Netflix: November’s New Arrivals

Whether you’re a true blood and guts Trekkie or not there may be a captain for everyone’s generation (and tastes). In the documentary The Captains the original Star Trek‘s William Shatner (James T. Kirk) interviews several other captains including the most recent Kirk on film Chris Pine, The Next Generation‘s Sir Patrik Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Voyager‘s Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), Deep Space Nine‘s Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko), and Enterprise‘s Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer). Shatner’s old friend Christopher Plummer (Klingon General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) is also involved here, as the performers discuss their respective careers and the effects of the Star Trek franchise.
Before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty of all charges in the Boston Marathon bombing attack there was all manner of speculation and accusations. The Thread, a documentary directed by Greg Barker, presents the many splintered arguments while displaying the growing contrast and conflicts of old and new media. One minute we turn on the TV to see the news, now we are shown it on cell phone video footage. The film uses the famous Reddit posts, as well as other top brand social networks, as clues, to tell a story, or document certain angles of terrorist activity. While depicting terrifying real-life events perhaps it also platforms the fear from the Internet coverage itself.

And now for something completely different, a collection of short films that simply demonstrate the beauty of nature, that we perhaps take for granted. The two newest additions are Moving Art: Underwater which is directed by Howard Hall, and Moving Art: Waterfalls, directed by Louie Schwartzberg (his Flowers, Oceans, Forests, and Deserts shorts also already available on Netflix). Utilize them to your own advantage, to relax the nerves, soothe the baby, or even just to give your eyes a live-action, actor-less feast. I dabbled in some of the beauty myself and ended up in some kind of blissful trance. Waterfalls is perhaps not recommended, then, if you have a pile of paperwork and a full bladder.

Also added to Netflix is a couple more seasons of the Scottish sitcom Still Game produced by the BBC from 2002, which means 5 seasons are now available. Created by Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, they also play the lead the Glaswegian oldies with their many local antics. That broad Scottish dialect might not be to all ears, mind.

Season 3 (not to be confused with the 40+ webisodes) of Urban Legends is also now available this month. The documentary style show presents three such urban legends in each episode, running on the premise of what’s real and what is fiction in the modern world. This season tackles a doll obsession that goes too far, a bus drive accused of crimes, a ghostly text message, a shocking find from a fisherman, multiple lottery winners in one draw, and tons more. You get the picture.

And as per those many requests wanting some kind of 1950s-set Spanish telenovela to replace their Downton Abbey withdrawal symptoms, Velvet seasons 1 and 2 is ready and waiting. Velvet, or Galerías Velvet, refers to the department store setting of the Spanish TV series, a glamorous cocktail of classic romance, fistfuls of drama, and forbidden love.

Master of None is the new comedy created by Aziz Ansari (of Parks and Recreation), he plays Dev, a single guy in New York City finding his feet, or at least developing personal growth with new jobs and relationships and who knows what else.  Already likely to be compared to Friends or Girls, this adapts to the current modern technological era, and the cultural commentary – between generations, the sexes, and race. Looks though to have all the key ingredients to be your average knock-out comedy. I mean, how many times can we watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt anyway? These self-aware, observant sit-coms are killing it right now. Bring it on.

Speaking of starting out in New York, we’re all eagerly awaiting Marvel’s Jessica Jones with the brilliant Krysten Ritter. Right? Well, I know I am. This is based on the Marvel Comics character from Alias (no not that one), who was a former superhero turned private detective due to tragic circumstances. Though this may sound like familiar come-book-formula, this is certainly not a story targeted at kids. This is dark in tone and serious on the more adult issues and struggles (like PTSD believe it or not). Early word is positive, that this is a solid show. Personally, I’ve been craving much more substantial stuff from the quirky, intriguing Ritter. Carrie-Anne Moss and David Tennant also star among others. But we’ll have to wait a little longer for this one, not available on Netflix until November 20.

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