How to keep those brain cells from dying when you’re on a Netflix binge…
If you’re not into super into Netflix sometimes…. you’re probably lying to yourself and to us. Stop it right now.
Luckily, instead of letting your life waste away on season after season of your fave TV drama (but seriously so worth it), here are some of our favorite documentaries that won’t leave you feeling like “omg did I just spend 9 hours re-watching seasons 1-5 of Grey’s Anatomy for 6th time?”
VF Approved Netflix Documentaries
1- Chef’s Table
Seriously put your foodie hat on for this. With two seasons, each episode features one famous chef. Honestly each episode is almost…. emotional.?A whole hour of our favorite chef’s lives, how they came to creating michelin star restaurants, how they have trained, what they hope for. What inspires them. Each episode is a work of art. No joke. I mean… David Gelb, who directed this series, also directed Jiro Dreams of Sushi (also on this list) and he is INCREDIBLY TALENTED. You’ll just have to see for yourself!
Season 2 features Dominique Crenn who owns two restaurants here in SF. If you weren’t already a fan before, this will quickly convert you! And the way she talks about San Francisco is just beautiful…
2- Chelsea Does…
I LOVED this series: short, sweet and leaves you wanting more. Also such a different side of Chelsea Handler that we get to see and it makes me love her so much more! She throws herself into exploring four different topics of interest: drugs, marriage, racism and Silicon Valley and it’s culture. And like a true journalist, she puts herself in REAL situations… so she tells these stories in first person (like how we cover things for VF.) Imagine watching her in a fetal position having tried a drug with a shaman in a yurt in Peru. If that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I don’t know what will. It’s definitely insightful in many ways.
3- The Search for General Tso
I was lucky enough to see this in theater and was completely floored. Get this: every time you go somewhere (a city, a suburban town, middle of nowhere Arkansas, Europe..) there is always a Chinese restaurant, right? And if you eat there, there is always a General Tso chicken entree right? And is it not spelled differently EVERY SINGLE TIME? General gao, general tsao, general tso, general tsoa, general gaus, general gau, general zao. And somehow they ALL TASTE THE SAME! What is the origin? What is general to chicken? Is there a proper way to spell it? Gotta watch this documentary. So so cool.
4- Jiro Dreams of Sushi
BRACE YOURSELF FOR THIS MAGIC. Even if you aren’t a man of sushi or raw foods or even if you hate food (who hates food?), you will appreciate this beautiful, beautiful work. I mean honestly you feel like you’re a part of this family. I mean who doesn’t want a full documentary on the michelin star restaurant: Sukiyabashi Jiro. (??!) Jiro literally spent his career perfecting every aspect of sushi. We get to spend his days with him at the market in finding the right fish, we learn about how he trains his sous-chefs and what his legacy will leave. The detail that goes into the dining experience. It’s insane. My favorite part: learning how one should properly eat sushi. Because drool… and you will quickly learn that you are nowhere near as classy as you thought you were. Additionally, this director truly creates a masterpiece with his films and you’re left in complete awe of the stories he tells.
5- Backstreet Boys: Show Em What You’re Made Of
Bring on all the #tbts and all the tissues and all the feels. Because the guys from BSB take you to their hometowns and talk to us about their upbringing and what their lives were like before they became the one of the single most amazing boy bands ever and how it has changed their lives. The magnitude of their fame at the height of it all is NUTS. This film is like getting all the answers that were left unanswered by your FIRST crush in a documentary. And the music!! Gotta love the music.
[[ Rad’s TED TALKS recommendations – insightful theme ]]
[[ Katey’s Youtube video recommendations – powerful women theme ]]