This week's pick: "Chill with Bob Ross," quite possibly the best show to ever come into existence. Ever. Now, we're sure you've heard of Bob Ross, and there's a good possibility you've seen "The Joy of Painting" on PBS, but the real question here is: Did you know that Mr. Ross recently made the move to Netflix? Well, he did, in the form of 26 of the best, blissful, meditative and motivating episodes from his career as an instructional painter.
Sure, there is literally no plot and yeah, Bob Ross is the only "character," and his story arc is more of a line (or landscape) than an arc. That being said...when you're learning how to paint a masterpiece from the comfort of your living room, does it really matter?! Plus, paying attention to all the complicated TV shows of today can get taxing after a while.
Sometimes, you just need a little Bob Ross in your life.
What's it about, you ask?
Painting. It's about painting. But that's obvious. It's the less-obvious, ephemeral and philosophical elements that truly make "Chill with Bob Ross" a Netflix gem and, more importantly, a national treasure.
If you didn't know, Bob Ross served 20 years in the United States Air Force. He eventually rose to the rank of master sergeant and served as a drill sergeant for hundreds of cadets. He did his duty, but he eventually realized he was cut from a different cloth.
Rumor has it that Ross pushed this promise even further, and vowed to never yell or raise his voice again after retiring from the military. From what we can tell, he kept that promise righteously. Ross' quiet demeanor is part of what makes his presentations so captivating, hovering halfway between a lullaby and storytime from your favorite elementary school teacher.
Through that medium, Ross skillfully imparts worldly truths onto his viewers. Whether he's giving us life lessons on zen-full acceptance or encouraging us to follow our dreams, no matter what it takes, he never fails to paint a smile on your face with each stroke of his paintbrush.
But what makes it <i>different</i>?<div><sup>And why should I care?</sup></div>
First of all, "The Joy of Painting" ran for 31 seasons. 31! At about 13 episodes per season, that's approximately 400 episodes, or 400 paintings -- or -- 400 lessons and 400 opportunities to learn.
Admittedly, they're not available on Netflix, but it's worth noting.
Second, since we already touched on the wholesome encouragement this show offers, we'll address the pop culture phenomenon it's developed.
Case in point number 1: Ryan Reynolds' "Deadpool" advert. (It's a little profane, so consider yourself warned. It's also pretty freakin' hilarious so, there's that.)
Next on the laundry list of Bob Ross fanatics: Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But we can't forget everyone else!
If you're still on the fence...
Seriously though, give it a try.
The internet calls it the "Bob Ross Challenge," but folks back in '89 probably just called it painting. Grab yourself a basic set of paints, some brushes and a canvas. Hell, use a piece of paper if you want. It's a guaranteed good time and if you "waste" 45 minutes of your life, it was only 45 minutes.
If you're really feeling particularly adventurous, invite your friends over and skip that expensive wine bar with the instructor who teaches you how to paint and charges you $10 for a glass of merlot.
Bob Ross is the only painting instructor you'll ever need.