I love a good documentary, especially one that leaves you thinking or pondering the things you thought you knew. During quarantine many of us were able to catch up on TV shows, movies and documentaries. I definitely had the chance to catch up on a lot of shows and documentaries. These are some of my favorite documentaries and docuseries, all on Netflix unless otherwise stated.
How to watch a Documentary
According to Merriam-Webster, a documentary is a presentation (such as a film or novel) expressing or dealing with factual events.
It’s important to note that documentaries can have bias. This could be due to the “other side” not willing to be interviewed or the film maker unintentionally having desirability bias on the outcome. Nonetheless, all the information presented is fact, but may not be the whole story. I see a documentary as a way of challenging your idea or thoughts on a topic. Once we watch a documentary on climate change, our whole world view may shift, but we are not experts on climate change now. Keep your mind open to the information, but always do more research into topics that really stick out to you! Allow the documentary to make you rethink, learn or unlearn the topic.
Photo by Dmitry Demidov on Pexels.com
“Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn”Adam Grant, Think Again
Must see Docuseries
- Inside Bills Brain: Decoding Bill Gates – You will be in awe of Bill and his wife Melinda Gates as they take on some hefty projects that could just save the world
- Chef’s Table – the cinematography alone is worth seeing
- The Last Dance – I am not even a basketball fan, but this is a great docuseries on Michael Jordan
- High Score – follow the development of video games from Pac-Man to role playing games
- Connected – you will be fascinated learning about Benford’s Law in the Digits episode
- Cheer – an easy going show following an unassuming competitive cheer squad
- McMillion$ (HBO) – you will be on the edge of your seat at the end of each episode wondering how in the world the McDonalds Monopoly game got rigged
- Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II (Disney+) – a behind the scenes look at the making of Frozen II
- Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (Disney+) – Gordon travels to exotic places and learns to cook exotic food
- Rogue Trip (Disney+) – a father son travel docuseries that opens your eyes to parts of the world many of us know very little about
- Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Hulu) – in case you haven’t picked it up yet, I love a good cooking and/or travel show, and this is another great docuseries
Must see Documentaries
Easy Going Documentaries
- The Speed Cubers – a heartwarming documentary following a young boy with autism who falls in love with the art of the Rubik’s cube
- The Last Blockbuster – a nostalgic look at the very last blockbuster and how the fall of the video store occurred in the first place
- Miss Americana – learn a little more about the beloved Taylor Swift and some of her thoughts and struggles
- Own the Room (Disney+) – follow the journey of 5 young entrepreneurs from around the globe as they compete for their business venture on a global stage
- Science Fair (Disney+) – watch a group of kids determined to win the science fair
- The Biggest Little Farm (Hulu) – ever wanted to have your own farm? Make sure you watch this first and learn about the love and work behind building the farm of your dreams.
- The Social Dilemma – one of my favorites! You will ponder the role of social media and who is in control for weeks after watching this
- The Great Hack – another favorite! You will be left wondering how and why and could it happen again as you look into an analytics company who may be impacting your decisions
- 13th – learn about the 13th amendment, its loopholes, and the history, statistics and facts about the justice system. You will walk away wondering how ‘just’ the justice system really is and what can we do about it
- Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal – learn about how the pressures of the wealthy led to a widespread scandal for getting their kids into the top schools. You will wonder who is really accountable and is the system broken
- American Factory – watch and learn how cultural differences can lead to conflict in an American factory owned by the Chinese
- Bill Nye: Science Guy – a fascinating watch about science and religion coming into conflict about the climate
- Knock Down the House – a heart warming documentary about a grassroots campaign that chooses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to shake the political environment in New York
- Get Me Roger Stone – a political documentary that will make you wonder where is the accountability in our politics
- The New York Time Presents: Framing Britney Spears (Episode 1) (Hulu) – being a celebrity isn’t as glamorous as you may think, is Britney still being controlled by her father? What does ‘Free Britney’ even mean?
- RBG (Hulu) – learn more about the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her work and her incredible legacy
- Slay The Dragon (end gerrymandering) (Hulu) – this one will make you mad and ready to take action. Learn about gerrymandering and feel hope that you can make a difference when you put your mind to it
- The Brink (Hulu) – another political documentary where you will learn about what a populist is and wonder how much manipulation is involved in politics
I love a good documentary recommendation, did I miss any good ones? I’ll be honest, I can’t handle crime documentaries but I do know there are some great ones out there. I will plan to keep this post updated with my newest recommended documentaries or docuseries. What are your favorite documentaries? What should I add to my documentary watch list? Drop a comment below or leave me a message.