If you’re like me and found yourself being plagued by the proxy error message on Netflix, forced to exit out of your favorite shows and instead read a book in your down time (the horror), you might be feeling the withdrawal symptoms after a long month without your favorite forms of entertainment. While I may not be able to fix all of your problems, hopefully this list of show recommendations you can still enjoy on Netflix and alternative sites can relieve some of the angst. Either way, my friends, read on to see one Netflix addict’s greatest solutions and substitutions.
Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt 23
The only downside to this show is that only two seasons (a pathetic combined 26 episodes) were made. In this comedy, naive do-gooder Midwesterner June moves to NYC with her whole life set up, until it falls apart and she’s stuck with her psycho roommate Chloe. (Chloe is the bitch in apartment 23, by the way.) Anyhow, it’s a really funny show, Eric Andre plays June’s best friend! And Chloe’s character is very unique and charming. I’d definitely give it a shot. Just try not to get too attached because it ends far too quickly.
That 70s Show
This has actually been my show of choice the past few weeks (goodbye Friends, Arrested Development and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The show, which follows a motley gang of high schoolers in a boring Wisconsin suburb in the 70s, is an easy-to-watch comedy instead of an angsty teen drama, so it’s nice to play in the background or during downtime. No cliffhangers to drive you crazy, and it’s good enough to watch episodes on end but not annoyingly cliche or dramatic. The most refreshing character is Donna, the hot girl next door and girlfriend of the slightly-nerdy main character, who is ambitious, intelligent and has no interest in conforming to the strict gender roles of the time. Entertaining, relatable and with eight seasons available on Netflix even with the proxy, That 70s Show is always a good option.
Freaks and Geeks
Similar to Don’t Trust the B, the only disappointing thing about this show is how short it is. 18 one-hour-long (but without commercials only 40-45 minute) episodes make up the first and only season that follows a gang of high schoolers in the 80s. The main character, Lindsay Weir, is just starting to stray from her academic status as a geek when she starts hanging out with the school “freaks”. Freaks as they may be, you’ll definitely see a few familiar faces- this is one of the first projects James Franco and Seth Rogan worked together on. Jason Segal (Marshall from “How I Met Your Mother”) also plays a large role. The show also follows Lindsay’s little brother and his two incredibly endearing nerdy friends. Creator Paul Feig and producer Judd Apatow do an amazing job of creating a high school scenario that isn’t dumb or typical. All the characters are very realistic and relatable. You don’t need to worry about finishing it. The show isn’t a comedy or a drama, it’s just good.
Jane the Virgin
I have a complicated relationship with Jane the Virgin. My first encounter was on a plane, and I got through one and a half glorious episodes at that time. Unfortunately, the plane landed and my entertainment was forcibly shut down. So when the notification came last year that it was on Netflix, I started right up again and may or may not have watched the rest of the 22 episodes in one sitting (except it was definitely the former). Jane the Virgin is basically a Kdrama (and apparently a telenovela too, but I have less experience with those). With the overly dramatic plotline, attractive boys become conveniently entangled in an average girl’s life and consequently falling in love with her. Long story short, virgin-until-marriage Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated, and there’s chaos between her, her then-boyfriend, the father of the baby, the father-of-the-baby’s-crazy-wife, the doctor-who-inseminates-her-and-turns-out-to-be-the-sister-of-the-father-of-the-baby, her own parents, etc, etc. As you can see it’s a complicated, dramatic show that will take a little bit of effort to watch and follow along, but it’s funny and addictive and definitely worth a try if you’re into that.
But, if all else fails and you’re still stuck on your banned-in-China Netflix show, perhaps you could branch out to a popular Chinese site. While all in Chinese, youku.com is fairly easy to navigate. It doesn’t require an account to use for free and has a wide variety of both Chinese and English selections. I personally haven’t used it much, but I know it is highly recommended for the quality and range of titles available, so I’d give it a try one day. After all, you are technically living in China, so you need to learn how to watch TV in a Chinese way.
While this isn’t the ideal platform, you can still often find full episodes or movies of many shows on Youtube. They may be in parts or hard to find, but it’s a legal, relatively safe way to stream entertainment; and there’s no harm done in giving it a quick search. I’ve used Youtube to find subbed versions of foreign TV shows and I’ve seen movies on there as well (just nothing too high profile). And hey, if your Youtube search is fruitless, I’m sure you’ll find something else on there to entertain you.
So, before you knock this option insisting that you don’t like Korean dramas, give Dramafever a chance! Its free membership includes a huge variety of TV shows and movies, not only South Korean, but also Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and even Hispanic. I’m honestly not even a huge fan of Korean dramas myself, but I’ve found that foreign films featured there are often really good (especially Korean and Japanese films if you’re into horror); and it can be fun to branch out into another language’s offerings. You will have to sit through short ads very often unless you upgrade to a paid membership, but it’s a safe website with good quality and reliable substitutes, so I was never too bothered by it.
This article was written by Catt Kim. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: alphr.com