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Beth Mann

Beth Mann
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
November 11
Hot Buttered Media
I'm a writer and creative consultant. I have years of experimental comedy and strange theater under my belt. I surf. I cook. I love wine, men and song. And puppies. I effin' love puppies.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 12:52PM

10 Rainy Day Streaming Netflix Suggestions

Rate: 11 Flag


I'm not professing that the following programs and films are the best ever. My Top Ten Netflix Suggestions consisted of the heavyweights. This list is composed of semi-mindless entertainment where one can comfortably zone out, which we all need sometimes, right? 


1. Workaholics

What an amazingly tight ensemble cast (particularly the three leads). The show is silly and a bit juvenile (okay, a lot juvenile)  but highly addictive. Think The Office meets Animal House.


2. Classic Albums: Phil Collins, Face Value 

If you're not into Phil, then pick from a myriad of amazing documentaries on the making of classic albums, from artists such as The Doors, Metallica, Steely Dan, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, etc. Just do a search a search on Netflix for "classic albums" and turn your stereo up.

3. Primal Fear

Again, not a great movie. But very watchable. Richard Gere stars in this legal thriller as a hotshot attorney offering his services to Ed Norton, a Kentucky-born teenager accused of killing an archbishop in Chicago. What makes this movie so compelling? Ed Norton, who is just stunning and A must-see for his performance alone.

4. Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey

I know, I guys have all heard of Gordon Ramsey but I just stumbled across him for the first time last month and decided to start with his original shows, based in a myriad of UK-based restaurants. Perhaps by now, he's a little too "rock star" for his own good but these original shows totally won me over.

What's to say about Gordon that you don't already know? He's bold and outspoken but passionate about food and the restaurant business. You not only learn a tremendous amount about cooking but team work, ego-checking, goal-setting, business, marketing, speaking your mind...the list goes on.

5. Psychic Kids

Yes, they see dead people. Even if you're not into the supernatural like me, this real-life show about kids with varying degrees of psychic powers is eye-opening. Why? Not because of the "psychic expert" Chip Coffey (whom you will be annoyed by) but because of the children. Unless these kids are award-winning actors, it's hard not to take their experiences seriously.

6. Investigation Discovery Channel: (Deadly Women, Wicked Attraction, Stalked, Who the Bleep did I Marry, Sensing Murder, etc. )

Ah, my favorite mindless entertainment: documentaries on crimes, criminal psychology and forensic investigation. Ever since Quincy (oh yeah, that just dated me), I've loved the study of forensic pathology and criminal behavior. These programs aren't always well-acted or well-made, but they're fascinating...because they're true. (Warning: some of these programs are not for the meek at heart.)

(Above: Mary Bell, unique as a deadly women because she was only 10
years old at the time she committed her murders.)


7. I Shouldn't be Alive

If you're having a bad day, this is the show to watch. My god, what people have lived through is mind-boggling: stuck in the middle of the ocean for days, lost in a desert, plane'll feel just a little more grateful for your life, I guarantee. (Added bonus: re-enactments are well-produced and well acted.)

8. The Caller

I dub this movie "just scary enough." It's not great and it's a
little dated, but it grabs you. A divorcee moves into an apartment
with a haunted phone. That's all you really need to know, right?
Definitely fits the "rainy day" bill.

9. Rid of Me 

Being a gal who is pretty wary of most indie flicks, this one stuck with me. The lead actress (Katie O'Grady) is very good in this distinctive, awkward-moment-loving movie. An engaged couple move back to the fiance's hometown. Quickly the wife-to-be realizes she doesn't fit in with any of his "buddies" and downward spirals from there.


10. God Grew Tired of Us


Wow. That's the only word to describe this documentary. But I'll try to elaborate. The "lost boys" are Sudanese refugees who, after years of living in an encampment with other displaced Sudanese, are invited to America to work and study. They experience electricity, running water and supermarkets for the first time, which is funny and touching. But more impactful is their personal struggles of loneliness in a foreign country and the goals they set and reach.

Suggestions from Open Salon Members (not all are streamable)
Get Low
Belizaire the Cajun
Enchanted April
Wings of the Dove
Year of the Dragon
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Charlie Bartlett
Phoebe in Wonderland
My Trip Down the Pink Carpet
My Kid Can Paint That
The Ninth Gate
Office Space
The Office (UK version, Seasons 1 - 2 + Christmas Special, which is the entire series)
Gimme Shelter (movie 1970)
One Week
Wise Girls
Lars and the Real Girl
Paperback Romance
Coming and Going


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I'm a sucker for movies with swamp or hill music.
" Get Low" with Robert Duvall fits the hill music category.
One you might like which you have just reminded me to check out again soon is Armand Assante in the 1986 film " Belizaire The Cajun". There is even a story that goes with it or you may just enjoy staring at Armand for a couple of hours.
Both added, alsoknownas...thanks. Definitely want to check out Get Low.
Yah, I got one. Every year, sometime in February in the depths of winter, we trot out "Enchanted April". Dunno if Netflix has it, but if you can find a copy, it's a surefire way to get rid of cabin fever. Starts out in rainy, mid-winter, post-First-War England and winds up in a villa in sunny Italy. Features Joan Plowright, Amanda Richardson, Michael Kitchen, Jim Broadbent, Alfred Molina and Polly Walker, among others.
Boanerges1, I just saw that for the first time last year. It does lighten the spirit...I really like Michael Kitchen. I mentioned him in my last Netflix suggestion list. In The Guilty.
I've seen The Guilty, and it's very good. Also agree with you about Brit films and acting (although I don't miss the CGI stuff that seems to be in every US-made film these days).
I loved this! And you are so right about Edward Norton. Classic performance. But you should try "Wings of the Dove" with Linus Roache and Helena Bonham Carter in her early days. Well, his early days too. Stunning shots of Venice and the great Henry James story.
Here's a couple:

Year of the Dragon

Michael Cimino/Micky Rourke over the top.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Rid of Me has some great scenes.
I just made an awesomely complementary list and the intertubes ate it. I ain't writing all that shit again, dammit.
but briefly

My Kid Can Paint That
The Ninth Gate
Office Space
The Office (UK version, Seasons 1-2 + Christmas Special, which is the entire series)
Gimme Shelter (movie 1970)

Thanks for the info about netflix doing records now. I don't got it, but that's still cool info.
[r] Beth, thanks!

ENCHANTED APRIL! Awesome movie. thanks for reminder it exists, Boanerges1! must hunt that one down. a cheerer upper for sure.

A movie I discovered late at night on Showtime was Wise Girls with Mira Sorvino as a waitress in a SI restaurant run by the mob. Simple and gripping story. So grateful I stumbled upon it. From 2002 maybe?

Not acquainted with Netflix lineup. Sorry.

I finally saw Lars and the Real Girl which cracked me up and that is a quirky one for sure. Ryan Gosling.

I also liked something called Paperback Romance with Anthony LaPaglia way back from 1997 speaking of another wonderfully quirky one.

And another one I discoverd late one night that cracked me up was Coming and Going with Rhys Darby and Sasha Alexander. Really broad physical comedy -- a romantic comedy with an edge like the ones above (except for Wise Girls -- not a comedy). Here is the trailer:

btw, Simon Baker totally awesome! Is the Mentalist really that fine a show or do I just enjoy watching Simon Baker? Hard call!

best, libby
One more for you to consider, Beth, if Netflix has it: "One Week". We watched it again tonight, and it's the kind of story that sticks with a person. It's a Canadian indie film done on a shoestring, but I think you'd like it.
Okay, added all of the suggestions. Thank you!

Libby, Simon Baker is extremely watchable...that's for sure. I wasn't so fond of The Mentalist but I think I'd like to give it another shot. I started watching it on the heels of finishing The Guardian and, well, I liked that show so much that The Mentalist seemed less than. But may try again...I miss Simon! And he probably misses me.

I'm excited to check out these suggestions.
Love the idea of this list - though we have pretty different tastes. I don't have Netflix (not allowed here in France...sigh...) but for mindless rainy day fun, I'd say streaming something like "Project Runway" or the sadly cancelled "Work of Art" are fun for me - high-energy creative projects where I can sit back and watch, and judge.

Great post!
Alysa, I watched Work of Art (sections of it on their website) and I really liked it! Thanks for the lead.

I added a tenth to my list...maybe that one is a bit more up your alley? Just saw it yesterday. It's very good and touching.
"God Grew Tired of Us" is indeed, "wow." And unforgettable. ~r
Interesting picks...I love how you describe #6!!