Updated on 04.04.11

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Netflix Edition

Trent Hamm

Earlier this week, I made an offhand reference to the fact that my wife and I have watched several entire sci-fi series on Netflix streaming at a roughly three-episodes-a-week pace. Several readers wrote in and asked for what series we had watched, so I thought I’d give you a brief rundown of the series we’ve watched while being Netflix streaming subscribers. The links below go straight to Netflix, so you can add them to your instant queue.

Doctor Who (new seasons one, two, three, and four)
Battlestar Galactica (seasons one, two part one, two part two, three, four part one, and four part two)
Bones (seasons one, two, three, four, and five)
Lost (seasons one, two, three, four, five, and six)

Watching these shows a few times a week serves as our “date night.” We’ll turn off all the lights in the family room, pop some popcorn, and cuddle up on the couch for forty or fifty minutes of non-commercial-interrupted escapism (and usually fifteen minutes of plot and character discussion afterwards as we trudge off to bed).

Are You Jumping On The Self-Employed Bandwagon? While there are some very good points here, I think this article tries to create a dichotomy where there is one. For me, the entire point of dabbling in self-employment/small-scale entrepreneurship is to create new income streams so that if something goes wrong with one of them (like losing your job), you’re not in a disastrous situation. It’s not just a choice between self-employment and not-self-employment. (@ passive income now)

How Much is True Love Worth? This is more interesting for me from the perspective of how much of a person’s life they’re willing to hand off to professionals to solve a specific problem. I could write a whole article on this. (@ consumerism commentary)

Why are Friends and Family Always Asking For Free Service? My perspective is that it’s a “familiarity breeds contempt” situation. In other words, if you don’t know anyone personally who can do the service, it seems arcane and difficult and worth paying for. On the other hand, if your Cousin Eddie can do it, it can’t be anything too special, so why should they pay for it? In fact, why shouldn’t Cousin Eddie just do it? (@ investor junkie)

What Is Your Personal Debt Ceiling? This was a brilliant transformation of a hot political issue into some worthwhile personal finance insight. (@ frugal dad)

How to Be the Most Memorable Person in the Room If you’re at a job fair, an interview, a conference, a convention, a party, or any other situation where it’s beneficial to stand out, these points of advice are for you. (@ erica douglass)

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  1. Ryan says:

    Those shows being on Netflix have been my biggest source of (extremely enjoyable) distraction over the past few months. New episodes of Doctor Who start later this month! (And check out the new Sherlock series. It’s fantastic. Three episodes per season, but they’re 90 minutes long without commercials.)

  2. I really like the article on friends and family asking for free service. Your comment made me laugh, though, when you say “if your Cousin Eddie can do it, it can’t be anything too special”. I think Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation and that statement rings true!

  3. Tanya says:

    I really enjoyed the links in this post. I’m going to practice being the most memorable person in the room!

  4. Kevin says:

    If you like Doctor Who you should check out Torchwood. It stars Captain Jack Harkness and a great supporting cast. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix. As well as Children of Earth a Torchwood mini-series.

  5. Mary says:

    The wonderful joy of Netflix! My husband and I are also sci-fi, netflix watching daters. We have and are enjoying Lost, Eureka, Legend of the Seeker, and Stargate.

  6. Alice says:

    Thanks for sharing! I loved Lost and Battlestar, haven’t tried Torchwood, Dr. Who, or Flashforward. And I second the Legend of the Seeker recommendation. The books were too dreary and violent for my tastes, but the show hits just the right level of beautiful people running around with swords in gorgeous landscape (New Zealand), plus plenty of slow-motion action scenes.

    Are you planning to watch Game of Thrones? I think George R. R. Martin is one of the best fantasy authors out there, hands down.

  7. *pol says:

    Firefly was a short-but-really-good sci-fi series (and then you need to watch the follow up movie “Serenity” too)

    I want to try Netfix for sure, but haven’t found the time to sign up yet… probably means I won’t have time to see it either!

  8. Lisa says:

    The X Files on streaming was the reason I did the free trial of Netflix :)

  9. jayme says:

    I highly recommend Firefly as well.

    Plus try Eureka! that’s a fun one!

  10. Des says:

    Yeah, I was surprised Firefly wasn’t on the list, too. I definitely pictured Trent as a Browncoat. ;)

  11. md says:

    Hey Trent, thanks a million for the link. I really wanted to put together an anti-self-employed post because I wanted to play devil’s advocate. I have been reading books on entrepreneurship non-stop ever since I started college. Everything from Crush It! to Escape From Cubicle Nation. My room is filled with books on the topic.

    Then suddenly I ran into a friend that failed at being self-employed and the harsh reality sunk in. This is why I wanted to write a piece on the other side. I hope that your readers enjoy it.

  12. Mercedes says:

    I’ve been working my way through a few series as well on netflix! Check out Dresden Files. It’s only one season, but I actually kinda liked it!

  13. jim says:

    I’ve watched and enjoy all of those programs.

  14. Sonja says:

    The “how much is true love worth?” post reminded me of one of my single-again friends. She is using a popular online dating service and is looking for companionship and financial security. She was livid after a date with a man who took her to dinner at a pretty nice restaurant but used a coupon. She thought that was so tacky! I thought it was a brilliant way to screen out the gold diggers.

  15. JS says:

    Both of Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series (Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse) are short-lived but awesome. All of his shows are great and available to stream.

  16. Johanna says:

    If I were a gold digger (and I’m certainly not – I have enough of my own money), I’d be thrilled to see my date using coupons. After all, the less he spends on dinner, the more he can spend on other things for me. Right? Maybe I’m weird.

  17. leslie says:

    Dr. Who and Torchwood are two of my favorite series ever. Love Firefly also. I actually watched all of Battlestar Galactica too but questioned why I was watching it the entire time. The last season I was watching it basically to see how it ended just because I had slogged through to that point. I am using Netflix now to watch all Stargate SG-1 again from the beginning.

  18. Dave M says:

    Boy, Trent, for someone who seems to think watching TV is for losers, you sure watch a good number of TV programs. But it’s OK since you get them through a movie subscription service!

  19. marilyn says:

    I think netflix is awesome for married couples! I think it’s healthy to have some fun escapist entertainment.

  20. Darla says:

    @ Johana – I started laughing out loud because after I read Sonja’s post about the coupon use… I was thinking the SAME THING you wrote!

    Coupons are frugal, not tacky. Tacky is if he asked her to pay half and whipped out a coupon for his half…LOL I believe a dollar saved is $1.33 I don’t have to earn again!

  21. Interested Reader says:

    @Dave – yeah, I never got Trent’s logic of TV is a complete waste of time and should be spent doing something productive! Tv shows are still tv no matter what format you watch them.

  22. Andrew says:

    Torchwood is wonderful–try it and you’ll see

  23. Interested Reader says:

    A brilliant sci fi show to watch is Ultraviolet, a UK series. Not to be confused with the movie. The series is 6 episodes so there’s not a huge time commitment. It has Jack Davenport (Norrington from Pirates of the Carribean) and Idris Elba (he was later in The Wire) and it’s a fanastic take on vampires.

    It’s vastly different stylistically from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is awesome and everyone should watch) but like BtVS it uses vampires to make social commentary.

    Ultraviolet is not on Netflix streaming, but if you have Amazon Prime you can stream it through Amazon.

  24. Karen says:

    I can’t wait for Dr. Who later this month!! Trent had Torchwood on his list.

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