Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

So far this Irish Summer has been a bit of a washout. As I type, the wind is howling and the rain is sheeting down. We brave it when we can, and, when we can’t, we come up with indoor activities to amuse us. Sometimes though, there is nothing for it but to take out the blankets and turn on Netflix.

Here are some of our viewing recommendations this Summer. I’ve noticed a bit of a trend when comparing the adults choices to the children’s… both seem to include scifi, history and humour – not a bad mix!


Scifi – the  children were delighted to see Guardians of the Galaxy come to Netflix (this movie has a 12s rating) and it has already served them well as a ‘movie night’ option with friends.

Tech – We have introduced a bit more coding in the house this Summer, after a wonderful introduction from Galway’s Coderdojo classes. The children have loved the hour of code and have completed the Minecraft and StarWars challenges. This has sparked their coding imagination, and now they have found Gaming show (in my parents’ garage) they are completely hooked.

Gaming show IMPG

HistoryHorrible Histories is a constant entertainer in this house, even the adults have watched most of the episodes. It is amazing how the children are quoting historic facts, learned from the programme. When they finish the series they just start again from the beginning.

Humour – Apart from the giggles they get from Horrible Histories, the children are also loving the newest series of King Julien. I often pop my head in the room to find three laughing children snuggled on the couch.


Scifi – we stumbled across a scifi film called Push and loved it. It certainly deserves more than the three stars it currently has in the rating. The movie is about people with special powers, some can read minds, see the future, implant memories in people’s heads and move objects with their minds. And when the good guys and the bad guys have similar talents the story line keeps moving at quite a pace.

History – I am lucky if I get near the remote control these nights, since the second series of Marco Polo arrived on Netflix my husband has been binge watching. He is curious about the Mongol empire and enjoys the way the drama is portrayed.

Humour – The full second series of Better Call Saul is now available on Netflix. Although the plot thickens and the story gets a little darker, there is still plenty of the humour that so impressed us from the first series.


Image credit: Ben Leuner/Netflix

Regardless of what we watch, we usually round off the night’s viewing with a good belly-laughing episode of The Big Bang; It is consistently brilliant!


Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a year’s subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting regular updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed are my own.

One boy, one beast, many adventures – Netflix Dream Works Dragons

One boy, one beast, many adventures – Netflix Dream Works Dragons

There is lots of excitement in the house today; and we are not talking about the start of the Summer holidays, we are talking about the arrival of the all new action packed series … Dream Works Dragons: Race to the Edge! … released on Netlfix, today, Friday 26th June.

The popcorn is bought, the couch is booked and the whole family plan to start the holidays off in style tonight. And there will be the newest member of the family squeezing in too… this little guy.

My youngest is a huge fan of toothless so imagine his excitement when a package arrived from Netlfix this week containing his all-time favourite dragon, along with his trusted side kick – Hiccup! My only worry is that dragon and small boy will be asleep before they even get to watch their favourite series – such is the level of action that the two adventurers have already clocked up.

First off, toothless is a flying dragon, as we all know, so small boy enlisted a little help from science to get his friend airborne… Newton stated that every action has an equal and opposite reaction and that is what both boy and dragon counted on with this little stunt!


Did it work? Well, it certainly got toothless flying right across the room but eventually the pair decided that they needed more height and distance and turned their attention to rocket power. They constructed a stomp rocket and the fearless dragon was taped to the rocket, secure and ready for launch. Test flights gave good results in the corridor until Mum decided that it was an experiment best brought outdoors. Boy and dragon were very happy with the flight distances that this little adventure achieved.

toothless catapult

Happy, but not completely sated, they decided that distance was good but they wanted a little more height… time to bring in the big guns and launch a bigger rocket. At this stage they were wisely persuaded that the fearless dragon should, at least, be wearing better safety gear… so they built him a helmet!


Onwards and upwards, toothless was strapped in place and all set for launch.


5, 4, 3, 2, 1…


What goes up, must come down!


A successful flight, awesome heights, and a relatively soft landing (if you are made of hard plastic and wearing that, oh so important tinfoil helmet). Maybe they didn’t make it into the stratosphere but the dragon certainly earned his wings… and a good night’s sleep!

Check out the action packed new series on Netflix for more great adventures…

And if you have any little adventurers in your home that are rocket crazy here is how to make these rockets…


You will need:

an empty 2L plastic bottle, paper, insulation tape, a 1/2 inch PVC pipe, a length of rubber tubing;

What to do… tape one end of the rubber tubing to the neck of the bottle and tape the other end to one end of the PVC pipe. Next make the body of the rocket by wrapping a piece of paper around the PVC pipe and secure it with tape at the overlap. Remove the rocket from the pipe. Cut four triangles of paper and attach to the body of  the rocket near one end; these are the rocket fins. Make a nose (cone shape) for the other end of the rocket and attach it with tape.  You are now ready to launch your rocket. (Best to do this outside!).
Sit your paper rocket over the PVC pipe and place the 2L bottle on the ground on its side. Stomp on the bottle and watch your rocket shoot off!
You will need:
An empty 2 L plastic bottle, paper, a ball pump needle, a bottle cork, a foot pump
What to do… using the paper make three fins and a nose cone for the bottle rocket, the base of the bottle is where you fit the cone, attach the fins around the side of the rocket. Push the ball pump needle through the cork until it comes out the other side; Fill the bottle rocket one third full with water and plug the neck of the bottle with the cork. Attach the food pump to the ball pump needle and, either hold the bottle rocket or secure it vertically on the ground (we used an adapted funnel). Start pumping until…. your rocket launches with a big whoosh of water and flies into the air!
Disclosure: I received the toy as part of the Netflix Stream Team; All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Netflix Stream Team – the SciFi edition

Netflix Stream Team – the SciFi edition

I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of Tom Cruise (to put it mildly) so I resisted for a while when Oblivion came up on my Netflix profile; eventually curiosity got the better of me though and, once I got over the Tom Cruise bit (which took about 20 minutes), I actually quite enjoyed the movie.


One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

I find that SciFis are often just a repeat of a similar theme, but this one had an original story and that’s what I liked about it. Worth watching, and, if you actually like Mr. Top Gun then you’d have a BIG bonus!

Then there is The 4400 and Heroes… they definitely have what it takes to lure you in until you are hooked and tempted to watch them back to back. Both with a common theme, people with special powers, how we love them and fear them all at the same time. I love the concept of real life superheroes and the humanness of how they are ultimately seen as a threat. I would recommend them, but be warned… the 4800 series was never finished… I discovered this at series three (of five) and pulled out cold turkey style. I couldn’t take the possibility of being left hanging in mid-air, in the middle of some crisis, with the lives or well being of characters I had grown to love and loath sitting in the balance. No doubt I missed some excellent episodes by pulling out when I did. I have been reliable informed that Heroes has an actual ending!

The 4400
The 4400

And of course I have spotted that Netflix has Alphas, another great series along the same theme and another one likely to draw you in. I saw some of these episodes before we had Netflix so I’m delighted to see that I can jump right back in there, and with the control of pause, rewind and back to back episodes. Netflix… I love you!

Netflix, you know me well. I have just spotted a new SciFi type series appearing on my time line. It will be released on 5th June but your ruse worked, I watched the trailer, it’s one big juicy carrot! When I saw that Sense8 is created by the people behind The Matrix there was no more convincing needed… the date is in my diary.

Here is the trailer in case you are as easily tempted as I am…

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a years subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting monthly updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed will be my own.

A day of laughter with Netflix and the Unbreakable Kimmy Smidth

A day of laughter with Netflix and the Unbreakable Kimmy Smidth

Most days around here are pretty much the same thing… meals, school runs, homework, housework, a bit of work fitted in between pick ups and after school activities. Last Wednesday was a little different… last Wednesday I made it all the way to London and back for pampering, socializing and a lot of laughter, all thanks to Netflix and the launch of their new comedy series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

I would be the first to say that motherhood is a very rewarding thing, but that doesn’t mean to say that it is always easy. Some days you just feel like you are being pulled in so many directions. It seems that Netflix are well aware of how mums sometimes feel, which is why they treated us to cocktails, canapés, massages and nail painting. In the midst of all that we got to sit in the lovely viewing cinema of the Soho Hotel and relax with laughter as we viewed the first three episodes of the all new Netflix original comedy series… The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper – The Office) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, she’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore. Wide-eyed but resilient, nothing is going to stand in her way.  She quickly finds a new job (working for30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski), a new roommate (Tituss Burgess – 30 Rock), and a new beginning.

The series premieres today on Netflix so pour yourself a drink and grab a bowl of popcorn, I’m afraid the massages and cocktails have been left in London :).

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a years subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. I was brought to London for the premier of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. All opinions expressed are my own.


Joining Netflix Stream Team – one happy family

Joining Netflix Stream Team – one happy family

Netflix Stream Team
Netflix Stream Team

I recently became a member of the Netflix Stream Team and, considering the lack of quality viewing we have available from our current set up, there was great excitement when the apple TV and subscription arrived. We only have one “modern” TV in our house that could take the HDMI cable so we set things up on that one. It was surprisingly easy and painless and within just a few minutes I had registered our account online and we were good to go. I really liked that you could set your personal preferences and get individual profiles for each family member.

Lots of Documentaries for the Science Wows household
Lots of Documentaries for the Science Wows household

I was very excited about the wonderful line up of nature programs and documentaries. From Netflix own Mission Blue to The David Attenborough’s Life of Birds – I have so much to choose from. I loved the fact that I could add them to my list in my profile, ready to watch later.


So Netflix was installed and we were all set to go, the only thing I didn’t factor in was the rest of my family.

The children took to Netflix like ducks to water. The five year old had the tiny remote control sussed within minutes. For the first week he came home from school and, using his most “poor tired me” voice, asked could he have a little Netflix to unwind! I love the way he can watch an episode or two of a cartoon series and then he is happy to turn it off and walk away. He has discovered Rugrats and Lilo and Stitch, programs that never really made it onto his radar before as his older siblings tended to choose the viewing. There are also Netflix originals such as Turbo for him to enjoy.

Keeping the five year old happy
Keeping the five year old happy

I asked all three children what they thought of Netflix and here are their replies…

The five year old… I like having the remote, you can just watch what ever you want. If you turn it off (pause it) and turn it back on and you can watch the things you really like. Some of his favourites are Sonic, Jimmy Neutron and Sponge Bob square pants.

The eight year old… my favourites are Spongebob, Adventure time, and the fact that I can watch The Hobbit (he has notions that one!)

The ten year old… loves seeing new movies and rewatching old ones; her favourites so far are Brave, Open Season three and Wallace and Gromit

Then there was my husband…. when he realised that the last series of breaking bad was at his fingertips he was one very happy man. The only problem I had was that between the children and my husband I wasn’t getting a look in myself.

Hubby’s Netflix verdict?… he loves that there are no ads, that he can pause to make a cuppa and that if he turns it off it will resume in the same place for him the next day. Apart from Breaking Bad he has been enjoying some documentaries and was delighted to see Twilight Samurai (a personal favourite)among his viewing options.

Eventually I came up with a solution to the problem. I decided to put Netflix on the other (ancient) TV by streaming it through the Wii. I found these instructions on line and, with a fair amount of techno trepidation, I had a go. My fears were unfounded as that worked a treat too. Despite the children claiming “Oh great now we can watch Neflix on one TV while Dad watches his programs on the other!” I have put my foot down and claimed my space on the Netflix viewing couch.

With the colder nights settling in and the fire being lit it is nice to have the TV viewing sorted. I loved watching Brave with the children and when they go to bed Hubby and I have checked out a few movies and started into those Nature documentaries I mentioned (but there will be more about them later).

Last night we found a very interesting documentary called Life Below Zero – a reality adventure series follows individuals who’ve chosen to live in the remote Alaskan wilderness, miles from civilization. We are looking forward to catching another episode this evening.

So what do I like most about Netflix?… I love the fact that it is choice TV viewing on demand, no ads, no endless flicking through channels of nothing interesting. I like the fact we can watch what we want, when we want. I am really looking forward to watching those Science and Nature documentaries and checking out what else is on offer… now that I have got my hands on the remote!


Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a years subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting monthly updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed will be my own.