Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Documentaries

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is FREEBIE WEEK — topic of your choice.  This week, my topic is:

Top 10 Documentaries I’ve watched in the past year.

I LOVE documentaries, especially documentaries about true crime (which you’ll see below).  I’ve watched many more than this, but below are the ten best of the best.

10.  Hot Girls Wanted (Netflix).  This documentary follows a group of young girls who are lured into the amateur porn industry.  This was a tough film to watch, due to the abuse the girls suffer and the overall nature, but I had no idea this was even a thing, and now I’m informed (and thankful I have sons).

hot girls wanted

9.  There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (Amazon).  This story follows a woman named Diane Schuler, a woman who was driving with her two kids and three nieces and got on the freeway going the wrong way, killing all but one of the people in her car, plus those in the car she hit head on.  Diane was later accused of having drugs and alcohol in her system – which her husband vehemently denied.  An incredibly sad story.


8.  The Central Park Five (Netflix).  The CPF is the story of five teenagers from Harlem who were accused (and convicted) of raping a woman running in Central Park.  DNA later proved their innocence, but this was a real interesting story to watch unfold.


7.  Paradise Lost (Amazon).  Paradise Lost was one I started and had to go back to, mostly due to the graphic crime scene photos shown.  Three young men (The West Memphis Three) were accused of the brutal murders and sexual mutilations of three 8 year old boys.  DNA later exonerated them, but their lives were changed forever.  As I said, very graphic photos and discussion in this one.


6.  Twinsters (Netflix).  Two young women, who are identical twins, are given up for adoption at birth and discover each other through interesting circumstances in their twenties.  One sister grew up in a family with siblings in the US and the other was an only child who grew up in France.  The girls were both incredibly likable and the story was interesting to watch.


5.  The Staircase (Sundance).  I got a free 30-day subscription for Sundance so I could watch this documentary.  A man is accused of pushing his wife down a staircase to her death.  He also was indirectly involved in another staircase related incident years earlier.  The doc takes you through his pre-trial meetings with attorneys, and his actual trial.


4.  The Jinx (HBO).  This was an incredible piece of filmmaking.  This story follows Robert Durst, who comes from a very wealthy New York real estate family.  Durst is accused of murdering his wife and two other people over the course of 20 years.  Durst himself is interviewed during the show, and he is a sociopath.  Absolutely must watch if you like true crime.

the jinx

3.  Making a Murderer (Netflix).  I’m sure you’ve heard of (or watched yourself) the phenomenon that is Making a Murder.  The story of Steven Avery has captivated America, and rightly so.  In my opinion, the filmmakers proved that at best, Avery’s conviction was sketchy.  This is a fantastic documentary that I would highly recommend.


2.  OJ Simpson – Made In America (ESPN).  I just finished this last night, but this was an incredible piece of storytelling.  A lot of the information was stuff you already knew, and some was not (they showed the crime scene photos of both Nicole and Ron, which were VERY graphic).  The 5th installment featured a lot of information I didn’t know, but the story was so well told.  A must watch.

oj made in america

1.  Dear Zachary (Netflix).  This is the best documentary I’ve ever seen, hands down.  I can’t tell you much about it, because I don’t want to spoil it, but this is not a film you can go into lightly, and you will walk away a different person.  This film gutted me, enraged me and made me smile within it’s 90+ minutes.  You will need the tissues and I would recommend NOT watching this in public.  I made that mistake.

dear zachary

What documentaries have you liked?  I’m always looking for something new.  Leave in the comments.

Happy Tuesday.


TV Reviews

TV Thursday – Best Cable/Streaming Shows

On Tuesday, I did a list with my favorite network TV shows.  Today, I’m going to list my favorite shows from cable, Netflix, or Amazon.  These are in no particular order after #4.  My top 4 are in specific order.

1. Game of Thrones (HBO).  I binged this in less than a month and was hooked.  This show is fantastic, but it is also very confusing, because there are SO many characters to keep up, and it’s in a make believe land.  I feel like I’m googling things constantly just to keep up, but now there is an “after” show, which is awesome.  I can’t believe I waited so long to join the fun.


2. You’re the Worst (FX).  I’m not sure what lead to me this show, but I’m so glad I found it.  This show, in addition to being really funny, tackles the tough topic of clinical depression in a sympathetic manner.  The characters are ‘the worst’ but this show is hilarious, and I’ve turned several people onto it.

you're the worst

3.  Downton Abbey (PBS).  I’m cheating here, but since I watched the first five seasons on Amazon, I’m putting it on this list.  If you haven’t watched Downton Abbey and you have Amazon Prime, do yourself a favor and check out this incredible show.  I’m so sad it’s over.

downton abbey4. Veep (HBO).  This is one of the funniest shows on cable TV, and regardless of your political party affiliation, you are likely to find this show funny.  I will warn you – it is very vulgar, but it’s got a great ensemble cast and totally worth the watch – it’s a half hour comedy.


5.  Grace & Frankie (Netflix).  Two women, almost 70, discover that their husbands of 40 years have been in a homosexual relationship for twenty years and are tired of hiding their affair, so they ask for a divorce.  This follows what happens next, and how it affects each family.  Top notch cast and great story.

grace adn frankie

6.  The People vs. OJ Simpson (FX).  This miniseries told the infamous story of the trial of OJ Simpson, who in 1994, was accused (and guilty) of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.  We saw the case from the inside, and I learned several things that I didn’t know happened during the trial.  This show had a top notch cast, who are likely to earn several Emmy nominations.  I would highly recommend this.


7.  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).  The shows second season got off to a slow start, but ended with a bang.  Tina Fey (30 Rock) is an executive producer, so if you liked that show, you will really like the story of Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who was kidnapped and kept in an underground bunker for 15 years, then goes to New York to start her life.

kimmy schmidt

8.  The Jinx (HBO).  This six-part miniseries was the story of Robert Durst, eccentric billionaire from New York who is suspected of three different murders in three different states.  Durst himself is interviewed, and is a creepy dude.  This was so well done, and I would highly recommend watching.

the jinx

9.  Making a Murderer (Netflix).   This 10 part miniseries is the story of Steven Avery, who in 1984 was convicted of rape, only to be exonerated 18 years later.  He then sued the county for $36 million dollars, and while that was going on, was charged with murder.  It’s a seriously messed up story with so many twists and turns.  It starts out slow, but if stick with it, you won’t be disappointed.

making a murderer10.  Transparent (Amazon).  Transparent is the story of Mort/Maura, a 69 year old man who decides he is tired of living a lie, and decides to live his life as a woman.  The show depicts how his decision affects his family, and more importantly, Maura.  People aren’t real accepting of her decision, and it’s fascinating and sad to watch.  The second season wasn’t nearly as good as the first, but it’s still a good show.

transparentHappy watching.