If you’re anything like me, you like to wind down on the weekend with some wine & Netflix after a long week of [hash]tagging, liking, commenting, posting, stalking, and so on (or: after whatever it is you do for a living).
But even social media mavens like me need to take some time off from constant app-switching, though we rarely (if ever) unplug; hence, House of Cards and, of course, mama’s Chablis.
Yet your preferred streaming service’s content offerings can be more than just a means to escape the sometimes cruel realities of life (like the fact that organic Facebook reach will eventually reach zero); they can be a source of creative inspiration. The very best of film & TV can be compelling for a variety of reasons. They can feature complex characters, for example, or employ beautiful cinematography.
Whatever the reason, one could argue that what great shows & films all share is damn good storytelling. (That’s also what the very best of advertising does: tell a good story.) Below are a few good stories to watch when you’ve given up on learning how to play the guitar in your spare time but when you’re still in the mood to be creatively stimulated.
Twin Peaks — Seasons 1-2 & The Return (Available on Netflix, Hulu, & Showtime)
Weird doesn’t even begin to adequately describe this cult classic about one FBI agent’s quest to solve the murder of Laura Palmer. You’ll eventually find out the answer (to the chagrin of creators David Lynch & Mark Frost whose hands were forced by network executives to reveal the killer) but so many more mysteries abound in the seeming idyll that is Twin Peaks. It’s not a stretch to say that modern “prestige” TV—from The Sopranos to Lost to True Detective—owes a rather large debt of gratitude to this cryptic whodunit for being the first to make TV a little darker and thus, a little more entertaining.
Abstract: The Art of Design (Available on Netflix)
From architecture to stage production to sneaker design, this 6-part mini-series profiles individual artists who have and continue to extend the boundaries of possibility within their respective fields. Once you’re done watching this, you won’t be able to help but ask, “What am I doing with my life?” It’s a question we should all ask ourselves every now and again.
Sunset Boulevard (Available on Netflix)
Considered one of the greatest films of all time, director Billy Wilder’s “masterpiece” has collected no dust (unlike its main character) since its 1950 debut; this critique of Hollywood is still as gripping and relevant as ever even though the industry has changed quite a bit since (cf. the YouTube star phenomenon). But don’t take my words for it. Watch it (and my other recommendations) if you care to. Just maybe you’ll start thinking a little differently the next time you face one of life’s many creative challenges.
Krissi Madison | Director of Likes