The Collegian
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Film Fridays | Quarantine & Chill with these great streaming shows

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

If you’ve been reading my articles these past few months, you might have noticed that I have only been recommending movies, never TV shows. I’ll be a drama queen for a second and claim that starting to watch a TV show is not an easy decision to make and always comes with several questions and concerns, such as “What if I don’t like it after the third episode?” or “There are seven seasons of 10 40-minute episodes each? I could watch 30 movies instead.” 

Plus, I usually get really attached to TV shows, and I’m devastated when they end.

However, as I self-distance at home because of COVID-19, there’s plenty of time to revisit some all-time-favorite TV shows and start watching all the most recent ones that friends of mine have been recommending for a while. I would always politely answer “Thanks, I’ll give it a watch sometime.” Well, now is this “sometime.” 

I encourage you to do the same. Next time you go grocery shopping, put down the six packages of toilet paper and the 14 packages of pasta and grab some microwavable popcorn. Then, quarantine and chill at home with these great streaming shows! 

Killing Eve (two seasons on Hulu, eight episodes/season, ~40 min/episode)

“Killing Eve” centers on two women: Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The former is a talented and smart MI5 security officer whose skills and spy fantasies are not showcased or fulfilled, respectively, in her tedious office job. The latter is a brilliant international assassin whose targets involve high-profile people. Their lives blend together as Polastri and Villanelle join in an obsessive cat-and-mouse game.

“Killing Eve” is an amazing spy/assassin thriller. It has a great balance between action scenes that keep the suspense strong and witty black-humored lines that would cause me laughter during the least expected times. The uniqueness and quirkiness of this show made me so obsessed with it that I finished both seasons over the past weekend. 

Schitt’s Creek (five seasons on Netflix & IMDb TV, 13 episodes/season, ~20 min/episode)

“Schitt’s Creek” bears the name of the wealthy Rose family’s only remaining asset: a dreary small town they once bought as a joke. When they suddenly find themselves broke, they try to rebuild their lives in Schitt’s Creek which has none of the luxurious amenities they were used to.

I just started watching “Schitt’s Creek” two days ago, so I’m very new to it, but I have been truly enjoying it. Each character has its own intense personality and they are entertaining in their own way. The ignorance of the Rose family as they experience the real world beyond their pampered lives is hilarious — at least on TV, in real life, it would be disappointingly sad. Also, if you grew up watching “Home Alone” every Christmas, like me, get ready for a strong throwback as Catherine O'Hara (Kevin’s mother in “Home Alone”) stars as Moira Rose.

Little America (one season on AppleTV+, eight episodes/season, ~30 min/episode)

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“Little America” is an anthology series of funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America. The characters range from deported parents and an undocumented high schooler to international students and a gay Syrian refugee.

“Little America” is another show I’m very new to watching, but I have loved it for its humane celebration of diversity at a time when it is so highly needed. I usually avoid saying movies/shows I recommend are a must-watch because, at the end of the day, movie taste is quite subjective. But when it comes to this show, I will say it’s a must-watch because humanity and inclusivity should not be subject to personal taste.

Baby Bachelor/Bachelorette (three seasons on YouTube, five episodes/season, ~5 min/episode)

“Baby Bachelor/Bachelorette” is a parody of “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” featuring toddlers (yes, you read it right). The 3-season mini-clip series was created by Jimmy Kimmel and featured in “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” 

If you’re bored and are looking to watch mini-clips rather than whole episodes, “Baby Bachelor/Bachelorette” is ideal. It is hilarious, wholesome and the cutest thing you’ll ever watch.

American Crime Story (two seasons on Netflix, 10 episodes/season, ~50 min/episode)

“American Crime Story” focuses on America's most notorious crimes and criminals. The first season (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes of the O.J. Simpson trial and the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend (Cuba Gooding Jr.) of double homicide. The second season (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace”) analyzes the making of serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) whose last victim was the iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace (Édgar Ramírez).

I’ve watched and loved both seasons of “American Crime Story,” but I find “The People v. O.J. Simpson” the most intriguing one. The production of the whole show and the performances are beyond impressive. If you’re the type that gets easily bored seeing the same characters after finishing the first season of a show, “American Crime Story” is the perfect match for you.  

RuPaul’s Drag Race (eight seasons on Hulu, 14 episodes/season, ~40 min/episode)

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is the ultimate drag queen competition hosted by RuPaul, the most famous drag queen in the world. Hulu has six seasons of the normal edition and two seasons of the all-star edition where former members rejoin the competition.

I was introduced to “RuPaul’s Drag Race” three years ago, and it is hands down the reality-tv show that I enjoy the most. I find it enlightening, inspirational and entertaining. 

I’ve heard conflicting opinions about the show from people within the LGBTQIA+ community, but I have personally learned a lot by watching it. I’ve understood drag better as a profession and a form of self-expression through it, and I’ve stood in awe with the creations of the contestants as well as their performances. I’ve also enjoyed the drama, I’m not gonna lie. 

The Middle (nine seasons on Amazon Prime & IMDb TV, 24 episodes/season, ~20 min/episode)

“The Middle” is an American sitcom following the everyday life of a lower-middle class family living in Indiana and their struggles of home life, work and raising children.

I think it’s relatively easy to create comedy by putting a bunch of fictional characters in a bunch of fictional places facing a bunch of fictional scenarios. But taking next-door people and everyday situations and creating a great comedy out of it is hard. This is what “The Middle” has achieved, and this is the reason why I have loved and respected this show all these years. 

If you were raised in a lower-middle class family like me, there’s no way you won’t find characters and events that will hit home.

Buzzfeed Unsolved (11 seasons on YouTube & Hulu, eight episodes/season, ~15 min/episode)

Co-hosted by Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej, “Buzzfeed Unsolved” is an anthology series of unsolved cases of true crimes and supernatural activity, presented and discussed in a comedic manner.

“Buzzfeed Unsolved” is another great series of short episodes that you can watch when you’re not in the mood for watching those 40-minute-episode series. Bergara’s research always has so much depth, and his and Madej’s commentary is hilarious. I never thought I’d laugh so hard while watching horrible crime mysteries and murder cases.

As always, you can quarantine and chill with friends in a safe manner by setting up netflixparty.com.

Contact contributor Myrsini Manou-Georgila at myrsini.manougeorgila@richmond.edu. 

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