The Netflix Highlight: “Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy.” This docuseries debuted on Feb. 15. Netflix’s lack of marketing made me miss this show when it first debuted, but it’s so good that I decided to circle back and highlight it.
Premise: Comedian Larry Charles (original staff writer on “Seinfeld” and director of projects including “Borat” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) travels around the world to document the comedy scene in dangerous places. In this four-part docuseries, Charles conducts impressive interviews and his team captures shocking footage that often feels unreal. Many of the featured comedians risk their lives for their craft, which provides deep underlying stakes to the project.
Sum up: One of the best docuseries I have ever seen ― Charles’ interviews with ridiculously fascinating characters coupled with am impressive editing style makes this easy to recommend. Charles is a comedy master and there’s an inherent delight to watching a master of craft wade into the absolute darkness of his field. Somehow the show finds a way to make true horror hilarious on top of the educational element. This one will rattle around in my brain for quite some time as I continue processing how Charles and his crew pulled this off.
Heads up: Definitely not for those with a weak stomach. I know that sounds like a cliche disclaimer that would typically get used for something lame that’s trying too hard to be edgy, but in this case it’s actually true. The docuseries features many shots of spilled guts, dead bodies and conversations of crimes against humanity.
Will everyone be talking about this? Unfortunately, no. Netflix didn’t really market this at all. Maybe that’s because of the basically X-rated material in here, which isn’t the company’s normal M.O. But I hope it finds at least a niche audience because it certainly deserves to be seen.
Read on for more recommendations and news from the week.
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What Else Is New This Week On Netflix
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Movie ― Adaptation of the 2009 true-account book with the same name. Chiwetel Ejiofor directed, stars in and wrote the screenplay for this story about an African teenager who uses scraps to build a windmill for electricity.
A Couple Of Netflix News Stories From This Week
1. Netflix didn’t win the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards, even though “Roma” had been a favorite for months. The company appears to be planning an even bigger rollout for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” with hopes it will actually cross the finish line and earn the coveted top award.
2. Although this didn’t affect U.S. viewers, the United Kingdom version of the Netflix library had an alternate version of “The Notebook.” This other, bizarro version featured a different ending than the original. When alerted to the issue, Netflix resolved it and acquired the original, but this all serves as a lesson that movies often get re-edited after theatrical release. This tends to happen for cable or airline trims, but beware of what version you’re actually watching.
And here are the shows and movies that joined Netflix throughout the week:
- “Unsolved: Tupac & Biggie”
- “Jeopardy!” (Collection 2)
- “The Rebound”
- “A Clockwork Orange”
- “Apollo 13”
- “Budapest” (Netflix Film)
- “Cricket Fever: Mumbai Indians” (Netflix Original)
- “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
- “Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks”
- “Larva Island” (Season 2, Netflix Original)
- “Losers” (Netflix Original)
- “Music and Lyrics”
- “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”
- “Northern Rescue” (Netflix Original)
- “River’s Edge” (Netflix Film)
- “Stuart Little”
- “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
- “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (Netflix Film)
- “The Hurt Locker”
- “The Notebook”
- “Wet Hot American Summer”
- “Winter’s Bone”
- “Your Son” (Netflix Film)