Netflix is everything that's wrong and right with the Internet.
Here is an online streaming service that gives you unlimited access to all kinds of entertainment for just eight bucks a month, but is geographically restricted to keep you from getting the same content your American friends do. It's an innovative way of using the Internet to access several lifetimes' worth of content, marred by the massive overage fees your ISP will likely charge you if you go over your monthly data limit. You get entire seasons of your favourite TV shows – littered among a metaphorical tire dump of bizarre and awful schlock you've never heard of and would only watch if the alternative was to set your eyes on fire.
As a public service, the Globe's technology department is launching a weekly round-up of the best and worst content on Canadian Netflix. Every Thursday, we will highlight a show or movie you should absolutely watch if you have a Netflix subscription, and one that you should avoid at all costs.
This week, we start with a no-brainer in each category:
Arrested Development: The Complete Series
One of the funniest TV shows ever made, Arrested Development was killed after just three seasons because it just wasn't getting good enough ratings. And yet Two And A Half Men is still going strong. The world is a terrible place.
Normally, we wouldn't highlight a show as well-known as Arrested Development, given all the good, obscure stuff residing in Netflix's archives. But one of the great things about an unlimited streaming service is the ability to watch stuff over and over again – and Arrested Development has amazing re-viewing value. The show is full of inside jokes, half-hidden sight gags and elaborate plot twists that were never seen to completion. And failing all that, the season two episode arc that sees Tobias Fünke dress up as Mrs. Featherbottom is worth the Netflix price of admission alone.
Nazis At The Center Of The Earth
People – if you consider ironic hipsters people – often like to say that a film is "so bad, it's good." Before you give any credence to this statement, consider why you've never heard anyone describe a car as "so slow, it's fast."
NATCOTE is the brainchild of The Asylum, a Burbank, California B-movie studio responsible for 2010's understated period piece, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus.
It appears that most of The Asylum's revenue comes from its deal with Netflix, as the service inexplicably carries a wide selection of the studio's "hits." (Actually, it's not all that inexplicable. Netflix needs a source of cheap content, and The Asylum probably doesn't foresee a bidding war for the upcoming 100 Ghost Street).
The plot of NATCOTE involves ... seriously? Are you still reading this? You get some Nazi zombies, some unwitting scientists at a research station at the south pole, and a lot of E-list actors who would be more than willing to chew the scenery if the movie had a scenery budget. This film's only redeeming feature comes at the very end, when 300,000 extras are employed to recreate a Nazi zombie version of the funeral scene from Gandhi. Also, there is a small chance I made that scene up, since I stopped watching this "movie" 15 minutes in.