At the beginning of this month, Netflix launched in another 130 countries (including South Africa). The TV show and movie library that’s available to South African users is a lot smaller than the US catalog, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to watch.
To prove this I’m pointing out 5 Must Watch Titles on Netflix SA. This list is NOT limited to movies, it actually includes a few TV series as well.
1. Marvel’s Daredevil
This series which was created by Drew Goddard is based on the comic book character of the same name and forms part of the MCU (or Marvel Cinematic Universe). This series premiered on Netflix in April 2015 and was a huge hit with audiences.
The series features appearances by Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll (who also appeared in HBO’s Trueblood), Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Ayelet Zurer, Rosario Dawson, veteran actor Vincent D’Onofrio (who you may remember from The Cell and Full Metal Jacket), Jon Bernthal, Élodie Yung and Stephen Rider.
Lawyer-by-day Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) uses his heightened senses from being blinded as a young boy to fight crime at night on the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as Daredevil. This series was done ten times better than the 2003 film featuring Ben Affleck in the leading role. It is quite violent at times, but the story is told superbly and it keeps you hooked.
The first season has only 13 episodes and it’s the perfect show to binge watch. It has already been renewed for a second season (which will be released on Netflix in March 2016. Check out the trailer for the first season below:
2. Making A Murderer
This 10 episode documentary series is True Crime TV at its best. It was released on Netflix on the 18th of December 2015 and has generated controversy in Wisconsin (where it’s set) and the rest of the USA.
The documentary series was filmed over 10 years and tells the story of Steven Avery (a Wisconsin man whose family owned an auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County). He was arrested and convicted of sexual assault in 1985, despite having numerous alibis. After serving 18 years in prison, he was exonerated with the aid of the Innocence Project, when the DNA in the case was matched to another man guilty of crimes in the area, but that’s not the end of the story…
The series documents the events without re-enactments and uses actual news footage to make viewers question Avery’s innocence and the way that the American justice system functions. It’s definitely another series you can binge watch. Check out the trailer below:
3. Going Clear – Scientology and Prison of Belief
This 2015 documentary film deconstructs the church’s claims by presenting a condensed history of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, examining how celebrities interact with the church and highlighting the stories of a number of ex-members and of the abuse and exploitation that they described seeing and experiencing.
Going Clear was directed by Alex Gibney and produced by HBO. The film interviews 8 former Scientologists: Paul Haggis, (the Oscar-winning director), Mark Rathbun (the church’s former second-in-command), Mike Rinder (the former head of the church’s Office of Special Affairs), the actor Jason Beghe, Sylvia ‘Spanky’ Taylor (a former liaison to John Travolta) and former Scientologists Tom DeVocht, Sara Goldberg, and Hana Eltringham Whitfield.
It’s definitely one of the best documentaries that I’ve watched in recent times and was a great insight into the world of Scientology and definitely a must-watch. Check out the trailer below:
This Crime Drama was released on Netflix in August 2015. Narcos is set and filmed in Colombia and tells the true story of Pablo Escobar (who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine) while also focusing on Escobar’s interactions with drug lords, DEA agents, and various opposition entities.
This series is still one of the most popular series on Netflix and has been praised by critics and fans alike. It has a 9.0 / 10 rating on IMDB (based on 69,000 reviews). Narcos has already been renewed for a second season, which will premier on Netflix later in 2016.
The narration in Narcos is amazing. It highlights how bad ass Escobar was back in the day and it only has only 10 episodes: so you won’t need a whole weekend to binge watch it in its entirety. Check out the trailer below:
5. Atari – Game Over
This entertaining documentary film was released in 2014 and asks the question “How do you go from the fastest growing company in the history of the United States to a debt-infested and dissolved empire in less than a decade?” Ask any US gamer this question and they’ll probably blame the worst video game ever: “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial”.
In the film, a crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s and goes into the history of Atari. The film features interviews with Atari’s co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Xbox Co-Creator Seamus Blackley and Atari Game Engineer Howard Scott Warshaw.
Well, there you have it, 5 Must-Watch Titles on Netflix South Africa. If you haven’t signed up for Netflix trial yet, do it now! You won’t be disappointed.
The SA Netflix library might be small now, but they haven’t really done something that’s specifically targeted to South African users yet, so that might expand considerably once content deals, etc. are in place. I would not be surprised if we start seeing SA produced shows on Netflix in the future, that possibility definitely exists.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Television and Movies categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.