Distract yourself this coming study break with some quality programming
By Kaelen Pelaia, Staff Writer
With the winter Reading Week nearly upon us, everyone could use a good distraction from their ever-looming and mountainous pile of work. Whether it’s an upcoming laboratory experiment, or an outstanding essay, the stresses of the school can seem insurmountable. That’s why, in the midst of caffeine-fueled studying and reading this winter term, it’s important to put away the pens and pencils and just relax. What better way to do that than with our selection of the ten best shows on Netflix for binge watching this year?
10. Master of None (8.4/10 IMDB, 100% Rotten Tomatoes)
With only two shortish seasons, this dramatic comedy series, written by Aziz Ansari, is the perfect length to digest in a few days, but is still good enough to leave you craving more. The show depicts Ansari playing a man in his late-20s named Dev, as he navigates adulthood and responsibility in the modern world. Critically acclaimed around the world, there’s no reason not to check out this hilariously heartfelt traipse through the life of an average person in the 21st century.
9. Ozark (8.2/10 IMDB, 86% Rotten Tomatoes)
This riveting crime drama is among the best of Netflix’s original programming, and for good reason. The story of a shady financier charged with laundering 500 million dollars in the Missouri Ozarks for a Mexican drug cartel may seem a bit cliché, but its execution tells a different story. Stellar performances by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney have earned the show critical and audience acclaim alike. Since there’s only one season, it’s the perfect length to consume over the course of reading week.
8. Marvel’s Defenders (7.6/10 IMDB, 74% Rotten Tomatoes)
For those who enjoyed Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the culmination of those series features all of the characters introduced in the Netflix Original Series, including Luke Cage, the Immortal Iron Fist, and many more. Dubbed ‘the Avengers of TV’ by critics, this series aims to bring the stars of their respective series together for a no-holds barred, entertaining experience that only Marvel could provide.
7. Atypical (8.3/10 IMDb, 76% Rotten Tomatoes)
This series follows Sam, a young man on the autism spectrum, on his adventure through the world of romance, and his family’s attempts to understand what it really means to be ‘normal.’ Though many argue that the show misrepresents autism in a glamourized manner, the quality of the production itself remains well above the norm for many comedy series. Its renewal for a second season speaks for itself – the show is well worth a watch.
6. The Crown (8.7/10 IMDb, 91% Rotten Tomatoes)
Following the story of a young Queen Elizabeth II and the early years of her reign, this is a compelling and dramatic adaptation of the famous monarch’s life. The show sheds light on Britain’s beloved monarchy, and the intrigue, romance, and drama that helped to shape the modern world as we understand it. Scratch your itch for a breathtaking personal drama with the life of Canada’s nominal head of state, and witness the life and struggles of a young woman coming into her own.
5. Black Mirror (8.9/10 IMDb. 96% Rotten Tomatoes)
This episodic thriller harkens back to the classic The Twilight Zone, with stand-alone dramas that tell the story of a particular dystopian future that plays on modern technology and society. From sinister social media to the issues associated with internet anonymity, Black Mirror will give you nightmares about your life, and you’ll hate that you love it.
4. Narcos (8.9/10 IMDb, 88% Rotten Tomatoes)
Follow the thrilling and controversial life of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian cocaine dealer renowned for his wealth and influence in the 1980s. The three seasons of crime drama are reminiscent of Breaking Bad, both quality, theme, and subject matter – which should be plenty enough reason to give it a shot. Narcos is a worthwhile, fantastic historical character drama, and is perfect for a binge this Reading Week.
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (7.8/10 IMdb, 98% Rotten Tomatoes)
This light-hearted romp follows Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who spent 15 years as a part of an apocalyptic cult, and her life after she was saved from an underground bunker. After spending more than a decade underground, what’s the first thing to do? Move to New York City, of course! For those looking for a cheery, hilarious comedy to distract them from the unpleasantness of studying, this is the show for you.
2. Stranger Things (9/10 IMDb, 94% Rotten Tomatoes)
Having taken the world by storm, this sci-fi thriller follows the story of Joyce Byers, a woman living in 1983 Indiana, whose search for her missing son leads her to stumble upon a myriad of mysteries, government experiments, and an immensely curious young girl. Get caught up with the international phenomenon of Stranger Things this study break.
1. Bojack Horseman (8.5/10 IMDb, 89% Rotten Tomatoes)
Back in the 90s, Bojack Horseman was the star of the beloved sitcom Horsin’ Around, and now, it’s time for a booze-fueled comeback. Don’t be fooled by the cutesy cartoon animals and silly pun jokes – Bojack Horseman is a dark comedy, and explores serious subject matter such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse/addiction. For those willing to watch, you will be rewarded with a compelling and funny narrative, but beware – the emotional introspection this show invokes should not be understated.