Welcome one and all to the tenth 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.
The Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog - "Based on the popular video game, this animated series follows the exploits of hyper hedgehog Sonic and his cohort Miles "Tails" Prower as they defend the planet Mobius against Dr. Robotnik and his evil schemes."
American Dad Season 6 - The sixth year 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.
The Beatles: From Liverpool To San Francisco - "All they had to do was breathe and a million screaming fans would let loose. But what was behind the Beatles' magic? And how did they conquer the world? This documentary explores the group's glory days, through the good times and the bad."
Bob's Burgers Season 1 - "Bob is the patriarch of the Belcher family and owner of an independent burger joint. With his wife Linda, son Gene, and daughters Tina and Louise, Bob attempts to overcome spotty service and overall absurdity to bring his burgers to the masses."
Cold Blood Season 3 - "Go behind the scenes of brutal murders with mind-blowing twists. Find out how a dentist from a sleepy town ended up lying in a pool of blood, who is behind a series of murders in a college town, and more."
Freak Encounters Season 1 - "The creatures on Freak Encounters are inspired by reported sightings. While each episode contains fictional elements, for one person it is all too real. Watch as unsuspecting people come face-to-face with a monster."
Ghost Lab Season 2 - "Brad and Berry travel to historic locations to communicate with the spirits of the departed. Destinations include Gettysburg, where the team tries to connect with the only civilian killed in the battle, and the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast." Season 1 also available.
Hoarding: Buried Alive Season 2 - "Hoarders struggle with their obsessions that have made them prisoners in their own homes while tearing their families apart. If they don't get help soon, their hopes for happiness may remain buried amid their possessions." Season 1 also available.
I Shouldn't Be Alive Season 4 - "Tales of survival in the fourth season of this reality show include a father-daughter camping trip in the hostile environment of the Outback, two climbers stranded in the French Alps, a shipwrecked family and a rescue mission gone wrong." Season 3 also available.
Jason Of Star Command - "A short-lived spinoff from "Space Academy," this sci-fi serial centers on Jason, a soldier of fortune and an officer of Star Command -- a clandestine operation charged with protecting the academy from evil forces, which include the sinister Dragos."
Ken Burns: The Civil War - "This documentary masterpiece from Ken Burns depicts the strategies and action of famous Civil War battles, and relates the stories of generals, field soldiers, politicians, heroes and a beleaguered president. The Emmy-winning miniseries begins by looking at the factors that led to the firing on Fort Sumter, and covers specific notable battles, climaxing with Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender and Pres. Abraham Lincoln's assassination."
The Mentor Season 2 - "Top executives mentor small business owners across America, offering budding entrepreneurs the chance to get advice from some of the nation's most successful CEOs. Top dogs from HSN, Redbox, Pelican Products and others dish out useful insights." Season 1 also available.
The Mighty Hercules - "Sent by the gods of Mount Olympus, Hercules journeys to Earth in order to protect its people from the evil that threatens them in this 1960s animated series. At his disposal are a magic ring and his own incredible strength."
The Mr. Magoo Show - "Having bad eyesight was never so much fun as in this vintage animated series, which follows the high jinks of Mr. Magoo -- a comically nearsighted retiree whose ability to get into trouble is matched only by his luck in getting out of it again."
Pair Of Kings Season 2 - "Season 2 brings more adventures on the island of Kinkow as Boomer and Brady plan a Christmas celebration, try to make peace with a tribe of troll people and find an ancient watch that lets them restart time." Season 1 also available.
Waking The Dead Season 3 - "Things get personal for Boyd when the unit investigates a murderer who killed his close friend. The team also tackles an unusual case involving a mummified body found in a Notting Hill home." This season appears to have temporarily vanished from Instant, but has now returned. Seasons 1, 2, 4&5 also remain available.
The Whitest Kids U Know Season 5 - "In the fifth and final season of their irreverent sketch comedy show, Zach, Trevor and the rest of the Whitest Kids U' Know troupe aim to go out on a high note with skits such as the Zombie Press Conference, Herpes Commercial and Little Hitler."
The list of notable shows expiring soon includes:
Zippo. Lots of new stuff, nothing lost. It's a good week for streamers.
And this edition's classic pick (a great show that has long been available to stream) is the little sci-fi procedural that ending up being a 90's pop culture phenomenon:
The X-Files - I can't imagine that anyone but our youngest readers needs any introduction to The X-Files universe. Even if you've never seen the show, you're probably still aware of the premise - FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder is assigned a new skeptical partner named Dana Scully in what starts as an attempt by the higher ups to keep tabs on the progress of Mulder's work. The formerly decorated agent has become obsessed with trying to solve the mysterious and unexplained cases that populate the titular department. Along the way, Mulder hopes to find his long lost sister, who he believes to have been abducted by aliens. Needless to say, it started simple, but it certainly didn't end that way.
Over the course of the series' nine season run on FOX, Mulder & Scully became one of the most iconic teams in the history of TV, fighting every mutant freak and monster imaginable in their endless quest for the truth. The conspiracy plot that slowly unravels season by season is one of the best uses of serial storytelling I've ever witnessed. While some despise the later seasons, I don't think they're really being fair. While they may not be quite as good as the first few, they're still better than most shows of the time, and feature some great stories. If you've never delved into the depths of what the X-Files has to offer, you really owe it to yourself to do so. I give it the highest recommendation.
And that's it for this tenth edition of Instant Gratification. I hope you found it informative and at least fairly entertaining. See you next time.