Netflix shows to binge when you (inevitably) procrastinate

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For when you want to re-watch Friends over and over. Pixabay

Are you still watching . . . ?

The first week of classes has come and gone, and us as a student body are collectively planning for the future. Whether it be through preparing group projects, planning timelines to ensure those class readings are actually read, or just staring at your syllabi with dread, the next three months are on all of our minds. If executed with proper time management most of it is easily attainable, but therein lies the problem. I don’t know about you, but I procrastinate to a disgusting degree as do many of my close friends. We all know it’s not conducive to our success, yet it’s easy to lie to yourself with statements like “the longer I wait, the older and wiser I’ll be so it will turn out better!”

Like many students, I tend to gravitate towards Netflix when I’ve got something I should do but would really rather not. I lie to myself every time about how I’ll just let it play in the background, and that I work better with background noise anyway, but every time my screen gets my full attention while my books are pushed aside to make room for snacks. This semester I decided I’d do something a little different for the sake of my mental health – rather than lying to myself by believing it won’t happen at all and being really hard on myself when it (inevitably) does, I’m accepting that it will happen and am getting recommendations for good shows so I don’t waste my time with the sub-par ones. The shows I’ve watched so far have been absolute gold, so here’s a short list of shows that are Holly Recommended (TM). Listing the timeless classics, while solid gold in their own rights, is a little too basic. Shows like How I Met Your Mother and Friends will always have special places in my heart but it is as necessary here as anywhere else to make room for the new. In the overarching category of “new,” I’m going to give you some comedic bits, some musical goodness, an educational show, and a program with solid social commentary.

The best comedy I’ve been shown recently is Neal Brennan: 3 Mics where he switches between three microphone placements on stage depending on the tone he wants to convey. There’s everything from snarky, low-brow one-liners to deep monologues about his childhood traumas – there’s really something for everyone. Other than that I’d recommend any of the John Mulaney specials; he shares many personal stories and voices the thoughts we all have but aren’t quite comfortable enough to say out loud.

Galavant is my top choice for musical shows on Netflix. Set in medieval Europe and full of dry humour, the show plays on everything from toxic masculinity to lying about your accomplishments to your parents. The voices are charming, the songs are terribly clever, the chemistry between those acting is beautifully conveyed, and there’s even a guest appearance by John Stamos (have mercy).

If you’re looking to pass the time but also learn something, Explained is a great place to start. It’s a series of 15-20 minute documentaries on a wide variety of topics including marijuana, the female orgasm, the gender pay gap, the racial wealth gap, cryptocurrencies, and designer DNA, among others. Watching this show is a great way to ease your mind into a learning headspace with topics you’re interested in so you can move onto studying required material after.

Finally, I’d like to recommend the show GLOW, an absolute piece of art about a women’s wrestling show set in the ‘80s. The costumes are incredible (both in and out of the ring), and the leading lady is played by the darling Alison Brie. This show earned my respect in the first episode with its integrity – they did not sugar coat a single thing or beat around the bush one bit. They address LGBTQ+ hate crimes, infidelity, sexual assault of actresses in the film industry, and racial stereotypes with grace and show bluntly that the actions and choices associated with those issues were just as wrong in the ‘80s as they are today.

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