Three things you should watch on Netflix before the New Year begins
It's that time of year when it's not quite clear what day it is, or even the time. For those who are still enjoying putting their feet up over the festive period before returning to work this week, rest assured that the good folks at Netflix have you covered.
Each year, the streaming service amps up its offerings and takes advantage of the world's collective laziness during this time: in 2015, it was Making a Murderer, in 2016, The Crown and thanks to its ever-growing subscriber base and budgets (not to mention our unquenchable appetite for content), there are three worthy additions this year.
Since Gossip Girl wrapped in 2012, Penn Badgley hasn't exactly set Hollywood alight, but his turn as a psychotic stalker in YOU, his meatiest role on the small screen, is just the cure for your post-Christmas blues. It maintains the trashy glamour so beloved about his turn on the Upper East Side with the right amount of excitement, earning cult status quickly. The 10-episode show, also starring Elizabeth Lail, originally aired on cable network Lifetime in the US, but Netflix snapped up its second season, presumably after seeing its high viewing numbers.
Bird Box, the post-apocalyptic thriller is largely carried by Sandra Bullock's no-nonsense lead, but there's a reason this film was the most watched original debut on the service (ever). 45 million people tuned in over seven days to see an Oscar winner navigate the world with her two children, mostly blindfolded, thanks to an ominous enemy that, when looked at directly, causes mass suicides. Critically, its reviews have been mixed, but Netflix doesn't need prestige when it has viewer numbers that studios would give their right arms for. The comparisons to the brilliant A Quiet Place and the terrible The Happening were inevitable, but it's still a worthy watch that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Black Mirror, arguably the most inventive show on television is back, but this time with a feature length film with a choose-your-own-adventure-style plot format. The story follows a gamer in 1984 trying to create a computer game based on the familiar trope called Bandersnatch, which he loved as a child. When viewers interact after watching one ending, the permutations are endless and social media is going wild. In better news, show creator Charlie Brooker confirmed there will be another six-part series next year.