What we’re watching to keep our minds off this pandemic…
Deirdre Keane – EiC
A rich New York family loses everything when their father is caught embezzling from his company. They move to a small, backwards town that the father had bought his son years ago as an “ironic joke.” These are 20-minute episodes on Netflix. Give yourself time to buy in on the characters and you will not regret it. This show has me continuously laughing. I want to be best friends with the son, David.
I started this show a few years ago and I am proud to say that I am on season 10…quite the commitment for ~45-minute long episodes. The plot follows an incredibly dysfunctional, inner-city, Chicago family: six wild children and one alcoholic father, who get themselves in all types of trouble. Hysterical and always makes me feel better about my life, because no matter what’s going on, I have yet to see the inside of a penitentiary. Can be found on Netflix.
This is my all-time favorite show. The inside perspective on corporate America is the reason I came to business school. I kid, I kid. But these 20-minute episodes of life in a small office in Scranton for a paper company will make you equally laugh and cringe at the awkwardness. Luckily, all nine seasons are on Netflix.
Brittney Runs a Marathon
Want to feel inspired? This movie on Prime is based on a true story about a party girl, who has a rude awakening when a visit to her doctor enlightens her to how unhealthy she is. She decides that she wants to run the NYC Marathon. I thought it was a comedy when I first started watching it, and although it is funny, I would now describe it as more of a “dramedy.” I may have even teared up a few times. You run, Brittney. You run.
James Prager – International Correspondent
Money Heist (aka La Casa de Papel)
This high-intensity Spanish heist opera sucked me in from the beginning with its smoldering, sexy, latin drama and white-knucle cliff-hangers paired with with all the classic heist tropes – an intricate plan designed by a brilliant, mysterious mastermind, a ticking time bomb femme fatale, and of course, a crafty cop always one step behind the robbers. The target? The National Mint of Spain, hijacked (along with a herd of wily hostages) to print the gang a €1 billion score. This show is so much fun that I shut myself indoors two days before quarantine even started – and I’m not alone. Money Heist is the most popular Netflix show outside the English language. With Season 4 dropping on April 3, there is no better time to grab a six pack of Estrellas, start this Spanish masterpiece, and completely forget anything outside la casa de papel even exists.
Call My Agent! (aka Dix pour cent)
Still want something international without the heart attack-inducing intensity? Call My Agent is one of the most popular shows in France. It follows a Parisian talent agency struggling to manage temperamental celebrities and beat back the cut-throat competition following the sudden death of their boss and founder. Ambitious agents, office intrigue, and hilariously awkward interactions with movie-stars meld together with a classic French examination of the artist and his/her art. And possibly, the most French opening song in history. Streaming on Netflix, it’s a light, goofy, easily watchable way to laugh through lockdown, while still feeling sophisticated when opening your second bottle of wine.
If you loved Bong Joon-ho’s awards-dominating Parasite, check out his darkly funny, thought-provoking 2017 Netflix dramedy Okja. A fresh and entertaining twist on the little guy takes on corporate greed and misdeeds, this movie is more playful and optimistic than Bong’s more acclaimed allegorical work.The film follows a Korean girl’s quest to save her beloved genetically-engineered pet, the titular Okja, from the slaughterhouses of the giant American bio-agriculture conglomerate that designed him. With the help of a plucky gang of animals’ rights activists, she confronts the villainous, pixie-chic CEO played by an over-the-top Tilda Swinton. Am I terrible if I made pork chops right after watching?
Looking for a guilty pleasure? Finish Money Heist and need some more Spanish in your life? Try Elite, a brooding teen melodrama that marries Gossip Girl with Money Heist’s burning Spanish sensuality (and about half its cast). Three teens from the wrong side of town win scholarships to attend an *elite* prep school after their public high school collapses, due to shoddy work by a corrupt construction company. Prepare for delicious, sexually charged exchanges between beautiful people in gorgeous one-percenter venues. Are rich kids comically cruel and racist? Check! Are they also the children of the evil owner of the construction company? GASP, of course! Does someone die by the end of the season? WHO IS IT?
On the other hand, if you want a high school story with raunchiness, in place of sensuality and clever British comedy, in place of noir Spanish tragedy, Sex Education might be more your speed. Set in a contemporary English high school that operates as if it’s in a 1980’s American teen movie, it follows the whacky mishaps of a nerdy student who dispenses sex advice to fellow students. All the while he tumbles into romantic foibles of his own. The source of his knowledge? The information that he has abosrbed from his oversharing, celebrity sex-therapist mum. It’s inexplicably always a perfect summer day and no one uses their smartphones for anything beyond sexting, but it is charmingly sweet, exceptionally compassionate, and immensely enjoyable.
Jumanji (the new ones)
Hey, not everything I watch is foreign, alright? Want something that is pure, stupid fun? The new Jumanji movies are the way to go. The Rock teamed up with Kevin Hart? Check. Jack Black is there too?! With Nick Jonas and Karen Gillan! They’re sucked into a mid-2000’s video game on the questionable premise that the original Jumanji melded with a Playstation? Sure, whatever. Wait, it has Danny Devito and Morgan Freeman too!? Awkwafina!? And The Hound!? Does it make any sense? No! Is it great? Yes! THE GUY FROM THE FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS IS AN NPC! Sold. Done. Watch it now.
Sanjna Shukla- MBA1 Managing Editor
Joan from Mad Men, Ann (or Egg) from Arrested Development, and Donna from Parks and Rec are the three leading ladies of this crime/comedy/drama masterpiece on Netflix and Hulu. The show revolves around three mothers who are all in desperate need of some cash and end up robbing a grocery store. They end up getting involved way more than they asked for, and the rest unfolds throughout the season. This show is the perfect mix of suspenseful and funny, and the three lead actresses have amazing chemistry. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix, and a portion of Season 3 (which has stopped filming now) is on Hulu.
This British crime drama is a riveting murder mystery that has you picking a new suspect each episode. The entire first season is based on finding the killer of a young boy in a small town, and the suspense is almost too much to handle. It’s impossible to stop watching, and it’s impossible for me to write any more without giving anything away. This show also has some of the most beautiful shots and backdrops of the Engish coast. Great storyline and great views, watch it!
Schitt’s Creek (again)
I second Deirdre’s vote!