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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Durham chapter.

I have to be honest, I don’t think many people would think introverted when they hear my name. However, that doesn’t mean that, once a week or so, I don’t enjoy locking my bedroom door, turning the lights off, and forgetting the rest of the world exists by means of a good old-fashioned Netflix binge.

Particularly around this time of year, all that is on my mind (and probably yours, too) most of the time is revision and exams. When surrounded by hundreds of students who are in the exact same position as me, I find it extremely difficult to maintain a conversation with someone which doesn’t concern how many words are due in on Friday, and the horror that May has in store for us. Whilst I highly recommend human interaction generally, it’s at these times where a Netflix binge is a marvellous way to push your exams to one side, and concern yourself with the problems of fictional characters, rather than your own. Now, I am a bit of a TV nerd and have perhaps spent one too many an evening scrolling through Netflix in search of something interesting. So, I have comprised a list of the 5 movies and TV shows which I have personally enjoyed the most on my most recent Netflix binges, in ascending order towards the very best recommendations!

5. Almost Adults

To be perfectly honest, this is not a conventionally fantastic movie, and you probably have never heard of it. It is however one of my personal favourites. Following its funding via a GoFundMe page, the movie was produced by a group of LGBTQ+ YouTubers. This might not be the greatest movie ever made, but it is certainly a feel-good watch.

The story follows two young Canadian women on the verge of graduating college. They’ve been inseparable since they were toddlers and are both struggling to move on into their adult lives. Cassie, criticised and put-down by her parents, has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and doesn’t know how to restart her life without him. On the other hand, Mackenzie, the more immature of the two, is a recently out lesbian to everyone besides Cassie. With both characters facing dramatic changes in their lives, their friendship is strained and the two have to come to terms with the fact that they are no longer teenagers.

Up-beat, cute and truly heart-warming, this film is also quite a fresh look at the lives of LBGTQ+ youths. Mackenzie, unlike many gay protagonists, receives a lot of support upon coming out, and has a very positive modern coming out experience. Her sexuality is considered a part of her personality, but not a definitive characteristic. There is no sex or nudity in the film, which is practically unheard of in most LGBTQ+ movies, particularly those with lesbian protagonists. So, if you need a break from sappy romances, and a reminder of the power of the love amongst best gal-pals, give this a watch!

4. Testament of Youth

On a completely different note, this pick is one to watch when in need of a good cry. This film is an adaptation of the eponymous book written by Vera Brittain. A VAD nurse, feminist, pacifist and accomplished writer, Brittain is the definition of a strong independent woman. This movie shows her journey into pacifism following her experiences at war which, while inspiring and encouraging, was heart-breaking to watch.

An extremely academic girl from a well-to-do family, Vera wishes to attend Oxford so she can escape her confined life. Her father opposes her decision, but she is continuously supported by her younger brother Edward, their friend Victor, and Edward’s friend Roland, an aspiring poet, with whom Vera forms a quiet romance. Upon being accepted into Oxford, her brother and friends go off to war, encouraging Vera to quit school and become a nurse. What follows is a saga of loss and heartbreak which ultimately transforms her into a stronger, independent woman who will go on to become a well-known activist.

This is not a happy movie, and I guarantee that it will make the toughest person shed a tear or two. However, it is a film which has stuck with me, and I have only received positive comments after recommending it to other people.

3. Everything Sucks!

A quirky high-school drama set in Boring, Oregon in 1996, this recently released TV series follows the lives of a group of teenagers aged 14-18. The male protagonist, Luke, is a high school freshman with a talent for film-making, inspired by his wedding-photographer father who left him and his mother at a young age. He forms a budding friendship with Kate, a closeted lesbian in her sophomore year, the principal’s daughter who outcasted as ‘the kid with the dead mum’. Along with their friends Tyler and McQuaid, they form a conflict with the arrogant, over-dramatic members of the drama club.

They ultimately make a truce and decide to team-up together and make a movie, to be shown to the whole town. The show explores the relationships which develop following this, particularly focusing on first love, sexuality and the issues stemming from broken families. With dirty language, sex and drug references, this is by no means a kid’s programme. However, it is possibly the show most accurately depicting high-school life that I have watched in a long-time. The main actors themselves are in fact high school kids, projecting the mannerisms and language of kids their age, adding to the film’s realism. Despite their age, the show is extremely well acted by all involved, addressing some hard-hitting issues.

2. Sense8

This one is a little less PG-13 than the others. The show follows the lives of eight people who internationally comprise a new species of human; they are able to telepathically converse with each other whilst on opposite sides of the planet. Each of the eight (the sensates) are extremely different people leading different lives, however they use their connection to come to each other’s aid when facing their own personal trials, whilst all facing the continuous threat of being hunted down because of the security risk their powers pose.

Whilst not being the Netflix series with the highest viewership, its fan base is huge, and the show has been extremely well received generally. The series is truly beautifully shot, featuring breath-taking landscapes, and incredible action shots. It comes close to being the definition of NSFW and I would certainly not recommend watching it with your mum. However, I was hooked from episode one, as was everyone else I know who has watched it. Sense8 is perhaps the TV show on Netflix which I would most highly recommend to any viewer with any favoured genre (as long as you’re not a child – there is a LOT of sex!)

1.Hot Fuzz

Just because… it’s Hot Fuzz!


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