Summer’s here and the time is right for Netflixing in the streets

Okay, that is not exactly how the song goes but I am sure Sir Mick wouldn’t mind. He is far too busy counting his Rolling Stones Zip Code tour monies and trying to keep track of all his many children because let’s face it, between him and a certain Minnesota Viking whose names rhymes with Fadrian Swedersen they could give those professional human breeders formerly seen on TLC a run for their money, and that is saying something.

It’s hot pretty much all over the planet which could very well explain why we have yet another instance of Panda-yoncé* behavior happening, that’s right my friends, another-cleverer-than-most-members-of-congress-panda has figured it all out and faked being up the spout in order to get a little extra chow, some air conditioning and best of all, no actual labor resulting in a for real baby friend that she’d be stuck with for the next eighteen years. (Twenty-five years if that panda was American).

Yes it’s true, my favorite fake pregnancy panda Ai Hin has some serious competition in the best acting by an actress in a zoo category. Consider Yuan Yuan the Opal Gardner to Ai Hin’s Erica Kane and I think it’s time for the humans to develop a First Response test kit for the shady lady pandas of the world, or not.

The glory days of soaps

A look back at the 1980’s, the glory days of soaps

But I digress, it’s been ages since we’ve talked about streamable shows because it’s summer and you (and I) should be outside whenever possible, soaking up as much naturally occurring vitamin D as we can, preferably near a large body of water, or even perhaps ON the water with a cool refreshing beverage nearby. My current fave being hibiscus ice tea with or without vodka.


Scrotal Recall, an absolutely shit-tastic name for an absolutely fun-tastic show. Seriously people, who comes up with these dumb-ass names for things? It’s like bad cocktails only chicks at bachelorette parties would ever order (because let’s face it, they are probably already wearing the penis earrings) or cringe-worthy names for actually very good cosmetics (I am looking directly at you Nars and your Orgasm line). Anyway, I ignored this show for a couple of months strictly because of the name and then I was bored and read some very positive reviews and decided to give it a go.

Scrotal Recall is about Dylan (played by Johnny Flynn), a sweet 20-something Brit who finds out he has an STD, chlamydia to be exact, and must contact all his previous partners to let them know. Each episode centers around a different lady friend from his past and Dylan’s well-intentioned albeit often times mishandled way of sharing said news. Word to the wise, always be sure you know exactly who you are letting in on a conference call.

It’s a bit like High Fidelity and that is never a bad thing in my book since both the novel and the movie are personal faves. Dylan has two roommates, Luke (Daniel Ings), the stereotypical horn-dog best friend and cute-as-a-button arty girl Evie (Antonia Thomas), who just may be Dylan’s lobster, (Friends viewers will get it). Scrotal Recall also has a kick-ass soundtrack chockfull of all the current cooler-than-cool Brit bands like Alt-J, Churches, Temples, Goldfrapp and they even throw in a few golden oldies every once in a while, like this gem from The Primitives.

There are only six (less than) half-hour episodes so you could conceivably binge-watch them all in one sitting and still have time to meet your pals for a libation or two, walk your furry friend, weed your garden and still have time to go a baseball game.

Witnesses, since Netflix has not given us the latest season of Spiral I had to go get my French tv fix from another show. Witnesses is also only six episodes, but they are an hour-long and in French so a bit more time-consuming (call in sick and you can still do all the things above). If you are one of those people who gets all bleary-eyed at the idea of subtitles now is the time to get the hell over it. Some of the best television comes from other countries that don’t speak English and unless you want to be left behind like all the heathens in those bad movies Kirk Cameron stars in then you best sit down and start streaming stat.

This one is a crime mystery thriller kind of thing where bodies are being dug up and placed on display in show homes (Yank translation = model homes, this show pretty much ruined the Parade of Homes for me), along with some personal belongings of a former police chief who may or may not have tried to kill himself. Witnesses is creepy and does a brilliant job of reeling you in like a big old lazy fish. Shot on location in the north of France it is also gorgeous to look at on the old HDTV machine.

Marie Dompnier stars as detective Sandra Winckler, a borderline obsessive workaholic with the requisite man/romance problems that always seems to happen to lady cops in TV land, no matter what country they call home. Dompnier has that enviable French style that can elevate a pair of jeans and a sweater into something mere mortals can only dream of. I spent all six episodes jealous of her I-just-got-out-of-bed-and-look-like-this hair, something that when I try just comes off as a hot mess, emphasis on mess.

The less said about this one the better, but really, you should check it out. As an avid reader and viewer of mysteries this one took a long time for me to figure out, and I did not even cheat and read anything about it online because the surprise was worth it. The theme song by Tricky (quite possibly the most under-rated trip hop musician ever) is beautiful and sets the tone for this moody atmospheric stunner.

* when pandas and other living things pretend to be pregnant à la pillow baby queen Beyoncé.