Netflix Files: What to Watch


In California, Samantha Futerman appears in a friend’s YouTube video. Across the pond, friends of a French fashion student studying in London see the video and are stunned at how much Samantha looks like said friend Anaïs Bordier. They show Anaïs the video, and that is how she and Samantha first discover that they are identical twins.

It’s not clear exactly when in the process of discovery, meeting, and genetic verification that Samantha and her friends begin creating the documentary Twinsters, but either through perfect timing or the magic of editing, it feels like we are along with the long-lost sisters from the very beginning of their relationship. Although it also might be thanks to the wonders of storytelling, it seems to viewers that Anaïs and Samantha form an immediate, profound bond that makes their connection obvious, without needing science to confirm it.

It’s such a delight to watch the separated-at-birth sisters goof around over video chat together, talking to each other at least once every day and instantly creating inside jokes of their own. Viewers are so absorbed into their story and relationship that the premise is almost forgotten, and the twins’ trepidation – that they might not be related after all – when they meet for the first time, when they await the results of their genetic testing, is infectious.

That affection spreads not just between them, but also between all their friends and family. Their first meeting in London, with friends and relations flying in from France, from across America, is, yes, a big movie moment, but it’s also a real-life “faith in humanity restored” heart-swelling moment.

Every moment of Twinsters is that electric, from the sisters undergoing studies at a twin research institute, to returning together to Korea to meet their foster parents and attend a conference for Korean children adopted abroad. Bring your tissues, prepare for the ride, but definitely don’t miss Twinsters.

A Good Rain Knows

A Good Rain Knows is the story of the one that got away. Dong Ha and May were friends in college, and Dong Ha especially seems to have always known that there was an unrealized something more between them. They meet again years later when Dong Ha’s work brings him back to Chengdu, China for work. But this isn’t a case of him happening to run into May: he knows exactly where she works and makes a beeline there in his first free moment.

At first, despite Dong Ha’s acknowledgment of his crush, it’s just two old friends reconnecting. Dong Ha’s time in Chengdu is limited, however, and he doesn’t want to leave without confessing to May, and determining if his feelings ever were or are returned.

Unlike many “the one who got away, years later” stories, a realized romantic connection between Dong Ha and May never seems assured. It didn’t happen for them in college, and it may or may not work out for them again now. What almost seems more important, to Dong Ha certainly, is that May acknowledge that there was something between the two of them.

Dong Ha couches this with the metaphor of a bike he gave her as a gift, and her admitting whether or not she was ever even able to ride. That helps soften what could easily morph into a story of a man suddenly forcing his way back into an old crush’s life, trying to harass her into saying that she had feelings for him just because he did and imagined it so.

Thankfully, A Good Rain Knows never heads in that direction. Dong Ha is back in town, and looks up an old friend, to spend some time with her before going home. He tries to determine if she ever felt for him as he did for her, without directly confronting her about it. The obvious simmering UST (unresolved sexual tension) between the two certainly helps. The movie ends hopefully, but not clearly. It’s one that doesn’t linger in the mind for long after it’s over, but is, if not engrossing, pleasantly entertaining, for its duration.


Crashing is a six-episode Britcom (British comedy) of 20-minute episodes, so it’s basically a long movie, easy for marathoning. Crashing distinguishes itself from other shows about groups of twenty-something misfits by situating the characters as caretaker-roommates in an abandoned hospital.

What really sets Crashing apart from other shows of its ilk is how it deconstructs common character tropes in its genre – that of the manic pixie dream girl in particular. Writer/creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays Lulu, a free-spirited type who carries around a ukelele, sings songs about people, and makes puns with her name (“Ukelulu”).

If all that sounds grating to you, well, that’s rather the point. Lulu is at turns annoying, arrogant, and anger-inducing. The true sympathetic characters of the show are the straight-laced Kate and the sweetie George, with most comedic relief provided by the French painter Melody. We see the emotional havoc wreaked when Lulu comes waltzing in unannounced and inserts herself into childhood best friend Anthony’s life. It reads just like a script starring a MPDG, but instead we see how that really plays out: how Lulu and Anthony’s attraction to one another doesn’t go any deeper than that, how flinging one’s life to the wind for the sake of being “free” can hurt everyone around you and leaves you with no life when the moment has passed.

Crashing can be enjoyed even if you don’t pay attention to all of the above. It is, as aforementioned, a fun Britcom about an ensemble of characters living in an abandoned hospital. I wish that the hospital itself had been more of a character – there’s a slight running gag about how derelict the place is, but that’s it. But that’s just a nitpick, and overall Crashing is a fun, breezy, quick-watch show.