Congratulations, Virginia Tech, we made it through mid-terms! Hopefully it wasn’t a completely atrocious experience, hopefully you vaguely knew the material you were tested on. With that behind us, we can now focus on far more important things: what television show is going to help you survive until finals in the far distant future (i.e. December). I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I often feel guilty for allowing myself to relax by watching Netflix instead of working on a more creative, stimulating endeavor. To remedy this situation, I’ve conducted scientific research (reading reviews and synopsis) to present a modest list of television shows to help fellow artists keep the creative juices flowing—and survive this semester:
(please keep in mind all these shows are on Netflix. Sorry, not sorry, Hulu-lovers)
1. Haters Back Off!
If your brand is comedy, then give the new series based off of Youtube star’s Miranda Sings (Colleen Ballinger) channel a try. Miranda is on a quest to become a Youtube sensation—we see the irony here—by producing horribly off-key songs and dealing with all the haters that come along with newfound fame. Watch if you like satirically talentless protagonists and innovative comedic storytelling devices.
2. Mad Men
Before there was the sordid Game of Thrones, there was Mad Men. And, Mad Men has Jon Hamm (hard to beat that). This AMC series follows Don Draper (Hamm) as he balances his womanizing ways, being a father, and also staying at the top at his high-stakes, high-paying advertising firm on Madison Avenue, New York City. Watch if you like scandals, 1960s costumes, and Jon Hamm.
3. Marco Polo
A fast past, politically savvy historical drama set in the rarely depicted (at least in Western film and television) Mongolian empire, this series is breathtakingly shot, dressed, and written. Though the first episode focuses mostly on the somewhat flat Polo, the remainder of the two seasons focus on the fully realized Mongolian and Chinese cast as they scheme, plot, and kill for control of the mighty empire. Watch if you like racial diversity, historical dramas, and sweeping scenery.
4. John Mulaney’s New In Town
Not a television series, but the best use of an hour you could possibly do. Mulaney offers nonstop comedic commentary in his stand-up show on looking like a man-child, the choice between salad or fries, and seeing Adolf Hitler walk down the street. Watch if you like wimpy guys telling jokes.
5. Jane the Virgin
All right, so you’ve probably already been told about this one but let me just tell you again. Jane the Virgin is a drama-comedy with a sassy narrator, a love triangle, artificial insemination, and murder, oh my! The writing may seem a little wacky—there are just too many crime lords running around for this to be realistic—but its quirky and engaging. Aspiring screenwriters have a thing or two to learn here! Watch if you like gorgeous guys, adorable protagonists, and fantastic dramedy.
6. How to Get Away With Murder
Highly lauded and anticipated, you may have watched this already. Yet, Viola Davis is more than enough reason to watch again. Follow defense attorney and law professor, Annalise Keating (Davis), as she and her five law students get wrapped up in a murder case that tests their very moral integrity. Watch if you like criminal justice shows, clever plot writing, and Emmy-award winning performances.
7. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
In an alternate historical past, where magic is very real but somewhat extinct, a mismatched pair of sorcerers find themselves the crème-de-la-crème of British high society. Based off of a bestselling novel, this series is an example of the BBC at its finest with Tim Burton-esque grimy shots and quick-witted dialogue. Watch if you like historical fantasy, fantastical costumes, and smart dialogue.