Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NETFLIX STREAMING SERIES TO ADORE THIS SUMMER

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If it's even close to as hot and humid where you are as it is where I am, then consider binge watching some series on Netflix Streaming during the long Fourth of July weekend or your summer staycation. Three of them earn The Janie Junebug Seal of Most Super Highest Approval, but they're for adults only.

I want to warn you now, don't think that you can watch any of these shows by starting with the most recent season. You must watch from the beginning or they won't make sense.

First, from Halifix in England, we have Happy Valley, a gripping and intense police drama. Two seasons are available on Netflix.


Happy Valley is an ironic name for the area in Yorkshire where Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) solves crimes and kicks criminals' arses. She also has to deal with plenty of personal drama.

Cawood must raise her grandson Ryan, whose mother was raped by evil Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton). Ryan's mother committed suicide soon after he born, which left Catherine bereft.

All of the actors in this show are great, but I reserve a special commendation for Lancashire.

Second, from the Florida Keys, we have Bloodline, which also involves criminals and mysteries and family drama. Two seasons are available.


The black sheep of the Rayburn family, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn, the breakout star of the show), returns to the Rayburn's posh inn in the Keys after a long absence and brings memories of childhood tragedy with him along with drugs and threats.

One member of the family who stands in Danny's way is his brother John (Kyle Chandler), who happens to be a detective in the sheriff's department. John and his siblings are not opposed to taking any means necessary to protect their family and their inheritance from Danny's machinations.

Bloodline has a stellar cast, which includes Sissy Spacek, Linda Cardellini, Sam Shepard, and--oo la la--Chlöe Sevigny.

Third, from fictional Litchfield Prison in the U.S., we have Orange Is The New Black. The show's fourth season was released recently.


When OITNB began, I thought it would focus on Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) alone, and it does for a while (she's never completely out of the picture). Chapman is sentenced to fifteen months in prison because ten years ago, she delivered drug money to her dealer girlfriend, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon).

Chapman may be a graduate of Smith, but she's not always so bright in the hierarchical world of Litchfield. She begins her stint in prison without food because she insults the culinary skills of Red (Kate Mulgrew), the Russian prisoner who runs the kitchen. But Piper figures out a way to gain Red's forgiveness, which might not last very long with Red's hair-trigger temper.

After the initial plot point about Piper and Red, the show shifts to include backstories and prison stories for other inmates and some of the guards. The entire cast is outstanding. It's difficult to stop watching, so don't say I didn't warn you when you think I know it's two in the morning, but I'll quit after one more episode.

I've loved Orange/Black since the first episode, but Season Four is the best so far. Litchfield is now an overcrowded for-profit prison. A certain Little Miss Nosy Britches manages to ignite a race war, fueled by the new guards, who make the prison a war zone. The penultimate episode, in my heart, recalls the tragedy of Lady Sybil's death on Downton Abbey. The season finale is so taut with anger and the prospect of violence that I don't know how I'll wait until 2017 for season five.

OITNB has been renewed through season seven. Praise God!

A special aspect of the fourth season includes a perfect song for each episode to play with the closing credits. I'll treat you to my favorite after we deal with all that la la infinities of love.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


This is Folk Uke, which consists of Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson. Here, they're joined by their famous fathers, Arlo and Willie.

25 comments:

  1. Love all of these. We like a lot of the same shows, Janie. :)

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  2. You are always a wealth of entertainment information. I hadn't heard of Happy Valley or Bloodline but my daughter starting watching OITNB and just as you said....she couldn't stop watching.

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  3. I've heard good things about Orange is the New Black. The last prison drama I liked was Prison Break. Ah, Prison Break... Hey, if you can help me figure out what to do with the kids, I'll totally sit back and binge watch. =)

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    1. I'm sorry, but you have to wait till your kids are older. I did my time in Kid Prison. It ended. I miss it.

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  4. We love Orange is the New Black! Haven't watched the 4th season yet though -- we're too busy to binge until mid-July. We'll watch it then!

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    1. I have things to do in the house, but I don't go out unless I must. It's too hot. Even so, I have some time to binge watch. The alternative is drinking.

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  5. Thanks for the reviews and recommendations Janie. Orange is the New Black: good show, although I was less than impressed with season 3. I loved the first two seasons but just couldn't get into the third. I may jump to season four without finishing out three...

    The other two series sound great. I'll have to give them a watch...

    Have a great day.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Season three of OITNB wasn't quite as good, but I swear season four is the best yet. If you don't want to finish watching three, you can read a synopsis of it online so you know what's going on.

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  6. Because I am cheap, we don't have wifi so no Netflix. We go to the library to rent all of the stuff we watch. Our library has a pretty go selection. Anna, who has Netflix, said that they pretty much have everything Netflix does. I do want to start binge watching OITNB. And Bloodline looks great, I'll have to add it to the running list of things that I want to see. We slack a bit on binging in the summer because we are so busy.

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    1. Summer is binge time for me because it's too hot to leave the house. WiFi is best for me for my internet. The smart TV is a huge bonus.

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  7. We've just gotten into Bloodline because of our recent trip to the Florida Keys. It's very compelling.

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  8. I tried Bloodline and didn't like it. I am not going to start another binge inducing show-yet!

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    1. I wouldn't have watched Bloodline if Willy Dunne Wooters hadn't been interested. After a few episodes, I got into it.

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  9. Happy Valley is far from happy :) But a great watch! Have a lovely week.

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  10. We binge watch shows and we are now looking for something new to watch since we're done with our latest. I hadn't heard of Happy Valley but for some reason Bloodline sounds familiar.

    It is not as hot and humid up here as it is for you down south. I imagine our hot weather pales in comparison!

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  11. I have Happy Valley on my list but since it starts out with such a horrible crime I am waiting for a time I feel I can watch it. I passed on OITNB I know it is good but....
    I have watch several British series that were fabulous but found out they were cancelled after 2 seasons. I want more ! aurgh so frustrating.
    Thank you for your reviews. So much fun and information.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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  12. Thanks for sharing. May be I will give Next Flex a try.

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  13. Thanks for the recommendations. I've had more than a few people say Orange is the new Black is a great show, and Bloodline sure does have a great cast!

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  14. Due to things beyond my control, I've been living the dream of a 90 year old - watching Netflix 24/7. Problem is, I can cover an entire season in one day and Orange is the New Black is already a distant memory. *sniff*

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  15. Yay! I have more tv to watch. I'm more of a Netflix series guy than a sitting around watching random drivel kind of guy. The first two I've never heard of. Will check it out. To be honest about OITNB... I'm apparently the one guy in America that doesn't love it. Tried to watch the entire first season, had to force my way through, didn't really care for it.

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