What to stream before you get too busy with Spring Quarter

    One of the best parts about the quarter system is that there are three rounds of syllabus week, meaning you get to relive the first few weeks of the quarter – before things pick up during midterms – more often than your friends at semester schools. The beginning of a new quarter proves to be the best time to start up a new show because you have the time (or you make the time by procrastinating) to watch TV. However, most of the time we spend more time searching for what to watch than actually getting straight to the binge watching. Grab your coziest blanket and favorite snacks cause it’s time to immerse yourself in the world of television and become personally attached to a fictitious character.

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    Something to make you think...

    With 19 episodes on Netflix ranging from 48 to 90 minutes, Black Mirror is an easy, yet mind-blowing show to start watching. Although each episode does not create a consecutive story line or have recurring characters, the show quickly becomes binge-worthy with its intensely thought-provoking themes. Think The Twilight Zone, a TV series from the 50s which explores society’s deep fears through science fiction and fantasy: Black Mirror is practically the modern version. Taking place in a myriad of universes, both in the present and future, Black Mirror explores how technology may affect our society. While some are obviously different worlds, others are uncannily similar to present life. The appeal of Black Mirror stems from its ability to remove us from real life, while simultaneously allowing us to reflect on real and current fears about modernization.

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    Something silly…

    Now in its fourth season, CW’s Jane the Virgin plays off of telenovelas (Latin American soap operas) to create a comedy, romance, mystery and drama all in one. The main character Jane Villanueva has grown up with a very religious grandmother and stereotypical outgoing and sexy Latina mother who had Jane at the age of 16. While Jane has sworn to stay a virgin until marriage due to her grandmother’s religiosity, she ironically becomes pregnant after being artificially inseminated. The show follows her love life as she’s caught between two men, the drama in a Miami hotel and Jane’s family. Gina Rodriguez even won a Golden Globe for best actress – television series, musical or comedy for her role as Jane. If you need a Netflix show where you can just tune out and watch at all times of the day (every trip to Sargent, bathroom break at Norris, attempted workouts at SPAC etc.), Jane the Virgin is the perfect show.

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    Something funny, but also intense…

    Shameless, also available on Netflix, depicts the lives of the Gallagher family in the South Side of Chicago. The six kids practically take care of themselves with a single, drunken father named Frank, played by William Macy. Although it covers very serious topics, the show knows when it’s appropriate to poke fun at the family’s situation, and when to be more genuine. Because the show follows a family from Chicago, there are many local references (and even scenes shot at Loyola’s campus) that we can pick up on as Evanston residents and Northwestern students. With talented actors and dynamic characters, the show offers tasteful comedy. In 2018, Macy won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role. If you need to be convinced to binge this offbeat show, just ask any Shameless fan and they will passionately respond, “you must watch it!”

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    Something nail-biting…

    As Northwestern students, we tend to be nerds who enjoy learning new things and immersing ourselves in the current state of world politics. Homeland, a thriller based on Prisoners of War, an Israeli TV series, is perfect for Nerdwestern. The show follows a CIA agent with bipolar disorder, Carrie Mathison, and a U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper, Nicholas Brody. The show starts with Mathison, played by Claire Danes, believing that previous al-Qaida prisoner Brody, played by Damian Lewis, is a threat to America. Although a fictional story, Homeland plays off of real life events and conflicts occurring in both the Middle East and America. Due to its focus on terrorism, this is not a light show. However, its intensity makes it a worthy binge, keeping you on the edge of your seat and anxiously awaiting the characters' next moves. Bonus: Homeland can be found on Showtime, which you can easily access through your campus Xfinity account.

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    These are only a select few of today’s most popular binges. Sadly, most Northwestern students just don’t have the time to watch every amazing show, so take advantage of these few weeks before midterms. If only we didn’t have homework.


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