Short shows are a relatively new concept for Netflix. With heavy-duty shows like Sinner and Orange Is The New Black requiring all the time and concentration, “Netflix Bloat” has become a very real phenomenon. It’s a symptom of what writer Paul Schrader calls “narrative exhaustion”.
However, hours, days and even weekends of bingeing your favourite shows aren’t always possible because sometimes there are just too many long lunches and live gigs to attend. So, whether you’ve only got six minutes up your sleeve or 28, we’ve got you.
Here are the best TV shows to watch when you’re short for time.
Love, Death + Robots
If you’re not into animation, Love, Death + Robots is the one series that will change your mind. This gem brings us a compilation of animated short stories, spanning across multiple genres such as, fantasy, fiction, horror and comedy. Each episode was produced to with the intention of being easy to watch, but hard to forget and range from five to 17-minute stories.
No doubt you heard the hype around Special. This is a distinctive new series about a gay man, Ryan with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity and finally go after the life he wants. After years of dead-end internships, working in his pyjamas as a blogger and communicating mostly via text, Ryan eventually figured out how to take his life from bleak to chic and began limping towards adulthood. The offbeat comedy is based on series creator and star Ryan O’Connell’s memoir, I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves and episodes sit at the 15-minute mark.
I Think You Should Leave
Detroiters star and Saturday Night Live alum Tim Robinson's hilarious new six-part series, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, pokes fun at life's most bizarre and mundane situations. You’ll witness Robinson and a few of his famous friends navigate awkward workplace drama, host an intervention in a Garfield-themed house, talk their way out of a babysitter's fake hit and run, and much more. If you’ve got 15-17 minutes to spare, this one’s for you.
If you’re a serial 15-minute procrastinator, procrastinate the right way with Netflix’s series called Bonding. This show deserves all the limelight and follows grad student/dominatrix Tiff (Zoe Levin) and her cash-strapped gay best friend Pete (Brendan Scannell). For them, S&M is a business, not a pleasure but as you might guess, there’s actually a little pleasure. Their professional relationship redefines their friendship, but more importantly, helps them find themselves.
It's Bruno! follows dog lover Malcolm (Solvan “Slick” Naim), his best friend and canine companion Bruno, and the hilarious adventures that take place on their vibrant Brooklyn block. And if you need any more convincing, the series was also nominated for Outstanding Short Form Comedy at the Emmys.
The Good Place
The Good Place is on the longer side of short shows you can get around on Netflix (episodes sit just under the 25-minute mark). The fantasy comedy follows Eleanor Shellstrop, played by Kristen Bell, who wakes up in the afterlife and is introduced to a realm known as “The Good Place”. The elite heaven-like utopia was designed for Eleanors “righteous” life but hilariously, she’s wound up there by mistake. In order to stay around, she has to hide her true character.
Easy is one of the best anthology series around. Episodes go for just under half-an-hour but it’s the type of show you can easily pause at any point and then pick up where you left off at another time. Brought to you by the uber young and uber-talented Joe Swanberg, this one explores diverse Chicago characters as they fumble through the modern maze of love, sex, technology and culture (and yep, it’s funny as). The eight-episode series, written and directed by Swanberg, features Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Jake Johnson, Marc Maron, Dave Franco, Hannibal Buress, Emily Ratajkowski and a whole heap more.
Not short for time? Head over here for the best anthologies on Netflix.
Image credit: Netflix