Netflix Top Picks: Medieval TV Edition

With so much content on Netflix Instant, it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle. With so many gamers now using their consoles to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where every week I select two items from the Netflix Instant service that you just have to add to your queue.  This time I take a look at the niche genre of TV shows set in the times of knights and crusades.  Medieval Europe seems to fascinate us with it’s barbarity and humanity, partly because we are far less removed from them than we’d like to admit.  This week’s selection both do a great job of highlighting this polarity in re-imagining of classic tales.

Title: Robin Hood
Type: TV-Series
Genre:TV Shows, British TV Shows, TV Action & Adventure
Rating: TV-PG
Run Time:
42 episodes, approximately 43 minutes each
Released: 2006-2009
Directed By: Foz Allan, Dominic Minghella
Starring: Keith Allen Jonas Armstrong Lucy Griffiths Richard Armitage Harry Lloyd Gordon Kennedy Joe Armstrong Sam Troughton Anjali Jay William Beck

Synopsis:With a modern sensibility and a plot from age-old English folklore, the first season of this groundbreaking BBC series follows Robin of Locksley (Jonas Armstrong) as he returns from the Crusades to claim his family estate. With the land under the thumb of the ruthless Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen) and his sadistic deputy (Richard Armitage), Robin becomes history’s greatest vigilante. Lucy Griffiths stars as Robin’s true love, Maid Marian.
My Analysis: Robin Hood is an interesting series.  Full of British humor, this mostly light affair isn’t afraid to get deep and dark when need be; and the ending to the series will come completely out of left field.  The cast of characters really help to bring this to life as this classic tale is told through modern perspectives.  The show has some highs and lows, but ultimately you’ll be sad that this series only got three seasons.

Title: Camelot
Type: TV Series
Genre: TV Shows, TV Dramas, TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Rating: NR (Would be TV-MA)
Run Time:
10 episodes, approximately 55 minutes each
Released: 2011
Created By:
ichael Hirst, Chris Chibnall
Starring: Joseph Fiennes Jamie Campbell Bower Tamsin Egerton Peter Mooney Philip Winchester Eva Green Claire Forlani Clive Standen Diarmaid Murtagh Lara Jean Chorostecki

Synopsis: In this adaptation of the classic fable, a young and untested King Arthur takes the throne of Britain and, with the help of Merlin and Guinevere, confronts the forces of darkness that threaten his realm, including his ruthless half-sister, Morgan.

My Analysis: Better hurry with this one, it may not be available after August 19th!  Camelot is a re-imagining of the classic King Arthur tale.  At times it is more dark and realistic than the legend, such as the true origin or Excalibur, but still maintains a level of magic and mysticism with Merlin and Morgan both being capable of things that are simply not supposed to be possible.  In true Starz fashion Camelot is full of tons of violence and female nudity, and the very young looking Arthur can be difficult to swallow at first, but overall the cast does a great job and the story manages to be both new and classic at the same time.  Don’t miss your chance to check this one out.

Films that are both kid friendly and don’t massively suck can be hard to find.  Even if you plan to zone out for the majority of the time, it’s nice when the show or movie you’re watching will manage to be at least mildly entertaining when you snap out of it and wake back up.  Kid Pick is my attempt to find films that fit this description; sometimes it is easier than others.

Title: Avalon High
Type: Movie (Disney TV Movie)
Genre: TV Shows, Children & Family Movies
Rating: TV-G
Run Time: 89 Minutes
Released: 2010
Directed By: Stuart Gillard
Starring: Brittany Robertson, Gregg Sulkin, Joey Pollari, Devon Graye, Molly C. Quinn, Steve Valentine, Don Lake, Christopher Tavarez

Synopsis: When Allie Pennington (Brittany Robertson) transfers to Avalon High, her new friends seem like typical teens with typical problems. But a class on the legacy of King Arthur leads Allie to a startling connection: Avalon is a modern Camelot, and even she’s a member. All the Knights of the Round Table are present, from quarterback Will (Gregg Sulkin) to best friend Lance (Christopher Tavarez), but it’s up to Allie to uncover the traitor in the group.
My Analysis: Straight up, Avalon High is pretty much what you should expect from a Disney made for TV Movie.  A bunch of a-typically good looking teenagers discover that they are secretly super awesome at something and everyone rocks!  You really do have to bear with it for the most part, but the basic premise of Avalon High is that King Arthur will some day be re-incarnated and become a great powerful leader that will do many great things.  Keeping in line with tradition, Morgan will also be re-incarnated and seek to stop Arthur from achieving greatness.  This is sort of a tune it out while the kids watch kind of movie, but if you do happen to wake up you’ll be able to stand what you see well enough.

Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions.  We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.


About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.