailed It", the time-sensitive "Sugar Rush" where people have to decide how much time to spend on each of three rounds of baking, and the amazing "Zumbo's Just Desserts," in which people are challenged to make seriously complex desserts.

    For something that's not food-based: I'm enjoying the apocalyptic anime "Japan Sinks: 2020". It is quite grim, and it's hazardous to get too attached to any of the characters, but for all that there's a somewhat dreamy and pleasantly cooperative aspect to it as well. [I like watching disaster shows to distract me from real-world disasters; if that doesn't appeal, feel free to skip this one!]

    Would also put in a vote for the Team Starkid musicals, which I only discovered recently. They do funny/dark musical parodies, from "Trail to Oregon" - their riff on the "Oregon Trail" videogame - to "Holy Musical, B@man!" (riffing on Batman and co., of course). "The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals" is a dark-comedy one that reminded me a bit of "Little Shop of Horrors". And "Twisted" is a "Wicked"-type spin on "Aladdin".

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  20. I know this show came out in 2017, but I am still stuck on Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth SalaryMan! I'm just soooo sad and bummed out they only did one season :( What a fun, immersive, fantastic and weird show! And I agree with Pixie the Dog, when I saw the actress from What We Do in the Shadows on Big Flower Fight, I was intrigued :D

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  21. Absolutely loved "Big Flower Fight"! Binge watched it with my aunt and uncle one day while visiting them. I really liked how the contestants were from different countries and occupations. I would love to see another season of the show. I am currently slowly binge watching the British sci-fi comedy "Red Dwarf". The series follows the low-ranking technician Dave Lister, who awakens after being in suspended animation for three million years to find he is the last living human, Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of Lister's deceased bunkmate, and Cat, a life form which evolved from Lister's pregnant cat. I've noticed some episodes influenced by "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "Star Trek", "West World", and "Alien". A friend is lending me his dvd's two at a time :^}. It looks like you might be able to find it on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (I don't have either service).
    -SM

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    1. Red Dwarf is awesome! Love Cat! Recently, I bought a BritBox subscription on Amazon, and have been watching lots of cozy British mysteries. The first one was Death in Paradise, and one of the stars is the actor who played Cat!

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  22. The Floor is Lava was great! I think it was more fun for me to watch it with my husbot because he shouts. He’s not a shout-at-the-tv guy like ever. But this had him going! “Don’t go that way!” “He’s gonna biff it!” “I could so do this easily.” “Why are they not moving?” “JUST GO!!” So funny.

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  23. I hear fabulous things about "Say I Do." A friend described it as "Say Yes to the Dress" meets "Queer Eye."

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  24. Love Kipo.....

    Time to get serious - HOOT. HOOT.

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  25. If you love Jayde please watch her stand up special on Amazon "Serious Black Jumper" I saw it live and it is amazing. She also does a wonderful live show called Amusical where comedians sing shows from musicals. Which they did a TV version of and you can probably find on YouTube somewhere, they also did a live version of the musical episode of Buffy and Joss Whedon came to see it but that wasn't filmed.

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  26. I was hoping to get some good ideas on new shows to watch, but most of these shows are ones that we love too. I thought "The Floor Is Lava" would be silly, but after the first episode I was taping off six feet to see if I could make the jump (I couldn't...) And after watching "Nailed It" we needed a new cooking show to watch and love "Crazy Delicious". We want to try all the foods! And "The Big Flower Fight" is just amazing. I do love most of the contestants and even though there are some meanies, there is tons of love in that group. I love when they help each other when someone is struggling big time. And I love that they have such a diverse group that are each fascinating and wonderful in their own way. So not sure if we'll watch Kipo as that's really not our speed. But I second all of the other recommendations!

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  27. Kipo is so fantastic and it's one of my new favorites. I hope it keeps going. One thing to mention about it is that it has a really great soundtrack. I kept thinking through the whole thing that I wanted to go find the music on the show and download it. And so I did!

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  28. Since I like to draw, when I see certain animation styles, I think to myself this show is going to suck, it's ugly. I thought this when I saw Steven Universe and then Kipo, but I ended up loving them once I gave them a chance. I tried so hard to go slow with season one of Kipo, to make it last, but still finished the season before a week was up.

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  29. Warrior Nun was great...and you should give The Protector a try! The 4th and final season just dropped but all of the seasons are short and it gets so much better as it goes on. By season 3 it's really fantastic!!

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  30. If you're after shows that are like a warm happy hug, you must watch Bluey! It should be on Disney+
    https://www.bluey.tv/watch/season-1/shadowlands/

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    1. I love Bluey, too! Might not be as relatable if you don't have toddlers running around your house... but each episode is only 7 minutes, so there's not much to lose!

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  31. I just binged Indian Matchmaking it was so interesting. You get sucked into their lives and root for some and wonder about others lol. Its fun to see parts of other cultures.

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  32. We have also recently chewed through Floor is Lava and Crazy Delicious (totally with you in that after Ep 1 I was looking forward to her next outfit and was thus a little disappointed that it was the same one for all of them). We immediately binge any season of Ultimate Beastmaster as soon as it comes out, so Floor is Lava felt a little wussy for us, but that didn't stop us from very much enjoying it and very much looking forward to another season (Is there going to be one? Fingers crossed). And Crazy Delicious really is just effing delightful. We've recently discovered (as a result of watching the Great Canadian Baking Show) that we really love competitive cooking shows where everyone (hosts, judges and contestants) is equally supportive and friendly, and Crazy Delicious was a great example of that. Highly recommend.

    Also, gonna have to investigate Kipo for sure.

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  33. I binged Crazy Delicious and Flower Fight in a day each, loved them. I’m working my way through Floor is Lava, it’s so fun.
    I’ve also been watching Hart of Dixie since a friend recommended it and I hadn’t seen it yet. Good Bones is a mother/daughter house flipping team in Indianapolis I had seen an episode here and there when I still had satellite, so when I came across it in Hulu, I had to start watching all of them.

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  34. I need to recommend Flirty Dancing on Hulu to everyone for a fun binge. It's a dating/reality show, but it's so sweet! Two contestants per show learn dances to be performed with 2 different partners. They meet that partner for the first time publicly performing their dance, never talking. Then choose one to have a follow up date with. It sounds cheesy, because it is. It's like they all get to meet in a musical and pick who they vibe with and it's so sweet. Everyone is kind and seems to have a great time and gushes about how they'd do something like it again in a heartbeat. Apparently there's a British one too, but don't know how to find that in the states.

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  35. We raced through Carnival Row on Amazon Prime a few weeks back. It's an amazing, gritty steampunk-ish world with humans and fae folk. I wasn't sure from the commercials Amazon was showing for it, but was hooked from episode one. The downside though is that there are only 8 episodes currently. Filming for season two got delayed by the covid pause.

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