Procrastinate Better

Candid Queue: Tom Scocca

Once a week, Procrastinate Better features a peek into the Netflix queue of a staffer or critic. No tampering with the results to make ourselves seem more or less erudite, we swear! Just the brief opportunity to explain (or defend, as the case may be) the choices. This installment comes from Slate contributor Tom Scocca . More Candid Queues here.

1. Samurai Jack : Season 4 : Disc 2: I think I promised I would watch Disc 1 over the weekend and get it back in the mail. Now I’m not sure where I put it to remind myself. I haven’t seen Season 2 or Season 3. Viewing habits around here are erratic.

2. Million Dollar Baby : Viewing habits around here have been erratic for quite a while. First, we were living in Beijing, where there were almost no first-run movies to be had, and where the main source of foreign cinema was the wide-ranging but arbitrary inventory of bootleg DVD shops. So I’ve seen Mr. 3000 and Bon Cop Bad Cop , and Triad Election . But we’re at least six years behind on seeing the midlist Oscar stuff that everybody was supposed to see. Except The Queen . The Queen was fantastic, once we figured out how to change the default audio language on the Chinese pirate DVD from Italian back to English.

3 . The Last King of Scotland : And then we had a kid, which made catching up even harder. In our last apartment, we never even unboxed the DVD player. Now it’s unboxed but not connected. We just watch videos on our laptops, after the child is in bed, when we remember to. We saw the end of the remake of 3:10 to Yuma on cable, then we started watching the original on Instant, but we had to pause it and go to sleep and we forgot we were even doing it, so it’s like 1:40 to Yuma indefinitely.

4. Atonement : Was this even good? Neftlix seems to say it wasn’t. It probably doesn’t matter, because while I was seeing if I could select text in the Netflix window, I accidentally dragged Master of the Flying Guillotine up from No. 6 to No. 1, bumping Atonement to No. 5. It was a happy accident; Netflix expects me to like it more, at 4.3 stars, than anything in the original top

5 . Still Life : “Two couples reunite amid the construction of a new neighborhood along the Yangtze River near the old city of Fengjie, which is now under water after the opening of the Three Gorges Dam.” I like our odds of getting caught up on Chinese midlist better than the odds for American midlist.

Bonus Instant Queue!

1. Untold Scandal : “Set in 18th century Korea, this retelling of Dangerous Liaisons follows morality-deficient cousins Lady Cho (Lee Mi-Suk) and Cho-won (Bae Yong-Jun) as they scheme to ruin the lives of innocents.” I like to think Netflix came up with this by multiplying The Host , which is the best thing we’ve seen on Instant, by various period costume dramas. I can’t imagine this will be less than awesome.

2. The Scarlet Pimpernel : A&E’s 1999 three-part series. I think we watched Part 1 and then the other two parts got bumped down by Untold Scandal . The Scarlet Pimpernel is amazingly durable. I’ve got a million-dollar idea for a contemporary rewrite. Somebody ask me.

3. Gomorrah , 4. I Vitelloni , & 5. L’Avventura : According to Netflix, the recipe for these three recommendations starts with Seven Samurai , plus, in various permutations, Do the Right Thing , City of God , 8 1/2 , and Annie Hall . I’m not going to argue with the computer that reminded me we needed to watch The Host .