What to Watch On Netflix When You Love America So Much it Hurts
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What to Watch On Netflix When You Love America So Much it Hurts

By Mike Roorda | Seriously Random Lists | July 5, 2013 | Comments ()


The grill is still warm to the touch. There’s tiny bits of paper and fuse littering a backyard that vaguely smells of sulphur and poor decision making. Aluminum cans colored with flags lay strewn about, here and there in piles. The smell of charred meats and mayonnaise based salads cling to your shorts and tank top. The small pool out back, once an oasis of relief from the heat, now sits tepid and dirty. Your skin stings with sunburn and smells vaguely like dried bugspray. The sun is too bright and the noises are too loud and there’s a mess in the kitchen that needs attention. But this is America! Do no cleaning. Sort no recyclables. Close your shades, turn the AC on full, pour yourself an ice water and spend your day on the couch. Try not to think too hard. Just let the entertainment happen. Netflix knows what you need.

Stephen Fry In America

This is a case of “exactly what it says in the title.” There are six episodes, and each of them follows Stephen Fry being Stephen Fry while he travels around our great 50 states and provides a running commentary on the people and places that he visits. I remember watching this a while back and having it instill in me a sense of needing to get out more. To see more of this amazing land and the generous people who inhabit it. I travel quite a bit as it is, but watching this made me want to go out and start checking things off my list I knew I’d missed. It’s pacing is deliberate and it’s tone is fairly subdued. Funny enough to hold your interest, but quiet enough to let you nap.

Wet Hot American Summer

There’s a wealth of information on how this movie was made, what went on behind the scenes and the difficulties that presented themselves during shooting. Also, it’s an amazingly funny movie with an ensemble cast that will keep you entertained even if you stop paying attention halfway through so you can go make a sandwich out of leftovers. I suspect most of you have seen this already, but if you haven’t you should right that wrong this afternoon. Made in the early aughts it has all the late nineties cool and jean shorts you would expect, and possibly more sex than you’re prepared for.

Captain America

This is, in my opinion, the second best of the origin stories that went into setting up The Avengers. (The best being Ironman. One not two. Two was sad and stupid.) I don’t know why, but I love nostalgic trips to WWII era Americana. I also like seeing cartoonish Nazi super villains get their comeuppance. Add to that mix a clearly gleeful performance by Chris Evans, eager to wash away any lingering Fantastic Four stink, and you get an entertaining and worthwhile comic book movie that is both lighthearted and enjoyable. You won’t have to think too hard during this one, and the whole thing is a visual spectacle, so you could probably watch this and scrub your 6-patriotic-cans-to-the-wind Facebook updates from yesterday at the same time.

American Dad

Yes, this is another Seth McFarlane animated show from the annoyingly titled Fox Network’s “Animation Domination.” (Motto: “These cartoons will hold you down and have their way with your face.”) Here’s the thing though, once the characters find their groves and the writing evens out a bit, it actually is a pretty decent show. A lot less reliant on non sequiturs and gross out humor than the rest of McFarlane’s fare, the stories here are actually pretty well put together. Roger, who I initially hated, ended up being one of the characters that got the most laughs out of me. I haven’t seen all of the episodes or watched them all in order, and I still have enjoyed what I’ve managed to catch. There’s something like seven seasons, so there shouldn’t be any shortage of stuff to watch. Skip the first season and just jump in during the second. If you get bored, go spray the back deck down with the hose and then pop back in. Nobody here will judge you.

American Horror Story

Did your uncle show up in his American Flag speedo again? He did didn’t he. Talk about desecration. Maybe it was your aunt’s femullet, the neighbor’s freedom cake or the patriotic eagle on the t-shirt you were given but at some point during the festivities there’s a good chance you were visually traumatized. Sure, watching this show to solve that issue is a little like breaking your own thumb do distract from the hangnail, but this is America. We go big or we go home. Also, it isn’t stated in the rules that we have to make sense so don’t count on this show revealing any new truths or laying out an intelligent thesis. This is watching crazy shit go down for the sake of watching crazy shit go down. Watch a few episodes and immediately feel better about yourself and your family. At least (probably) nobody owns a (full) gimp suit.

See Also: The Best Movies on Netflix Released Since 2012

The Way Way Back Review: Summer Reruns | Look on My Geekiness, Ye Mighty, and Despair!

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Brian Martin

    No "Red, White, & Blue"!?! But it was filmed in Austin.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    And a happy Independence Day to Canada's shorts.

  • Amy Love

    An American Tail!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Stephen Fry in America - it's a book too! (part of my patriotic coffee table display with Colbert's I Am America)


  • celery

    I just started "Stephen Fry In America" and there was a shot of him on my high school campus handing out flyers to people who were there at the same time as me. Crazy stuff.

  • John G.

    How DARE you? American Horror Story? That's crap. It's not even good crap. It's incoherent character vomit.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    ...or character masturbation. Depending on the character.

  • DarthBetty

    Stephen Fry in America is amazing. He perfectly sums up our country and the baffling and random behaviors from state to state.

  • Number 21

    I loved Captain America. As someone who watches "Venture Bros." Captain America brought back the nameless costume henchmen who get killed left and right, but, *no one* no one cares.

  • PerpetualIntern

    ...I'm gonna go hump the fridge.

  • Amanda Graham

    Damn, I thought this was going to be a 'Red Dawn' kind of list.

  • toblerone

    No Avengers or ACT Of Valor?

  • Harriet J. Hernandez

    like Marvin answered I'm taken by surprise that a person able to make $6508 in a few weeks on the computer. did you look at this web site w­w­w.C­a­n9­9.c­o­m

  • TenaciousJP

    It sounds like the main prerequisite for this list is that it has "America" in the title. Minus points for not including Coming to America, though.

  • space_oddity

    Neither has 'America' in the title. Duh.

  • foolsage

    "The Avengers" was set in America but wasn't about patriotism or about being American. "Captain America" was VERY patriotic; Steve Rogers just loves his country so darned much.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I really need Captain America 2 to get into detail about how Steve Rogers really isn't all that patriotic. They nod at it in the first and in Avengers, by having him repeatedly phrase it as an anti-bullying kind of thing, but I kinda need him to come out and say, "America? Um, yeah, love it when it's not being an asshole," or something.

    ETA: Also, note to Joss: Cap isn't a genius like Tony Stark or a god of war like Thor, but he's more than the clueless, kindhearted, doorbreaking simpleton you played him as for most of two hours. The supersoldier juice came with some smarts, too.

  • the clueless, kindhearted, doorbreaking simpleton

    Really? The guy who fought two demigods hand-to-hand and organized the police department in the Battle of New York was clueless?

    Me, I'm looking at all of the sadness and PTSD he was displaying in Avengers. I think that Cap II is going to have to deal with all of that as he travels in the 21st century.

  • foolsage

    The anti-bullying bits weren't the core of Steve's love for his country though; they were merely foreshadowing about him becoming a superhero and protecting against super-bullies. Steve loved his country so much that he kept trying to enlist, and eventually agreed to take part in a life-threatening medical experiment. That wasn't about bullies; that was about America.

  • Dave Dorris

    I did not get that at all. What I saw was someone who was dealing with an entirely different world that what he had left VERY recently and feeling a little out of place. "Ignorant" is not the same as stupid or simple. And he won't be ignorant for long.

  • Parienve8137

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт...­ ­ViewMore----------------------...

    I just started "Stephen Fry In
    America" and there was a shot of him on my high school campus handing
    out flyers to people who were there at the same time as me. Crazy stuff.

  • Lefty Mothersbaugh

    "There's only one God, ma'am, and he doesn't dress like that."
    This is the role that finally made me love Chris Evans. I can't wait for Cap II.

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