Do you ever feel like you need to find new documentaries to binge to stay up on the times and keep relevant in conversations with your friends? Us, too. Netflix’s documentary genre always seems to be adding new, popular titles to their library, and it can be hard to know where to start. To make it easier, here is our list of documentaries and docuseries you need to binge right now to know what you’re talking about.
1. Dolly Parton: Here I Am
If your looking for new documentaries to binge, Netflix has really upped its celebrity documentary game. Here I note Dolly Parton’s documentary, but there are also amazing movies on Audrey Hepburn, Sam Cooke, Betty White, and so on. But a definite, must-watch is Dolly Parton’s “Here I Am.” In the film, you learn a lot about her background and rise to fame, as well as her relationships with the people she worked and grew with.
If Dolly Parton wasn’t already a personal idol for you, she will be after this movie. Watching as she utilized her personal image and the way people perceived her as a boosting point for her personal career was absolutely awe-inspiring. She’s an absolute queen of music in every right and should be considered as such.
2. Amend: The Fight For America
For those looking for political documentaries to binge, Netflix’s “Amend” is a great place to start. Hosted by the amazing Will Smith, “Amend” looks at the history of the 14th Amendment, which granted certain privileges to all born or naturalized U.S. citizens, and granted them “equal protection under the law.” Through its six episodes, “Amend” looks at the ways the 14th Amendment has been used to change or ratify existing racist and prejudiced practices.
It’s necessary to look at the ways the people of the U.S. have utilized the 14th Amendment to gain protection and rights under the law – including formerly enslaved citizens, women, the LGBTQ community, and immigrants – to understand how far we still have to go.
3. The Social Dilemma
If you’re looking for absolutely terrifying social commentary documentaries to binge, you need to check out Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma.” This documentary takes an inside look into the realities of social media and how the internet has been used to control and corrupt its users. This documentary is not for the faint-hearted as it touches on important, but terrifying, subjects like data mining and how social media can be a detriment to our mental health.
While avoiding social media and erasing yourself from the internet entirely is close to impossible these days, this documentary does provide important advice for creating a healthier, more controlled experience online, like avoiding clicking on advertisements and turning off “autoplay” features.
4. The History of Swear Words
One of the most hilarious documentaries to binge, “The History of Swear Words” is a deep dive into…well, the history of swear words! The show is hosted by Nicholas Cage, which is an amazing reason to go watch it now, and uses fun facts and academic interviews to look into the backgrounds of our favorite swear words. This show will give you top-notch conversation topics to bring to every family dinner.
For example, did you know that the section of your brain that curses also exists in the brains of animals? So, if you’ve ever wondered if your dog is cussing at you – he probably is. This short docuseries is also available on Netflix, and its incredibly funny delivery is worth the binge.
5. Hip-Hop Evolution
For anyone looking for musical documentaries to binge, but have already watched the individual musician films, “Hip-Hop Evolution” is the series for you. This series looks at the biggest stars of Hip-Hop and how they changed the game during their times and includes commentary and stories from some of Hip-Hop’s biggest contributors.
The show also takes a look at the history of one of the world’s most popular genres of music, and the influence it had on other musical movements. And while the docuseries’ main commentary centers on the musical accomplishments of Hip-Hop, it also takes the time to showcase the profound impact it had on the societies and worlds around it.
6. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal
For those looking for documentaries to binge surrounding celebrity scandals and major news, “Operation Varsity Blues” is a great one to watch. However, be warned: this documentary will cause you to lose major faith in the Ivy League collegiate system. For those who don’t remember, the recent college admissions scandal involved a series of celebrities essentially buying their childrens’ way into major Ivy League Universities, like Stanford and UCLA.
The documentary includes personal retellings of the experience, as well as fictional reenactments of the interactions that led to the scandal, which makes it both visually and intellectually interesting. However, it will also make you incredibly angry as you come to understand how celebrities cheated their childrens’ way into gaining acceptance into difficult and highly competitive universities.
For those watchers who love spy shows and want to find documentaries to binge that takes a deeper look at the history of espionage, “Spycraft” is the show for you. “Spycraft” primarily concentrates on the tools of espionage, and looks at how they have evolved technologically over time. For anyone watching, you’ll realize that all those crazy tools in spy movies that you thought couldn’t exist? Nope, they’re pretty much real and accurate.
Spycraft also looks at the history of espionage, concentrating on specific elements of espionage like the art of seduction, the use of poison, and the evolution of monitoring devices. It’s incredibly fascinating (and a little bit scary) and should definitely be binged in order to better understand the reality of spies and spycraft.
8. 100 Humans
For those looking for fun, informational documentaries to binge, “100 Humans” is a series that looks at the questions we all want to know, but nobody wants to ask. Literally a series of tests on 100 volunteer humans, this series looks into topics like “What is the best age to be alive” and “How to be happy.” This show is lighthearted and funny, but also full of interesting, fun facts that you can easily incorporate into any conversation.
Haven’t you ever wanted to know whether you can actually trust your senses? Have you ever considered what the correct way to put the toilet paper on the roll is? This show answers all your most pressing questions.