Looking to pass the time with a bit of brain-food?
Netflix is the perfect place to start with its massive library of newly released, to-be-released, and archived miniseries and documentaries.
Right now you can sign up for a month free to give the streaming service a whirl!
Simply visit “Netflix.com, choose a plan and payment option that’s best for you, enter your email, set a password, and start watching.” You won’t be charged until you hit that 30-day mark, so make sure to set your calendar if you want to avoid a surprise fee!
With that said, the next 30 days are yours to start binging some of the most entertaining miniseries and docs available!
To get you started, here are a few that are slated to hit Netflix soon or are already available to begin watching!
New Streaming to Binge Now and Later
Looking for the newest, hottest health or food documentary to consume over the next month of shelter-in-place or even later this summer?
You’re in luck!
Many of the streaming services are working to bump up release dates of some highly anticipated documentaries. While some of these are perfect to get you through the month of April, there are a few listed that are slated to hit the scene a little later in 2020. The perfect schematic to help you space out your Netflix binge-watching!
1. The Mind Explained (Current)
This mini-series probably won’t last you long — each episode is a speedy 15-minute bite of knowledge — but it’s definitely a show that will fill the time while also giving you something to learn.
The Mind, Explained — streamed from Netflix and produced as “Vox’s limited series Explained” — tackles “what’s happening inside the human brain, exploring various functions like memory formation and retention, dreaming, psychedelic drugs, and mental health issues.” With that said, if you’re going to watch any of the episodes, you may want to start with the Anxiety episode for these strange and uncertain times.
2. Crip Cramp: A Disability Revolution (Current)
Looking for the perfect documentary to lift your spirits and inspire right from the couch?
Crip Cramp: A Disability Revolution delves into the story of a “ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers” during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Directed by Jim LeBrecht, — responsible for “The Island President, The Waiting Room, The Kill Team, and Audry and Daisy” — and Nicole Newnham, — the woman behind the scenes of The Revolutionary Optimists, The Rape of Europa, and They Drew Fire — this documentary also has two very familiar executive products, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
This documentary “explores the universal experience of summer camp awakenings that would transform lives and shape the future of the disability rights movement.”
3. Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (May 11)
This documentary borders on the edge of comedy and science as a series of A-list actors, comedians, and musicians share their “real-life tripping stories.” Familiar faces including Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, and Rosie Perez provide reenactments that bring their hallucinogenic trips to life.
Mixed into the comedy is some hardcore science.
The documentary delves into the “pros, cons, history, future, … pop-cultural impact, and cosmic possibilities of hallucinogens,” while also offering an “unofficial user’s guide for these consciousness-altering compounds.” Plus, this documentary will also talk about psychedelics as possible treatments for mental health, a fresh topic recently surfaced in the last few years.
4. Lenox Hill (June 10)
You may have to wait a bit for this one, but it definitely sounds like it’ll be worth it!
Great for anyone loving those hospital dramas, Lenox Hill is a miniseries that follows “four doctors in New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital,” a respected hospital located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, well-known with a “reputation for outstanding patient care and … innovative medical and surgical treatments.” A mixture of medical adrenaline and personal interest stories, this miniseries tackles the struggle of “work-life balance,” while dealing with “the personal journeys of every patient.”
5. Street Food: Latin America (July)
Okay, so this one isn’t hitting Netflix until July, but it’s definitely one that will breathe a breath of fresh air into our lives depending on the state of the quarantine.
Street Food: Latin America will take bingers to “six countries to explore vibrant food scenes in places like Oaxaca, Mexico; Buenas Aires, Argentina; and La Paz, Bolivia.” Yet, this isn’t just necessarily a “food miniseries.” Along with showcasing what Latin America has to offer via their street food, this series will also delve into the lives and stories of the “most important vendors in the country,” offering a bit of personal bulk to the mouthwatering food.
Classics to Check Out
While you’re waiting for some of the newer documentaries and miniseries to hit the scene, how about binging on some super classic options?
Still incredibly relevant, the following documentaries and miniseries will give you insight into the struggles some have fought at the forefront of worthy initiatives such as sustainability, clean food revolution, and even the argument for plant-based living.
1. The Magic Pill
The Magic Pill is a highly controversial documentary centering around a highly controversial, yet well-loved and practiced diet.
The ketogenic diet.
Why is this documentary so controversial? The film “argues that a keto diet (a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb meal plan) is the best way to eat,” period. In fact, this documentary takes the argument to the next level by claiming that the diet has the ability to cure cancer, “obesity, and liver disease,” as well as improve “symptoms of autism and diabetes … and [reduce] dependence on prescription drugs in a little as five weeks.”
While The Magic Pill offers a fascinating deep dive into the potential health benefits of the ketogenic diet, it’s important to remember this is just one side of the coin and just one perspective!
2. 100 Humans: Life’s Questions. Answered.
On the same lines as Vox’s Explained, 100 Humans: Life’s Questions. Answered. is a super playful, quirky, scientifically driven reality miniseries.
This miniseries takes you on a series of social experiments via a curated group of 100 people chosen to “represent different demographics of the U.S.” and examines “human [behavior] in a variety of deeply scientific ways.” Each episode has its own “tone and theme,” meaning you won’t get bored easily, and its brutal honesty allows for actual growth, education, and inspirational thought.
Ever heard of a well-known author and educator named Michael Pollan?
If not, then this is the perfect documentary to start with!
Michael Pollan has been labeled a “culinary crusader” for his outspoken opinions regarding the way our society processes, cooks, and consumes food. He’s an incredibly well-respected author with a slew of titles such as How to Change Your Mind, In Defense of Food, The Omnivores Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, under his belt. In Cooked, — a four-part documentary — Pollan expresses the “overarching idea … that we all need to get into the kitchen and foster greater connections with our food to sustain both the environment and our health.”
Plus, if you fall head over heels for this documentary, you can follow it up with a documentary adaptation of In Defense of Food and Food, Inc.
4. Forks over Knives
If you’re a plant-based, zero processed food fanatic — or are looking to become one — you absolutely need to binge-watch Forks Over Knives immediately!
This documentary offers solid, scientific-based reasons to switch to a plant-based diet. While there are definite ethical reasons, this documentary instead focuses on why eating plant-based foods is better for your health. In fact, this Forks over Knives tackles many of the big health issues including the “risk of developing some chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.” The doc argues that “eliminating animal products from our diets” may be a key step in avoiding these illnesses.
Rotten is one of the more unique miniseries to hit Netflix over the last few years.
This two-season miniseries “explores supply and demand in terms of food and agriculture in America, outlining how the way we grow, produce, manufacture, and eat food is not sustainable.” On top of that, each episode tackles a different issue including how our food is contaminated, the mystery of where it comes from, and how “farmers are unable to keep up with the demands of the American consumer.”
In short, Rotten pushes for Americans to take a more educated stance on our food, learn where it’s coming from, and “how to eat more consciously through better consumption choices.”
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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