So you've finished Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black, some of the best, most original TV released this summer. It seems that Netflix is the network (or whatever it is) to watch, something few would have guessed a year ago. Luckily for all of us, Netflix has plenty more in store for the coming year. We'll have to wait and see whether they live up to their predecessors, but some of these look promising.
DerekAlready aired in England, this Ricky Gervais-starring workplace mockumentary is an interesting choice for Netflix–the show might fill the cringeworthy gap left by The Office.
Marco PoloSeemingly part Game of Thrones, part golden age History Channel, this historical drama based on the explorer's adventures seems like it could be sumptuously great.
Turbo: F.A.S.T.Children's shows do well on Netflix, and this one based on the recent Dreamworks movie Turbo should be a safe and unexciting choice.
NarcosPeople love drugs, or at least they love watching drug culture on TV, which is why this drama based on the life of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar seems like a wise move.
Sense8Not much is known about the sci-fi mystery, except that it's directed by the people behind The Matrix and V for Vendetta, which is good enough for us.
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Just as you learned in your sophomore year of high school — right around the time you ditched your lifelong friends and fellow Dungeons & Dragons aficionados to hang out with the monosyllabic quarterbacks and bleach blond Best Lookings — being popular is just plain better. The more people who like you (regardless of whether they're basing their judgment on the merit of your character or just how nice your car is), the cooler things will be, and stay, for you. That's why Netflix, in a true Cinderella Story, must be riding high on digital seratonin right now. The shrinking violet turned fringe favorite turned social pariah has worked its way back into our hearts to stay, edging out a former class president in the non-network TV world: HBO.
As reported by Variety, Netflix has surpassed HBO in total number of American subscribers for the first time ever. Presently, Netflix boasts an estimated clientele of 29.17 million, beating out HBO's late 2012 calculation of just above 28.7 million.
Apparently, the thrills of House of Cards beat out those of Game of Thrones. The promise of Arrested Development beat out the laughs of Veep (either way, people like Tony Hale). In this high school of programming providers, we have new prom royalty, and he's wearing his bright red Letterman's jacket with pride.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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Andy and Lana Wachowski seem to approach the creative process with the mission statement of crafting the biggest, grandest, most epic worlds their joint imagination can conjure. In the delivery of these majesties — the far-reaching universes of the Matrix trilogy and their 2012 picture Cloud Atlas — the pair often falls victim to the nature of the medium: sometimes, two (or three) hours just isn't enough to create such a bountiful reality. And although the big screen is imbued with an inherent grandeur, calling immediate attention to the "big" stories that artists wish to tell, there is a simple and straightforward advantage to cinema's small screen brethren: you have tons of more time. And that might be all that the Wachowskis need to really make their magic operate at peak efficiency. We're about to find out either way — Entertainment Weekly reports that the duo is taking on a series project titled Sense8, the next in Netflix's growing line of original content.
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Unsurprisingly, Sense8 is being called a science fiction thriller, focusing on the conflicting goods and evils of technology. The series is intended to launch via Netflix (a la House of Cards) in 2014; the Wachowskis will develop the project further while working on their upcoming film, Jupiter Ascending... yet another dauntingly expansive tale of fantasy, sci-fi, and philsophy.
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While the Wachowskis' line of films is hardly without its flaws, each title is busting beyond its limits with creativity and insight. Where the later Matrix movies and Cloud Atlas fail is in their inability to contain the good ideas they have at bay. But this transition to a smaller, more slow-burning, and ultimately more patient medium could very well be what makes for a supreme Wachowski project.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
[Photo Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage]
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