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February Roundup: Love, Leashes, and Murder on Netflix

February Roundup: Love, Leashes, and Murder on Netflix

“People give people money for all sorts of reasons – Love and Guilt are the biggest.”  

Love can make people do the craziest of things, and just before the love month ends, here’s a look back at some of the binge-worthy shows released on Netflix that will undoubtedly put you in the mood for love, murder, or leashes.

Tinder Swindler

A harrowing documentary about finding love in all the wrong places: it all starts with swiping right on a Tinder profile that’s too good to be true. This show is a real-life account of Cecile Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm, and Ayleen Charlotte. They recount their encounter with jet-setting billionaire Simon Leviev whom they all met via Tinder. Simon, it seems, is the perfect charmer. Good-looking, well-educated, charming, and wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Simon Leviev seemed like the perfect catch with private plane rides, yacht cruises, and expensive night-outs in five-star hotels. But Simon isn’t who he says he is. He is, in fact, Shimon Hayut, a conman and a felon on the run who has conned his way towards millions of dollars from unsuspecting women from 2017 to 2019.

This story is a general warning to the public about the dangers of finding love in the modern age.

Perfect For: Couples that met via dating apps or Tinder addicts still swiping to find Mr. Right.

Inventing Anna

Genius, fraud, or a little bit of both?

Based on a New York Magazine article, Inventing Anna is a nine-part drama series about the real-life account of fake German socialite Anna Delvey and how she managed to trick New York’s high society of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Created for TV by Shonda Rhimes (How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Bridgerton), the series follows journalist Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky), who plays a fictionalized version of Jessica Pressler (the real-life journalist who did the New York Magazine piece) who interviewed Anna and everyone involved.

With each episode, we go deeper into the various accounts of Anna’s life in New York, how she’s able to live a high life with New York’s most desirable crowd and glitterati, and the consequences of her actions for the people that she conned and deceived along the way.

More than a documentary, this drama series also opens conversations on the unbalanced power dynamic of men and women in modern society, and the power that money has over people.

Perfect For: Faking it till you make it – or siphoning off more than $200,000 from New York’s high society and glitterati.


Comedy superstar Will Arnet (Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, LEGO Batman) cooks up murder-mystery-comedy mayhem. He pulls in notable comics and celebrities like Conan O’ Brien, Ken Jong, and Sharon Stone to solve a murder case with him in Murderville. Will Arnet plays Detective Terry Seattle, a cartoon cutout of clumsy hardboiled detectives of yesteryear (complete with a complicated backstory of an ex-wife that’s also the precinct chief and the unsolved murder of his past partner). Murderville pits this made-up world by Arnett and real-life comedians playing his detective-in-trainee for the day. In each episode, the guest comedians and stars need to solve a particular murder mystery, but the catch is that they’ll operate without a script.

Murderville mixes the absurdity of the events with the quick-wittedness of Arnett, providing clues and adding texture to the story and the guests reacting and improvising their lines as they try to figure out who killed who.

Perhaps more than the celebrity guest, what’s impressive about Murderville are the mainstay supporting cast and extras placed throughout the show being able to maintain character while everyone else is cracking up with laughter.

Perfect For: People looking for people who love solving murder mysteries and comedic improvisations.

Love vs Stars

Luna (Miles Ocampo) is a romantic and is into astrology. But her world turns upside down after breaking up with her boyfriend Caloy (Kokoy Delos Santos). Unbeknownst to her, her best friend Gali  (Khalil Ramos) is in love with her. But she rejects him because their astrological signs are incompatible. You see, Luna is a Sagittarius while Gali is Taurus, and according to her a complete no-no. When Caloy shows up to woo her back, she’s torn between following the signs or following her heart. A funny and lovable love triangle forms with Luna at the center of a tug-of-war between the fates and her heart.

Created by the IdeaFirst Company (Gameboys), Love vs Stars first appeared in Cignal Play in 2021 but found new life on Netflix this year. While the premise of the love triangle may be mundane, Director Ivan Payawal was able to weave in complex themes of loss, redemption, and finding one’s self in this 13-episode series.

Perfect For: Fate-defying us-against-the-world love story and also Kokoy Delos Santos.

Child of Kamiari Month

Following the death of her mother, 12-year-old Kanna Hayama loses her passion for running. That is, until she stumbles upon a shrine where she discovers her family’s secret. Her mother, Yayoi Hayama is an Idaten, a deity, and also known as the god of the footrace. Her role each year was to secure the feast offering during the month of October or the Kannazuki or Kamiarizuki (if you’re from Izumo) to celebrate the annual harvest. This is the time when all the gods converge in Izumo-taishi Shrine, one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan. Now that her mother is gone, the task befalls Kanna.

Armed with a magical amulet that slows the passage of time, a talking rabbit lovingly named Shiro, and a Demon boy named Yasha, the three of them sprint towards a fantastical and spiritual journey racing across numerous parts of Japan, fulfilling her mission, and finding comfort and growth amid personal tragedy.

Child of Kamiari Month may not have the razzle-dazzle animation from Makoto Shinkai movies (Weathering with You, Your Name) or Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away), but it does hit you with the same cathartic emotional release when one breaks through and wins over trauma.

Perfect For: Cuddling under the blanket of child-like innocence and breaking through emotional trauma.

Love and Leashes

A unique take on the rom-com genre, Love and Leashes is a wholesome and comedic exploration of kink. The film stars Lee Jun-Young as Jung Ji-Hoo and Seohyun as Jung Ji-Woo. Ji-Woo inadvertently receive a package meant for Ji-Hoo. The box contains a spiky leather dog collar, Ji-Hoo confesses to Ji-Woo about his S&M fetish. He asks her to be his master, and the two embark on a journey of romance, kink, and hilarity.

Love & Leashes explores the nuances of BDSM relationships without being extraordinarily graphic or even sexual. And while kinks were watered down for this unconventional rom-com, themes like consent, social view on sexual perversion, and openness to new dating dynamics were thoughtfully explored.

Perfect For: Adventure-seeking Romantic looking to be ordered around.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the latest in the franchise series and a sequel to the original 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Set nearly 50 years after the first film, a group of friends travel to the virtually abandoned town of Harlow in hopes of revitalizing the area with new investors. However, one property holdout has them encounter the infamous killer Leatherface, and a fight for survival ensues.

Expect a lot of gore, scares, and possible lingering frights ahead.

Perfect For: Jumpscare – Yakap Tactic.

Whether you’re watching these with your Significant Other or binge-watching this alone with a tub of ice cream, enjoy stutter-less streaming with Smart’s fast 5G network. Watch with Netflix on us through Smart Signature Plans+ that comes with a Netflix subscription, where you can stream your favorite series non-stop.

There are two ways to activate your Netflix bundle: follow the instructions and click the link included in your Signature welcome email; OR directly visit

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