Three Female-led Shows I’m Currently Loving on Netflix

 

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Fun Fact: For the first few months in 1966, The Newlywed Game aired in black and white.

My relationship with TV can be defined in two words: lifelong friendship, it’s always been there for me and provides me with an easy escape from reality – it’s also just plain fascinating with never ending new shows to consume. I have always watched a lot of television, I had two older siblings and both of my parents appreciated TV. I watched all kinds of cartoons, sit-coms from the 60s to present day, and my family went through a long-lasting gameshow phase where we watched old episodes of Match Game and The Newlywed Game almost every night. As an adult, I still adore TV and it’s possibly become an even larger part of my life.

 

My husband works overseas for a month at a time so it’s just me, the dog, and the television (a truly happy family). Admittedly, I keep myself quite busy while my husband is away with having friends frequently visit, seeing my family often, and exploring my

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A photo I took while I was creating my Stardew Valley character.

hobbies like writing this blog, but the house does get pretty quiet. I often binge-watch shows while I’m multi-tasking, whether that be applying to jobs, writing this blog, playing with summit, doing Sudoku, or playing the computer game Stardew Valley. Television keeps me company and the character’s voices make the house feel less empty (I absolutely talk and sing to my dog on a regular basis, but she’s not that great of a conversationalist).

 

In the last handful of months, I (with and without my husband) have devoured Life in Pieces, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Penn and Teller: Fool Us, Weeds, That 70’s Show (minus the last few cringe worthy seasons), Garfunkel and Oates, W/Bob and David, Don’t Trust the B**** in Apt 23, Detectorists, No Tomorrow, Pretty Little Liars, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, The Returned, Scream Queens, plus a ton of movies.

So, what am I currently in love with on Netflix? Three main shows: The 100, Heartland, and Jane the Virgin.


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The 100: 2014 – ongoing
Best Features: Dystopic, Great Twists, Strong Female Characters, Great Character Development

I watched the first three seasons of The 100 last year and fell hard. I’m all up for some dystopic teenage fiction, but this show is so much more than that. The age of the main stars in the first season seems unimportant in the larger scheme of things; this is not a teenage soap-opera, it’s a well written science fiction show.

the-100The premise: Earth has been left uninhabitable by a series of nuclear explosions, but before the world was essentially destroyed the human race ascended into space to live together on a massive ship. With limited space and resources on the ship, there were laws instated including: only one child per household, and any committed crime (no matter how little) is punishable by death. The stipulation to this latter law was that if you were under 18 years of age, you would go into prison until you reached the age of majority to then face official judgement. For reasons that you will quickly discover, all of the under-18 prisoners are sent down to Earth and it gets a little ‘co-ed-Lord of the Flies’ (one of my favourite books) before the well written twists come into play.

I strongly recommend this show, they paint a fictional future with a lot of issues, but gender, sexuality, and age don’t seem to be the issues that they are in our reality. The series is still airing and Netflix updates the fourth season with a new 40-minute episode each week.


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Heartland: 2007 – ongoing
Best Features: Canadian, Beautiful Cinematography, Character Development, Grandpa’s Moustache

This show has been on for ten years, it’s been on since 2007 when I was still in high school! I remember seeing commercials for this CBC program when it was first airing on TV, but I paid no attention to it. I started watching it last month after finishing Weeds and wanting to watch something a little more moral. I am an animal lover, but have never been very interested in horses yet I really enjoy Heartland. It is an insanely good background show because it doesn’t have subtitles, it has a moderate pace and is really easy to follow. I actually liked the earlier seasons that get a lot of flack for having lower production budgets, I liked them because of the high school flashbacks I was having with the casts’ wardrobe.

The premise: After the passing of a single mother who lived and worked as a ‘horse whisperer’ at her family’s horse ranch in Alberta, Canada, her 14-year-old daughter is left to cope with her inherited gift to keep the family business afloat. She lives with and has

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If anyone claims that they don’t stare at grandpa Jack’s perfectly combed ‘stache when he’s on the screen they’re lying.

the help of her grandfather (my favourite character), her much older sister who is home from New York, and a young ranch-hand who is hired as a rehabilitation project while on probation.

Heartland really focuses on family, caring about animals, moral work ethics, small-town life, and Canada’s gorgeous scenery. There are minor love triangles, estranged family reunions, and more action than you’d think. Grandpa himself gets into the odd fist fight, the family saves/steals a lot of mistreated horses, and fighting off cattle thieves is surprisingly more common (on the show at least) than I would have originally thought. This is a show you can watch with your family and even my husband has admitted that it’s not as bad as he thought it would be – Grandpa’s rockin’ moustache and tough-teddy-bear personality makes it a hard show not to love! Netflix has nine seasons available, and season ten is currently airing on CBC.


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Jane the Virgin: 2014 – ongoing
Best Features: Hilarious, Ridiculous, Fun Narrator, Twists out the Wazoo, Diverse Cast, Fresh

This is probably my favourite show that is currently airing new episodes. The Mindy Project has kind of fallen by the wayside with some disappointing plot choices and its failure to have characters live up to their originally likable natures. Jane the Virgin has filled the Mindy-Project-sized hole in my heart. This show is delightfully dramatic and constantly makes me laugh. It is witty, quick-paced, diverse, and so incredibly fresh. Jane loves romance stories and is obsessed with telenovelas, Latin soap operas that consist of insane plotlines. The show itself, Jane the Virgin, is a modern American-made telenovela that airs on CW. The show has a fantastic (third person omniscient/commentator) narrator who interjects periodically with helpful reminders or he lets us know how the characters are really feeling. So much happens in each episode that what I am about to tell you is not really a spoiler at all – you find it all out in the first episode!

Jane has been brought up in a household with conflicting views on sex; her single mother had Jane at a young age and exudes sexual promiscuity confidently, while Jane’s grandmother is very religious and has drilled the sanctity of one’s virginity into Jane’s head from a young age. The three jtvpilotwomen live together in the grandmother’s house and Jane is now in her early twenties. Working a waitress job at a fancy hotel while finishing her post secondary education, Jane is in a happy committed relationship and is still waiting for marriage to lose her virginity. Within the first episode, a grave mistake occurs at what is supposed to be a simple appointment with her Gynecologist and this is the point in which her average life is inseminated with outrageous drama.

I fell in love with the show immediately, but if you think that it seems too overdramatic for you, give it a few episodes to see if you get the humour behind it all. Netflix currently has up to the middle of season three available and the new episodes are being released on a weekly basis. (PS. Prepare yourself for a moderate amount of sub-titles that are completely worth the portrayal of the natural flow of conversation in a Spanish-American home environment)


Do you watch any of these shows? What are your opinions on them? Let me know a TV show that you think I might like and I hope you might try watching one of mine.

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Talking (Quickly) About Gilmore Girls: Reviving Relationships of Old and New

DISCLAIMER: You must read the following blog post twice as fast as other blog posts.

 

tumblr_mf3zy3jtqe1rbumi6I was just hitting double digits when Gilmore Girls first aired in the year 2000. My sister and I watched the show regularly and I found myself looking to Rory as a bit of a teenage role model. She was 16, smart, kind, genuine, and a brunette – all things that I looked for in someone to admire at that age and exactly what I hoped to be at her age. Of course, Rory’s character became less admirable as the seasons went on (her character was pretty annoying sometimes), but I wasn’t any less interested in who she dated as I vicariously lived through her love life.

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Image from season one.

I was eager to rewatch the series when Netflix put Gilmore Girls online. It was funny how different my viewing perspective had become as I was now more interested in Lorelai’s love life (team Max forever) and Rory’s boyfriends seemed a lot less perfect than I had remembered them being. Jess was actually a terrible boyfriend, Dean was a bit obsessive, and Logan, who I used to hate, wasn’t actually that bad of a guy – all conclusions that I never would have come to at the young age that I had originally watched the show. Amazingly, Netflix announced the upcoming Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life mini-series while I was in the middle of the rewatch which made my excitement for the new productions even greater!

 

If you’re also a mega-fan, then you’ve been researching, reading, and watching the Gilmore Girls revival updates like I have been (Check out the subReddit I follow here). Tomorrow, November 25th, the four 90 minute episodes will be released on Netflix and the binging will begin.

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So what do you need to know before midnight tonight?

Luckily one of my good friends Harley Pageot, founder of the independent record label Fallen Love, has documented some of his age calculations that he made during his rewatching process! Here are the ages of some important characters that we hope to see back in Stars Hollow:

Our leading ladies and one cute canine:

  • Lorelei – 48  (will turn 49 in April)
  • Rory – 32
  • Paul Anka – unknown; at least 12 (his breed usually lives 12-15 years)

And what about all the kids that were born in the GG universe?

  • Luke’s daughter April – 23
  • Lane & Zack’s twin sons
    • Steve – 9 (will turn 10 in March)
    • Kwan – 9 (will turn 10 in March)
  • Rory’s dad Chris’ daughter Gigi – 13 (will turn 14 in February)
  • Sookie & Jackson’s:
    • son Davey – 13
    • daughter Martha – 11
    • unnamed third child – 9
  • Luke’s sister & brother-in-law Liz & TJ’s daughter Doula – 10
  • Gil’s daughter and son – 20 and 19

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These ages could be central to new plotlines; I’m really hoping that the show gives us a glimpse of some of the firsts that we got to see with Rory for these youthful characters. Part of the Gilmore Girls charm is the presentation of relatable life experiences through the eyes of different generations. Netflix’s accessibility has already introduced the series to a new younger audience that missed the show originally air on television. I’m hoping that the creators feature a few of these younger characters in their own version of 16-year-old-Rory-like-innocence, experiencing the ups and downs that come with coming of age.

What else do I hope to see?

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Remember this awesome Destiny’s Child video?

 A lot of fans are team Jess, team Dean, or team Logan, but Rory will likely be a reflection of Lorelai in the original first season – single, independent, and strong. #TeamIndependentWoman #TeamDestinysChildSongTitles

I have less specific hopes and a more general desire for the four mini-movies to feel like home. Gilmore Girls always had Stars Hollow at it’s heart of the story and the town felt immersive – who wouldn’t want to imagine living there? The seven seasons allowed us to feel right at home as we became overly familiar with the quirky town residents who seemed lovely on TV, but you’d likely want to kill in real life.

I’d like the new episodes to have a similar feel with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s amazing writing style, use of pop culture references, sense of humour, and warmth that originally drew ten-year-old-Cassy to keep watching each week.

I haven’t set my expectations too high in terms of wanting exact plot outcomes because I know that the creator and writers of the show will provide viewers with what we need: more mother-daughter moments that seem almost too good to be true, romance, character closure, some mistakes, some tears, a lot of hugging, Kirk and Taylor getting on Luke’s nerves, and small town nosy neighbours. We will get answers and like anything in life, not everyone will be pleased, but TV would be boring if we always got what we wanted.

Therefore, my expectations are that Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be what us fans need rather than what we want, but maybe…just maybe… it will be both!

gg

 

How-To-Halloween Using Netflix Canada: Make Your Own Marathon, Eh

 

(Find concise list at the bottom)

Maybe you have a Halloween party or two to go to this weekend, waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or you’re just looking to get into the spirit of the holiday at home, here’s my list of really great Halloween themed episodes from TV shows that you can find on Netflix Canada.

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You at your Halloween Party.

We all have our favourite Halloween movies and there are plenty of lists naming the greats, but the issue is that Netflix Canada kind of dropped the ball on providing us with a decent selection this year.

Where’s Hocus Pocus? Where are all ten of the Halloween franchise films? What about those amazing animated holiday specials we used to watch on TV each year from Peanuts, Garfield, and other greats?

To be fair, they do have some good “scary” movies including: The Others; The Sixth Sense; Rear Window; and the family films: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit; Hotel Transylvania; and The Nightmare Before Christmas (Halloween/Christmas movie).

We need to see people dressing up, celebrating, and/or being spooked actually ON Halloween.

The perfect alternative to putting your favourite Halloween film on in the background while you get ready this year is to watch some of these holiday-special television episodes. I always love Halloween-themed episodes so I’ve taken the time to figure out the season and episode numbers of some of the shows that I like on Netflix Canada.

I hope that this makes it easier for you to coordinate your own Halloween-TV-marathon with Netflix Canada.

Cassy Curates: Halloween Episodes on Netflix
(in no particular order):

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  1. Community
    1. S1 E7 – Introduction to Statistics [Day of the Dead Party]
    2. S2 E6 – Epidemiology [Dena’s Halloween Party = Zombies]
    3. S3 E5 – Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
    4. S4 E2 Paranormal Parentage [Pierce’s Mansion)
      1. (NOT ON NETFLIX) S5 E8 – App Development and Condiments

For some reason, Netflix Canada only has the first 4 seasons of Community, but if you’re up to streaming the last one good for you! Community has made some of my favourite holiday-themed episodes of modern television. Definitely watch these ones for your marathon to either continue your love of the show, or to ignite your desire to start watching this fantastic comedy series!

 

 

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  1. The Mindy Project
    1. S1 E4 – Halloween

I LOVE The Mindy Project and only hope that they make more holiday-themed episodes. We need to see Mindy Kaling in more costumes please! Also I really recommend that you read her two books that she has published, because she is one hilarious woman (especially beneficial if you’re also a fan of The Office as she has many behind the scene tidbits in her first book).

 

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  1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    1. S1 E6 – Halloween
    2. S2 E4 – Halloween II
    3. S3 E5 – Halloween Part III

Simple titles, but these three episodes do not disappoint. If you don’t watch the show already, you’re going to want to start from the beginning after seeing Andy Sandberg’s adorable character dressed in a variety of costumes and carrying out more tricks than treats in an ongoing bet against captain Holt.

 

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  1. Freaks and Geeks
    1. S1 E3 – Tricks and Treats

A show that everyone knows should have been granted with the go-ahead of a season two, luckily (for me) had a Halloween episode in it’s first. Many shows don’t do holiday-themed episodes every season so thank you Judd Apatow. This show is stacked with some great actors and actresses who had yet to see the fame that waited for them with later projects. If you’re a fan of 80s nostalgia, good writing, and teenage shenanigans than you should definitely give it a watch – I mean look how awesome actor Martin Starr, playing Bill, looks as the Bionic Woman!

 

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  1. Friends
    1. S8 E6 – The One with the Halloween Party

Obviously Friends is on this list, it was my sister’s favorite show so I have seen every episode multiple times. It’s been nice to rewatch the series now that I’m in my mid-twenties too! This is strangely the only episode dedicated to Halloween and it took them until the eighth season to do it. A sexy cat and a soft pink bunny host a Halloween party, plus a bunny and a potato have an arm wrestling contest = gold.

 

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  1. How I Met Your Mother
    1. S1 E6 – The Slutty Pumpkin
    2. S7 E8 – The Slutty Pumpkin Returns

I’m shockingly not a huge fan of How I met your mother, but I can admit that the show makes me laugh when it’s on. I dated someone who loved this show and I therefore saw quite a number of episodes, these two were far apart in seasons, but I loved that they exist. I also really appreciate the titles since so many shows go with the lazy ‘Halloween’ and leave it at that. If you’re single this Halloween and attending a party, these two episodes should be at the top of your Netflix marathon list. Be hopeful, and definitely dress up so that you don’t look stupid next to your very own slutty pumpkin soul mate.

 

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  1. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
    1. S1 E8 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part I)
    2. S1 E9 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part II)
    3. S4 E7 – Hex and the Single Guy

I am still very pleased that Netflix put The Fresh Prince of Bel Air on their roster. I was/still am a huge fan of this show. It was able to be innocently funny while also producing some very touching and emotional scenes for teenagers to relate to. “Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect” is a very memorable two-parter for me, not only did it focus on one of my favourite holidays, but it also had a fairytale ending. Watch as Carlton and Will compete to get a date for the party and enjoy the amazing costumes! The fourth season’s Hexing Halloween episode also features Carlton looking his most hilarious as McCaulay Culkin!

 

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  1. 3rd Rock from the Sun
    1. S3 E5 – Scaredy Dick

I watched 3rd Rock on an irregular basis when it originally aired on TV, but I am so glad that I took the time to watch the entire series when it arrived on Netflix. It is now one of my favourite television shows ever and I strongly urge you to watch it from episode one. Since the show is about aliens, the sci-fi element always exists so it makes sense that only one episode in six seasons focused on Halloween. Maybe I’m biased, but I personally don’t think that there is a bad episode and you will laugh while Sally and Tommy attempt to guard Mary’s house from egg-ers and Harry gets spooked by a ghost.

 

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  1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    1. S2 E6 – Halloween
    2. S4 E4 – Fear Itself
    3. S6 E6 – All the Way
      1. S4 E10 – Hush

I have a soft spot for Buffy as she represents a tough on-screen woman who is both strong and feminine – everything I strive to be! Yes she slays vampires and other supernatural beings, but she also takes the time to try and experience what it’s like to be a teenager which means Halloween parties, mishaps, and monsters who totally take the fun out of her downtime and put the fun in the series for the audience. In case you don’t know, Joss Whedon and his fellow writers incorporate humour insanely well and the Halloween episodes have some of the funniest lines! Even though “Hush” from the fourth season isn’t technically on Halloween, I included it because it is definitely the scariest episode in the series for me – check it out if you’re into creepy villains.

 

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  1. Gilmore Girls
    1. S6 E7 – Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number

I watched Gilmore Girls when it originally aired and was heavily invested into Rory’s love life, it was funny to be more interested in Lorelei’s suitors when I rewatched it this past year. For a series that loved featuring the small town’s festivals, the creators tended to steer clear of holiday-themed episodes. The show was more episodic than some of the other sitcoms on this list, but I still wanted to include this one so that you can get a healthy dose of Stars Hollow-een in your system if you’d like. Plus I’d like to acknowledge all the times that Rory dressed in costume throughout the series – she had some pretty good ones!

 

 

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  1. The Office
    1. S2 E5 – Halloween
    2. S5 E6 – Employee Transfer
    3. S6 E8 – Koi Pond
    4. S7 E6 – Costume Contest
    5. S8 E5 – Spooked
    6. S9 E5 – Here Comes Trebel

Look at all the Halloween episodes to choose from! The Office was one of my true loves in high school, I’d say that it was my boyfriend instead of actual human males. The sheer number of holiday-themed episodes is reason enough to explain why. I drifted from the show after high school for a bit when it was heading toward its fifth season, but Netflix has made it easy to catch up on what I missed since then. Three-hole-punch Jim is a classic costume and seeing Dwight as a Sith Lord makes me very happy as well. If you’re an Office fan, you could just have a mini marathon of their Halloween episodes alone.

 

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  1. Scrubs
    1. S2 E6 – My Big Brother

Scrubs is a work-centered medical dramedy so a lot of the costumes you see in this episode are at work. The Halloween themes are subtler than some of the other episodes on this list, but enjoyable just the same. J.D. and Turk are their ever-adorable selves so why not watch them bob for apples?

 

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  1. That 70s Show
    1. S2 E5 – Halloween
    2. S3 E4 – Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die

This show makes me laugh so much, I love looking at the retro fashion and home décor. If you’re also a fan, you already know that it’s one of those programs that ran on a little too long, but these episodes were in the earlier seasons so they’re really great! In “Halloween,” Fez goes trick or treating for the first time as Adam West’s Batman and the gang watches the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in theatres. In “Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die,” the show parodies classic horror movies while Fez dresses in drag (Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque).

 

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  1. Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23
    1. S2 E2 – Love and Monsters

I only just started watching this show, it’s a bit wild, but is a great background show that makes me laugh. What’s exciting for me is that I haven’t actually seen this episode yet! I will definitely be including it in my own personal Netflix Halloween marathon. I don’t want to spoil the laughs for myself so all I researched was this one picture!

 

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  1. The Magic School Bus
    1. S1 E8 – The Magic School Bus: In The Haunted House

I included this one because it’s nostalgic and always educational! The great thing about including this one on your list is A. nostalgia and B. it’s nice and short. If you’re short on ideas for Halloween costumes still you should definitely go as Ms. Frizzle, you might not get another good opportunity to wear a wacky dress while being simply fabulous.

 


There you have it, 15 shows, 33 episodes, and plenty to choose from to make your own marathon! Hope you enjoy watching Halloween specials this year and I’ll be very jealous if you get to see Peanuts and Garfield.

Concise list:

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Other Contenders:

Supernatural

  1. S4 E7 – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

Charmed

  1. S3 E4 – All Halliwell’s Eve

The Vampire Diaries

  1. S1 E7 – Haunted
  2. S2 E7 – Masquerade
  3. S3 E7 – Ghost World
  4. S4 E4 – The Five
  5. S5 E5 – Monster’s Ball
  6. S6 E5 – The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
  7. S7 E4 – I Carry Your Heart with Me

Pretty Little Liars

  1. S2 E13 – The First Secret
  2. S3 E13 – This is ‘A’ Dark Ride
  3. S4 E13 – Grave New World
    1. Special (Not on Netflix) aired during S5 – We Love You to DeAth

Grey’s Anatomy

  1. S4 E5 – Haunt You Every Day
  2. S10 E7 – Thriller

Last Man Standing

  1. S1 E4 – Last Halloween Standing
  2. S3 E5 – Haunted House
  3. S5 E6 – Halloween

Netflix should put Home Improvement on eventually and when they do… Halloween episodes:

  1. S2 E6 – The Haunting of Taylor House
  2. S3 E6 – Crazy For You
  3. S4 E6 – Borland Ambition
  4. S5 E6 – Let Them Eat Cake
  5. S6 E7 – I Was a Teenage Taylor
  6. S7 E5 – A Night to Dismember
  7. S8 E6 – Bewitched

About a Boy

  1. S2 E3 – About a Will-o-Ween

Angel

  1. S5 E5 – Life of the Party

Glee

  1. S2 E5 – The Rocky Horror Glee Show

Futurama’s The Honking is S2 E18 and for some weird reason Netflix starts from S3.

Netflix Canada, I officially request you to get Bob’s Burgers, Frasier, Family Matters, and Home Improvement. These would be a good start at least.

Sincerely,
Dedicated TV Fan Cassy