When the weather is terrible, I lean on my best friend: Netflix. I also happened to really lean on Netflix every weekend, and all weekdays after 5 PM. But Netflix is the most comforting when the roads betray me.
That being said, Netflix isn’t all fun and games. Netflix can also leave me a bit disappointed at times. For example, if I’m in the mood for one specific film, just to learn it’s “DVD only” or – even worse – not available at all. While I’ve gotten over the pain, here are a few selections that Netflix Instant currently does not offer, but totally should.
1. Almost Famous
This will always be my favorite movie, so of course I look for it on Netflix whenever I need to mourn over the fact that I was never a young rock journalist like William Miller. Yes, I own the DVD. But it’s upstairs, and I’m lazy.
In all honesty, the best way to share movies these days is by saying “It’s on Netflix!” I’ve been able to compare notes with my friends and family, all who have accounts and can start up the film in less than a minute. Sure, I guess I could lend my DVD out – but I’m not willing to risk the chance that I’ll never see it again.
Instead, Try: Say Anything (if you’re looking for the “innocent boy likes girl” angle) or the numerous music documentaries that Netflix does offer instantly.
2. Kindergarten Cop
For some reason, Kindergarten Cop is one of the most-quoted movies of my generation. At least, everyone in my generation can yell out “It’s not a TOOM-ah!” in their best Arnold voice. This classic from 1990 is everything you’d expect with the plot of “Arnold is a kindergarten teacher in disguise”, and it’s the perfect film to watch when it’s horrible outside.
Instead, Try: Daddy Day-Care. Swap Arnold with Eddie Murphy, and realize that the plot idea is kind of similar.
3. Troll 2
For the record, Troll 2 was available up until the New Year. I know, since I made sure to rewatch it on New Year’s Eve, not knowing when I’d have the chance again. You might have heard of the film Best Worst Movie, which is a documentary on how horrible Troll 2 is.
All of the lead actors of Troll 2 showed up to audition as extras. The film was made in English, despite the fact that the filmmakers knew very, very little English. This means that the script – which didn’t allow the actors to improvise – was exactly how you’d imagine it. Also, there aren’t any actual trolls in Troll 2. It’s a must-see.
Instead, Try: Best Worst Movie is still available. It’s literally the next best thing.
4. The Little Mermaid
Out of all Disney films, the songs from The Little Mermaid get stuck in my head the most. This was one of the first big Disney films of my childhood, and I’m never sure whether or not the DVD is in or out of the elusive and intimidating Disney Vault. What I do know is, my VHS tape is back at my Dad’s house (the original version, before someone deemed the cover as being “too phallic”) and I don’t have a VHS player in my current apartment.
Instead, Try: Pocahontas. You’ll still get a few Disney childhood feels.
5. Clone High
If you caught Clone High on MTV, consider yourself lucky. The show, which focuses around a high school that’s entirely populated by clones of famous historical figures, aired for just a season between 2002 and 2003.
Not only was it clever, but it was hilarious. And since I was exposed to it so long ago, I always forget references. I kind of think that if it aired on another network, it might have gained the popularity that it definitely deserved. Get on it, Netflix!
Instead, Try: Bob’s Burgers. It’s also animated, well written, and will make you laugh.
Another great show to marathon, and not feel bad about: After all, the show had a really high success rate, and was extremely well done. As a fan, my favorite was Jeff Van Vonderen, who was big on keeping to the script during his interventions. “Everyone in this room loves you like crazy.”
It was a shame that A&E pulled it after an impressive amount of seasons, but it’s a bigger shame that Netflix is no longer streaming it.
Instead, Try: Addicted, which aired on TLC. But don’t be disappointed – the show just lasted for 6 episodes.
7. The Muppets Take Manhattan
I enjoy me some Muppets. Out of all the Muppet adventures, this one is my ultimate favorite. Spoiler alert: Kermit and Miss Piggy get married! This film also marked the first appearance of the Muppet Babies, which later lead to the animated series that I’m sure you remember.
How sweet is it when Kermit gets the letters from his friends after they’ve found employment outside of New York? Definitely sweeter than if Kermit got a text from Fozzie, saying “HIBRN8N, LOLOL”.
Adding this Muppet classic to the Netflix bill would be a great way to promote the new Muppet film coming out this year!
Instead, Try: Sesame Street Classics. Yeah, you might feel weird watching it. But you’ll be able to reminisce a bit. And nobody has to know.
8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When I was in college, this was everyone’s favorite movie. If you told people you didn’t see it yet, they gave you a look of disbelief. It was kind of like this movie was supposed to be screened while you were taking your SATs to get into college in the first place.
The movie is all about erasing memories, which I’m sure we’ve all wanted to do at some point in our lives. It fits into the category of “arty films you might want to see more than once, to fully process.” Which I’d do, if it was streaming on Netflix.
Instead, Try: Lost In Translation. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson in Tokyo? I’m sold.
Jack and Rose. Rose and Jack. The love story that we all wanted, besides the whole “ship sinking” scenario. This film is a classic, and even though you’ve probably seen it a billion times already (either in its original version, or 3D) it’s never enough. The good thing about lengthy films we’re so familiar with is, they can be really comforting to watch while multitasking. Have to cook, or iron? Throw Titanic on! You know what happens!
Instead, Try: Eh, let’s be real. Nothing holds up to Titanic.
10 The Kids In The Hall
If you’re a fan of sketch comedy, hopefully you’re familiar with this talented group of Canadians. The show originally ran from 1988 to 1994 in Canada, and was later picked up by CBS and HBO. Not only did the group of five perform sketches almost entirely by themselves (notably dressing in drag when necessary), but the show helped launch the acting career of Dave Foley, who went on to appear in NewsRadio.
Also not available? Their film The Kids In The Hall: Brain Candy. While it was an odd film, it’ll stick with you for a while.
Instead, Try: Comedy Bang! Bang! – While it’s shot like a fake talk show, it’s definitely similar with its bizarre sense of comedy.
11. Benny and Joon
My crush on Johnny Depp started after watching Benny and Joon. This film is also one of the reasons as to why “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers is one of my ultimate favorite tunes. While the plot might be hard to explain to a friend (“So, Joon is mentally ill, and she wins Sam at a poker game, and he’s strange too, but they fall in love?”) it’s well worth explaining.
Instead, Try: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Both have Johnny, and both roles are amazing.
Hoarders, which aired on A&E, featured people who made your apartment look pretty tidy. While the show probably shouldn’t have been watched during dinner, it really emphasized how hoarding is actually a disease. Personally, I liked to marathon the show while cleaning. It was great inspiration.
Instead, Try: Hoarding: Buried Alive – It’s not the same, but it’s pretty close.
13. Dirty Dancing
Sure, nobody puts Baby in a corner. But they can exclude Baby from Netflix, and nobody says a word.
Out of all the omissions, this one shocks me the most. I’m sure if you polled 100 people and asked them their top 5 favorite films of all time, at least 50% would include Dirty Dancing. Plus, this film has been referenced in so many other works, that you’d think it’d be required viewing. I mean, it was the first film to sell more than a million copies on home video. Again, I can’t be the only person whose incapable of watching VHS tapes, right?
Instead, Try: Footloose. Both are classics.
14. Sixteen Candles
Speaking of required viewing, I think Sixteen Candles is a must-see for all teenagers. And a must-rewatch for all adults, who felt the embarrassment that Sam Baker felt after realizing someone might have learned about her intense crush on Jake Ryan. Who else hoped that they’d have a sixteenth birthday as memorable as Sam’s?
It’d be great if we could have instant access to this Molly Ringwald classic. There’s nothing like hot chocolate, marshmallows, blankets, and Sixteen Candles to create the perfect snow day.
Instead, Try: The Breakfast Club. Does that answer your question?… Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
15. Gilmore Girls
So, I own the DVDs to Gilmore Girls. But here’s the thing: They’re all scratched. Like, scratched to a point where they’ll stop playing in the midst of an episode. It’s kind of infuriating. And sure, I can take full blame for it. And I could also replace my damaged collection with the very expensive boxed set. Or, I could just wait for the day when my favorite show hits Netflix, and I can instantly pretend I live in Stars Hollow without fear of skips or error messages. I choose the latter.
Instead, Try: Parenthood, especially if you want your Lauren Graham fix.
What are some of your unavailable favorites?