It's definitely getting into that time of year when we just want to get home, close the curtains to the world and cosy up on the couch in front of the TV. Summer is great and all, but there's a lot to be said for tea and biccies on a winter's evening.
With that in mind, we've picked five of the best TV shows/movies Netflix has to offer this week...
The Siege of Jadotville
Jamie Dornan was in town recently for the Irish premiere of this movie, but if you missed out on it in the cinema, it just arrived on Netflix last Friday. It tells the remarkable true story of a battalion of Irish UN peacekeepers dispatched to the Congo during the 1960s. While there, the troops found themselves under siege by 3,000 Congolese troops led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. It's an incredible story, with the truth of exactly what occurred only emerging in recent years.
The movie also features a predominantly Irish cast, including Jason O'Mara and Sam Keeley, as well as Guillaume Canet, Mikael Persbrandt and Mark Strong, while it also marks the directorial debut of Richie Smyth. The only slightly jarring point for Irish viewers will be Jamie Dornan's attempt at a Kerry accent, but once you get passed that, this is a good watch.
Those of you who have watched Netflix's first two Marvel shows - Daredevil and Jessica Jones - will know the high expectations that were on the shoulders of the streaming service's third show in the Defenders series, Luke Cage, which arrived on Netflix recently. Fans of Jessica Jones will know of Luke, played by Mike Colter, as he was a friend and love interest to Jones in the first season of her show. 'Luke Cage' takes place in the months following on from that storyline, with Rosario Dawson also featuring, who is the only character to appear in all three shows so far.
For those that haven't seen any of the Netflix Marvel shows to date, Cage's superpower comes from a botched experiment that leaves him with unbreakable skin and incredible strength. Luke is trying to rebuild his life in Harlem post-Jessica, but he is soon forced out of the shadows by people trying to destroy the city, one of which is House of Cards actor Mahershala Ali. As huge fans of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, so far this looks like it will definitely keep up with the high standard those shows set.
Amanda Knox made headlines across the world in recent years when she was convicted of the murder of her flat mate Meredith Kercher in Italy, and served four years before she was definitively exonerated in March 2015. Nicknamed Foxy Knoxy by the media, Amanda was just 20 years old when this nightmare began for her, and the case and her entire life became the subject of global speculation as non-stop media attention fed the public's fascination through every twist and turn of the nearly decade-long case.
This Netflix original documentary interviews Amanda herself, getting her perspective on what exactly happened, and the impact this media frenzy had on her. It features unprecedented access to key people involved and never-before-seen archival material, as the film shifts between past to present, exploring the case from the inside out in exclusive interviews with Knox, her former co-defendant and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa.
Boyhood was the hot topic during awards season back in 2014, and has gone down as one of the most acclaimed movies in the 21st century. The reason it stands out is that supremely talented director Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused) filmed the coming-of age movie in real time. In that, he cast lead actor Ellar Coltrane back in 2002 when he was just six-years-old, with production not finishing up until 2013. The film even began without a completed script, with Linklater only having each character's basic plot points and the ending, other than that, each script was written by Linklater for the next year's filming after rewatching the previous year's footage, incorporating the changes he saw in each actor.
Also starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, the latter of which earned an Oscar for her performance, Boyhood is the type of movie you will want to watch over and over again and will inevitably bring back memories of the simplicities, and sometimes difficultites, of your own childhood. Quite simply put, it's beautiful.
Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks has become one of TV's most famous 'cancelled too soon' shows, but the whole series proved to be one big training ground for some of TV and cinemas most popular stars today. Created by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) and executive produced by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Trainwreck), it starred Seth Rogen, James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segal and plenty more recognisable faces. Set in the eighties, the show follows a group of high school students navigating their way through the trials and tribulations of teenage life.
Freaks and Geeks has become quite the cult classic these days, with only one season ever airing before the series was cancelled. However this does make it one very digestible binge watch for the week ahead.