The Netflix Stream: Week of Sept 18th, 2011

The really interesting stuff leaving Netflix this week all comes from outside of the United States, but it’s all very good. Well, most of it anyway. The two best things coming to the stream are homegrown and ridiculously funny.

Leaving the Stream
  1. ‘Ponyo’ (9/26): I’d put this movie on the list even if it wasn’t any good just because it’s by the great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Luckily, that’s not even an issue. ‘Ponyo‘ is damn good. It’s not the best work to come out of Studio Ghibli, but I’d put it right under ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ – somewhere in the Top 5 anyway. If you haven’t seen it and you’re a Ghibli fan, a Disney fan, or just a person who loves things that are awesome, you’ve got a few days to get on this one. (Read Blu-ray review.)
  2. ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ (9/23): Before he was Dr. House, Hugh Laurie was actually pretty hilarious. ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie‘ is a wonderful sketch comedy show staring the aforementioned Hugh Laurie and the always brilliant Stephen Fry. It’s sad to see this one go before I get a chance to dig into it.
  3. ‘Red Dwarf: Series 9’ (9/23): I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Red Dwarf‘, but plenty of folks are. The ninth season, or “series” if you’re going to be that way about it, is a bit of a departure from the regular show. The three episodes explore what happens when the Red Dwarf crew learns that they’re fictional characters.
Entering the Stream
  1. ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’: I’m a big fan of show business documentaries and I’m also a total comedy nerd. That makes ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop‘ a must see for me. In fact, I’ll be rocking that one out right after I save this post. It’s all about Conan in between his late night TV gigs, and a look into the man himself. (Read Blu-ray review.)
  2. ‘Raising Hope’: This is one of those shows that I completely missed out on until my roommate convinced me to check it out. ‘Raising Hope’ feels like ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ as written by the guys from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia’, and I mean that as a total compliment. It’s funny, dark and wonderful. Martha Plimpton is brilliant. As a bonus, Shannon Woodward is crazy hot in that sort of gettable way where she’s not, like, all supermodely and stuff. Seriously, watch the Halloween episode. You’ll never think of Robin the same way again.


  1. ‘Raising Hope’ really is one of the unsung comedies on television. All the attention goes to ‘The Office’ or ‘Parks and Rec,’ but ‘Hope’ outdoes them all easily. The only show funnier than it is ‘Modern Family.’

    • None of these shows are funny. I didn’t hear one laugh from their in-studio audience. If you can’t rouse a single titter from your audience, you’re not funny.

      Now, “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Whitney,” those are terrific comedies.

  2. Dang it. I guess I need to get around to watching Ponyo now. Its been in my queue for far too long without getting watched.

    As for Red Dwarf Back In Time, I actually jumped on YouTube last night to show my roommate the Picture Zoom Sketch. Its probably my least favorite of all the Red Dwarfs, but I really appreciated that they came back to a show that had been off the air for over 10 years and made a Made-For-TV movie (I am not going to refer to it as season 9 or Series 9 – its a 90 minute movie, as far as I am concerned). Anyways, I am sure it will come back – Red Dwarf has been one of those series that has been consistantly available on Netflix. Although, the TV movie wasn’t BBC, but made for the DAVE network. So there could be some licensing differences between the first 8 seasons (eh, series, as there was sometimes more than a year between seasons) and Back In Time.

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