The popularity of Netflix continues to increase, helped along by the raft of original dramas made for the streaming service.
While it’s fantastic to have a great selection of documentaries, films, and TV shows at your fingertips, it does limit gift ideas: sure, there’s still big business in DVDs and Blu-rays, but why would you bother buying the James Bond movies in a set when they’ll just be available on Netflix for the foreseeable future?
Fortunately, you can still find some great gifts for even the most obsessive binge-watchers.
It’s difficult to dispute the quality of Netflix, but you can spend hours sifting through rubbish series no one has ever heard of just to find the diamond in the rough. You need recommendations. You need a checklist of quintessential shows. That’s where this 960-page book comes in.
The range has been popular for a while now (despite their acting as a reminder of our mortality), with further releases including songs you’ve got to hear, natural wonders to see, and comics you need to read. It’s a solid formula, certain to please its recipient when they unwrap this chunky tome and spend a fair chunk of each day flicking through it.
This particular book was updated last year, and features a foreword by Steven Moffat, showrunner of Doctor Who and Sherlock, so he definitely knows his stuff!
Not all of the shows listed will be on Netflix, but a good chunk are bound to be available.
This is a neat twist on the format, appealing instead to the children and the young at heart. A solid dose of storytelling makes a change from angst-ridden films.
Kids seem to invest more in stories because that’s how they understand the world — if you’re lucky, that same sense of wonder stays with you beyond puberty. Who doesn’t enjoy a good Disney film anyway?
101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up‘s colorful, infographic-esque design help make this an addictive and enjoyable read. Despite its recommended age rating of 8–12, adults will still love reminiscing about The Lion King, Dead Poets Society, and It’s A Wonderful Life — and are likely to discover new gems, like The Princess and the Frog, Wreck-It-Ralph, and Whale Rider.
If you’re working or trying to relax, listening to music can help. Singing along to lyrics isn’t always ideal, so now and then, it’s great to indulge in a wonderful score.
Many people don’t really notice soundtracks, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, they are supposed to aid your experience, driving home the action on screen, not detracting from it. But it all logs in your subconscious. Music from the likes of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Home Alone will all be surprisingly easy to recognize.
One of the things that was immediately praised about the hit Netflix original, Stranger Things was its soundtrack. Its reception was so positive that this release was out just three months after the series premiered. Available as a download, on CD, and (if the recipient is particularly nostalgic for the era of the show’s setting) vinyl, the 36-track title by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein features a great deal of the background music, perfect for fans of the synthesized sounds of the 1980s. Volume Two is also available.
4. Dinner Tray (UK)
Binge-watching is insanely popular due to streaming services. We actively encourage you to get up once in a while and wander around, but let’s face it, making dinner is enough exercise for most of us on a lazy weekend.
Obviously, a breakfast or dinner tray has lots of uses beyond an accompaniment for Netflix, but purchasing one for someone obsessed with Luke Cage, The Crown, and House of Cards pretty much guarantees they’ll be spending meal times in front of the television.
Naturally, there’s a wide selection of trays available, but we recommend ones with handles and a memory foam bottom, or failing that, a bean bag underside.
When they’re not eating and drinking from it, users can always rest their laptops or tablets on the tray too, which is great for work, leisure, or watching Netflix when someone else is using the main TV!
Watching Netflix on the go is getting increasingly simple. Even the worry of using up too much cellular data has been lessened as the service now gives Android and iOS users control over the streaming quality of the content they consume.
But you don’t always want others watching with you. No one wants to be that guy who plays something a bit too loud while on the bus.
As it’s a gift, you might be a bit intimidated about getting some noise-cancelling headphones. They’re certainly not a Secret Santa present, but make a great treat for a family member or close friend. You’ve probably heard a lot about brands like Beats by Dr Dre. Fortunately, there are more affordable alternatives that still give you fantastic quality.
Noise-cancelling earbuds are generally cheaper, but be warned: not everyone’s suited for them.
One of the biggest hits Netflix has had so far is Making a Murderer, a 10-part series that premiered on Netflix in December 2015. Based on true events, it documented the case of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin resident who was wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years for the rape and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen. Two years after his exoneration, however, he was arrested for the murder of photographer, Teresa Halbach.
Filmed over the course of a whole decade, Making a Murderer was universally praised, and resulted in more than 500,000 signatures on an unsuccessful petition to the White House to get Avery pardoned.
Wisconsin prosecutor Michael Griesbach has authored two books about Avery. While The Innocent Killer serves as a solid background to the case, his latest hardcover, Indefensible offers insights further to what was covered in Making a Murderer. Both works are highly divisive and some say Griesbach is trying to profit from a tragedy. But sometimes, you need an uncomfortable read, and Netflix addicts should certainly appreciate a different perspective on events.
If you don’t know anything about the Google Chromecast Ultra, it’s a compact addition to an HDMI port that lets you stream 4K Ultra HD definition series and movies through a number of services, including Netflix. The circular unit automatically optimizes the definition of whatever you’re watching to the best quality your TV can deliver.
The Ultra will enhance the Netflix experience as the majority of their original content is available in 4K — the Chromecast also complements services like TED, YouTube, and NOW TV.
Again, this is a high-end gift, so if it’s for a member of your nuclear family, you’ll likely benefit from this little present too. Still, if you know the recipient only has an HDTV and doesn’t intend upgrading, the Chromecast 2 is cheaper and will do pretty much the same thing.
8. Daredevil on Blu-ray (UK)
There are some things you simply need a physical copy of.
Netflix has chosen a couple of its Marvel exclusives to release on Blu-ray, DVD, and steelbook — because comic book fans are nothing if not passionate. Everyone knows how successful the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, but some were surprised by the incredible quality of the three shows so far, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. The former two will both be available on physical media by Christmas.
If you have to choose just one, go for the universally-praised Daredevil, the story of a lawyer-by-day, vigilante-by-night, blinded as a child but his other senses heightened. It’s got a fantastic cast, superb writing, and looks beautiful. Sadly, the special features are lacking. Nonetheless, there are a few shows people really need to experience on Blu-ray.
And once hooked, the receiver can move onto Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix.
If All Else Fails
With Christmas, birthdays, and even anniversaries all demanding you buy gifts, finding original gifts to buy someone who gets all their entertainment from streaming services can get rather tricky, but there is always the humble gift card.
Got a Netflix gift card for my birthday. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Gilmore girls, stranger things, voltron here I come
— D. Stone (@voicelessme) November 8, 2016
While we wouldn’t recommend giving your nearest and dearest a Netflix gift card unless you’ve completely run out of ideas, they might serve as solid stocking fillers.
What further gift ideas do you have for Netflix addicts? Please let us, and your fellow MakeUseOf readers, know in the comments below!