Netflix recommendations- How to Get Rich

And this isn’t Cryptocurrency Explained!

Before starting this new Netflix series, I thought I was in for an 8-part series on all the different get rich quick schemes out there! Like an extended version of all those annoying YouTube ads. But how wrong was I!

‘How to Get Rich’ is an 8 part series where Finance expert Ramit Sethi meets with a collection of couples and individuals, first breaking down their financial situation (by going through their bank accounts and bills), and once he has understood their financial position, then meets them in person. In the process, learning about them and understanding how and why they’re in their current financial state, and then giving them advice in how and what they could change to place themselves on a better financial path. So, what surprised me was that the show was more about the people and the human side of their stories, rather than a list of methods in how to make more money.

But it does achieve on those points as well, by sharing with us cautionary tales of what not to do. Which was refreshing, as the other method would have been to feature couples who had it all! But who could really relate to those people! Right? And the sad reality is that, that American’s aren’t as rich as we think them to be (heaps of Credit card debt and outstanding college loans), and unfortunately there is no get rich fast scheme, but for the old fashion slow way, of saving all your pennies where you can.

For me, I most enjoyed the way they told the stories. In most reality TV shows of this type, they would feature one family or individual per episode, go deep and then have a resolution by the end of the 30-40 minutes. So, what happens is that, if there is a particularly boring couple, the likelihood that I’m back for the next episode is low. However, ‘How to Get Rich’ starts off with 2-3 couples/individuals, and across 2-3 episodes their stories are told, and when one storyline comes to its natural ending, that couple rolls-off, to be replaced by another new person. And as their stories conclude at different times, so the introduction of new people is less predictable, which in turn keeps the show fresh.

If you ask my wife what she enjoyed the most about the show. Her answer would likely be the fact that she stopped and seriously thought about what does her ‘Rich life’ looks like. A question which Ramit puts to each individual and couple that he meets. As in, why are you doing what you’re doing day in day out? What are you trying to achieve with your life? What do you need to have or what lifestyle do you need to be living, for you to say that you’re rich or feel content in life? And that is such a fascinating thing to explore. And for my wife who hadn’t really thought too much about this topic in the past, now she could articulate what her ‘rich life’ looks like, so this has been a true revelation for her.

So yeah, for that single reason alone, I think ‘How to Get Rich’ is worth everyone’s time! So, if you want to live a more focused, dare I say a more ‘Purpose driven life’, then check-out ‘How to Get Rich’ on Netflix! You never know, your Rich life might not be all that far away!

Netflix recommendations- King of Collectables: The Golden Touch

Obsessive compulsives unite!

We love shows like this! Reality TV! collectables! And Americans with more money than they know what to do with it! And Netflix has tapped into the same method which has seen successes, i.e., bring some cameras into an otherwise mundane workplace, feature some larger-than-life personalities, manufacture some unnatural drama, and turn relatively unknown people into instant celebrities!

Now can you understand why these ambitious businesspeople come running to Netflix, offering Netflix unlimited access to their empires, so both parties’ profit! Netflix gets more content on the cheap, and said businessperson becomes a household name, elevating them to the top of their industries (rightfully or wrongfully so), thus getting and one-up on their competitors. We can see through their motivations, but we’re cool with that in the end, as it means more binge worthy content for us!

For those who are unfamiliar with the new Netflix Reality series, ‘King of Collectables: The Golden Touch’ it follows Ken Golden, who is the owner of a high-end auction house in the States which specializes in Collectables, like sports memorabilia, Trading cards, and items which used to belong to American pop-icons. Over 6 episodes, the Golden team convinces existing owners of rare items, to part with their treasures for a huge pay day (while in the process generating a 20% commission fee for themselves). The show highlights what it takes to market and promote the products, the suspense as they watch auction bids come in,  and it shows how much money people are willing to pay for one-off items which had come into contact with someone famous (no matter how long or brief that contact might have been). While it also shows how one man’s junk (from 20 years ago), can be another man’s treasure in the present day, as old tech (with its original packaging) could attract 6 figure sums in the present. And I was pleased to give my dad a call, letting him know that all those silly American Football cards which I used to collect as a kid, might actually be worth a few bucks to the right person!

But what I most liked about the show was this. It was a tool which I used to educate my wife. Yes, I turned it into an elaborate 6 part counselling session to let her into my psyche- into the mind of an obsessive & compulsive person. As I’ve gotten older,  I’m more self-aware and now I get it, Once I have my mind-set on something, I can’t get it out of my head until I’ve carried out the act. Or once I’ve developed a taste for something, I just can’t get enough of it, and it could go on for months-years). And my latest obsession is with collecting Bass guitars (as you may know, if you’ve been following my blogs for the past 24 months). So, Ken Golden and his clients have been the perfect examples for me to tell my wife: “There are crazier people out there than me! And my obsession with collecting and hording stuff, it’s not actually that bad! Like look at this guy!” ~Refers to collector in Costa Rica who had the basement full of game worn NBA jerseys and absolutely rare sh*t, which had a potential value of upwards of $100 Million! So, the show featured many people who I could point to and say to my wife “at least I’m not as bad as that guy!” Haaha.

So, for this reason alone, I’ve enjoyed ‘King of Collectables: The Golden Touch’. And if you too are a bit of a hoarder like me, and an obsessive collector of the wildest of things, and if those around you don’t understand why you do what you do? Then this show is a must watch for you and your significant other. As this is a great educational tool to let them into your psychological state, and you can always say ‘perhaps my collection might be worth millions as well!?”

To check-out ‘King of Collectables: The Golden Touch’, just search for it on your Netflix app! Now, let me return back to where I was browsing for second-hand vintage basses!     

Netflix recommendations- Million Dollar Listing New York (Season 4)

So, this is how the other 1% live!?

We were looking for something new to binge, and since we were in the mind-space of renovating our kitchen and bathrooms- what better than to get some renovation ideas from Reality Home Renovation TV shows! Unfortunately, all of the renovation shows on Netflix we had already watched( or had chosen not to watch anymore), but this show “Million Dollar Listing New York” did catch my eye!

Previously my wife refused to watch any further episodes of ‘Selling Sunset’, after she sat through one episode, and found it to be too catty,  with the office drama overshadowing the actual sale of property. Which is completely true! However, for me I didn’t mind the unnecessary drama and I think I’ve watched every episode of the Los Angeles seasons. And although Million Dollar Listing New York (hence forth MDL NYC) was just another high end real estate show, however it hits on different notes, notes which appealed to both of our tastes. These tastes being, featuring apartment living, in a major high density capital city, and much fewer direct interaction between Brokers, which equates to less meow moments!

For those who are less familiar with MDL NYC, the Reality TV show follows 3 high end Real Estate Brokers, as they meet with their wealthy clients, as they attempt to sell their client’s million dollar New York apartments to another super wealthy individual. The show focuses on the first inspections, where pricing and positioning of the apartment is discussed; then staging/marketing the listing; the open house for Buyer’s Agents; then the offer and negotiation between agents; and finally, the eventual good news to the seller that their apartment has sold for “asking” (in the ideal scenarios). Meanwhile, some drama is weaved into the story, so it isn’t as boring as literally watching your average Real estate agent going about their business. There’s bound to be the odd amusing interaction between Broker and their staff; the push-and-pull between Broker and their client as they haggle over cost per square foot to agree on the actual asking price of their property; there’s the expected staging hits-and-misses as they expend considerable effort and cost to present the apartments in its best light to potential buyers; and of course a glimpse into the personal lives of the 3 Brokers. For season 4, the 3 Brokers were Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, and Luis D. Ortiz. And what made this show binge worthy in my personal opinion, was the personalities of these three, their lives being interesting enough for filming and public consumption, like as Fredrik and his husband continue their search for a woman to donate them her eggs; the build-up to Ryan’s proposal to his girlfriend; and Luis’ attempts to make a name for himself in the NYC Property market- these story-lines interesting enough to keep us looking forward to the next episode!

And in the continuation of Netflix’s strange program acquisitions, they have secured only 2 seasons of MDL NYC, that being Seasons 4 (2015) and Seasons 5 (2016). Although by television terms, these episodes are pretty old- but they don’t feel dated at all. But I wonder if the NYC Property market is still as hot today as it was back in the mid-2010s, considering we’ve been through COVID and the move away from high density living near business centres. And what else caught my attention about the NYC Property market, was the use of Buyer’s Agents! As the Seller’s Agent rarely came into direct contact with actual buyers, which seems odd for Australians. And the fact that they do not use auctions to sell property, rather preferring to have a listed price and allow Buyer’s Agents to low ball them, the ‘highest low ball’ figure, being the successful Offeror. Sounds weird hey?

But overall, an entertaining watch. To see how the other 1% live in the most expensive city in the world! Check-out Million Dollar Listing New York, just search for it on your Netflix app! Now I just need to score a job which pays me 10 times more than what I’m earning today, so I can remotely consider a multi-million dollar Penthouse apartment. Here’s to wishing!      

Netflix recommendations- Perfect Match (Season 1)

Not exactly your Greg Evans’ Perfect Match game show from the 80’s!

When I first saw this pop-up on my Netflix app, I was thinking ‘Oh yeah’, I know what you’re all about. As being a kid of the 80s, I remember the game show of the same name, which aired on Australian TV. A dating game where a male contestant quizzed 3 females with a series of scripted questions to gage their compatibility, whilst being unseen behind a sliding screen (Blind Date for you Americans). But O boy! The Netflix version of Perfect Match was nothing like that show from your childhood!

No studio set here,  no studio audience, no scripted questions (I lie, there were some of that), and not a lot of clothing either- Netflix’s Perfect Match is truly a reflection of the era we live in.

First of all, the guys and gals on screen are all familiar faces! It’s like Super Smash Bros, Netflix style! As all these people had previously appeared in other Netflix reality TV shows. People from the Circle, Love is Blind, Too Hot to Handle, Sexy Beasts, Selling Tampa, The Mole etc. It’s a whose who of the Netflix reality TV genre. I joked with my wife and asked how come there weren’t any of the contestants from the Cooking Reality shows! Imagine that! Haaha.

But these guys were hand picked for their attractiveness and presumably lack of luck in the love department, inserted into a mansion in Panama, with alcohol to lower inhibitions and organised challenges to test couple’s compatibility. And these TV elements were tried and tested ingredients, to produce a saucy Netflix series! But what kept it fresh from previous similar Netflix shows like Love is Blind or Too Hot to Handle, was the fact that each couple had to be paired up by the end of the night- so where Love is Blind was a slow process to get to know one another like peeling back the layers of an onion, Perfect Match was like a mad rush around to find your “Match”, like an adult version of musical chairs. And where Too Hot to Handle was all about restraint, Perfect Match encouraged a ‘try it before you buy it’ approach, the blindfold kissing challenge comes to mind.

And where Netflix tries to justify their antics to be altruistic, as they positioned the show as if they were on a mission to help these hot singles find true love. But from my perspective, it was just throwing young attractive people into compromising situations, for the entertainment of paying viewers. And I have to admit, it was entertaining for us, but I’m sure probably not that helpful and perhaps traumatising for some participants.

The most interesting part of the show, had to be when the winning couple from the challenges were given the power to enter the boardroom, where they could bring in 2 new singles and set them up on a date with two others already in the house. And as each person in the house were essentially playing a game, as at the end one couple was going to leave the house with the title of “The Perfect Match”, so most moves to bring others in were for strategic reasons. And oftentimes this broke up still blossoming relationships, which was sad to see. And at the end of the night, as the injection of 2 more guys (or gals), resulted in a gender imbalance, then the cliff-hanger part of the show came where we learned which two unmatched individuals were going to leave the house.

But what I most most, liked about the show, was the fact we’re reunited with familiar Netflix faces again! As we’re not on Instagram and unaware of what they get up to after they’re Netflix famous,  it was really nice to see them again and hear how they’re getting on after their 30 seconds of fame. But unfortunately, for half of them, this second time around had left me with an even worse impression of them, as they weren’t as likeable as I first thought them to be. But while saying that, a few really represented themselves well and hopefully more good things will happen for them down the track.

And I guess as sceptical as I am of Netflix’s motivations for creating these shows, but I have to admit it ended well and perhaps a few of them did end-up finding their long-term Perfect Match’s! Which wouldn’t of been possible, if it wasn’t for Netflix and the show. And for once, Netflix didn’t dangle a cash prize at the end to entice players, but there was a pleasant surprise at the end in what the winning couple ended up walking away with, aside from each other.

And last thing, it was funny to see that the Netflix family of reality TV talent was quite small, that people from other shows had dated each other, knew each other’s business and were fans of each other (for those who hadn’t met before). So, I found that fascinating and I do wonder if there will be a season 2 of Perfect Match, would it feel like a second rate show? As they have already used-up all of their big guns for this first season? I guess we’ll see in 2024?

So, if you’re curious to check-out Perfect Match season 1, and in general you’re a fan of the Reality dating TV genre, check it out! Find it on your Netflix app! And thank goodness it wasn’t Perfect Match from the 80s, as we don’t need another AI love bot called Dexter in our lives!

Netflix recommendations- The Circle (Season 5

We do love our annual hit of The Circle!!!!

There’s a few things we look forward to when the calendar flips over from December to January, there’s of course the feeling of a fresh start to a new year! Also being in the midst of a long lazy summer holiday from work also deserves a mention! But the release of a brand new season of ‘The Circle’ in January, is also right up there! And season 5 did not disappoint!

For those less familiar to the Netflix reality TV show ‘The Circle’, it was first released during the first Covid shutdown in 2020. I had described it as the ultimate example of social distancing, as each contestant lived in their own apartment, with absolutely no physical contact with anyone outside of their own four walls. All of their interaction is undertaken through a social media type platform called ‘The Circle’. Where players have a user profile, and chat functionality to interact with other players through short text messages.

This level of anonymity (which replicates Social media platforms like Twitter/Facebook), allows the players to enter the game as themselves, or as a Catfish i.e. taking on a fictitious profile which they try to hide behind for their own perceived self-gain. Moohaaha        .

 And although the show has gone through 5 seasons across the span of 4 years, the concept is still fresh and intriguing! As it’s the characters which enter the Circle each year which keeps things fresh and interesting! And they throw in enough curve balls and revelations to keep the Circle and the players off-tilt- for our entertainment. *Smile*. In the end it’s a good combination of heart, strategy, and suspense which keeps us coming back for more each year! And with more episodes and more diversity this year! We greatly appreciated these improvements for 2023!

The only thing which baffles me each year, is the willingness of players to enter the game as a Catfish!? The game becomes twice as hard when they need to filter every interaction and comment through the fictitious character (especially if they’re not a man or vice versa). And the game quickly unravels into a hunt for the Catfish! Why put yourself through that? I say, always go in as yourself, be proud that you can win others over as your true self!

To check out season 5 of ‘The Circle’, just search for it on your Netflix app! In our opinion, best season yet! We look forward to 2024’s iteration!

Netflix recommendations- Pepsi, Where’s My Jet

And Pepsi, where did my life go!?

As enjoyable a watch as ‘Pepsi, where’s my jet?’ was, however watching it just reminded me how we’re all just getting old. Boo!

When you hear of references to the 1940s and the Second World War, of course your mind associates those times with ancient history (at least to us Gen Ys). As we’re talking about grainy black & white footage here and the age before talking film!

And the 60-70s is also a long-time ago, as we’re talking about TV sitcoms with the wash-out colours.

And the 80s, that was old-school long time ago, as we’re talking about a time period when we were literal babies and people had big hairstyles, chunky sneakers, and large plastic accessories. A weird time, but you could call that modern history for us.

But the 90s, we’re talking about mid to late 90s here. That was just yesterday! Wasn’t it?  We’re talking about The Matrix and the birth of modern cinematic movies. We’re talking about PlayStation and overall, pretty modern tech here! And low and behold that was over 25 years ago! What the! How time flies!

And that’s the time period that we’re talking about in ‘Pepsi, where’s my jet’- where Netflix transports you back in time via this documentary series (4 episodes) capturing (and dramatizing) the legal case of a 21 year old University student who attempted to out-smart Pepsi by collecting (and purchasing) 7 million Pepsi points, so he could purchase the Harrier Jet as featured in the Pepsi Points commercials. At the time I was unaware of the goings on of this, as I was only 14 years old then (in Australia), and  this was before the days of affordable and accessible Internet. But for those who could remember the legal case, it would have been such a ‘O-yeah’ moment when reminded of it and appreciate the deep dive into a case which probably attracted some prominence and media coverage at the time, but probably also soon fizzed out  (like Pepsi left out at room temp for 2 hours), so perhaps many hadn’t followed the court case to its eventual ruling and conclusion. So, this series follows the case, how it unfolded, and the aftermath for its main players.

But for me who wasn’t aware of this court case, it was interesting enough to learn of this story for the first time. And Hats off to Netflix for turning the documentary into a docuseries, as 5 years ago Netflix would have presented this as a ‘struggle-to-get-through’ 90 minute documentary- but splicing it up into 4 30 minute episodes, made it a lot more binge worthy and a more compelling watch!

However, throughout the experience, it kept reminding me how old we’ve all become. All the original characters in the story were so young then but are so old now. John Leonard (the 21 year old Business student), he’s now middle aged and a family man. Todd Hoffman, the financial backer was a grown man then, but now he’s an elderly man. And Cindy Crawford, the face of Pepsi and the pinup girl for so many teenage boys in the 90s (yes, even I had a poster of her in my bedroom), even Cindy is now nudging 60 years old! Can you believe that!? It’s all pretty depressing actually.

But if you want to feel reminiscent about your youth, and don’t mind then staring into the abyss wondering where has your life gone? Then check out ‘Pepsi, where’s my jet?’, search for it in your Netflix app. It’s both fascinating and eye-brow raising at the same time. Let’s just say, ‘only in America’.