Netflix is infamous for its data conservatism. Even directors and showrunners have had a difficult time determining if their work was reaching its intended audience. With the introduction of the Netflix Top 10, however, we now have at least a small glimpse behind the curtain. The list of Netflix's daily Top 5 Most Popular demonstrates the Netflix faithful's voracious taste for prestige Shows.
The new Netflix heist show, Kaleidoscope, is strikingly similar to the cross-cultural hit Money Heist, the ultimately empty but wildly profitable Spanish product that was so popular on Netflix. One gets the impression that Kaleidoscope was created as a result of the popularity of Money Heist, and who knows? I found it to be “fun” in both the serious and sarcastic senses of the word.
Everyone in the cast is excellent, beginning with Giancarlo Esposito as the operation's brains, Leo Pap, and Jai Courtney as the Australian safecracker. Bob gets special recognition for his crude alpha male portrayal, which was the funniest portion of the entire presentation. Except until the finale, each viewer will receive a different episode order (within the conceivable permutations) from the others.
In general, however, the plot is exactly what you'd expect: the formation of a group of misfits, the introduction of the bad guy with the impenetrable vault, a surprising relationship that makes it all possible, voiceovers set to peppy music and flash cuts explaining all the obstacles to the job, and even a “job before the job” involving the theft of diamonds from New York City streets.
You will not be excessively bored while watching this show, and depending on the episode order, it can feel like a Tarantino production. If it left me a little cold and “having fun” isn't exactly what I'm looking for in a television programme right now, you can hardly blame Kaleidoscope.
However, the show's worst moments are when it attempts to enter prestige drama territory. It says nothing new and doesn't even attempt to say anything new, yet there are worse things than the warm comforts of TV déjà vu. —Shane Ryan
Since their introduction in The New Yorker in 1938, the Addams Family have been a staple of popular culture, having appeared in numerous comics, animated television shows, and full-length feature films. Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, and Pugsley's dark and quirky personalities have long given a more unconventional sort of amusement, yet they remain ageless in the public sphere.
Little Wednesday Addams, the mischievous child of misery best recognisable for her trademark braids, sharp wit, and unsettling love of violence, is maybe the most captivating of them all. Tim Burton, the maestro of all things macabre, attaching his name to Netflix's new series dedicated to this goth icon makes perfect sense.
Wednesday is a supernatural horror-comedy series that addresses a fundamental question. What does Wednesday Addams look like as a teenager? 16-year-old Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) is sent to Nevermore Academy, a posh boarding school for Outcasts, after being expelled from public school for releasing piranhas into the swimming pool.
Nevermore is a safe sanctuary for those who are unique or possess extraordinary skills, including vampires, werewolves, gorgons, and sirens, among others. The most interesting components of the show are the season's investigation of Wednesday's relationships with others around her, which she finds particularly difficult to negotiate because they are so diametrically opposed to her independent life philosophy. — Dianna Shen
Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris, a gorgeous Netflix series created by Darren Star, features a fair amount of swoon-worthy romance, which is fitting for a drama set in the City of Love. Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), an ambitious millennial with a master's degree in marketing who relocates to Paris to work for a boutique firm her company has acquired, is the protagonist of this comedy.
Once there, she falls in love with her neighbour, the chef Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), and he appears to reciprocate her feelings. When it is revealed that he is dating Camille (Camille Razat), a woman who has befriended Emily and shown her all that Paris has to offer, things become quite complicated.
And as if that weren't confusing enough, the second season introduces Alfie (Lucien Laviscount), an English love interest for Emily, making an already complicated love triangle more of a love… rhombus. —Kaitlin Thomas
The Recruit plays to the charming and comic abilities of Netflix star Noah Centineo, adding additional flare, drama, and — deep breath — sex to his streaming portfolio. He competently directs a shaky but altogether brilliant spy romp that is quite entertaining for binge-watching.
This individual is Owen Hendricks, a young attorney with the CIA's General Consulate. When he becomes connected with a former agent (or asset) who wants to divulge damaging state secrets, he finds himself immediately in over his head (or, graymail).
He has two brilliant, gorgeous roommates, Hannah (Fivel Stewart) and Terence (Daniel Quincy Annoh), a sufficiently strict employer, Nyland (Vondie Curtis-Hall), and a pair of coworkers whose main aim is to leave Owen in the dust, Violet (Aarti Mann) and Lester (James Franco) (Colton Dunn). Over the course of eight episodes (which were all available for review), characters undercut one another, beg for favours, and cheat for their personal profit.
A great deal of research by the show's creator, Alexi Hawley, has gone into a variety of CIA jargon, processes, and characters; it's as if you're engaged in a legitimately sophisticated (and occasionally humorous) intelligence bureaucracy.
In addition, Owen's status as a rookie allows us to acquire a great deal of this information as he does, always at the rapid, urgent pace that CIA field operations require. Given the agency's propensity to destabilise nation-states, it's not hard to produce a comedy about the mountains of paperwork and insecure agents who complete field jobs.
However, putting a sexy smirk on it feels a bit exploitative. Doug Liman injects the sexual tension he is known for in his best work into what should have been a straightforward exercise in pulp-action thrills. Netflix is obviously looking for a new and exciting hit, and they have successfully recruited us. Rory
This new Netflix limited series premiered at the end of 2017 and stars Charlie Cox as the chief of MI-6 who discovers that every progress in his career was organised by a Russian agent (Olga Kurylenko) who puts his devotion to his country to the test.