It’s hard to beat blazing down a fat joint and streaming your favorite shows. So, for this article, we’re doing just that. So grab a joint, pick something to watch from the list, and do you. Now I know that this list isn’t exhaustive and likely Netflix will put out 3 or 4 new originals before I even finish writing this, but I think I’ve been able to curate a list of great choices for you. That way, if you’re already baked and don’t know what to watch, you can always peek back at this article. Here are my top 15 picks right now on Netflix across a few different genres and one honorable mention for each category. It was really difficult to narrow it down to just two for each category, especially when it comes to documentaries. I’m a huge doc fan so if you ever need more suggestions there or want to talk about your favorite doc, hit me up on Instagram @fortheloveofsmoke. Now grab your snacks, turn on the TV, pick a show for your viewing pleasure and enjoy!
The Characters is a 2016 comedy series currently with only one season from Netflix showcasing the hilarious minds of eight rising comedians: Lauren Lapkus, John Early, Henry Zebrowski, Kate Berlant, Natasha Rothwell, Paul Downs, Tim Robinson, and Phil Burgers aka Dr. Brown. Each performer is given a half hour to showcase the stories of multiple outrageous characters in various scenarios. Sometimes these characters’ stories are interwoven while other times our glimpse into their zany existence is a stand-alone experience. If you’re looking to have your funny bone tickled, look no further than The Characters; the diversity in styles between these comedians means there is something for everyone in this hysterical series.
Norsemen is a 2016 Norwegian series by the title Vikingane; they record in both English and Norwegian; the English adaptation Norseman found its way to Netflix in 2017. Norsemen is like the sarcastic little brother to the popular History Channel series Vikings. The cinematography, the sets, props, and wardrobe are all incredibly well curated to give that period piece Viking era feel, but the boorish and brutal ways of the Viking are poked fun at in this dry-humor heavy hitter. I love a good dead-pan comedy and Norsemen delivers big time as it follows a cast of fearless warriors who still struggle with everyday life, insecurities, and relationships like the rest of us. If you like dry humor, this show is right up your alley and as a bonus, everyone has amazing Norwegian accents which make everything more fun.
Honorable Mention: Nate Bargatze: The Tennessee Kid
I tried to steer clear of stand-up comedy because there is so much good stand-up on Netflix, it’s hard to choose. However, I just saw this new special by Nate Bargatze and it’s really delightful. A clean comic who can and will make everyone in the room light up with laughter, Nate takes on everyday life and the struggles of an average guy that are well articulated and really spectacular. If you don’t lol during it, then you must be missing your funny bone.
Total Mind F*ck
Maniac is truly masterful; it’s set in this weird vintage yet futuristic era of scientific experiments and questionable moral standing. Two complete strangers (Jonah Hill & Emma Stone) suddenly find themselves thrust into a clinical trial together and begin to uncover an odd connection to one another. This is just a stellar series to watch it’s beautifully produced, the writing is complex and intriguing, and it’s one of those series that, once it’s over, you’ll think to yourself, “wtf did I just watch? I need to see it again.”
Russian Doll is a mind-boggling thriller starring everyone’s favorite redhead who is currently slaying it all over Netflix right now: Natasha Lyonne. We meet our heroine, Nadia, at a birthday party which we soon find out is her very own party. With an eclectic group of friends and only one night to figure out what is going on it’s safe to say this is one strange birthday. It’s hard to say much more without giving away some of the thrill of watching, so I’ll keep it vague. The characters in this flick are strong and unique, the set design and decor is next level, and you might need an Aspirin to stop your head from spinning after it ends.
Honorable Mention: The OA
The OA was a series Netflix put out in 2016 which was wildly popular, then it kind of fell off the map with no one hearing much about it. Now it’s finally back with it’s second season which sadly I’ve yet to see, but am very stoked on. The OA is one-of-a-kind; it’s trippy and unique with twists and turns possibly around any corner. Plus it’s got Phyllis Smith who played Phyllis from The Office, and I always love to see my favorite Dunder Mifflin employees pop up elsewhere.
Flint Town was one of those docs where you end up forsaking all else in the pursuit of binging every episode. I sat glued to my couch until I finished this amazing docuseries. A look inside the struggling police force of Flint Michigan who does their best to serve amidst facing high crime rates, poverty, a lack of resources, and a major clean water crisis. What really captured my attention about this series was its honesty; it’s truly a look under the robe, so to speak. It shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of the force from officers risking it all to help the people of their community, to the destructive politics and mindsets that we’ve seen our public servants plagued with. This was such an eye-opener for me regarding the difficulties of policing, the desperate state of the town of Flint Michigan, and the struggles of low-income communities I’d highly suggest giving it a watch.
Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story
Now I love to get a stone on and watch some trippy stuff and few things are more trippy than Stan Romanek’s multitude of encounters with alien life. Stan is a pretty average guy by all accounts it seems as we first meet him. He then profiles the many encounters and abductions he’s had with alien life and all that normal average guy stuff goes right out the window. Stan has one of the most extensive collections of evidence of extraterrestrial life out there complete with home videos of the life forms, stories from inside the spacecraft, and a hilarious hypnotherapy session caught on tape where he talks about his alien children. Now personally I don’t know that I believe all or even most of Stans story but I do think *hits joint* we’re not alone, man. So has Stan been contacted or is he just crazy? Well, that is for you to decide. If you love aliens, conspiracy, and peculiar individuals this film is a home run for you.
Honorable mention: Murder Mountain
Murder Mountain is a fascinating look at the birth and dark side of cannabis in America in the legendary Emerald Triangle located in Humboldt County, CA. It juxtaposes the two groups who have inhabited the mountain: the peaceful communes of hippies looking for freedom from the confines of societal impediments and the dangerous drug runners looking to cash in on cannabis. If you’re a cannabis lover this is a must see; they talk to some of the OG hippies who smuggled seeds of plants best accustomed to a climate like Humboldt’s into America from overseas. They also profile the huge number of missing persons cases in Humboldt County derived from the lawless growers and distributors cashing in on black market weed who inhabit the mountain. This series had me on the edge of my seat; it gave me a deep reverence for those OG hippies and what they did for cannabis in America, and it such an insightful look at a classic piece of cannabis Americana.
If there were a Mt. Rushmore of stoner movies, I’m quite positive Pineapple Express would be on it. It’s hard to go wrong with the cast of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and a whole slew of other amazing actors. Bill Hader opens up the film as an American soldier in an underground bunker circa 1950 something testing “item 9” (aka cannabis) setting the groundwork for the government’s distaste for this wonderful plant. Fast forward to modern day where we meet Dale (Rogen) and his weed dealer Saul (Franco). If you ever had one of those dealers you aren’t really friends with, but they always try to hang and treat you like a buddy when you pick up, this will feel all too familiar. But as you might guess these guys get into all kinds of precarious situations and somehow manage to escape it all alive, to smoke another joint and die another day.
Nancy Botwin is a suburban California soccer mom whose husband suffers a fatal heart-attack leaving her to bankroll her Cali high-life and provide for her family. No better way to make green than by selling green or so Nancy thinks as she embarks on the journey of becoming the drug lord of her cul-de-sac. She’s surrounded by an incredible cast of supporting characters including my personal favorite Doug, an accountant who just can’t ever quite get his shit together, who is played by the hilarious Kevin Nealon. Nancy goes from being a greenhorn to building an empire and quickly learns that her competitors aren’t so nice and civil when she encroaches on their territory. This is a charming show and by the end, the characters will have captured your heart. I’ll always remember the last scene as the series came to a close; I couldn’t help but feel like I was losing a group of (severely dysfunctional) friends.
Honorable mention: High School
This is a stoner classic through and through. Mac & Devin Go To High School the movie and album by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa is about as quintessential stoner as you can get; after Cheech and Chong of course. Wiz plays Devin, a straight-laced hardworking student determined to graduate high school with good grades and get into a good college. That is, until he gets paired with Mac, a 5th year senior for a science project. Snoop then does what he does best on and off the screen; gets Wiz’s character high. We see Devins transformation from star student to all-out stoner leaving us wondering, will Devin get the grades he needs to get into college? I know not all cannabis consumers fall into the stereotypical stoner stereotype, but this film is fun for every type of user on the cannabis consumer spectrum.
Narcos is one of my all-time favorite series ever produced. It is a Netflix original drama based on true events that follows the drug empires created by the cartels of the world. The first two seasons focus on the kingpin, perhaps the most famous narco of all time, Pablo Escobar. This series will require your full attention unless you speak Spanish fluently because there are a lot of subtitles to read, but it’s completely worth it. Beautiful cinematography, high caliber acting, and the pure awe of an inside look at how these cartels operated makes for a dynamite series. The series goes on to showcase other cartel leaders in later seasons and remains just as fascinating as Pablo’s story. I will warn, due to the nature of the content this is a rather violent series, so if that isn’t something you like, this might not be the one for you.
Moving Art is one of the best series probably ever created. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg has spent years putting together one of the most interesting curated collections of nature’s most beautiful moments. With thirteen episodes ranging from “Flowers” to “Underwater” and beyond, Louie and his team put incredible work into the details of showing us all some of the most profoundly beautiful moments that occur in our world every day. Your eyes will thank you for watching this series; it’s truly just that visually stunning. There are moments watching this series where you will wonder if the footage is actually real or CGI; it will leave you awestruck that we all go about life on this rock every day, often without giving a thought to the complex beautiful mystery of nature. This is a great show to put on in the background to have beautiful imagery playing or to sit and watch intently, either way, I highly recommend the “Flowers” episode which is a favorite in my house.
Honorable mention: Mindhunter
Mindhunter is an incredibly intriguing Netflix original about the FBI behavioral unit who first worked with and coined the term/concept of a serial killer. It’s somewhat true and the rest is filled in with captivating dramatization. The interviews with the killers are word for word; you can find the side-by-side video comparisons on Youtube as a matter of fact. However, our young hungry Agent Ford and his seasoned no-nonsense partner Agent Tench are dramatized and the events we see from them are loosely based on actual events from the agents who developed this school of thought. The complexities of the characters, their relationship, and interaction with these serial killers they are interviewing and learning more about is deeply fascinating. It touches on many aspects of psychology and the human psyche that I find so incredibly captivating I couldn’t get enough. The personal lives and stories of the Agents and their struggles with getting others to accept this new school of thought make for some interesting obstacles to watch the main characters overcome. This series isn’t particularly gruesome, although it does deal with killers and there is some sexually explicit content as well. If you’re fascinated by the human brain, killers, or love crime shows this is a great pick!
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