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TV Shows That Will Stick With You for Days

Do you ever get that feeling? The one of nostalgia, depression and hope after finishing a really great book or movie. For a day or two, you are still stuck in that world, pondering everything you read or watched.The presence of that feeling is often an indicator of just how much that particular story had an effect on you. If you’re anything like me, you are constantly seeking shows that fill that existential void, so here are seven TV shows you can binge this break that are guaranteed to leave you feeling like a whole new person.

Bojack Horseman

First up on the list is “Bojack Horseman,” an animated TV series produced by Netflix. This series is not for those who are looking for something easy and fun. It is not a show that can be played in the background while you’re doing laundry or homework. Once you start, it is nearly impossible to look away. Each episode is roughly 25 minutes long and follows Bojack, the titular character, as he struggles with his failed acting career and troubled past. Bojack is an incredible character; he is flawed, he is broken and he is handling everything in his life in a realistic way that feels relatable and compelling. The TV series starts with Bojack attempting to get his foot back in the acting world by hiring a ghostwriter to write his memoir. Right off the bat, viewers are introduced to a deeply troubled character, who, in his late 50s, throws outrageous parties and self-medicates with alcohol and drugs. It’s his struggle, his guilt and his shame that makes him someone you want to root for. At the end of the day, each viewer can see a bit of themself in him. The show itself is filled with deep introspection and dives into sensitive topics like depression, addiction and trauma. It doesn’t do a superficial dive — it really gets in there. There were times I had to hit pause just to process what exactly was going on. I can wholeheartedly say that I couldn’t think about anything else for days after I finished “Bojack Horseman.” It had that much of an impact on my life. If you are looking for something real and something compelling, I cannot recommend this series enough.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

If you’re anything like me, you don’t actively seek out the horror genre, whether that be books, movies or TV shows. Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor” should be your exception, trust me. I am not a huge fan of jump scares or illogical monsters and plots. Thankfully, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is at a significantly higher caliber than that. It follows a young woman who serves as a nanny for two children living in their family’s country estate after they become orphaned. As you may expect, there is something off about this estate. Weird things are happening; things that don’t seem to make any sense. The tone of the series is eerie, but it is also tender and sentimental. The element of mystery is tied with deep and pure characters, ultimately creating an addicting dynamic. There are underlying tones of grief, and the mixed feelings of past mistakes and of past choices. To be quite honest, the horror aspect to this series isn’t really horror at all, but really a metaphor for grief and sorrow. This series is hauntingly beautiful. When I first watched it, there would be times when I’d be sitting at a stoplight or taking a shower and I simply could not stop thinking about this story. If you are looking for something that is dark, mysterious, but also deeply emotional and full of hope, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is the perfect show for you to binge.

Better Call Saul

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off prequel series about the character Saul Goodman from Vince Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad.” This series takes place before Jesse and Walter ever start their drug operation. At the start of the series, the man who would eventually become the charismatic lawyer, Saul Goodman, is a man named Jimmy McGill and is a broke lawyer struggling to make ends meet. Surprisingly enough, I actually watched this series before I ever watched “Breaking Bad,” and I still found it extremely enjoyable and easy to follow. In fact, it was this style of crime drama that made me want to watch “Breaking Bad.” Jimmy is a quirky character. Nothing ever seems to work out for him, no matter how hard he tries. He is constantly trying to find ways to beat the game and become successful, but there always seems to be unforeseen consequences that ultimately cause a lot of problems for him. Because he fails so much, you can’t help but root for him. As the series progresses, the stakes become a lot higher. One of the great things about Vince Gilligan’s work is that the characters are just as complex as the stories. As the story builds up, so does Jimmy’s character. The complexity of the series alone is enough of a reason to give this show a good watch.

Maniac

Netflix’s “Maniac” is probably the most indie and abstract show on this list. Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, “Maniac” is a psychological drama that follows Annie Landsberg (Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Hill) as they volunteer for a pharmaceutical trial in a futuristic version of New York City. This show is not for someone who doesn’t like to not understand. This show is not for someone who dislikes having to piece everything together. It’s ambiguous and even eclectic at times. The trial Annie and Owen are a part of lead viewers deep into their inner worlds, into their memories and trauma. Annie and Owen, while sedated, drugged and hooked up to wires on tables, are exploring their own minds and facing problems within themselves. The series is full of symbols and metaphors that are left open to interpretation, and to me, that is what makes the series so good. As you learn about the characters, nothing is set in stone and viewers are left wondering what this series is truly about. That’s the beautiful thing — it’s up to you to absorb what resonates. If you are up for a mind-bender, this show is for you.

The Chair

One of Netflix’s newest series stars Sandra Oh as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the new chair of the English department at a fictional Ivy League school, Pembroke. Sandra Oh is amazing (as usual) and viewers follow her character as she encounters problem after problem as the first woman of color to ever hold this position. The series highlights modern problems in the workplace, specifically in academia. We are able to see the other side of things; we see how schools are run and how issues are handled. We are able to see double standards and misogyny, two issues that are very prevalent for women in any job. The series also touches on the lives of those who are professors and faculty, showing their rich inner worlds and daily struggles. This series is profound in a lot of ways. The social issues it dives into are important and need to be talked about, and “The Chair” does this tastefully. As a student, seeing at least a fictional version of what it is like to be in academia was eye-opening. The show is sweet and tender, but also full of drama and high stakes. Overall, this series is great if you need something that is a little closer to home.

If after reading this list, you still haven’t found that one series to watch, here are some of my honorable mentions:

  1. The Kominsky Method
  2. Q-Force
  3. The Umbrella Academy

As finals end and as winter break approaches, I hope you get a chance to watch a few of these shows. They truly will leave you feeling like a completely different person.

Liz McRae

Baylor '23

Hi, friends! I'm Liz. I love writing (obvi 😉), reading, and basically anything with a good plot. I am passionate about justice and fairness, especially in regards to women's issues and rights. I hope to go to law school and put that passion to use. In the meantime, I am a regular contributor here with a lot of opinions and stories to share!
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