Welcome, officially, to 2017. Here’s hoping that this year turns out better than the last — although 2016 wasn’t all bad. A lot of really good movies and TV shows graced our screens last year, and since there hasn’t really been much time for new shows yet in the New Year, it seems like a perfect time to go back and revisit some of last year’s best offerings.
Below is a list of five streamable movies and TV shows that were either totally passed over or blew up in 2016. So, if you’re looking for a reason to not leave your couch this weekend and curl up with a long streaming binge, this is the list for you. Escape from the January cold and enjoy the following recommendations.
5. Amanda Knox, Netflix
Here’s your reminder that things can go horribly wrong when you least expect them to. No matter which side of the Amanda Knox argument you fall on, this documentary from Netflix is totally worth a watch. Or, maybe, you only have a vague idea of what this even is — Amanda Knox is just a name that sounds kind of familiar.
Well, this documentary tells the whole story. If Making a Murderer was your jam in 2016, then make Amanda Knox your go-to in 2017. Amanda was a 20-year-old American college student studying abroad in Italy when she was accused of the murder of her roommate. The international media sensationalized the story, taking it to new heights, and this documentary explores not only Amanda’s story, but the story of the prosecutors and one of the reporters covering the story. It’s equally fascinating and heartbreaking.
4. Stranger Things, Netflix
Why not kick off 2017 with the one thing everyone was talking about in 2016? If you thought no one could shut up about Stranger Things last year, just wait until 2017 really starts obsessing about the upcoming second season. That’s when we’ll all be done for.
If you somehow managed to get through the hell hole that was 2016 without watching Stranger Things, you’re a miracle worker (or just very stubborn). The Stranger Things kids have taken the world by storm — both on-screen and off. And Winona Ryder’s involvement in this Steven Spielberg-esque sci-fi series will give you all the ‘80s nostalgia you can possibly handle for the weekend.
3. Creed, Amazon Prime
The movie that wasn’t talked about enough in 2016 was 2015’s Creed, the seventh film in the Rocky franchise. Michael B. Jordan is electric as Adonis Johnson (the estranged son of champion boxer Apollo Creed) and some might say that Sylvester Stallone delivered his best performance as the iconic Rocky Balboa in this film.
Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (Jordan), the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, seeks out former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa, his late father’s friend and former rival. From there, Donnie and Rocky team up to make Donnie a champion in his own right without the help of his father’s legacy. Not only is it a fantastic sports drama — including a single-shot match that’s a mind-blowing performance from Jordan — but there’s a good chance it’ll also make you cry, especially if you’re a Rocky fan.
2. Westworld, HBO GO
Yes, the stereotypes continue. We’re sorry to say this, but if you didn’t join in on the Westworld insanity in 2016, now’s your chance. The first season has been over since December, so what are you waiting for? Stranger Things and Westworld were two of the defining shows of 2016 — escapism at its highest form with two completely different tones.
Westworld, based on the 1973 film of the same name, is sexual and filled to the brim with action, gunslingers, and heavy-handed metaphorical hat colors — but it’s also incredibly human, despite the artificial intelligence running around all over the place. It asks the ever-present question in stories like this: What does it mean to be human?
1. Reggie Watts: Spatial, Netflix
Reggie Watts’s latest special, Spatial, is a mix of his two strongest talents: comedy and music. As the current leader of The Late Late Show with James Corden’s in-house band, Watts has gained a lot of traction. So, now, let him entertain you.
Spatial is just that. It’s heartwarming and the “Apple Song” will make you smile right before it hits you just how deep it really is. That’s Watts’s hidden strength, and it really comes out in this new project.