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Netflix is testing us this week. They really want us to ignore all of our responsibilities in order to watch the new seasons of HOUSE OF CARDS and DAREDEVIL. Seriously, why would they release their two biggest shows within two weeks of one another? I haven’t even gotten a chance to do the dishes, let alone perform the necessary tasks of being a productive member of society.

Anyway, you probably don’t need this, but here are the latest two recommendations: Episode 17 and Episode 16

FAIR WARNING: SPOILERS if you are not at least caught up to the newest seasons.

HOUSE OF CARDS – Season 4

HOUSE OF CARDSKevin Spacey returns as Frank Underwood, corrupt President of the United States of America. When season 3 ended we saw Claire, played by Robin Wright, leaving the President at a pivotal moment in his campaign to win the office for the first time. We pick up right where we left off; a marriage torn, a campaign failing, and a country unsure of its leaders. Frank spends the season fighting, not just for the presidency, but his life as more and more people begin to see through his lies.

I’m not sure House of Cards will ever quite live up to the success of its first season. Not many shows can hook an audience with such interesting yet despicable characters. It’s a shame that the subsequent seasons didn’t really continue the trend. However, I really think season 4 is a step up. I was very intrigued with everything that was going on. Of course it’s a little ridiculous to believe that someone could become the President of the United States through murder and deceit, but Frank finally gets what’s been coming to him for so long in season 4. He’s now fighting to stay at the top, which is really interesting and different from what we’ve seen before. It’s less politically driven than season 3 and more about righting wrongs and finding justice. So if you enjoy seeing Frank maul his way to the top, you’ll enjoy this season, but you might get what’s coming to you as well.

DAREDEVIL – Season 2

Daredevil_Final_PosterMarvel’s Netflix series have created a whole new fan base for superheroes and heroines. Daredevil and Jessica Jones are unlike anything else on TV or in the movies, so it’s really refreshing to watch the dark and brooding versions of comic book stories. Season 2 of DAREDEVIL is no different. In fact, it expands on everything that made season 1 great, but it adds in some more familiar characters. At this point, Matt Murdoch has created a name for himself (rather, for Daredevil (also known as The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen)) and is firmly planted as New York’s most terrifying vigilante. His order comes into question when a new “hero” shows up, slaying the mob with machine guns.

This season is just fun. The action is much more gritty and violent than anything on cable television or in the Marvel cinematic universe, the villains are really relatable and kind of likable, and Matt Murdoch is simply an awesome dude. I don’t want to talk too much about this season, because you should just watch it. And you should definitely watch season 1 if you haven’t already. It doesn’t matter if you like superheroes are not, Daredevil is fun for the whole family! Except for the kids. It’s an excruciatingly violent show sometimes. But it’s really cool!

Everyone loves Netflix. The problem is, no one loves spending half an hour searching for a movie or TV show that’s worth your time. Well, look no further, fellow couch potato, because here’s a great movie AND TV show on What to Stream Right Now!

NIGHTCRAWLER – Dir. Dan Gilroy (2014).
Nightcrawler-Movie-PosterNightcrawler was one of those movies last year that really blew everyone away. No one expected it to be as entertaining as it was, especially from a first time director. That being said, Jake Gyllenhaal steals the show as always. Gyllenhaal plays the disturbingly creepy, Lou Bloom, who’s willing to do whatever it takes to make some money and a name for himself. He finds work roaming the city streets of LA, capturing videos of accidents and crimes to sell to the local news stations. As you would expect, this turns into an odd obsession, leading to Bloom making some rather perturbing decisions in order to further his new career. His chilling character is supported by a great cast including Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, and Riz Ahmed who plays Bloom’s young “assistant”, Rick.
For a film taking place almost entirely at night, Nightcrawler’s cinematographer, Robert Elswit, does an incredible job creating a beautifully eerie image of the Los Angeles landscape that is equally matched by James Newton Howard’s fitting score and Gilroy’s direction of the terrific cast. It might not be the perfect date movie, but if you’re looking for something new and unusual, Nightcrawler might be your best bet. IMDB

DAREDEVIL – Season One (2014)
NetflixDaredevilPosterIf you haven’t been living under a rock for the past six months, you’ve probably heard how good Netflix’s new original series, Daredevil, is. Well, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate that it is indeed that good. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Marvel fan, a DC fan, or if you hate superheroes all together, Daredevil has a little bit of something for everyone. Charlie Cox gives a believable and even daring performance as the blind, lawyer/vigilante… See what I did there? And the season doesn’t take any time at all getting into the meat of the story. Instead of building up the action through an origin story, as superhero movies are apt to do these days, the team behind Daredevil shows his origin through clever flashbacks and dialogue.
We’ve come to expect quite a lot from Netflix original series and Daredevil easily holds its own. The entire supporting cast is terrific and the season’s villain is not only believable and motivated, but genuinely terrifying. At only thirteen episodes, it’s not unreasonable to knock this show out in a weekend, but take your time because season two isn’t expected until early 2016. That being said, Daredevil is definitely worth your time and may even introduce us to a whole new world of excellent comic book television. IMDB