Endlessly scrolling Netflix for something to watch is a time-honored tradition, almost as holy as asking your mom, “Did you change the password?” because so many people were using her account. Shouts to all the moms out there funding your children’s lazy Sundays.
But once you realize you’ve watched The Office, Parks & Rec, New Girl, and 30 Rock a million times over, it’s time to branch out. Time to see what else Netflix has to offer.
When your hangover is in full force and you know an episode of Black Mirror might give you heart palpitations, it’s time to dive into some calming programming that won’t make you want to kill yourself. And these are the shows for you.
Chef’s Table is like someone drugged Anthony Bourdain, dragged him into the street, and replaced him with a bunch of chef’s who aren’t dicks. Each episode is dedicated to one particular chef who takes you through their day to day, while also revealing more and more about themselves as the show goes on.
“Fuck,” you say half-way through episode one of the third season, “I really want to go to South Korea.” But then when you talk about it in casual conversation at a fake-classy dinner party full of your friends who you only kind of like, you obviously tell them, “Ugh, that Francis Mallmann episode as uh-maze-ing.” Because it was, and now you officially want to go to Patagonia so you can be like him (and, you know, for the ‘grams too).
The Great British Baking Show
What can I say about The Great British Baking Show that hasn’t already been said? Oh, I don’t know, maybe that you need to soak in the three seasons they have of it on Netflix now because they’ve completely butchered the newer seasons by removing three of our four favorite hosts.
It’s Hell’s Kitchen without the aggression and swearing, and takes place in a random tent in the middle of a British chateau. Mix in some Notting Hill-esque British accents along with decadent pastries and all of the sudden you’re in heaven. Even though you’re actually just sitting in your bed while logging less than a thousand steps for the day.
Abstract: The Art of Design
Watching Abstract is the equivalent of going to a modern art museum to kill your hangover. Even though the television show doesn’t have water fountains at every corner to quench your thirst, it does do a phenomenal job of making you feel like an intellectual who really *understands* art (even though you spent the night before trying to get free shots off randos at bars). It’s the artist’s version of Chef’s Table and will probably make you want to take up painting at some point in your life – even though you’re busy as fuck.
Elizabeth at 90
You’ve been delaying watching The Crown because it’s the television version of reading a book (same with Downton Abbey, honestly) so you decide to toss on Elizabeth at 90, a BBC-produced documentary about The Queen. Immediately upon watching, I was shocked to see interviews with Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, The Queen herself, and many other members of The Royal Family. Sure, you’ll probably pass out halfway through watching old footage of them playing with a pack of corgis, but isn’t that the point of turning it on in the first place?
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Did you know that the greatest sushi chef of all-time has a 10-seat restaurant in Japan where every meal costs $281 and consists of 20 courses? Yeah? Well that’s because you’ve already watched it. The show was initially supposed to be called “Planet Sushi” which was just going to be the sushi version of Planet Earth. Uh, yeah, sign me the fuck up. For all intents and purposes, it could slide in as an episode of Chef’s Table and no one would know the difference, which is high praise.
Or you can just keep watching Bourdain re-runs like a classless swine who drinks merlot. Your choice. .
Image via Netflix