Five Netflix originals to watch today


Stella Pavao

Netflix has been releasing original content since 2012. Now the content produced ranges between various genres and formats.

Although initially a platform for streaming outside content, Netflix has quickly become a powerhouse for producing original materials. Here are five recommendations on five Netflix originals you should watch next. 

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

“The White Album” and “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” author Joan Didion is immortalized in this 2017 documentary. “The Center Will Not Hold” follows Didion’s life and career, from studying at the University of California, Berkeley, to receiving the National Medal of Arts in 2013. Didion flips through old photos alongside nephew Griffin Dunne as she reflects on her prolific career and gives a look into her struggles while reporting on San Francisco during the 1970s.

I initially watched “The Center Will Not Hold” on a whim, not knowing what to expect, but I walked away with a new interest in Didion’s writing. This documentary gives an intimate insight into a writer often portrayed as a cynic. Instead, it shows her as not only a prolific reporter but also a loving mother and wife. This documentary is not reserved for fans of Didion’s writing, and I would recommend it to anyone with an hour and a half to spare.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive

For the past four Formula One racing seasons, Netflix has had cameras stationed at Grand Prix circuits across the globe. Each season follows 20 drivers across ten teams as they vie for one spot as World Drivers’ Champion. This docuseries brought a new audience to classic brands such as Ferrari and McLaren and modernized racing through the usage of larger-than-life personalities and first-hand accounts of the multi-billion dollar sport.

It doesn’t matter whether you have followed multiple seasons of Formula One or have never watched a race in your life; the suspense and competition shown in this show alone make it worth a watch. Season four of “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” will be released on March 11. 

Inventing Anna

This drama miniseries is inspired by the meteoric rise and fall of Anna Delvey (Julia Garner) in New York high society. Delvey was convicted in 2019 of second-degree grand larceny, theft of services, and first-degree attempted grand larceny. She had conned New York’s elite all while racking up large tabs at the fanciest restaurants and hotels.

Delvey’s story first caught attention in 2017 for her exaggerated court persona. She was known for her flashing lawyer and failure to appear in court because she did not like her outfit. The series follows Delvey’s adventures as she conned New York’s elite and her subsequent trial through the eyes of reporter Vivian Kent (Anna Chulmsky).

Anna Delvey is one of the most fascinating characters that Netflix has produced in a long time. The best part? She is real! Delvey’s schemes are not just a figment of Shonda Rhimes’ imagination.

The campy plot and characters coupled with the distinctly Russian-German-valley girl accent that Garner mastered make this miniseries worth a watch. The show starts slow, with the first episode acting as background more than anything, but once the plot started rolling, it did not stop until the end credits of the ninth episode.

tick, tick… BOOM!

Jonathan Larson’s story is finally told in “tick, tick…BOOM!” The musical biopic follows as Larson (Andrew Garfield) lives as a struggling playwright in New York City before his untimely death in 1996. Trying to get his first musical produced, the future “Rent” playwright endures relationship problems and a growing feeling of hopelessness over the career he has chosen to pursue.“tick, tick…BOOM!” takes place during the height of the AIDS epidemic. He is left to face the loss of his friends and peers, all while trying to make it as a playwright and find success in show business.

The soundtrack alone makes this movie worth a watch. Whether an emotional ballad or an upbeat opening tune, Lin Manuel Miranda strikes again in creating spectacular Broadway-inspired songs. I also found it so personal that Larson’s work was incorporated into his biopic. This movie is an excellent watch for the whole family!

Someone Great

Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) and her boyfriend (LaKeith Stanfield) break up before making a life-changing cross-country move. She then enlists the help of her friends (Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise) for one final night in New York City. In their search for tickets to their favorite music festival, they encounter exes, old friends, and drug dealing drag queens. 

“Someone Great” is a rare occasion of a non-high school coming-of-age movie. This movie paints a vivid picture of female friendship. All three leading ladies come into their own in different ways. The film packs an emotional punch, paired with a great soundtrack featuring Lorde and Pheobe Bridgers.