Everyone loves Netflix. With their incredible library of movies, docos and TV shows, procrastinating and binge-watching Arrested Development or That 70’s Show has never been easier. You can whittle a whole day away in bed with a packet of Tim Tams and uninterrupted, high-quality content with no ads and no difficulty. What a time to be alive. I mean, the Earth is billions of years old and we somehow managed to exist at the same time as unlimited stuff to watch, whenever we want – how good is that? And it’s just gotten a whole lot better.
Netflix has introduced a new feature that lets you watch things offline. I’ll let that sink in for a minute – much like Spotify, where you can save tracks offline and stream them without using data, you can now save Netflix content to watch on the go later, and never eat a megabyte of data. Not everything in Netflix‘s huge library is available to download yet, including the recently released Gilmore Girls revival. Currently, available shows include all Netflix-owned content like Stranger Things, The Crown and Narcos along with licensed shows, documentaries and movies.
Eddy Wu, director of product innovation at Netflix said, “While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on aeroplanes and other places where the internet is expensive or limited.” And isn’t he right – I personally hate having to make human contact on my commute, and thanks to Netflix‘s offline option, I don’t have to anymore.
So, to celebrate the monumental occasion, we’ve put together a list of five Netflix docos you can binge watch on the go today, so you never have to look up from your phone if you’re waiting in line at Vicroads, sitting on a V-Line train, or just bored at your grandma’s place over Christmas – “Mum, I swear I’m not watching Searching For Sugar Man, I’m just texting a mate.”
Sinatra: All or Nothing At All
This two-part documentary is a rare look into the behind the scenes life of one of the greatest voices to ever grace music. The legendary crooner and Rat Pack member’s life, talent, conflicts and relationships are captured in the doco, which features rare and unseen footage, as well as interviews with family members, friends and colleagues. For those who are fans of the icon, there are so many wonderful gems to uncover here, and for those who have heard his name, but know nothing of the man or the music, it also serves as a great introduction to one of the world’s greatest performers, and cultural icons. The two-parter offers a gratifying homage to a larger than life figure.
Rolling Papers is a rare snapshot of a very unique piece of history. As marijuana laws are currently relaxing all over America, and the world at large, Rolling Papers looks at ground zero of the weed revolution in Denver, Colorado. In Denver, the movement became known as “the green rush,” due to the amount of tourism and money the legalisation of pot brought to the city. The Denver Post, a struggling newspaper in a floundering industry became the first major media outlet to appoint a marijuana editor. Policy news, strain reviews, parenting advice and edible recipes are the new norm in the unprecedented world of pot journalism. Rolling Papers takes you on a journey through a changing industry, and a newspaper discovering the joys of getting high as a community around them does the same thing.
Speaking of weed – Snoop Dogg. Few artists have made a career for themselves that spans decades by rapping about two subjects, but Snoop is one of those artists. Somehow, the man has released record after record and featured on countless tracks with only two topics expressed in his smooth flows – how much he loves to smoke weed, and himself. But in 2012, Snoop underwent a pretty major transformation, going from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion, discovering his inner peace, and his Rastafarian self. Reincarnated follows Snoop as he makes the transition, which involves a trip to Jamaica to make a reggae album, and his journey of discovering more about his Rastafarian faith. The documentary starts out by exploring Snoop’s past; his time on Death Row Records, the loss of his friends Tupac and Nate Dogg, and the murder accusation. The focus shifts to his spiritual journey and the new style of music, and many personal reflections and surprisingly candid growth by the Doggystyle legend.
Jonestown: Paradise Lost
This harrowing account of one of the worst mass murder/suicides in living memories is a gripping watch from start to finish. The film follows the life of Jim Jones, the iconic cult leader who lead his massive group of followers to the utopia of Jonestown, a community he created deep in the jungle that was entirely self-sufficient and practised faith and conservatism. Slowly, his mental state and treatment of his followers began to decline, and the suspicions of the outside world started to increase. His rising paranoia eventually results in the mass suicide caused by spiked cordial he forced his followers to drink. The film is a dark look into a horrifying set of circumstances and features recreations of the events as well as interviews with the few survivors, and Jim Jones’ own son. Well worth a watch, but only if you’re in the mood for something pretty intense, and quite sad.
The Human Experiment
The Human Experiment is a great documentary featuring Sean Penn, which takes a look at a huge cultural danger that isn’t examined or brought to the front of conversation very often – the chemicals we consume. From food to cleaning products to shampoo, there are strange, foreign and often dangerous chemicals in most mass marketed products in the world. The Human Experiment examines personal stories which shed light on the lethal effects of these chemicals and the uphill battle against the giant companies who manufacture them and put the public’s health at risk for a profit margin. The Human Experiment lifts the veil on the shocking reality that thousands of untested chemicals are in our everyday products, our homes and inside of us. Simultaneously, the prevalence of many diseases continues to rise. The Human Experiment takes viewers to the front lines as activists go head-to-head with the powerful and well-funded chemical industry. These activists bring to light a corrupt system that’s been hidden from consumers for too long.
Happy streaming everyone, may you never have to look up from your phone screen again. Also when stuff is offline, no buffering – how sweet is that?! Below is a little guide on how to get the downloadable content, you’ve just got to make sure you update your Netflix app first.