What Should My Kids and I Watch on Netflix?
This post is sponsored by Netflix, a service to which I have already been a subscriber.
I need a movie to watch on Netflix
What to watch on Netflix tonight?
I need a movie to watch on Netflix.
What’s good to watch on Netflix?
Search “Netflix” on Twitter (The Google of Conversation™) on any given night and you’ll find that one out of 10 tweets (my non-scientific assessment) is basically a call for recommendations on Netflix.
However, over the past two weeks we’ve seen a new and separate common refrain on Twitter regarding Netflix:
Hey, @Netflix, where did Dora and Blue Clues go?
@Netflix why did you take SpongeBob away?
NETFLIX GOT RID OF YO GABBA GABBA. WHAT THE. WHY.
(Also, of course, everyone has been tweeting and writing about the return of Arrested Development, now original programming by and exclusively for Netflix. Despite tepid and mixed reviews, I will watch continue to watch AD.)
Let’s just say that Netflix has been trending big on Twitter for the past week and highly discussed on Facebook as well.
So, what happened to Dora, Blues Clues, Wonder Pets, et al shows on Netflix?
In short, these are all Nickelodeon programs, and thus owned by Viacom. And, Netflix and Viacom didn’t renew their licensing deal. I was at Netflix’s office last week with a team of other online parenting writers and met Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer. As a group, we pointedly asked him about the Nickelodeon shows and why they were coming down. He told us that as Netflix renews its deals it needs to make choices all the time. When looking at the Nickelodeon library, they were paying for the kitchen sink (my words) when in fact they only want specific shows, the ones that Netflix members are actually watching. My takeaway is that I wouldn’t be surprised if we see certain Nick shows back on Netflix eventually.
The good news is that with recently struck deals with Disney and Dreamworks, Netflix has added more kids programming to their library than has come down because of the Nickelodeon/Viacom deal expiring.
One of Ted Sarandos’ final remarks was that “keeping [Netflix] members happy is key.” So, that got me thinking about the kids shows and movies that YOU would like to see on Netflix (my own requests to Netflix are below). Please turn my comments section into your suggestion box.
But first, let’s look at what current programming (for kids and adults) I would recommend on Netflix. My son is ten going on 16, so cartoons don’t appeal to him anymore (except SpongeBob). But, below are my picks given what my son and I have enjoyed in the past and what I think looks fantastic.
Recommendations of Fun Kids TV selections on Netflix
Phineas and Ferb
The Busy World of Richard Scarry
Bob the Builder (my son was obsessed as a toddler)
Doctor Who (for older kids)
Family Ties (for older kids)
My Little Pony (I have never watched, but Rebecca, who I trust, tells me it’s fantastic and she’s raising her own Brony).
Kickin’ It (for older kids)
How It’s Made (TV Series fact-based educational series demonstrates how all sorts of items are constructed)
Netflix Kids Movies I think are/look awesome
The Muppet Movie
The Bad News Bears
Daddy Day Care
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Red Balloon
First Position (documentary— not in kids section. For older kids)
Mad Hot Ballroom (documentary—not in kids section. For older kids)
Pressure Cooker (documentary—not in kids section. For older kids)
Bully (documentary—not in Kids section. For tweens.)
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (I hear this a compelling documentary for kids and adults alike)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (for tweens)
Suggestions for Additions to Netflix Kids Programming
Charlie & Lola (my son is too old, but I adored this British cartoon)
My So-Called Life
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Night at the Museum
The Iron Giant
A Little Princess
The Dark Crystal
Stand By Me
The Cosby Show
I think I understand why folks say that they “don’t know what to watch on Netflix.” Overwhelmed by choices? Not only is my recommendation list of TV shows and movies on Netflix (below) super long, my Netflix queue (also below) is out of control. (all I want to do right now is watch “House of Cards“.) Anyway, for those grown-ups seeking recommendations for movies and TV shows on Netflix, hope these lists are helpful. Please to enjoy:
TV Shows & Movies on Netflix You Should See
House of Cards (Original programming by and exclusively for Netflix)
The Walking Dead
Luther (F*** Yeah, Idris Elba)
American Horror Story (don’t watch alone. so scary. so great.)
Friday Night Lights
Exit Through the Gift Shop
The King’s Speech
The Hunger Games
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
In the Name of the Father
My Left Foot
Boyz N The Hood
Far From Heaven
TV Shows & Movies on Netflix that I’m Excited to Watch
Call The Midwife
Sons of Anarchy
The West Wing
Freaks and Geeks
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Tiny Furniture (by Lena Dunham)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Drive (yes, Ryan Gosling)
Blue Valentine (yes, Ryan Gosling again)
Harmony (Yunjin Kim and I went to high school together—she’s a STAR in Korea)
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down!
Friends with Kids
Farewell My Concubine
Yes, my recommendation lists skew more to TV programs than movies. Every night, my husband and I prefer to stay home in bed and binge-watch our latest TV show crush than the vast majority of movies in the theaters. It’s no secret that TV programming has been kicking movies’ butts for the past dozen years in terms of creativity and originality. Netflix’s programming library reflects that reality and for $8 per month (coupled with the fact that every internet-ready device in my home can stream Netflix) it’s a compelling service for us.
Now it’s time to tell me here what programming (particularly kids) that you think should be on Netflix.