Culture/TV

The 5 coldest titles on Canadian Netflix to help battle this heatwave

With this list of the snowiest and downright most frozen of shows, you can chill while the world grills.

July 6, 2018

All across Canada and the US we have all been melting this past week. Consider then, sweet relief might just be waiting right inside your Netflix account. In fact, a long-running initiative run by the University of Washington has indicated that viewing digital environments that include snow and cold environments can be be a good way to help us cope with real-life pain associated with burns and heat.

For anyone who’s been zapped by sunburn, or just straight up heat-exhausted in this current weather, that makes switching to chillier viewing a potentially excellent decision. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quality list of viewing from the streaming service. Grab a cool drink, flip on the AC, and any one of these will help you enter chamber of cold, sweet relief.

Life Below Zero (2013)

Netflix Canada is packing four seasons of this ice cold show.  Life Below Zero features a wacky array of individuals who live in the Alaskan outback, and who regularly motor through mile after mile of sweet, cooling snow. Particularly enjoyable for those of us baking in a heatwave are the numerous scenes where characters are trying to drill through frozen rivers to fish. When they finally break through and the frigid river water comes rushing out, you can practically feel the icy chill radiating from the TV screen. You will find yourself actively rooting for some characters, and less for others.

Ok, so it’s cold, why else should I watch it?

Live Below Zero is a firmly established as an excellently-shot reality show, that will seriously appeal to anyone who’s considered to go off to live in the woods. The harshness of winter is always stressed, while witnessing great ingenuity in the wilderness is another reason to watch. However, this might be one to skip if hunting scenes aren’t your thing.

Trapped (2015)

A truly absorbing Icelandic murder mystery, with the icy weather being very much an active factor in the story. When a body is discovered in a small town in northern Iceland, we’re in for a range of violent, bizarre events that quickly spiral out of control. Meanwhile, we’re also witness to gazillions of snowflakes, that soon cut the town off from the rest of civilisation. Close your eyes and imagine the cold flow from your AC is a brisk Icelandic gale, and you’ll transport yourself right into the story.

Ok, so it’s cold, why else should I watch it?

Trapped is an excellent mystery series— and can be viewed as part of the popular Scandi-noir trend of absorbing police-focussed shows that peaked a couple of years ago (The Killing, The Bridge, etc) . However, its setting amongst a few isolated police officers in frozen Iceland, complete with that spoken language and that country’s stunning countryside, helps it to stand apart.

Frozen Planet

What could be better in July than a nature show set at the world’s chilliest environments? Frozen Planet, a sister production to the renowned The Blue Planet, brings us the likes of wolves, penguins, bears, seals, whales and bison, complete with fantastic photography and heart-melting depictions of these animals dancing the dance of life. Featuring the one and only Richard Attenborough providing his iconic brand of narration, the production values are through the roof.

Ok, so it’s cold, why else should I watch it?

While heat-stricken viewers will find the show deeply refreshing, it doesn’t shy away from the impact of global warming on these fragile environments. Just like how The Blue Planet II has dramatically raised awareness regarding plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, Frozen Planet, despite being a few years old, does represent how a warming earth (which we’re all experiencing this week) is changing. The sole season hosted by Netflix will fly by, but another title on Netflix Canada, The Making of Frozen Planet, is just as absorbing.

Ice Pilots

A truly Canada-focused reality TV offering, Ice Pilots is similar in tone to the likes of Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch, in that it features a rough-and-tumble enterprise doing their best to survive both the freezing weather and tough business challenges. The show has ice in abundance — ice on cars, ice on the ground, ice in people’s beards and ice all over the planes, while flying over a country that is completely frigid.  That makes it an excellent salve to the searing temperatures on the street.

Ok, so it’s cold – why else should I watch it?

Being a well-produced reality TV show, Ice Pilots mixes both hair-raising winter flying in ancient 1940s delivery planes with a pretty honest depiction of how vital cargo is actually still moved around Canada’s northern territories. For every time you’ve cursed out Canada Post or FedEx, this will give you quite the sense of perspective. How the company actually keeps planes over 70 years old in the sky is a genuine marvel.

Fargo

A flagship show on the streaming behemoth, FX revived the Fargo concept in TV show format in 2014, almost 20 years the Coen Brothers movie of the same. Fargo is set in the icy cold of upper midwest, and follows a similar path of crime, violence, and homespun malice as that renowned movie. Moreover, they’ve managed to depict the absolutely biting winter conditions of states like Minnesota and North Dakota to a tee. If you haven’t tried this out yet, diving into it for a couple of nights until the heat dies off could be a good move—though Fargo’s three seasons may keep you indoors longer than you intended.

Ok, so it’s cold – why else should I watch it?

The critical acclaim that Fargo has picked up has been considerable, with the show cleaning up on several occasions at the Golden Globes. It’s well worth checking out solely for the notable breakout performance of one Allison Tolman, while we also get the likes of Ewan McGregor, Kirsten Dunst, and a truly dead-eyed performance from one Billy Bob Thornton. Action-packed, it’s one of the biggest critical successes that Netflix has landed. Fill up the ice tray and enjoy!

Exclusive videos, interviews, contests & more.

sign up for the a.side newsletter

sign up