Just when you think Netflix has no more to offer
Columnist Jen Koski has mined the TV streaming service for its best and worst.
In late January 2020, I wrote a column about New Year's resolutions.
This was just before a worldwide pandemic would change almost everything. A time when I thought the biggest challenge of my year would be sending my son to college in the fall.
In that column, I wrote: "As I look ahead to what 2020 will bring, how do I resolve to spend those days? I know how I don't want to spend them. And that's feeling bored or lonely or stagnant. I don't want to end 2020 with my greatest achievement being all the series I got through on Netflix."
I mean, for starters, "bored, lonely and stagnant" would practically define my 2020. And also, I'm pretty sure I've watched all of Netflix in the last year.
That makes it sound like all I do is watch TV — and if you were to judge me by my last 12 months, that'd be a fairly accurate snapshot. But before 2020, I'd actually never been big into television.
It's not like I thought I was too good for TV or anything. It just that it didn't fit into my schedule. Between kids and work and all the stuff I did pre-pandemic that I can't even remember anymore, I didn't have time to binge "The Office."
I've more than made up for it.
Despite publicly announcing that I didn't want my greatest achievement to be "all the series I got through on Netflix," I've watched about 32,000 hours of Netflix in the last year.
When I sat down to write today's column (while watching "Derry Girls" for the second time), I started with a list of all the series I've streamed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And then I had to quit because it was too embarrassing to continue.
Here's how far I got: "How I Met Your Mother." "Bones." "The New Girl." "Jeopardy." "Crazy Ex Girlfriend." "Glee." "Schitt's Creek." "Love." "Bridgerton." "Dead to Me." "Grace & Frankie." "Imposters." "The Kominsky Method." "Dash & Lily." "The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce." "Outlander." "Episodes." "Firefly Lane." "The Queen's Gambit." "Rick Steve's Europe." "Emily in Paris." And the "Mad About You" reboot, which I watched in its entirety while painting the living room over the course of two days.
I tried to watch "Gilmore Girls," but the Rory character gets so horrible by the time she goes to college that I had to stop.
And these are just the series that came to mind. I'm not even going to start with the movies. It's too humiliating.
In the spirit of turning my couch potato status into a positive, I'm using the rest of this column to perform a public service. With my now vast streaming experience, I'd like to offer some recommendations in case you're looking for some solid couch time, too. Possibly some shows you hadn't considered streaming, like:
"The Carol Burnett Show." It's a blast to see the special guest appearances, and Burnett's brand of funny holds up decades later.
The "Dick Van Dyke Show" remains a national treasure.
If you loved "The Office" and are still mourning its removal from Netflix, check out the original (BBC) version on Amazon Prime.
"Derry Girls" is hilarious if you can get past the language barrier — or, rather, the Irish accent barrier. My friend Lisa, who recommended it to me, suggests captions.
And "Rick Steves' Europe," on Amazon Prime, has been the cure for my travel bug.
So consider these the next time you grab the remote. And, also, please don't tell anyone I watched "Emily in Paris."
Jennifer Koski is associate editor at Rochester Magazine. Her column appears Tuesdays. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org .