Netflix originals entertain while tackling tough issues


Hannah Kinstle, Opinion Editor

Lately Netflix has really been stepping up their game with the Netflix Original movies and TV shows.

Netflix has more than 700 original series/movies that they have made. Some of their most popular ones are “Orange is the New Black,” “Bird Box,” “13 Reasons Why,” and “Black Mirror.”

One of my personal favorite shows they have produced is, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” is about three siblings who are orphans and are trying to figure out how their parents died while trying to escape an evil guardian. This show was based off of a 13 book series.

I have read all 13 and the Netflix series does a very good job of resembling the books. The streaming series is an entertaining and intriguing show that keeps you wanting to watch after each episode.

The main actors and actresses in the series were Neil Patrick Harris (Count Olaf), Malina Weissman (Violet Baudelaire), Louis Hynes (Klaus Baudelaire) and Patrick Warburton (Lemony Snicket.) In my opinion Harris’, best known for his role of Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother,” provides a performance that stands out just because Count Olaf is a wicked and malicious character, which is the opposite of the comedic roles Harris plays in other movies or shows.

At the end of each episode, it always leaves off on a cliffhanger, making this series easy to watch in a short amount of time.

Another Netflix original that I thoroughly enjoyed was a movie called “Dumplin’.”

This movie’s goal is to show that any shape or size is beautiful. This film did a very good job of showing how important self-love is. It is inspiring and represents a strong female lead played by Danielle Macdonald who also had a role in “Birdbox,” and was the lead actress in “Every Secret Thing.” Macdonald’s character goes against the odds to prove that you can do anything you put your mind to.

The theme is presented through the main character named Willowdean Dickerson. Her mom is a former pageant winner. She still loves to host pageants and train upcoming beauty queens. Willowdean is a girl who is on the heavier side and feels that her mother doesn’t accept her for how she looks. Willowdean decides to enter into a pageant her mother is hosting to show she is beautiful and to stand up for other girls who may feel the same way she does.

I think this is an important movie for teens to watch because it can help them realize that no matter what you look like, you are beautiful in your own way. This movie could help teens find confidence in themselves. My personal favorite scene from this movie was when Willowdean found her passed aunt’s broach. It is a very sentimental scene from the movie. This film is very well timed. They don’t take too long to get to the main part of the story, but it’s also not rushed. I think it was all planned out very smoothly.

The last Netflix original that I found binge worthy was a series called “Atypical.” It was created by Robia Rashid, and it has 18 episodes in total.  Rashid was also a producer on “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Goldbergs.”

Atypical takes a unique perspective through the mind of someone on the spectrum of autism. This show captures the life of a boy named Sam Gardner played by Keir Gilchrist, who played Gregson in “United States of Tara.”  He is extremely intelligent and has a complex mind that not everyone understands.

This show is very good with portraying how Sam feels about the events that happen in his day to day life. In some scenes, as you’re watching, they make the view through his mind and what’s going on in his brain. I think this show helps you get a better understanding on what someone on the spectrum is thinking or feeling throughout day to day interactions.

Gilchrist did an amazing job in this role. He made Sam’s character seem very realistic. While watching, sometimes I would forget that he wasn’t actually on the spectrum. I don’t think he could do too much to improve, but with a role like this, it definitely would get better with time, which I think did happen in the later episodes.

All in all, I think that since Netflix has started creating and producing their own TV series and movies, it has increased their popularity. Not only do they have movies and shows that everyone loves, but they now have exclusive shows and movies that recently have provided hit after hit.