By Henry Brown '23
Last September, I wrote an article titled, “How To Stay Productive While Distance Learning,” in which I outlined the largest roadblocks to maintaining focus and preventing yourself from falling down the “I can’t stop scrolling” rabbit hole. Chief among those tips was finding a place where you wouldn’t be distracted by the allure of screens and putting your phone in a different room. Yet, in the past year of lockdowns and virtual school, I’ve become a changed man, realizing that watching Netflix is simply more important than test scores and my transcript. The haters often tell me that I should focus on my DBQ about the Cold War so that I can get into a good college. But in our hearts, we all know that watching a show about the Space Race in an alternate timeline is much more “productive,” as my younger self would say. So kick back, relax, and binge these five TV shows before the month of September is over.
1. For All Mankind (Apple TV+)
We’ve all heard of the Space Race, a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to gain the upper hand in the realm of space exploration. After the successful Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon (and STA graduate Michael Collins remained in orbit), the Americans claimed victory and celebrated. But what if the Soviets landed on the Moon first? For All Mankind deals with this alternate scenario, following certain characters at NASA and the quest to continue this Race. The show is incredibly well-written and the second season is arguably much better than the first (which is still phenomenal).
2. Loki (Disney+)
I’m sure you’ve heard about Loki hundreds of times: Thor’s brother, timeline chaos, Time Variance Authority, Owen Wilson. Yet, even if you aren’t the most enthusiastic Marvel fan, Loki takes the MCU in a direction that is creative and unique, which may be appealing if you’re tired of the repetitive villains and traditional fight scenes. Perhaps the CGI might be a bit intense, but the plot is terrific (and not predictable, which is also a plus), acting is superb, and the sci-fi element makes the show so much more entertaining. And I can’t forget the soundtrack, which is one of, if not, the best I have heard from a TV show.
3. Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Ted Lasso is an American football coach from Missouri who is hired, despite never playing or knowing how soccer works, by a British Premier League team to spice things up. Despite enormous criticism from the team’s players, fanbase, and the media, Lasso leads the football club to places it has never been before. The show may not be as suspenseful as For All Mankind, but Ted Lasso has amazing character development, a great story line, and each episode is only 30 minutes. I haven’t played soccer since I was three years old, but I still really enjoy this show.
4. Lupin (Netflix)
Even if you aren’t taking French, Lupin is an excellent show following Assane Diop, an orphan whose father was framed for a crime, and his journey to get revenge on the perpetrators. He is inspired by the books about Arsène Lupin which his father gave to him when he was just a child. Primarily the show was intended for French audiences, so it is in French, but put on the subtitles and enjoy this amazing story.
5. Designated Survivor (Netflix)
When the entire U.S. government comes together for an event, such as the State of the Union address, at least one congressperson or cabinet member serves as the “designated survivor” and hides in a bunker in case of an attack on the Capitol. Yet, in this show, this becomes reality when the Capitol building explodes and the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Tom Kirkman, becomes POTUS. What follows is Kirkman’s attempt to restore the government and serve justice to those who blew up the legislative branch. While it’s pretty cool seeing all of the various parts of our city in the show, clearly the writers haven’t been to DC before, so as DC residents it’s fun to make fun of the small errors they made when creating the script.
In all seriousness, of course you should focus on your school work. Do your assignments, write your essays, and study for your tests. But if you do happen to have some free time, I highly recommend watching these TV shows. They are ranked based upon how much I liked them, but all five are awesome and watch whatever appeals to you.
Article Photo From Apple®.