The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
While fun, light-hearted movies, and shows are universally loved, sometimes one needs a palette cleanser in the form of something that manages to make you ask: “What even happened here?” Here are four such recommendations that you need to check out ASAP!
Mr. Robot is a show that has often been called one of television’s finest by critics and viewers alike. It’s a shame how it did not manage to attain the same popularity status as Breaking Bad and the likes, despite being of the same level of quality. Part of the reason behind this is how each new revelation in this psychological drama threatens to topple all preconceptions about the characters and the plot so far. The premise of the show is that our lead person Elliot Alderson is a cybersecurity engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night. Despite the unethical route he takes, he means and does well, as is established early on. Grouping with a team of other hackers, he is brought into the fold of a plan to topple E-Corp, the largest conglomerate of the country, and subsequently erase all debt records, giving ‘freedom’ to the people. Of course, there are a lot of complications along the way, the least of which is Elliot’s morphine addiction and the fragile state of his mental health. Throughout the show’s four seasons, we are delivered gut-wrenching twists that feel like a slap in the face, yet perfectly valid because of the amount of detail gone into foreshadowing. With some of the most beautiful direction, plotting, and acting ever seen on television, this show is a must-watch.
The Magnus Archives is a critically acclaimed, weekly horror podcast anthology that debuted in March 2016, had a glorious run of 200 episodes spread across 5 seasons, with the finale being aired in March 2021. To say that this podcast has excellent buildups that lead to very astonishing conclusions is, to say the least. The plotting is phenomenally done and with every new revelation, the listeners are forced to ask themselves: “Were any of my previous thoughts about this show true? Do I even understand what is going on here?” The premise followed is the Magnus Institute is a London-based academic institution devoted to cataloging and researching the paranormal. After the sudden demise of the previous Head Archivist (Gertrude), we follow Jonathan Sims, the freshly promoted heir to the post, and his team of Archival assistants (Tim, Sasha, Martin) as they try and do their jobs. It turns out that Gertrude did not care much about her responsibilities and had left the Archives in a state of utter chaos, with the statements of the victims being all jumbled up. To make some sense out of the whole thing, Jonathan has now decided to do audio recordings of the already written-down statements, and that is what we listen to in the show. But little did the archival staff know that their lives would be put in jeopardy as the things out of the victims’ stories start targeting them too. Each episode has its own story (in the form of a statement) with an overarching metaplot going on in the background, making this the perfect choice for both short-term, and long-term listeners. What’s even better is that while early listeners had to desperately wait for the resolution of the numerous cliffhangers, you can simply go ahead and binge all episodes on YouTube or your preferred podcast source.
Based on a book with the same name, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is yet another psychological drama Netflix original movie. The premise of the movie seems quite simple at the start. A man and his girlfriend are on a road trip, with the destination being the former’s parents’ house. The story plays out from the perspective of the woman as she deliberated breaking up with the man the next day. Though their relationship doesn’t have any visible problems, she doesn’t feel content in it and is torn between doing what is right and what feels right. But things soon start getting weirder, and weirder as we’re thrown into a loop of what-ifs and what-evens. With a stellar performance by the production team and the actors alike, this movie is a hell of a ride packed in the timespan of fewer than two hours.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson is a political fantasy that centers around a young girl who wishes to overthrow the empire that colonized her land. To do so, she decides to play by the oppressor’s rules and rise to the top of the system. Because of her sharp wits and sharper mind, years later she finds herself at the position of Head Accountant of the colonized country. Of course, she uses this opportunity in her best interests. Driving the nation between economic collapse, and prosperity, Baru’s intentions are never clear to the readers. She seems to switch sides as smoothly as a knife cuts through butter. Her moral ambiguity is truly refreshing and the plot twists her skewed sense of correctness throw at the readers manage to surprise you each time. The book’s title itself says that Baru is a traitor, so we know from the get-go that Baru is not a person to be trusted easily. But her questionable actions make you wonder: “Who is she gonna betray to earn that title? Is she a traitor to the Empire, the rebellion of native people who seek to overthrow the Empire, or to herself?” The book is the first in a series of four, with book two (The Monster Baru Cormorant) and book three (The Tyrant Baru Cormorant) being out already.