A fanciful historical drama about the life of Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the longest reigning monarch alive, has now lived to see an autobiographical series on Netflix. The Crown begins in 1947, on the wedding day of the future queen to Duke Philip. Almost the entire upper class of the country was against this union. Soon, Elizabeth survives the death of her father and becomes a full-fledged queen. The queen ascended the throne at the age of 25, and already at 30 she had the whole Suez Crisis – an armed conflict in which England, France, Israel and Egypt participated.
The showrunners have nearly 70 years of material left over, so the Crown may be renewed until Netflix runs out of money. And the budget is huge – each scene looks like an episode from a serious full-length costume drama. In addition to luxurious sets and costumes, from the first season the viewer is entertained by the charismatic Claire Foy starring Matt Smith and traditional British humor.
13 Reasons Why
Scary story of a teenage suicide
Seventeen-year-old Hannah Baker commits suicide by opening her veins in the bathroom. From that moment on, her story is just beginning: different people receive parcels with cassettes on which the girl recorded an audio diary of thirteen parts. Each of them is addressed to friends of Hannah, whom she blames for suicide. The girl retells the key episodes of the last months of her life, and thus the viewer gradually learns who and how pushed the heroine to commit suicide. At first it looks like a common teenage nagging, but later the reasons become more convincing and scarier.
The showrunners honestly admitted that they filmed “13 Reasons Why” to draw attention to the problem of teenage suicide and convince teenagers to be more attentive and kind to each other. The authors even had the guts to include eerie scenes of rape and dissection, so shocking that they had to add a separate warning. Opinions about the show are divided: some think that it helps to understand the suffering of adolescents, while others believe that “Reasons” almost romanticizes suicide. At the very least, this series pushed teenagers to discuss with their parents problems that some talk about only in a suicide note.
“Causes” is an example of a TV show that has suffered from its popularity. Due to the huge interest, the showrunners for some reason have already filmed several more seasons, although the story is exhaustively told within the first.
Critical miniseries based on real-life rape cases
Teenage Marie (Caitlin Deaver) reports to the police that she was raped. The investigation does not find solid evidence – the heroine, in fact, is recognized as a liar. After that, two female detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Weaver) appear in her now twice broken life, who are not only ready to believe Marie’s words, but also see in what happened to her a connection with the case of an elusive serial rapist.
“Incredible” (although it is more accurate to translate the name as “Incredible”) is the maximum resonant study of victim blaming. The story of how the ignorance and mistrust of loved ones can sometimes cause as much pain as a violent crime.
House of Cards
Political thriller about the most unprincipled inhabitant of the Capitol
Ambitious Congressman Underwood (Kevin Spacey) first helps a colleague to become president in exchange for the post of secretary of state, and then takes revenge on him for breaking this promise and eventually becomes president himself. On the way to the cherished position, he does not disdain even murder. His wife is a match for him: Claire (Robin Wright) is also ready to go over the heads, wants to satisfy her ambitions and break into power. The hot couple is now acting together, then, it seems, is ready to finish each other.
House of Cards began to appear long before the election of Donald Trump, but fans constantly drew parallels between him and Underwood: the same suit, the same tie at a meeting with the Russian president, and so on. The series, perhaps, embodied all the worst nightmares of Americans about the collapse of their democracy. Another reason for the popularity of “House of Cards” is that it fully showed that behind the scenes of big politics, in fact, a cruel game of thrones is taking place.
Despite the numerous scandals that ended Spacey’s career and forced the showrunners to end the series with a short and controversial 6th season, House has earned a place of honor in the history of small screens.
Orange is the New Black
Dramedy about life in a women’s colony, the most successful series in Netflix history
Piper, a young girl from a respectable family, foolishly gets involved in a criminal scam, because of which she is sent to prison for many years. At first, the heroine seems like a very sissy woman who will die in a female colony, but with each new season she becomes an increasingly insane rip-off. For example, one day she organizes a prison artel that sews comfortable panties for women. True, gradually the main character’s struggle for survival is no longer at the center of the plot, but the dismantling of the numerous colorful factions of the colony. Among them are staff with security, a kitchen headed by a Russian grandmother, a caste of Latinos, Piper herself with her accomplices, and many others.
Orange Is the New Black is the easiest way to describe it as a pseudo-documentary reality show in an unusual location. There is no central storyline as such; instead, in each episode, the heroines solve new pressing issues. The series as a whole is dramatic, it raises current social topics: feminism, transphobia, racism, sexual violence and others.