Amid times of quarantining and self-isolation, one of the most popular ways to pass the time has been using online streaming services such as HBO, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Throughout the first couple of weeks, Americans have been binge watching a variety of old shows and hot new releases. With a seemingly endless amount of intriguing options, it can be challenging to sift through the choices and find the best content to binge during these trying times. Fortunately, the Green and Gold has been able to reach out to a handful of Wesleyan students for opinions on top tier shows.
Sit-Coms: “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office”
Netflix is currently the world’s biggest streaming platform for television in the world. Although Netflix has made a name for itself with its own hit TV Series, some of the best shows to watch right now are some of the older shows not produced by Netflix. For example, sophomore Stafford McDaniel said he has been binge watching lots of “Parks and Recreation”. A sit-com about the Parks and Recreation department of a city hall in Indiana. McDaniel said, “It’s a great show to watch, that will simply make you laugh out loud.”
“The Office” is another sit-com available on Netflix. A show with just over 200 episodes, this 5-time Emmy winning show that depicts the life of employees at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Physics teacher Scott Shroer said, “I would cut off my own leg before I would remove “The Office” from my viewing repertoire during quarantine.” Shroer also said “I would have gone crazy if this quarantine had been a year later because they are supposedly taking it off Netflix this December.” If this is true, then quarantine might be the best chance left for streaming this show.
Supernatural: “The Vampire Diaries”
“The Vampire Diaries” is an older series available on Netflix that has been popular since its first episode in 2009; this show is about Elena Gilbert, a teen who falls in love with a vampire just four months after her parents die in a car accident. Throughout the show, the main characters are faced with a series of monsters and villains. Senior Carmen Cook said, “Every episode keeps you engaged, you can never get bored watching it.”
Animé: “Neon Genesis Evangelion”
For those interested in foreign television for a fresh perspective, “Neon Genesis Evangelion” is an anime series made in the 90’s in Japan. “Neon Genesis Evangelion” is about when giant monsters come to earth with the intention to wipe out humanity. Senior Chalie Neu said “The aesthetic of the show is amazing, and as an artist it is something I greatly appreciate. The show is also famous for being a retelling of the book of Genesis, and for diving into deeper topics such as depression and anxiety. Neu said that the show is “Very fun for him to watch.”
“Westworld” is an HBO Syfy series that takes place far in the future in a world where humans have created a park full of human like robots. People vacation to this park to have real life experiences, but without consequences. Senior Alex Cope said, “The robots have their own backstories and lives, and the show really begins to ask deeper questions about artificial intelligence and humanity.” In addition to this, Cope said “I believe HBO is better than Netflix, and Westworld is a great example of why.”
Netflix has a long history of making successful binge worthy shows of their own. Currently, one of the most popular shows on Netflix is “Ozark.” “Ozark” is a show that focuses on the life of a man named Martin Byrd who is a money launderer for a drug cartel who must relocate his family from Illinois to Missouri. The show’s dark, but intense pace and tone make it an easy show to get lost in watching for hours on end. Shroer said the show is “an interesting dive into white-collar crime.”
Documentaries: “The English Game”
“The English Game” is a sports drama on Netflix about the history of football (or as most Americans know it “soccer”) in England. The show dives into the rich history of the sport and how it went from being a game only for the rich, to a game played by almost everyone. Freshman Thomas Cook said “This show has many great surprises, it teaches you about the history of soccer, the old world, and that people were always greedy throughout all of history.”
Last, but certainly not least is the show “Tiger King Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” A show that had immediate and unexpected success on Netflix, that has taken the internet by storm. For those who haven’t seen the show or the memes, “Tiger King” is a Netflix original limited series about a man named Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic. Despite some cameos from major zoo owners and tiger breeders, the show is mainly focused on Joe’s ongoing feud with PETA activist Carol Baskin and how it led to Joe being arrested for attempting to hire someone to murder Baskin. Shroer said, “This is the most ridiculous show I’ve ever seen in all regards, but it’s definitely worth checking out.” Junior Tanner Bivins also said “I don’t have Netflix, but with everything this show promises to be, I might just have to sign up.”
During these times of quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing, online streaming services are more important than ever. Although it feels like there is more time on everyone’s hands than ever before to watch new shows, it is always important to know which shows are worth the watch.