As Yesflix/Noflix comes around again, and this time on what might possibly be the hottest week of the summer so far, I’ve found myself lying in bed at 4am the last few days unable to sleep and trawling Netflix for some lighthearted, investment-free viewing.
When you’re under the pressure of actually trying to get some sleep, you really can’t be watching something with any kind of lengthy, engaging story arc but, of course, it has to be worth watching. A conundrum in itself. The last thing anyone wants to be thinking at 4.30am in the morning, when you actually might be able to sleep, is ‘Can’t turn it off now, gotta see what happens.’
This week we’re going to do two shows you can jump right into at any stage and aren’t going to be dragged into the abyss of compulsive viewing.
Yesflix – Space Dandy
This show is a total mind warp of utter insanity; you never know what’s going to happen next as you follow the lead character Dandy and the crew of The Aloha Oe around on their hunt to catch and catalogue exotic aliens for money. It’s a show filled with standalone episodes that don’t in any way tie into each other; meaning you can leave any time you want, which works out perfect for late night viewing. The show makes a fine art of throwing everything you know out the window. It throws such things as linear time, continuity, logic and science to the wind, then it laughs at you for your small mind and narrow perceptions of reality. Then it hurts you. It hurts you deep in your soul.
How can I put into words the times this utterly ridiculous show has left me sitting on my couch feeling the feels of a thousand feelings? There are points in this show where grown men will cry; where one minute they will think that what they have just witnessed will never be matched for either its stupidity or weirdness, and the next they will be weeping. By the Gods they will be weeping. For me, it’s one of those shows where a part of you finds a number of the main characters reprehensible at best and downright repulsive at worst but, as the show continues and they go from one disaster to the next, you find yourself amused because. yeah, they kinda do deserve it a lot of the time. That and when it goes wrong, it really goes wrong. Very crazy, funny stuff. It’ll keep you amused until sleep finally takes you.
Noflix – Trailer Park Boys
If there was ever a show that seemed to hit its peak six, possibly seven seasons ago and just continued on, it’s the Trailer Park Boys. The show follows the crazy and often illegal activities of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles as they go about their daily lives in Sunnyvale Trailer Park and wind up in all manner of mischief. While there are story arcs present, they’re very simple and not very engaging; you’ll find you can jump straight in and be caught up in two minutes of screen time.
Unfortunately, all the things that made the show the hit that it was seemed to peter out the longer it went on. Shows such as The IT Crowd knew when to bow out before tedium set in, but Trailer Park Boys just continued to limp forward, even as the story and jokes became not only lame but predictable, and on occasion as funny as pulling teeth. After a while you find yourself noticing the repeating cycle of incarceration, freedom, stupidity, crazy plan, incarceration. It’s literally the entire show. The latest new Netflix-produced season has tried to reignite what made the original great but, like the coleslaw you left in the fridge over your summer vacation, the show has just passed its sell-by date; there is just no coming back from this.
Even at 4am, bleary eyed and praying for death, I’ll pray for a more merciful one than death by a thousand bad gags.
Do you agree? Do you think you I’m wrong? Let me know in the comments!