Cheers for genre diversity

Students’ top picks for binge-worthy television shows

Perris Larson, Staff Writer

Illustration by Mia Eshima

Bored? No plans? Procrastinating homework? Just got done studying and need to fry the brain even more? No problem! Here are some student-recommended shows you all should take a look at.

1. “Dark”

Scoring 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and one of the first German original series produced by Netflix, “Dark” is a time-traveling mystery drama involving a sketchy German town that has a troubled, crime-ridden past dating back to 1986. Senior English major Tobias Sednef believes “Dark” is a hidden gem.

“It has a fascinating, well-written plot that really makes the viewer think,” Sednef explained. “One can definitely binge the show, but I personally suggest that taking breaks between some of the episodes can really help the complex plot sink into the mind.”

The show consists of three seasons, with each episode running between 45-55 minutes and a rating of TV-MA.

“Even though there is an English dub, I recommend the original German with subtitles,” Sednef explained.

2. “Downton Abbey”

Imbued with an all-star British cast, ‘Downton Abbey’ is perfect for any history buff, drama-seekers and Maggie Smith fans. The show takes place in post-Titanic England, focusing on the wealthy Crawley family and their servants.

Junior family & consumer sciences education major Carlie Beets is a fan of the show and has already watched all six seasons.

“The show has scandal, comedy, suspense and romance. Their outfits are so classic and beautiful which I love,” Beets said.

The series has won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and also has a second upcoming movie premiering on March 18, 2022. “Downton Abbey” is rated TV-14, with each episode running 55 to 60 minutes. It is available to stream on Netflix.

“It starts out a little slow the first two episodes, but after that, it just keeps getting better and better,” Beets said.

3. “Blacklist”

Originally premiering on NBC in 2013, “Blacklist” is a crime drama now available on Netflix. The show focuses on an insanely smart criminal who turns himself in to help the FBI find another criminal who he despises.

Sophomore and biology major Abby Dean found the show to be highly entertaining.

“The complexity of the plot and characters makes for a show that never gets boring,” Dean said.

“Blacklist” earned 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and consists of eight seasons, episodes running around 45 minutes and a TV-14 rating.

4. “Community”

Focusing on a lawyer with a sham of a law degree finding his way through community college, “Community” is a 2009 sitcom for anyone who needs to laugh after a long day.

Sophomore communications major Bennett Bennett gets a kick out of the show.

“Community is super funny,” said Bennett. “It centers around a study group at community college and follows them through their education and eventual careers there.”

With only 20 minute long time-consuming episodes over the course of six seasons, “Community” is now available on Netflix.

5. “Hello My Twenties”

A Korean rom-com/drama, “Hello My Twenties” is the English title while “Age of Youth” is the original Korean title. The show encompasses the love lives of five college girls who live together in a building called Belle Epoque. Bennett also recommended this as a kind of show one could use as a stress-reliever.

“The acting and the cinematography were incredible, the plot was very relatable and realistic and overall the episodes were particularly uplifting and positive,” said Bennett. “It’s one of the few shows that never stressed me out.”

The two-season show is on Netflix, with hour-long episodes.

6. “NCIS”

An acronym for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS has fifteen long seasons of crime-solving agents with very different personalities. Each episode is action-packed with high-profile crimes and terrorist threats that leave the viewer wanting more.

Senior theater education major Gillian McMichael has already binged each season.

“It’s a great one to binge watch because it has so many seasons,” McMichael said. “If you just want something that never ends, NCIS is perfect.”

“NCIS” ran from 2003 to 2015 on CBS, but then Netflix picked up the program. It now has an overall rating of 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

7. “Modern Family”

Winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, “Modern Family” is now available on Hulu. “Modern Family” takes on an honest, chaotic and crazy perspective of family lives.

Freshman journalism major Emma Grande watched all 11 seasons in nearly five weeks.

“I like it because of how the writers make the characters feel so personal to the viewer. The show even has some iconic [actors] too: Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sarah Hyland, and Sofia Vergara,” Grande said.

Each episode ranges around twenty minutes, set in a style viewers find familiar with other shows.

“I also love that the whole show is a documentary-style, kinda like ‘The Office’,” Grande said.

Drama, mystery, crime, romance and comedy: Something for everybody to enjoy. School creates a lot of time-consuming work for students, but it never hurts to binge-watch a new show—except maybe during finals or midterms.