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Wednesday, April 29 2015 09:05

Riddle Me This: A Gadget. A Daredevil. PLAYMOBIL Toys. The ATARI 2600. NETFLIX #StreamTeam Picks?

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NETFLIX Stream TeamI posted a picture on Instagram the other day that my wife and I had been joking about. As the girls had just been tucked-in the night before, Jen and I sat down to watch another episode of the breakthrough MARVEL smash DAREDEVIL on Netflix. We don't have a lot of time for "binge watching" (though it's been very tempting), so we're on about episode 10 right now. The funny thing was how the "Recently Watched" and "Top Picks for James" reflected how much of our viewing is dictated by our girls. Yes, you can set-up individual profiles for the family (there's even a "KIDS" one), but I tend to use my own on our Vizio Smart TV just for the sake of convenience. What my wife said is that "people who would see these would either figure you have daughters, or are a total creep." Take a look...

We've got JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, MONSTER HIGH: FRIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, SUPER 4 (inspired by PLAYMOBIL) and LALALOOPSY. Then, the internal A.I. (Artificial Intelligence - possibly becoming self-aware) thinks I might want to see LITTLEST PET SHOP, BRATZ, WINX, and... HOUSE OF CARDS. Will I lose my NETFLIX #StreamTeam card if I admit that I've never watched an episode of HOUSE OF CARDS or ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK? Probably not, but I've just not been in much of a dramatic mood, opting for other NETFLIX Originals like UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT and the aforementioned DAREDEVIL.

So what am I going to recommend that you, my friends, fire up NETFLIX to check out in the days and weeks ahead? If you have kids, INSPECTOR GADGET and SUPER 4. For you, need I mention DAREDEVIL once more?

The big surprises of the month are the kids shows, and the rebooted INSPECTOR GADGET from DHX Media is pretty awesome... especially if you grew up on the original series as I did (my wife does not share my enthusiasm). In fact, this one has trumped even ALL HAIL KING JULIEN as getting the most immediate reaction from THE ROCK DAUGHTERS - "Can we watch more?" - though despite my own immersion in all-things pop culture and media, I'm a big supporter of limiting screen time - so moderation. While the new voice of Gadget doesn't even come close to mimicking the iconic Don Adams, the show is a lot of fun, putting a modern spin on the spy classic, and giving young Penny an equal adversary in Claw's nephew.

The other surprise is SUPER 4, a new series inspired by the iconic PLAYMOBIL brand. With PLAYMOBIL toys a part of daily play here at Rock Father HQ, having a visual element is a neat thing - one that even gave our previously-nameless fairy figure a proper name - Twinkle. This is an adventure with fairies and pirates and secret agents and royalty - and I think some grownups might love it as much as the kids (I'm in that club). 

Beyond that, a true gem for grownups this month is ATARI: GAME OVER - a documentary originally created for the now-shuttered XBOX Entertainment Studios division of Microsoft. Looking into the urban legend of millions of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial game cartridges for the ATARI 2600 that were rumored to be buried in the desert, this doc looks at the early 1980s crash of the entire video game industry, and if a game based on E.T. (which I owned as a kid) was truly responsible for the downfall of ATARI and everything else... and what exactly was buried out there - just E.T., or something more?

Stay tuned for more NETFLIX News, Features and Recommendations from THE ROCK FATHER - a proud member of the NETFLIX #StreamTeam

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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