[Photo by Netflix]
Highlighting the Five Most Binge-worthy Shows to Kick off Your Quarter
I would be lying if I didn’t publicly recognize the amount of Netflix shows I’ve watched since I got to college. While class, parties, campus meals, sports, and all those other extracurriculars are super important, we all know Netflix is, too, so let’s lay out the best of the best. No matter how much everything is changing and how unsteady life feels sometimes, there is something every college student can count on: that Netflix is going to keep releasing shows, and we’re going to keep watching them. Here we go.
Shameless is originally on Showtime, but the first six seasons are on Netflix, and boy are we lucky. Never has there been a more flawless seam of comedy and drama. It tells the story of the Gallaghers: a family living in the South Side of Chicago and fending for themselves while occasionally having to take care of their deadbeat, drug-addicted father, Frank, played by William H. Macy. The kids are led by Fiona (Emmy Rossum), who raises them as her own. It realistically portrays life in poverty in a way that’s interesting, but also gut wrenching. You can laugh your way through an entire episode then, at the end, some life-changing bomb is dropped in a scene, and you can’t help but watch another one…and another…and another…
If you’re looking for a show to take your brain, stretch it a thousand different ways, and then put it back together again, this is the show for you. Black Mirror is a Netflix original series that’s put together as an anthology of fictional stories. Each episode has a different futuristic theme that analyzes modern society through an extremely dark lens. The aspect that makes the show so close to home is the fact that each episode is a different storyline and a different reality, but they’re all about real life. They’re about unfathomable situations that happen to sometimes-good people, and ultimately ruin lives. They take humans’ greatest general fears, such as being ostracized, being left alone, being socially destroyed, and other real life terrors, and they concentrate them into an extremely specific, extremely advanced plot point. This kind of psychological thriller combines stunning cinematography and the sickest scenarios that you just have to see to believe.
Scenario: you’ve just finished a really intense episode of Black Mirror and you need something fun and lightweight to calm your nerves before bed. Easy is perfect for you! This is another Netflix original anthology that’s completely centered around modern romance. It explores the awkward, beautiful, terrifying aspects of relationships and sex in ways that are realistic and relatable. The show is set in Chicago and includes couples of different races, genders, and sexual orientations, thus ensuring that there’s something for everyone.
3% is a Brazilian Netflix original series set in a dystopian society. The show is in Portuguese, which originally turned me off because I’m the type of person that absolutely hates subtitles (even when it comes to shows in English), but honestly, the plot is so compelling that it doesn’t even matter. The show is set in the future where people are given the opportunity to escape the poverty-ridden inland portion of the world that they’re living in, and transport over to an affluent utopia. The catch, though, is that only 3% survive. The show is only available as an eight-episode season, but a second season has just recently been confirmed. Jenna Abbassi (20) says, “The way the final episode ties the whole show together is so symbolic. It perfectly encapsulates all the themes of the show and none of the characters even have to say anything out loud. It’s just— I don’t wanna spoil it, but there’s this scene where…a bunch of wine glasses drop on this man’s head [and he] sits in a pool of this red wine, and it’s, like, rebirth. Ah, so good. I really wish/hope for a second season soon; it just really…I could not tear my eyes away from the screen. If you’re gonna watch it, definitely watch with subtitles, and not dubbed, and tell me when you finish so we can have a conversation. Thank you.”
Sense 8 is a story of eight strangers who become unexpectedly connected by reckless psychological visions and and the need to discover where this ability is coming from. Deeper than this, though, they are followed by an organization that is intent on destroying them as they navigate themselves throughout their journey to find answers to these visions. The story is more than just a thriller; it’s a symbol of literal human connection. These people are all connected in a way that is inexplicable, and this translates to a common goal. While the world they are living in isn’t realistic, the show displays a form of humanity that everyone craves. The kind that shares struggle and confusion, and the feeling that you aren’t alone. There’s currently one season on Netflix, but the show has been renewed for a second.
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