Freezing weather and a nice cup of cocoa. All that's needed are some idle evenings of television to snuggle down with.
I've been checking Netflix for programs and made a list of possibles. I did a few searches for top shows, then for mystery series. I'm dipping in to see what I think, and will note here as I watch them.
The Crown I watched the first episode of season one. It was disappointing that the show starts right at her marriage to Philip and doesn't show the girl she was before she met him. Maybe I just liked the way Masterpiece's Victoria played out. I only liked King George's character. Everyone else was rather cold and distant and in some way unlikeable, even Elizabeth. Matt Smith was and wasn't a departure from Dr. Who. Like Who when playing with the children. Not like Who and somewhat smarmy otherwise.
Agatha Christie's Poirot
Midsomer Murders I've seen the first three episodes from the beginnings of the series of this one. I had some preconceptions of it being a cloying cozy from my impressions of customers at the library who checked it out avidly. It's one of those where the customers could get a little edgy with you when they didn't get the DVDs on request soon enough. The opening of the first show had a sort of dotty old lady on a bicycle and some other dotty old ladies about town hanging around snoopily. Then, our bicyclist sees something in the woods and bammo, next thing you know she has a broken neck. Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby and his sidekick Sgt Gavin Troy see past the apparent accidental death to find a twisted situation that hearkens to a past crime in the village. Each of the episodes has many possible suspects, and a surprising amount of secret sexual entanglements of every kind imaginable that make the finding of the killer really difficult. I thought Troy was pretty flat at first, but by episode three he was getting off zingers of all kinds. Hilariously, his theories of the crime and killer were completely off in every case. I'll watch more.
Orange is the new Black
How To Get Away With Murder
Bright This is a movie made for Netflix that is getting a sequel. I liked the gritty futuristic world where Will Smith is a cop with the first ever Orc cop partner. Yup, there's Orcs, humans and Elves. Magic users are called Brights and are hunted down by law enforcement of all levels. His Orc partner played by Joel Edgerton is the quintessential idealistic rookie cop. He is so happy to be a cop, his lifelong dream, he tries to ignore the hatred that comes his way from fellow officers, the public, and other orcs. I love Will Smith when he's being a hero. I don't mind that he is disillusioned and desperate. At some point here he had to sell that working with a challenging partner who is everything he used to be starts changing him back to being that good guy. Although he is shown to be eventually doing the right thing, you don't see him getting past his own prejudices, you don't see him changing back. There's no heart to him. It is also a flaw that his orc partner doesn't show much emotion of any kind through most of the show. There are comments tossed out by Smith that in any other movie would have you laughing along with him, but not here. All humor falls flat. It's so odd. It's like they couldn't decide quite what kind of a movie they wanted to make, one with social statements, or an interesting cop movie set in an alternate time and place.
Dark Promoted as the next thing you want to watch if you loved Stranger Things, this was unwatchable for me. Awful characters, grim hopeless tones, and floating mouths not quite syncing English dialogue with the original German. I backed out about ten minutes in.
Black Mirror Yikes, supposedly an updated edgy Twilight Zone. I wish I had just watched the Star Trek type episode. Nooo I had to go all the way back to an episode wherein the British Prime Minister is blackmailed into making merry with a pig for several hours while all the country watched live. Eeew. Can't unsee.
Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales This is the first of the Pirates movies I didn't care for. Johnny Depp was the worst Jack Sparrow ever. The movie was way too long and needed a considerable amount chopped. There was no lightness and humor that clicked. Bah, Dead Men shouldn't have told this particular tale.