A Farewell To the Best Titles on Netflix
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It seems like every other week there is a news article about the next popular movie or TV show that’s leaving a popular streaming service. Though it’s easy to blame the company if our favorite show from the “Continue Watching” list on Netflix is gone, this is just the way licensing deals work. We can’t help but accept our fate as our favorite TV shows leave, such as when “Friends” (1994-2004) left Netflix last year. That said, this holiday season marks the end for some of Netflix’s best titles, as they leave by the end of the year.
The Office (2005-2013)
“The Office,” an all-time favorite mockumentary sitcom, is a series that captures the journey of typical office workers at a mediocre paper company in 20-minute episodes. Throughout nine seasons, “The Office” landed 42 Emmy nominations and won a whopping total of five. Due to its tightly-packed jokes in the low-stakes background, the show has an irreplaceable quality. The show has an accessible kind of humor, offering comfort when people need a reprieve from their busy schedules. Yet, the show is unfortunately leaving Netflix by the end of 2020 for NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock. The show’s concluding episodes, “Michael Leaves,” “Finale,” and “Jim and Dwight have Heart to Heart” are especially bittersweet, pulling at the heart strings of avid viewers, especially now that the show is about to leave.
Though no TV show is a perfect replacement for “The Office,” there are still alternatives that are as lovably goofy. If you enjoyed Erin’s cheerful, optimistic, and childlike naivete in “The Office,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (2015-2019) features the same actor, Ellie Kemper, as Kimmy Schmidt with a similar personality. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” transforms an abuse survivor narrative into a light-hearted comedy showcasing Kimmy’s sunny but tough character that inspires us to see good in the world.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Filmmaker Joe Wright’s “Pride & Prejudice” is by far the best film on Netflix. The overflowing chemistry between the main leads, the nuanced face expressions and body language, and the captivating use of color craft an ideal Jane Austen film. The film utilizes the Kuleshov effect, when viewers derive more meaning from the interaction between two sequential shots in a film rather than a single shot alone. When a close-up of Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt face is followed by Elizabeth Bennett’s, the viewers sense Mr. Darcy’s love for Elizabeth though no words are spoken. This film editing technique vividly encapsulates the romance, satire, and wit of the story. Along with the editing, the soundtrack of “Pride & Prejudice” is one of a kind. The soundtrack’s elegant melodies accentuate the visuals, adding another layer to the romantic and dreamy atmosphere. With this adaptation leaving Netflix at the end of the year, there are only so many nights left to fantasize about true love and happily-ever-afters.
“Pride & Prejudice” is the most memorable period film to watch on Netflix, but “Lady J” (2018) comes at a close second. “Lady J” is a French drama in which a widow assembles a plan to get revenge on a marquis who breaks her heart. Though the heartwarming tone of “Pride & Prejudice” doesn’t match the manipulative one of “Lady J,” the beautiful scenery from both films draws a wide audience.
Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
“Gossip Girl” is a series outlining the lives of privileged teenagers on the Upper East Side. Though the dramatic series ended eight years ago, it still remains iconic on Netflix today. From unrealistic family drama to manipulative relationships, “Gossip Girl” is able to encapsulate the recklessness and immature actions that exemplify the teenage years. Though most can’t help binging the series every once in a while, it looks like Netflix is finally texting XOXO to our favorite drama. All six seasons are leaving by the end of the year, but rumor has it that the next generation of Manhattan elite teens will be back on TV by 2021 on HBO Max.
“Gossip Girl” has long been a staple for Netflix, but we can instead turn to similar movies and shows such as “Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003) or “Outer Banks” (2020-). Like “Gossip Girl,” “Dawson’s Creek” is an American teen drama television series about the lives and journey of a close-knit group of friends from high school to college. The show was released over 20 years ago but brings back the innocence and simplicity we can hope to feel today. The 10-episode “Outer Banks” series is also about a close-knit group of friends from high school. From soapy romance to a heart-racing treasure hunt, these shows are bound to keep you on the edge of your seat.
As 2020 draws to a close, these are the movies and TV shows to watch before you are forced to buy a subscription to another streaming service. Though our time on Netflix with these popular and nostalgic titles are coming to an end, we’ll always remember the life-long lessons, romance, and laughter they offered.