Netflix has evolved from an easy and inexpensive cable alternative to a cultural phenomenon over the past few years, and it’s still growing.
Netflix has been rapidly gathering more and more online content for instant streaming, from widely popular TV shows to independent films, and has even begun producing Netflix Originals. With a wide variety of content to suit any interest, many have succumbed to Netflix addictions and days of binge-watching. But Netflix has also spawned a new term: “Netflix and chill.”
This phrase refers to inviting someone over under the pretense of watching Netflix together, when one actually wants to play Netflix in the background while attempting to engage in lewd activities with the other person. But this phrase, for those single folk out there, can actually mean chilling and watching Netflix by yourself, with no pressure to snuggle with anyone but your stuffed animals.
But whether you choose to Netflix and chill by yourself or with friends, here are some suggestions for what to play in the background while you fiddle with your smartphone.
The Ultimate Girl-Power Movie: “Bridget Jones’s Diary”
Since its release in 2001, this romantic comedy, loosely based on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” has accompanied many a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s a go-to post-breakup movie, or just something to make you laugh with your friends until the wine you’re pairing with that ice cream comes out your nose. Renee Zellweger will steal your heart as Bridget Jones, and it doesn’t hurt that the two leading men are early-2000s Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.
This movie is also based upon the novel of the same name by Helen Fielding, which was widely successful in the U.K. as well as the U.S. The diary format of the book comes through in the film as Bridget’s narration.
A Rompy Comedy to watch with friends: “The League”
Even if you’re not into fantasy football, this show is a hilarious portrayal of several friends and their families. We all have a friend that is like each of the characters, each dysfunctional in their own way. Originally shown on the FX network, each episode is only 20-25 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick homework break to lighten your spirits before getting back to work.
For those who are into football, there are various cameos by actual pro-football players as well. It stars Nick Kroll and Paul Scheer, who will have you in stitches as Ruxin and Andre. From mistaking drugs for sugar, to a child’s pet hamster finding its way into the Thanksgiving turkey, this show promises to surprise with each episode.
If you love the classics: “Roman Holiday”
Starring film icon Audrey Hepburn, this black-and-white film is about a princess who runs off on her own in Rome and befriends a journalist, played by Gregory Peck. While she hides her identity, they explore the city together as Peck’s character tries to find a story.
First released in 1953, this classic is sure to please Audrey fans of all generations, and is a great introduction to black-and-white film to those who may be hesitant. The acting is incredible, and you should watch it to get an impeccable tour of 1950s Rome, if nothing else.
If you’re looking for adventure: “The Physician”
Set in 11th century England and Persia, a young man travels for over a year to find a celebrated physician to learn his trade and bring modern medicine back to his homeland. The young man disguises himself as a Jew, as the physician’s school does not admit Christians. Tom Payne and Ben Kingsley don’t disappoint, and this film is full of excellent acting and tells a moving story.
There is plenty of action and intrigue, as well as a romantic sub-plot, so there is a little bit of something for every interest. Though watch out if you have a weak stomach, because there’s plenty of violence and gore and recreations of medieval medical procedures.