With everything that's happened this year, most of us have spent over 3 months in "lockdown". It's the perfect excuse to catch-up on some Netflix and just binge watch episode after episode after episode...
Some days, I’m just so lazy that I just lay in bed and watching shows like this:
To make things more productive (and interesting), I decided to incorporate some educational content to value-add to my usual Netflix binging sessions.
Here's my list of the top 5 shows you should watch if you wanna get in on some of that big brain action too.
1. History 101
What really caught my eye was the first 2 episodes which were Fast Food and Space Race.
If you always wondered how the fast food industry came about, the episode really goes really in depth on how it all came together since the early days in America and how it evolved to what it is today.
It’s also interesting to see fast food trends changing with other trends, such as the car craze in the 1950s, with the drive through created specifically to meet this demand. When people became more health conscious, fast food had to change and evolve as well as to combat rising rates of obesity.
I won’t spoil the whole episode but I learnt quite a lot from this episode alone. The next one is the space race and you can see how and why the 2 major powers of the world were trying to get a man in space. (Hint, it’s not the same reason as what they’re doing now!)
In a bid for consumerism, this series explores the effects of consumerism on our global supply of food, and how that affects the daily lives of everyday people and the world.
Let’s just say it’s not pretty. The series does get a little dark at certain points of times that it really opened up my eyes.
The most memorable episode to me was the one where they went deep into poultry farming. Most of us who aren’t vegetarian eat chicken regularly or almost daily, but do you know how this meat gets shipped from farm to table?
That episode is called Big Bird, and it went into quite a lot of things, including one instance where the farmers were sabotaged and couldn’t really recover financially due to it.
There’s many other episodes as well, and it shows you who or what controls some of the supplies of certain food in the world.
If you’re wondering if there’s really child labour working in the chocolate industry, then you definitely need to catch this series to see if that’s really true or not!
3. 100 Humans
Ok, I just realised this article was becoming too dark, too soon so let’s dial it back a little bit.
This series here is called 100 Humans, and it’s really a big science experiment where researchers gathered 100 humans (duh) of various demographics such as sex, age, race.
After which, they put these humans through a series of science experiments to answer the questions on everyone’s mind like…
“Does the man that dance the best have the highest sperm count?”
“Does time really flies when you are having fun?”
“Does good looks keep you out of jail?”
Let’s just say they keep things fun and every episode has a different overall arching theme, and then they consolidate it at the end of the episode.
Also, it will probably answer some weird questions you may have had at the back of your brain. But one things for sure, I conclude that humans are indeed very superficial after watching the entire series 😂
In case you are wondering what kind of things happen in the show, I've included some WTF moments that may contain some spoilers in the vid above!
4. Inside Bill’s Brain
We all know Bill Gates as the man behind one of the most well known brands, Microsoft. But did you know he stepped down from leading the company and the board of directors long ago?
I would call this ‘series’ an extended movie as there’s only 3 episodes which are each about 60 minutes in length.
Each episode ‘tackles’ a topic that Bill has been actively pursuing. Throughout the entire series, it also documents his journey growing up and how he founded Microsoft.
In case you didn’t know, Bill Gates has his own foundation established with his wife called the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organisations main purpose is to tackle the world’s biggest problems, such as the sanitation issues in countries that are lacking it.
The series also portrays how he lives life day to day, while showcasing his thought processes at different stages of his life.
One thing that that you should know about Bill Gates that this movie didn’t cover was that he sort of predicted a pandemic like COVID-19 would happen sooner or later, and that humanity wasn’t prepared for it
And he’s 100% right. He covered this in the TED talk back in 2015.
I’m pretty sure that as of writing this article, he’s definitely finding solutions to solve the COVID-19 problem as well.
This series is definitely great if you don’t want to spend too much time on a series or just want to finish it in one sitting.
This series is probably one of the best series that Netflix has developed so far in terms of learning something new.
This series goes into popular topics such as music, why women are paid less and diamonds. Most of the topics that are explained really break it down very simply that everyone can understand.
One example would be the Stock Market episode. For those who don’t do any trading or investing may think it’s a seriously complex topic, and I agree that it is.
However, the series manages to make it so simple and breaks down the components of a stock market with an example of a child opening a lemonade stand. With it being so simple, it’s much easier to grasp the concepts like stocks, IPO, franchising and how it corresponds to the stock prices in the stock market.
In fact, it’s so good that there’s sub-categories of this series such as The Mind Explained and Sex Explained. The more recent one that I feel everyone should watch is Coronavirus Explained which goes into how the virus is, and the 2nd episode on how the race for a vaccine is happening.
For those without Netflix, you’re in luck because there’s a few full episodes for free on Youtube that are published by Netflix officially!
Netflix and LEARN!
WIth these 5 recommendations, at least you can now Netflix in peace without feeling like you wasted the whole day!
There are definitely more that I came across in the full Netflix catalogue but these are the series that really stood out for me personally.
Have you watched any of these shows so far or do you think there’s another series on Netflix that everyone should know about? Definitely share with me in the comments, as I’m always looking to learn more while being entertained!
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