Crime documentaries have become pretty popular, which has made it hard to separate the good from the chaffe. Peter Machinis offers his opinions on the best crime docs on Netflix.
There are a lot of different genres of shows and movies on Netflix, one of which that has received a great deal of popularity being crime documentaries. Crime is an alluring genre, true-crime stories much more so, and some view it as a guilty pleasure. This is because some crime documentaries can feel exploitative or problematic; on one hand you have documentaries that feel like they glorify the criminal, and on the other hand you have documentaries that are unauthorized, which may make the victim feel upset. Peter Machinis shares his recommendations for the best Netflix crime documentaries.
Content warning: murder, child sexual abuse
Peter Machinis’ Top Netflix Crime Documentary Picks
One of the earlier Netflix crime documentaries that really kicked off the genre on the platform was Making a Murderer, which alleges that the subjects of the documentary, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, did not commit the crimes they were accused of, and in fact that the investigators were out to get Avery. This created a huge debate over the two figures, as well as debates over whether the documentary misrepresented, intentionally or not, certain information.
There are other good documentaries to be found; one that Peter Machinis enjoyed was “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” which follows the life and crimes of the titular subject, a football player who was convicted of murder. “Don’t F**k with Cats” is also an interesting documentary; it is certainly not recommended for people if they find themselves put off by cats being harmed, Peter Machinis warns, although the documentary makes an effort to censor more extreme footage. The documentary also touches upon the question of the morality of watching crime documentaries as well.
Not all crime documentary series on Netflix are about murder, however, but they are no less alarming, Peter Machinis points out. One such documentary, “Abducted in Plain Sight,” discusses how a trusted family friend can exploit that trust in order to cause harm. Without discussing it in any greater detail, this documentary veers into the shocking and strange, and is certainly not to be viewed unprepared for either, Peter Machinis notes.
But sometimes, crime documentaries can get a little too heavy. Sometimes, you want to be able to enjoy the feel of a crime documentary without the knowledge of something horrible having occurred, Peter Machinis notes. For those who want that, American Vandal is the right pick for you. Spanning two seasons, American Vandal follows two high school documentarians doing overly dramatic documentaries about vandalism. It’s just a shame that this inventive idea did not get off the ground, Peter Machinis laments.
While most of us are stuck at home these days, some are finding creative ways to travel the world without venturing outside their door. Just ask Peter Machinis, a Chicago native and avid foodie. He’s experimenting with countless recipes in his kitchen, and has a palate for classic Greek mediterannean cuisine.
“There’s nothing else quite like authentic Greek food,” says Peter Machinis. “It’s so easy to make at home. Most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen. A lot of people are surprised by that.”
With everything hectic happening in the world right now, it might be worth treating yourself to an authentic Greek experience. Peter Machinis shares four of his foolproof favorite recipes to try.
Peter Machinis’s Greek Fave #1: Loukoumades
These Greek style doughnuts are a great way to change up a boring breakfast routine. Resembling honey puffs, they’re easy to make at home if you feel adventurous enough to fry them the day before. Simply make the dough with yeast and let it rise for a few hours. After they’re fried, coat them in a traditional syrup made with honey and sugar. You can also serve them with maple syrup and fruit… or chocolate sauce and ice cream for a dessert twist!
Peter Machinis’s Greek Fave #2: Tzatziki
If you haven’t made this staple Greek condiment yet, you’re definitely missing out. The classic Greek dip is quite versatile. From pita snacks to lamb and beef centerpieces, it can be used for just about anything. It’s easy to make at home – simply stir diced cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs into Greek yogurt. If all you have is plain yogurt, you can easily strain it and add sour cream.
Peter Machinis’s Greek Fave #3: Revani
Baklava isn’t the only delectable Greek dessert. Revani is a type of sponge cake with citrus notes. It’s easy to bake at home. The flavor is amazing! There are different recipe variations, but all of them incorporate flour, simple syrup, butter, milk, orange and lemon zest.
Peter Machinis’s Greek Fave #4: Youvetsi
This meat and orzo stew sticks to your ribs and is surprisingly affordable. Traditional recipes call for lamb, but you can also use beef cuts. Youvetsi is usually served as a Sunday dinner and it’s a great way to use up leftovers. If you’re cooking with fresh meat, sear it in the pan first to get a delicious browned flavor. Youvetsi also incorporates tomatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, and a bottle of wine.
More Recipe Ideas from Peter Machinis
Eager for more recipe ideas to try at home? Be on the lookout for future posts from the Philanthropist Foodie Guru Peter Machinis. Known for covering all the best flavor profiles of Chicago, he’ll show you how you can eat good anywhere – and even at home.
With airlines being bailed out with billions of government dollars, it’s no surprise that the travel industry will look vastly different after this entire pandemic situation is over. “What we look forward to will be actually getting out there again,” says travel expert Peter Machinis. Unlike several other experts, Peter Machinis has found himself on the more optimistic side of things when it comes to travel in a post-COVID-19 world. “I think there is enough doom and gloom in the world, especially now.” Peter Machinis elucidates. “Why not speculate on the positive that will happen?”
For Peter Machinis it is an idea that has spawned off numerous other ideas and potential projects to take up and continue once the pandemic is over. “I think the number one thing that will happen is a stronger sense of hygiene and that has to be a fantastic thing.”
Peter Machinis predicts that airlines will be implementing smaller projects to maintain the health and safety of travelers for many years to come. “I see it as a paradigm shift in how we fundamentally view airline safety and travel. From the food preparation and how it is served to how people are served drinks during short, medium, and long flights, everything will be changing.” Peter Machinis adds. “But it will be changing for the good in the long run.”
Those issues that are unrelated to airline hygiene will also be transforming as well as Peter Machinis predicts. “For the last few years, the airline industry has been a bit unorganized in terms of how it processes travel for potential customers. I think we will also be seeing huge organizational shifts throughout the industry as well.” Peter Machinis adds.
From flight schedules to travel deals and discounts, Peter Machinis believes everything is on the table when it comes to how airlines will conduct business in a post-Covid-19 word.
“One way to look at it is through the lens of a nihilistic economist that makes his own cold, hard, cash off of predicting the absolute worst things about what is happening in the world. Sure it is quite bad but at the end of the day, a vaccine will come about and things will go back to normal.” Peter Machinis waxes. “But there will be a new normal and that’s the fantastic thing that we can look forward to.” Machinis believes this new normal of flight scheduling improvements, as well as shifts in attitudes towards general hygiene, will make the airlines a better business once the vaccine is improved.
“It’s an upbeat way to look at things but someones gotta do it.” Peter Machinis adds. One thing is certain, only time will tell if these paradigm shifts hold for good once the vaccine is here.
A car aficionado since his grade school days, Peter Machinis has always been a devout fan of the class of vehicle known as the supercar. “No, it’s not a sports car…it’s a supercar,” Peter Machinis says as he leans against a 2020 Bentley Continental GT The difference between a supercar and sports car might be a little confusing at first but is not quite so subtle when face to face with the two in reality. While a sports car might be able to turn up quite quickly around the track, it isn’t until you hear the engine of a supercar that you can truly understand what true speed is.
Unlike sports cars, supercars are extremely rare vehicles that are made in extremely limited production and cost a minimum of $100,000. “The top layer for auto manufacturers are supercars,” Peter Machinis says when talking about his feelings about what it will take for automobile manufacturers to succeed in 2020. “Many of these cars have been outfitted with IoT and machine learning capabilities,” Peter Machinis has talked about. “These new technology trends tend to trickle from the top down so expect manufacturers to offer these services in 2020.” So far this prediction has come to fruition as several manufacturers from Tesla to Ford have begun to add IoT functionalities as well as AI compatibility into their vehicles via smartphone accessibility.
Another trend that is fast becoming the norm as knowledge and concerns of global warming spread across the globe is customer demand for sustainable vehicles. With Tesla leading the charge in this category (no pun intended), Peter Machinis sees this as a major factor that will lead the push towards sustainability in automaker manufacturing strategies. “We are seeing top supercar players like Nissan and Toyota showcasing their ESFLOW and MOB and that should trickle down.” Peter Machinis says, referring to how top automobile manufacturers are adding sustainable and electric compatibilities to their model super vehicles. Peter Machinis, no stranger to the manufacturing game himself, is curious to see how it will play out in the future. “With global warming as a constant factor on the mind of the average consumer, it will be interesting to see how this affects manufacturer protocols.” Peter Machinis said while admiring Tesla’s Model S Alpha.
If Peter Machinis‘ predictions are to come true, it seems that sustainability and the Internet of Things are the major factors that will spell success for auto manufacturers in 2020. Only time will tell if these predictions play out for major players all over the world.
Philanthropist and volunteer, Peter Machinis, explains the life-changing efforts being made by the WINGS program.
Domestic violence takes many shapes and forms, impacting a woman in the United States every 9 seconds. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines it as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” Not only does domestic violence impact the victim, but also their friends, family members, children, and neighbors.
Peter Machinis, a philanthropic supporter of the WINGS Program Inc., believes the non-profit is a vital lifeline to victims of domestic violence in Chicago, Illinois. Established in 1985, WINGS provides emergency services and transitional housing to both domestic violence victims and families in need of essential items. Over the years, the non-profit organization has been able to expand its services and help an ever-growing number of people.
According to Peter Machinis, escaping the cycle of violence requires more than just a place to sleep for the night. Victims need access to counseling, legal assistance, mentoring, career services, and life skills support. When courageous women decide to leave their abusive relationships, they often don’t know where to start. The first step of their journey is often the most difficult, as they try to figure out how to move forward with life on their own.
That is where WINGS steps in to offer support and ensure that victims and families can reach safety and independence. Pater Machinis firmly stands by the organization because it does not discriminate against anyone based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. All people all welcomed with open arms in the fight against domestic violence and abuse. WINGS is committed to treating every individual with respect and compassion while evaluating their needs. Peter Machinis believes that everyone has the strength and potential to improve their lives and move past difficult circumstances with proper support.
WINGS operates two emergency shelters for people fleeing unsafe situations; housing 185 people total per night. Children are also welcomed. Peter Machinis explains that the safe houses offer safety planning, food, and clothing in addition to shelter for up to 120 days. It is the first domestic violence shelter to have opened in Chicago in over a decade, providing much-needed resources to the community.
For anyone struggling with domestic abuse in Chicago, Illinois, Peter Machinis recommends contacting WINGS through their 24-hour hotline at 847-221-5680. The representative will collect information about the victim and the situation and provide further instructions to get to safety. WINGS will hold the caller’s room for 24 hours, allowing the caller, and in many instances, their children, to arrive safely.
Once the victim arrives, Peter Machinis notes that they will receive a tour of their assigned space and the common areas. A WINGS House Advocate will be able to provide necessities if needed, such as pajamas, diapers, slippers, and toiletries. Afterward, the residents will be assigned a family advocate to help them heal and transition into the next stages.
For more information, Peter Machinis recommends visiting the WINGS website: www.wingsprogram.com.
Car enthusiast, Peter Machinis, reveals the top cars to look out for at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.
The 2020 Chicago Auto Show showcases vehicles from 36 different manufacturers, including trucks, convertibles, electric cars, compact cars, and more. The show, which runs from February 8 – February 17, is the first big convention of the season, replacing the Detroit show, which will now take place in June. The 112th annual convention has nearly 1,000 vehicles on display, drawing large crowds of shoppers and auto enthusiasts alike.
Peter Machinis anticipates photographing the most talked-about vehicles of the year, including the newly debuted Genesis GV80, which is the luxury brand’s first-ever SUV. It features LED light pipes around both headlights and taillights, massaging seats, noise cancellation, and 2-tone options. Plus, it’s perfect for families because it will offer both 5 and 7 seat configurations.
Another must-see is the Gladiator Mojave, the first Jeep model to debut a Desert Rated Badge at the Chicago Auto Show. Peter Machinis notes that this bad boy is ready to off-road in the sand thanks to beefier fox shocks, a reinforced frame, front skid plate, and a slight lift. Inside the vehicle, you can expect to see an exquisite leather-wrapped steering wheel that offers extra grip and comfort.
Mercedes-Benz also takes the stage with the Weekender, their first pop-up camper van available in the United States. Despite its docile appearance, Peter Machinis is surprised by its 5,000 lbs tow rating, integrated solar panels, roof racks, and more. With the ability to sleep four people comfortably, the Weekender lives up to its name by offering plenty of comfort and space for your family trip.
If you’re like Peter Machinis, you’ll be dying to see the 2020 Ford GT, an ultra-exclusive GT supercar. With its 660 horsepower and a new carbon-fiber look, you’ll wish you had $500,000 to drop. But even if you do, prospective buyers must apply for the opportunity to own the car. The new appearance packages will be even harder still to come by, making it a must-see at the show.
One of America’s favorite cars, the Toyota Highlander, will get the sporty treatment in 2021. Guests can get a sneak peek at the new special-edition vehicle, which now totes an XSE badge for the first time in its 20-year history. Peter Machinis notes that this model really stands out to those who need the practicality of an SUV but also want the fun of a sporty sedan. The interior is truly stunning with two-toned red and black leather-trimmed seats and ambient lighting. Toyota lovers can rejoice because, in addition to the upgraded Toyota Highlander, six other special-edition models have rolled out at the Chicago Auto Show.
Adult tickets to the show cost $13, with tickets for seniors and children ages 7 – 12 running $8. Those who are unable to make it to the 2020 Chicago Auto Show can still live out the experience through Peter Machinis’s photography. Eventually, you might be lucky enough to spot one of these beauty’s out on the open road.