Welcome one and all to the ninth edition of Instant Gratification. The focus of this feature is to provide TV Ragers with all the latest updates on the newest TV shows added to the Netflix Instant Streaming service, the ones about to expire for good, and the occasional reminder about just how much great stuff is already there for you guys and gals to peruse.
Now let's get started with all the notable additions since the last issue went to press.
*Descriptions in quotes courtesy of the Netflix website.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 3 - The third round of 39 episodes from the undisputed master of suspense are now easy to access through any Netflix ready device. I'm a huge fan of both anthology series and suspenseful thrillers, and if you are too, you can't go wrong with entrusting your evening to Mr. Hitchcock. As a bonus, this season contains one of the most famous episodes ever called Lamb To The Slaughter. I'll leave it you to discover why it's so well known. Seasons 1&2 also available.
American Dad Seasons 1-5 - The first five years of FOX animation guru Seth McFarlane's comedy about ultra conservative CIA agent Stan Smith and his wacky family (complete with space alien) are now available for all Netflix users to laugh at to their heart's content. Or for any of McFarlane's sizable hatedom to shake their fist at. Depends on what camp you belong to. I've only seen a few episodes, but what I saw was pretty funny.
A.N.T. Farm Season 1 - "This Disney Channel series charts the experiences of musical prodigy Chyna Sparks, a gifted young singer who skips her way up to a local high school's Accelerated Natural Talent program -- much to the annoyance of her new peers."
Dance Academy Season 2 - "Tara returns to the National Academy of Dance with the goal of representing Australia in the world's most prestigious ballet competition. But just surviving her second year may be enough of a challenge." Season 1 also streamable.
Disappeared Season 2 - "A high school student, a chief financial officer, a single mom -- these are but of few of the vanished whose disappearance this series investigates. As family and friends wring their hands, experts try to pick up the trail of lost loved ones." Season 1 also on Instant.
Fact Or Faked: Paranormal Files Season 2 - "Ben Hansen is a former FBI agent who is fascinated by the paranormal. Now, having left the agency, he leads a team of intrepid investigators who dissect the latest paranormal evidence by interviewing witnesses and using the latest detection devices." Season 1 also available.
Hardcover Mysteries Season 1 - "Best-selling authors examine the incredible real-life cases that inspired their own creations. Storytellers do what they do best by adding unique perspectives and creative twists to some of history's most famous mysteries."
Swamp Loggers Season 2 - "In this season of the reality show, the crew endures scorching heat while battling new challenges ranging from tight deadlines and increased pressure to cut and haul more timber, to dividing the team to log multiple tracts." Season 1 also streamable.
Waking The Dead Season 2 - "In a chilling new selection of cold cases, the team tracks a copycat killer bent on terrorizing the survivor of an attempted crime and tries to cut through the political red tape that let a killer get away with murder." This season appears to have temporarily vanished from Instant, but has now returned. Seasons 1, and 3-5 also remain available.
Weeds Season 6 - The 2010 season of Showtime's acclaimed comedy following the complicated life of single mom turned pot dealer Nancy Botwin has just hit Netflix Instant. If you're looking for hilariously awkward situations, lots of attractive naked people for both genders to appreciate, and some really good acting to boot, then this is the show for you. Enjoy it guys, as it also appears to be the last Showtime series available on Netflix. If only Dexter was still there. Sigh. Seasons 1-5 yadda yadda.
The list of notable show expiring soon includes:
4/17 Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog, Highlander: The Animated Series, Kong: The Animated Series
And this edition's classic pick (a great show that has long been available to stream) is the aforementioned anthology series by one of the greatest directors of all time:
Alfred Hitchcock Presents - In a first for this feature, I've decided to choose a recently added series for my classic pick. Although to be fair, you don't get more "classic" than this treasure from the golden age of television. For the uninitiated, AHP is a thirty-minute anthology program in which every episode brings you a completely new story and characters. This type of show used to be a small industry up until the early 1990's. Then the public's interest in the genre died quietly. Other than the revamped Outer Limits, the anthology format has largely been deader than disco since then. I say that's a shame.
With the exception of The Twilight Zone, I'd be hard pressed to find an anthology more beloved than Alfred Hitchcock Presents. It ran for seven successful seasons, and then three more seasons as the re-tooled Alfred Hitchcock Hour. It was also remade for TV in 1985, to mixed results. To delve too fully into the actual plots of each episode would be a disservice to new viewers. I'll just leave you guys with this. If you like well written, well directed, well acted enaging TV then you owe it to yourself to check this series out.
And that's it for this ninth edition of Instant Gratification. I hope you found it informative and at least fairly entertaining. See you next time.