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Bored At Home During Pandemic—Check Out These Netflix Shows

by Bill Formby

During the last few days, and in an effort to briefly escape the political madness, I have been surfing through Netflix. The problem, it seems, is that I have far too much time on my hands and not enough productive things to occupy my mind.

I am currently reading “Rage” by Robert Woodward but I can only take a few chapters at a time. I am trying not to go ballistic while reading about the asinine things that go into the president’s think, or the lack thereof.

One of the better things I have found is “surfing” Netflix. I have been pairing up movies or series to watch which seem to have similar content, themes, or styles. I know. It sounds ridiculous but it keeps me out of trouble. For example, Mike had suggested a series from Finland called “Bordertown”. I watched that and found it really well done especially since it was a cop show within the Finnish culture. Along with that, I found “The Woods” and “The Forest” and one entitled “Unit 42” which were more or less from France.

My attraction to some of the foreign films tends to come from the quality of the production and their quality of the actors. Usually, the actors actually act and not rely so much on running gun battles, car chases, and special effects. There is much more character development and plot depth more reminiscent of the Hitchcock films.

Over the past week, I have gone to Mars a couple of times. First, with the series called “Away”, and more recently the Docu-movie “Mars”. “Away” is an outstanding series about the first trip to Mars and draws much from a prior Docu-series simply titled “Mars” for the technical knowledge. Away is much more character-driven by Hillary Swank as Commander Emma Green. The series builds most of its plot around the eight-month voyage to Mars and not only the stress of such a mission but also the personal stress of Emma and her family back on earth.

“Mars” is actually a combination of a documentary on the challenge of going to Mars and a similar story to “Away”. This comes from a series in 2016 and is part of an effort by SpaceX to find a reusable spacecraft on which we will allegedly make our first trip to Mars. SpaceX is an ongoing project funded by Elon Musk which has built reusable rockets to launch numerous satellites.

One’s preference, technical or entertainment, would probably dictate which of the two one preferred. While one would get some of both in either series “Away” is far more entertaining. I do have to wonder about one of the premises of “Mars”, to avoid the extinction of our species. I kept wondering if saving the human species, given our track record so far, is really worth the effort. Perhaps we might be wiser in our selection of those who are going to survive and let the others go quietly into the darkness of elimination.

Given the focus humans have on greed they may end up like the early Europeans that landed on the shores of this new world. The wealthy would buy their way to the rocket and fail to recognize that they left all of the workers back on earth. Dollars are likely not going to do any good on Mars for a long time. And, like most of the Pilgrims of that initial voyage, most would perish because of a lack of survival skills.

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Posted by on September 22, 2020. Filed under REVIEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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Bill Formby
Bill Formby
8 months ago

Mike, there is a show called “Unit 42” that is very similar to Bordertown except it is in France. Also, it seems the French are obsessed with the wooded areas as they produced “The Forest” and “The Woods”. There is also one called “Black Spot” that is about an area so far off the beaten path that their cell phones are almost useless. I just watched a movie entitled The Devil All The Time”. An outstanding movie set from the 1950s through the 1980s in West Virginia and Southern Ohio.

Michael John Scott
Reply to  Bill Formby
8 months ago

I loved “The Devil All the Time” Bill as well as Black Spot. Both outstanding TV. I’ve seen Unit 42 advertised. Might have to check it out. I’ve seen both The Forest, and The Woods.

Michael John Scott
8 months ago

I loved Bordertown and can’t wait for the next season. I also enjoyed the other programs you mentioned. I started watching Weisensee, also on Netflix, about the craziness that went on right after the Berling Wall fell. Highly recommended and it’s 4 seasons! Like you almost always opt for foreign, subtitled films and for the same reasons.