September 24, 2021

One year into the pandemic, Netflix and other streaming platforms have become the go to form of entertainment. But with nearly a year of quarantine under our collective belts, while enjoyable, binging on Cobra Kai, Ozark and Queens Gambit may have run a little thin.

However, if you look hard enough, Netflix has some offerings that can entertain and educate at the same time. Some which you can incorporate into your daily life to immediately improve wellness. Others may change your world view going forward and lead to a long-term change. Here are five shows worth checking out that will feed your mind, body and soul.

Headspace Guide to Meditation

In a world filled with sensory overload and more choices than you can possibly handle. Quieting your mind through meditation can work wonders for your mental and physical health. Enter, the makers behind the Headspace series of books and apps. They have teamed up with Netflix to create a series that will help you learn more about the practice of meditation. Whether you want to build a meditation practice or learn more about the science behind it this series makes it simple and bingeworthy. The series consists of five episodes each about 20 to 30 minutes. Each concludes with a technique to incorporate into your meditation practice.

Why You Should See It  

In a world that now seems designed to distract and overload you, this will help you bring focus and calm back into your life.

 

The Social Dilemma

Released in September of 2020, The Social Dilemma is a documentary that does a deep dive into social media’s design and its effect on mental health. The film is unique in that it goes to the source itself – the builders of the various platforms such as Facebook, Google, Apple and the like. Many former employees, executives, and other professionals from top tech companies and social media platforms provide their first-hand experiences of working in and around the tech industry. Confirming that social media platforms and big tech companies have been instrumental in providing positive change for society; but also, and this is a big “but”, confirming such platforms have also caused problematic social, political, and cultural consequences. 

Why You Should See It  

Will make you think twice before hitting that “Like” button or accepting that Cookie’s notification.

 

Capital in The Twenty First Century

Based on the international bestseller book by Thomas Piketty this documentary takes viewers on a journey through wealth and power. What The Social Dilemma is to social media Capital In The Twenty First Century is to capitalism. Breaking down popular assumptions that the accumulation of capital equal’s social progress. Shining a light on how the “haves” achieve and maintain their status, often at the expense of the “have nots”.  The documentary contains interviews from of some of the world’s most influential experts they help to pull the curtain back and demystify the history of capitalism, the tools employed by governments and the wealthy to enable and further it.  A Netflix must see, that will have you looking at capital and labor in a whole new light.

Why You Should See It  

It will have you wanting to put more into your 401(K) or pay down that credit card, rather than splurge on those new kicks or whip.

 

Amend: The Fight for America

A six-part docuseries created by Robe Imbriano and Tom Yellin, directed by Kenny Leon and Reinaldo Marcus Green. Hosted by Will Smith. The series essentially educates viewers about the 14th Amendment.  Outlining the rights of citizens under “the equal protection of the law”—and how it’s affected everything from African American and women’s voting rights to abortion to gay marriage. Throughout its six episodes, the series revisits historic court rulings that have been engendered by the law. It’s peppered with appearances by celebrities that run the gamut. From Mahershala Ali and Diane Guerrero to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Pedro Pascale. The series can be choppy and a bit corny at times, but the takeaways far outweigh the execution.

Why You Should See It  

If you’re going to engage in hashtag activism or otherwise comment on the current state of affairs in the United States – at least educate yourself on the basics.

 

Latin History for Morons

Prior to dropping on Netflix, you could only enjoy John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons if you were fortunate enough to see it during its theatrical run-on Broadway.

While Amend gives viewers a better understanding of what is in plain sight in American history. Latin History for Morons provides a depiction of the many contributions of Latinos to American history. And how they are either glossed over or ignored completely. More importantly Leguizamo shows how being “invisible” in history can have an effect on the self-esteem of children of color, even ones with privilege. Those of us who’ve taken a Latin American or Latino History course at University will recognize some of his sourcing. But this show is for those whose idea of American history starts with the Mayflower.

Why You Should See It  

While Hamilton allows people of color to see themselves as inheritors of American history, Leguizamo goes even further, to remind us that we have been there the entire time.

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