STAFF PICKS: The best Netflix streaming shows

Of all the shows listed, The Office is probably the entire staffs top pick.

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Of all the shows listed, The Office is probably the entire staff’s top pick.

Welcome to The Bark’s newest feature: Staff Lists. Every week, we’ll cover our favorite things in a given topic. This week we have a rundown of some of our favorite shows available for streaming on the ideal time-killer, Netflix.

Downton Abbey – PBS isn’t always my top choice for TV series, but Downton Abbey must be on every week in my house. Set in the World War I era, it’s a drama driven by historical events. Once you get into the drama, surrounding both the rich upper class and the lower class servants, Downton Abbey is highly addictive. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

Freaks and Geeks – While on most outlets the teen drama has taken a backseat to shows centered on families, hip 20-somethings, and the comedy of the workplace, over a decade ago, they were right up there with crime dramas in terms of saturation. Soapy melodramas like Dawson’s Creek led the charge, but Freaks and Geeks, a hilarious but relatable series helmed by mad geniuses Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, has endured most. Set in the suburbs of Detroit at the dawning of the 1980s, F&G explores the dynamics and unexpected parallels of high school via the experiences of good-kid-turned-“freak” Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) and her geek brother Sam (John Francis Daley). Despite its realism and endless supply of instantly quotable lines – not to mention an amazing cast that included pre-fame stars (James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogan), well-known character actors (Daley and Cardellini as well as Busy Philipps and Martin Starr) and brilliant supporting lineup and guest stars – Freaks and Geeks was cancelled by NBC after its first season – one that’s gone down in entertainment lore as one of the most nearly-perfect seasons in TV history. [Jack H. Evans]

Friday Night Lights – I honestly don’t know if I can put into words how wonderful Friday Night Lights is. The series is about a high school football coach, who moves to the small town of Dillon, Texas, a town that lives and breathes football. The show, however, is about so much more than just football. By the end of the first episode I had been given goosebumps and almost teared up because of how the show made me feel like I was part of the cheering football fans. Needless to say, I was hooked and watching Friday Night Lights became better than hanging out with my friends. Having just finished the series two days ago, I can say that I am still an emotional train wreck and will be repeating the shows motto to myself for the next couple of months. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose. [Hannah McElroy]

Gossip Girl – The Upper East Side of New York is about to change. Blair Waldorf has the perfect life, from being queen bee of her private school to her amazingly attractive boyfriend Nate Archibald, her life is made, but all of that changes when her ex-best friend Serena van der Woodsen comes back into town. Blair’s world starts to fall apart and everyone starts to realize maybe her life isn’t perfect after all. This show will keep the watcher laughing, crying, yelling, guessing, and everything in between. Maybe the Upper East Side is going to have a new queen bee or maybe Blair and Serena can learn to be friends again. One thing is for sure, there can only be one queen bee, so let the battle or friendship begin. XOXO, Gossip Girl [Katie Matthews]

Keeping Up With the KardashiansKeeping Up With The Kardashians is a crazy reality TV show that follows the wild lives of the three Kardashian sisters – Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney –  and their rambunctious, over the top family. The sisters share the responsibility of a clothing store by the name of Dash while also having to deal with Kim’s big head as she’s on the rise to fame. [Zoey Line]

Lost Lost is a television series that portrays the story of forty-eight survivors of a plane crash that were left stranded on an island in the Pacific. The survivors not only have to come together to deal with natural forces but also with the island’s dark secrets. Throughout the series, viewers come to find out that all the characters are connected in some way and everyone’s purpose is revealed in the end. Lost is entertaining and suspenseful. Warning: You might get lost watching Lost. [Litza Craig]

The Office The Office is a hilarious mockumentary I have watched throughout my life. Viewers can find themselves relating and falling in love with each of the unique characters. Every average-seeming character has a individual life story spanning over the course of the show. Running nine fabulous seasons, I found myself watching all of the available ones three times over. This show is certainly lovable, and it was extremely sad to see it end. In the beginning, Steve Carell was everyone’s favorite horrible boss. Many viewers stopped watching The Office when Carrell departed, but some of the early seasons’ magic remained throughout the show’s run. [Taylor A. Johnson]

Prison BreakPrison Break is a fascinating look at a man willing to do anything for his innocent brother including committing a crime and going to prison just to break him out. Now that you know the premise, go home and watch all four seasons. It’s worth the sleep deprivation. Watching Michael Scoffield’s  genius is awesome enough, but the prison itself is even more fascinating because it becomes a microcosm of the basest sort of society with racism, violence, and even a black market bartering system all norms inside the prison. Just completely immerse yourself into the culture and conflict, and enjoy the Netflix coma. [Kelsey Kinzer]

PsychPsych is about a detective named Shaun who has the supernatural ability to see things others can’t. Being a psychic, Shaun takes his job more or less seriously. Together, with his best friend and non-psychic Gus, they solve crimes and catch criminals in a comical manner. This action-filled comedy is definitely a show to look into if you haven’t already. [Graham Benefiel]

Supernatural – While the extremely intense fan base can be intimidating, Supernatural is every bit worthy of the many devoted followers. The series stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, later adding Misha Collins to the ideal cast. The engrossing plot, chemistry between characters, and impressive writing make the series extremely entertaining to watch. [Emily Price]

The Walking Dead – Most of The Walking Dead’s characters lack dimension and are hardly relatable; I assume this is because there are so many characters, developing each one would take up valuable time away from the show’s real attraction: action-packed zombie slaughter. This is why the characters that kill in the coldest, most unique ways are the characters most beloved by the fans, such as Daryl Dixon and Michonne. The real appeal of the show, and zombie media in general, is the violence, gore, conflict, and survivalist strategies. All zombie fans have their own personal fantasies for living out the zombie apocalypse, assumed to involve them surviving by being the coolest, most hardcore anti-heros. We don’t need to relate to the characters emotionally; the characters are meant live out our fantasies. And The Walking Dead is an excellent incarnation of our fanciful imaginings. [Helen Law]

Whale WarsWhale Wars is the televised account of the efforts of Captain Paul Watson and his group of volunteer conservationists, the Sea Shepherds. The Sea Shepherds seek to end illegal Japanese whaling in a recognized wildlife preserve in the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary was established in 1993 to the approval of 23 countries, while the Japanese rose in uproar. Seeing as to how no National Government has made an attempt to stop the Japanese, the whalers have been allowed to hunt the whales largely unimpeded. That is where the Sea Shepherds have stepped in to actively protest, and deter, the Japanese whaling fleet.  Despite both the Sea Shepherds and the laws protecting the sanctuary, the Japanese have yet to formally cease their annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean. [Ed Dudrick]