My parents bought their first new TV in roughly 20 years, replacing an ancient tubed dinosaur with a modern smart TV. Last night I set up Netflix for them.
My dad is nearly 70, recently retired and finding himself with a lot of extra free time. He’s worked hard all of his life and hasn’t had much time or energy for movies and TV in 30 or 40 years. Suffice to say, Netflix’s library thousands of movies and TV shows extremely daunting to someone who has almost zero exposure to pop culture.
With that in mind I set it upon myself to come up with some recommendations. It was a lot more challenging than I expected!
Not ultra violent or sex-filled. I’m confident my dad would be turned off by most everything with a MA or hard R ratings. That said, he was a long haul trucker so language is less of an issue 😉
Set in our universe. No lightsabers, phasers, magic wands, zombies, vampires, super heroes, etc. I get the sense these sorts of elements would be too distracting and take him out of the experience. It’s easy to forget how much we suspend disbelief in order to enjoy more fantastical movies. I’ve included one exception to this rule on my list – Guardians, it’s a good introduction to the more comedic Marvel movies and I’m really just interested what he’ll think of it.
No Animation. See above. Though if Pixar movies were still on Netflix I’d have included a few.
Well rated. I don’t want him to be turned off by bad movies. As inspiration I combed through Rotten Tomatoes’ top 100 movies for each of the past 25 years. Get Smart is an exception to this rule, included because I know he liked the old TV show.
No TV Series. I thought about including TV shows, but jumping in to a show on episode 1 one can be a daunting proposition. Plus most TV series take a while to build, so I don’t think telling my dad to “watch The Office” would be terribly fruitful. The right thing to do would be recommending a couple of specific episodes. I included Dirty Money because it’s 6 episodes and I’m confident my dad would be interested in the content of each of them.
Available on Netflix Canada. This was by far the most limiting factor. Netflix seems to have dropped a lot of content recently. So much so that I could not come up with a list of 10.
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
- The Bourne Identity
- Dirty Money
- Get Smart
- Good Will Hunting
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Hot Fuzz
- Ocean’s Eleven
This list seems incredibly short and it kind of is. I’m sure I’ve missed a few good ones. But mostly, the January 2019 version of Netflix Canada is just kind of sad.
Feel free to leave a comment with your recommendations.