My Top 10 Picks for Netflix {WITHOUT} Kids

If you’re anything like me, at the end of a long day, you need me time. This means time to reset, recharge, and remember what’s it’s like to have a second without hearing, “Mommy, can you get me … ?”

Over the last few months, after I decided to “unplug” from the exponentially increasing cable bill, along with the grief of arguing dollars and pennies with strangers every other month, I turned to Netflix. The plans are great: for $9.99/month, you can watch one screen {I use Chromecast to move Netflix from my phone to the television}. Although the plans increase from there, with the most expensive being $11.99 per month, it affords viewers the ability to have four different screens playing at once. Even with the “Premium” plan, Netflix comes in at a whopping total of $143.88/year — which is less expensive than any SINGLE cable bill I’ve ever paid.

What’s even better? My family doesn’t miss cable at all.

Hello, Netflix! Come to Momma!

My Top 10 Picks for Netflix {WITHOUT} Kids | Houston Moms Blog

During the day, my son and I watch family fun kid shows like Transformers, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Jessie, The BFG, Bunk’d, and others. He’s never at a loss for finding new shows to watch. There are so many to choose from that he doesn’t remember to ask for Powderpuff Girls or Dexter’s Laboratory. Again: HELLO, NETFLIX!

We also watch wholesome “Mommy shows” when I get tired of listening to teenage drama. At that point, I turn on Gilmore Girls, Fuller House, Anne with an “E”, or Beauty and the Beast. Although these are focused on adult issues, they are wholesome, feel-good shows I don’t mind subjecting my child to. Beauty and the Beast is relatively newer on Netflix, and it is completely spoken in French with English subtitles, but my son and I love it. I think we’ve watched it five times this summer. There’s a beast, there’s magic, and there’s a bad guy with a golden arrow. Sadly, I have still yet to learn French.

At night, however, when my son is asleep, I’ve found myself entranced by the darker side of Netflix… shows that are as psychotic as they are exotic; shows that are as maddening as they are captivating. My sister has become as engrossed as I, so we text each other, late at night, and offer suggestions for shows to watch after we finish one series. Just like Alice, we got sucked into the rabbit’s hole on Netflix, and now we’re ensnared. 

In no particular order, here are ten Netflix shows to watch when the kiddos are sleeping…

1} The OA

I don’t know why, but when I first went down the rabbit hole of Netflix, it kept prompting me to watch shows where people get kidnapped. This was my first excursion into the psychotic realm of Netflix, and I cannot wait for the second season to release in 2018. This show is a twist between madman scientists, untouched resources of the brain, and alien conspiracy theories. After the first two or three episodes, you stop saying, “What the heck is going on?” or “Why am I watching this?” … and then you can’t come up with a reason to stop.

By then, much like the characters, you’re trapped.

2} Stranger Things

I think everyone has watched this show by now, but it still must be listed, especially since a new season debuts on Halloween of 2017. I watched it before it became widespread knowledge, and I watched it alone… which probably was a mistake. There’s a paranormal twist,  a stalker twist, an otherworldly twist, and a government conspiracy twist. The twists have twists, and it takes time to decompress what you witnessed from one show to the next. Because there’s so much thinking involved, I loved it.

3} Sense 8

Holy mother of weird psychosis. This show is… epic. I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it, and it is definitely not child appropriate. Even as a writer, I’m having trouble finding the correct words. It’s a twist on science fiction, with a dash of paranormal, and other … adult activities. Still, you become ensnared in the characters, even though most of them are involved in illegal activities or espionage.

4} The Crown

This may be the tamest show on my list, and it could probably be child-appropriate – except that they’d be complaining about how boring it is. {Read :: Boring to them.} This show captures the essence of one of the most amazingly strong and powerful women of our time. Having grown up with a carefree childhood, not being groomed for the crown, and thrown into the monarchy long before she believed it to be a possibility, Queen Elizabeth’s struggles with position, family life, marriage, and scandal have been captured for all the world to see. Be ready for a Season 2 release in November of 2017.

5} Riverdale

When I first learned that Archie Comics had come to life on Netflix, I thought, “Oh my goodness! I can watch this show with my kiddo! Wholesome high school students in a love triad, sprinkled with rainbows and glitter!”

No. Do not watch this show with your children. The producer took this show and turned it into a dark, depressing, drug-addicted version of the much-beloved comic strip and added a dash of inappropriateness for kicks and giggles. Still, I am obsessed with this show, and I have recreated every makeup look, except for Josie. I’m waiting for Date Night to try out my silver and black cat eye. Thankfully, this show will return in October.

6} The Fall

Oh my goodness, The Fall. When I finished watching this show, every thought I had was in a heavy Irish accent, and it lasted for a month. This show has three seasons, with each season having around 6 hour-long episodes each. The main character, Gibson, is a no-nonsense, semi-abrasive, detective superintendent. Even so, every man who comes in contact with her is immediately infatuated, like she’s an other-wordly goddess. This goes for the serial killer she’s hunting. Unlike most movies, where we see the killer with an outside eye, this show allows you to step into the world of the serial killer, making his atrocities seem almost normal. It’s a little bit messed up, and it will definitely play with your mind.

Oh, and it makes you want to take up swimming. 

7} Marcella

After watching The Fall, I fell in love with Marcella. The main character is a police detective who has come back to the force after an extended leave of absence so that she can hunt and capture an elusive serial killer. She’s recently divorced, with apparent anger issues, and enough psychotic breaking points that even she begins to wonder who the true serial killer is.

8} 13 Reasons Why

Some parents are choosing to watch this show with their kiddos, but those are moms with preteens, tweens, and teens. The Season 2 release date will air in 2018, which should give everyone time to decompress enough to analyze this show’s portrayal of teen bullying. I’ll admit :: it’s glamorized, and not in a good way.

This is the story of Hannah’s life and death, as told through the thirteen tapes she left for the thirteen people who most impacted her life and caused her to commit suicide. For the first few shows, I was captivated by the scar on young Clay’s forehead, believing its non-healing presence to be a literary device for inner turmoil. Then I realized it was just a way for past and present to easily be determined. Bummer.

Still, I’m eagerly awaiting the next season.

9} Iron Fist

I love the main actor, Finn Jones, because he’s perfected Batman’s voice, and he has used it to play the Iron Fist. Iron Fist is part of the Marvel Universe, so they make references to the Hulk and other Marvel characters. This is a show about Danny Rand’s struggle for identity in not only himself, but himself as a human weapon. It’s wrapped in the world of martial arts, which makes it action-packed. After watching this show, I have a tangible need to begin Tai Chi.

10} Orange is the New Black

Only if you’ve been living under a rock have you not heard of Orange is the New Black, but I added it to the list because the latest season has come out. Now, this season has got to be, by far, the worst season I’ve ever been subjected to, and if it had been the first season, I would have stopped after the first show. However, it’s OITNB, so how can I refuse? 

After finding myself in the wormhole of the darkly exotic, adult Netflix, I have to admit that I am addicted. I love the lure, the danger, and the knowledge that I’m tucked safely into my bed while I watch these shows. It also helps that I have my sister to text questions like, “Did you see Episode 3 at 4:58? OMG!”

Up next on my list is Crossing Lines, Jessica Jones, Reign, Salem, The Immigrant, Versailles, and Bokeh

Which grown-ups only Netflix shows have captivated you? 

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J.M. hails from everywhere and nowhere, all at once. She is the product of a man who served his country well, and a mother who learned to wrangle three children, for thirteen years, across six military bases worldwide. She resides in Houston where she has established a wonderful life full of happiness and joy, while holding onto a multitude of time-consuming jobs. The one thing that brings warmth to her heart is her loving son Conner {September 2009}, whom she refers to as Tiny Tot. She is a proud alumna of Louisiana State University, where she served in many leadership positions, the most important of which was a Colorguard Captain in The Golden Band from Tigerland. Although her love of learning and literature produced a degree in education, she is currently an autotransfusionist and part-time professor for the Department of College Preparatory at San Jacinto. She enjoys sports photography and baking on the weekends, along with being a freelance writer, blogger, and writer of women’s fiction. Her most recent crowning achievement is her novel, A Soul Divided, which is available for purchase on Amazon.



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