Posts Tagged With: Netflix

Bill Nye Saves the World

Bill Nye has been educating children about science for decades.  This year, he has moved on to adults with his Netflix original show Bill Nye Saves the World.

This week, I watched all thirteen episodes.  They follow a particular formula.  First, Bill Nye introduces his topic in a fun way that makes it easy to understand.  He shows some science, then one of his correspondents tells a relevant story from another place.  He brings on a panel of experts to discuss the issue. He tends to conclude the show with a guest star or a joke video.  It’s funny but there’s an underlying message: it proves its relevance to the modern day.

There are a lot of things I love about this show.  Bill Nye is very aware of representation, using women and minority correspondents and experts.  Every show is a different topic, but he always comes back to the scientific process: how we make an observation, make a hypothesis, experiment, and then try to duplicate the results in order to find a solution.  With his panel of experts, he proves that it is okay, even good, to ask questions.

I also love his “Bill needs a minute” segments, where he is overcome with emotion (usually anger) and talks about the issue and why he finds it ridiculous.  Plus, oh my god, the DAD JOKES!  (“Paraphrasing my colleague Jay-Z, it’s not one problem, it’s 99 problems, and they’re all…difficult.”  About his ankle: “I’m attached to it.”  They’re cheesy and kind of hilarious in a really horrible way.)

This is not a kids’ show, and he repeats that a lot.  It’s for adults.  One of my complaints is that he sometimes forgets who his audience is…or maybe I am.  Most of his show is for my generation, the millennials who know there are problems in the world and want to help fix them.  But much of it is proving these things are problems in the first place, which makes it seem like he’s talking to the skeptics and those who disagree with him.  Sometimes he (or his guests, but he doesn’t edit it out) insults those people pretty harshly.  While he has a reputation for disagreeing with creationists and Global Warming deniers, if he wanted this show to bridge the gap and inform those people, he should have approached them more kindly.  Instead, he only enforces the believes of those who already agreed with him and maybe just wanted more information.

Bill Nye has come a long way from his Science Guy days.  In this show, he switches between his lab coat and a blazer, showing when he is in “scientist” mode and when he is in “politician” mode.  His show is called Bill Nye Saves the World because its purpose is to encourage his audience to learn from his show and effect change.

All of it is fun to watch, but some of the episodes are more important than others.  I believe everyone should watch the episodes on global warming, vaccination, pseudo-science, and the sexual spectrum.  We can learn a lot from Bill, and maybe it really will help us save the world.

Categories: Politics and Social Issues, Tuesday Update | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

5 Shows to Binge-Watch on Netflix

I’ve had difficulty blogging this month.  The truth is, nothing is really happening in my life right now.  I’m still waiting on my car, I’m still waiting on a grad school dcision, I’m still waiting on a job to come through.  I was supposed to go to England this week, but there was an abrupt change of plans.  I havn’t even been reading much.  (Yes, I AM in a bad headspace, thanks for asking.)

I am going to try to plan better so I am less likely to get stuck for a topic and more likely to blog on time.  Maybe it won’t help, but I’m going to try.  For instance, next week I’ll be blogging about Beauty and the Beast.

In the meantime, if you’re bored and/or depressed and need something to binge-watch on Netflix, here’s what I’m watching right now.

  1. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
    love this Netflix-original.  I avoided it for a while (for reasons I no longer remember) but watched both seasons in the last week.  It is bright and sunny and features a main character who is allowed to be both determinedly tough and adorably innocent.  It handles trauma and hardships with humor without dimiishing them.  Basically, it’s the sweetest show about a survivor you’ll ever watch.
  2. iZombie
    A zombie show where the protagonist is the zombie, this one is a mix between a police-procedural show and a drama.  Neither is a genre I usually tune in for, but iZombie is funny and exciting and I love the characters.  I couldn’t stop because I kept needing to know what happened next.  Plus, the supernatural element added a unique layer.  In most zombie stories, everything goes to shit immediately.  Instead, iZombie asks, “How could one live among us?”
  3. A Series of Unfotunate Events
    I wrote a brief review of the first season following its release, but a second one was just announced.  Yay!  (The announcement is written in typical Snicket fashion.)  A recap: Neil Patric Harris is hilariously creepy and creepily hilarious.  Patrick Warburton narrates in the same style as the books, which enhances the drama.  And the story itself manages to be fun (despite its horrors) due to the lovable Baudelaire children and the sprinkled clues that will add up to the final mystery.
  4. The West Wing
    This show has gained many new watchers since the inauguration.  It’s another one with the perfect combination of humor and drama and characters you’ll love.  I’m still hoping for a modern reboot (President Donna Moss, anyone?) but am happy to keep watching this one over and over.  If nothing else, it keeps hope alive.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why?” President Bartlett says.  “Because it’s the only thing that ever has,” Bailey answers.  This show really made me believe that.
  5. Phineas and Ferb
    (Let’s be real: I’m always watching Phineas and Ferb.)  If you need a laugh, if you need something clever, if you need something to take you back and remind you of the good old days when your biggest question was “What will we do for summer vacation?” and you HAD a summer vacation…here you go.  It’s easy and fun to watch, but also smart.  It always makes me happy.  Sometimes you need something like that.

There you go.  If you need a distraction, or just a new story, these shows are great for that.  Enjoy!

Categories: Tuesday Update | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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