The best. The Crown. Not just for performances or production; the scripts of The Crown they have ambition. There is always a historical fact, and emotional, ethical or personal issues are also at stake. This double layer means that a series on monarchy (in the XXI century) is not simply gossip, it is a reflection on human beings. And in the meantime, very few have that reflection.
Worst. There are some that I didn’t even want to see, like Marco Polo O Iron Fist. But from what I saw, I think an epic waste of talent and script would be Gypsy (2017), the series about Naomi Watts as a psychologist, who was bad and fome, all at the same time.
The best. Los Meyerowitz (2017): There are all kinds of Netflix originals to highlight (The Irish, Roma, Mindhunter, Hannah Gadsby: Nanette or the great tragedy of BoJack Horseman), but I think this underrated Noah Baumbach movie deserves recognition. He has the same look full of truth, absurdity and melancholy that he later explored with the divorce process in Story of a marriage –From the emotional intensity to the banality of the bureaucracy–, but focused on the illness and death of the father. Great performances by Elizabeth Marvel, Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler (!), Irony and brutality in their portrayal of toxic relationships, a small and ambitious film at the same time. 100% recommendable.
Most disappointing. Maniac (2018): It is by no means the worst of Netflix, but personally I found it a great disappointment if you take into account the amount of talent involved. Jonah Hill, Emma Stone and Justin Theroux have shone in different roles in multiple previous works (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Favorite, The Leftovers, to name a few), Cary Fukunaga directed the iconic first season of True detective and the premise seemed to give as much freedom as possible to do whatever they wanted. Finally, what there is is bottomless form, the worst vices of the Netflix algorithm, content that is only content. If you are looking for narrative labyrinths, it is much more recommended I think of the endby Charlie Kaufman, on the same platform.
The best. Breaking bad. It’s the perfect script, from start to finish. With characters so well constructed, that anyone could have their own series (in fact, the spin off Better call Saul it’s another genius). They are endearing even in their twisted ways of approaching the wicked, in varying intensities (there are very few innocents here). Fascinating and at the same time chillingly close. Evil, that which nests in the human being, masterfully portrayed. The weaknesses and temptations, what injustices do in us. It does not decline in any minute of its 62 episodes. The story steadily escalates in dramatic intensity, building a world that leaves even the most seasoned viewer astonished.
Worst. Just as I could include other very good ones among the best, I also have several candidates among the worst, but I think the one that wins is Freud. A disappointment from start to finish. Pretentious, empty, a silver dump to build expensive and elaborate sets and scenographic elements that end up being recharged and distracting. Content, nothing! Narratively erratic. Having so much! what to get from an icon not only from the 20th century but from humanity.
The best. Leaving aside Breakind bad, The Crown and House of cards, which at this point are unbeatable classics and that I imagine several will name, I am left with two little comedy gems: Community, which is a master class on how genre hybridization works in script, and Atlanta. Chapter seven of the first season I still can’t get over it. And well, BoJack Horseman, which left me with tears when it finished. Honorable Mentions for Vikings, Peaky Blinders, Wild wild country and The staircase.
Worst. Far, but far, even leaving those insufferable clumsy kids based on how much idea Stephen King wrote on a napkin, it’s Fuller house. I saw it out of curiosity, not that I was a fan of the original series, but it was a regular on my childhood TV. It is so bad and encourages that all it does is highlight how impressively good it is Horsin’ Around. It is as if it had been copied.
The best. House of cards It was the starting point of Netflix, but after a great first season, it fell off the cliff from the second cycle. In this decade they have released good fictions such as The Crown, Sex education, Lady’s gambit and several others, but for me there are three that are masterpieces. I can’t pick just one and these three are Netflix Originals: Master of none, Mindhunter and BoJack Horseman. Three very different, but which have in common the exploration of the narrative, bringing extraordinary scripts that look like novels to the screen, creators who made them thinking, apparently, of something that went beyond whether the public liked it or not, and that in comedy, drama and animation they marked a milestone.
Worst. It is also difficult for me to choose just one, so I go with three: Iron Fist, For 13 reasons and Marco Polo. In all three cases, there is an exaggeration in serving the adolescent audience, without a high quality bar, which has caused series that are embarrassing to air. Iron Fist, perhaps, it is the most emblematic, the point at which one thought: “I hope Marvel ends its alliance with them.”
The best. Among what I have personally liked most about this decade of Netflix, I especially highlight some of its feature films. There are documentaries that I found very successful, such as What happened, Miss Simone? (2015) and in particular those that address contingent social issues, such as The death and life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017), On the edge of democracy (2019) or the Oscar winner American Factory (2019). But what has excited me the most about the platform has come from fiction, both in the excellent Roma (2018), by Alfonso Cuarón, which they acquired to distribute when it was ready, like the original productions, especially the magnificent The Irish (2019), by Scorsese -a film that I believe will grow more and more with the passage of time-, and the notable recent works of Noah Baumbach, Los Meyerowitz (2017) e Story of a marriage (2019). But if there was a title for which moviegoers should be especially grateful to Netflix, even if it was not in its genesis that dates back several decades, it is undoubtedly the possibility that the platform gave us to finally be able to release the almost mythical Across the wind (2018), by Orson Welles, a legendary film that by now we thought we could never see.
Most disappointing. Among what I have not liked or have been disappointed in, there is even more to choose from, and I do not know if it will be due to the programmatic effect that the pandemic generated with an extra abundance of productions and platforms, but I think that last year it especially left several examples in this area, in particular among the new series; and from there, without hesitation, among what I liked the least is what Ryan Murphy has been producing lately, in particular Hollywood and Ratched, very attractive in its period recreation and with stellar castings, but quite unsuccessful and weak in the plot and narrative. And at a short distance, I would also add productions that did not live up to expectations, such as Space Force or the spanish Someone has to die.
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10 years of Netflix in Chile: what is the best and the worst we saw on the platform