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5 Pieces of Media That Will Change Your Life

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

Now and then, we find ourselves in a creative rut. Watching and listening to the same stuff can get boring, so I’m here to help you out! Here are some pieces of media that have changed my life – and I’m positive will change yours:

  • White Lotus – Available on Max and Hulu

If you’re looking for a good show to watch alone with the door closed and the lights turned off then White Lotus is just for you. Currently, 2 seasons have been released, and it has been captivating public interest with exceptional performances from cast members like Sydney Sweeney, Jennifer Coolidge, and Theo James. The combination of eeriness mixed with the beauty of the scenery is so well done and unlike anything I’ve ever watched.

Something I particularly found intriguing about this series is that it allows the audience to infer what each of the connections between characters in the show really mean. The show gives us just enough to raise our eyebrows and ponder what we would do if we had been in the situation ourselves. I’ve chatted with tons of friends after watching this series and their reactions never fail to give me a new perspective of the plot.

  • Welcome to Your Fantasy – Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts

A Gimlet Media creation, Welcome to Your Fantasy delves into the come-up and overall success that revolved around the world-renowned Chippendales. I listened to this podcast season while on a road trip, and it changed my life. It truly has everything – an underdog story, crimes, money – if you think you know the story, I promise you don’t.

The level of research and extensive care for detail shines through in this series, and it’s one of the things I appreciate the most. For a podcast series, it was incredibly easy to follow along with. And funny enough, when I would end my road-tripping for the day and stay in hotels for the evenings, I’d find myself having to forcibly stop listening to this podcast series just so I could have some left to listen to for the remainder of my road trip! Seriously though, this series will have you hooked – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

  • That 70s Show – Available on Peacock

I feel like there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who have watched That 70s Show, and those who haven’t. I hadn’t heard of this series until the end of my high school journey and am so grateful to have come across it. The nostalgia, the casting, and the humor in this show are extremely commendable. Not to mention, behind the scenes of the show, there’s so much history with the creators and the cast of the series, which makes it all the more intriguing.

The style, candor, and B-plot of each character really highlight the time period when this series was created. For this reason, I love to watch this show because it reminds me of a time when life was “simpler” and sometimes even makes me wonder what my life could’ve looked like in the world of That 70s Show. If you haven’t seen this series already, take it from me, you won’t regret diving into this cinematic masterpiece.

  • Rotten Mango – Available on Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube

If you’re looking to get into true crime, Rotten Mango is the perfect podcast for you. I was once very skeptical of trying a new podcast – especially when stepping into the world of true crime podcasts. That’s why when my friend suggested this podcast series, I was still a bit unsure, but all those doubts washed away almost as soon as I became invested.

Whenever I recall this podcast series I think: Where do I start?! There are purely too many parts of this show that never fail to impress me – from the incredible research conducted by the team; to the magnetic storytelling from the host, Stephanie Soo; to the bizarreness of each case covered – this show will be sure to leave a mark. I recommend searching for the best episodes rated for Rotten Mango, as those top episodes never fail to make a lasting impression. And if podcasts aren’t really your thing, there’s also a Rotten Mango YouTube channel, where the (usually more recent) podcast episodes are aired in video format, allowing visuals and real-life photo evidence on the cases to be shared as well.

  • The Social Dilemma – Available on Netflix

Released in 2020 (the height of COVID), this series takes the audience through the hard truths within the world we live in today. As this documentary uncovers the methods behind our screens and social media, it weaves together a movie-like plotline and an informative, yet interrogative, plotline. I have yet to watch a documentary that has made me feel the way I felt when watching this series because I feel like after seeing this show, I saw the world in such a different way.

This show brings into question what we, as users of our devices and media, are putting at stake whenever we “lose ourselves” in engaging with short-form social media content. This phenomenon being looked at from the lens’ of professionals within the advertising industry and through the lens’ of those directly impacted by the media, really sheds a light on today’s issues that we inevitably face. I love this series because it felt like it “woke me up” and prompted me to brainstorm and practice ways to fight the advertising industry as an everyday consumer.

So… what are you waiting for?! Grab a snack, snuggle up, and dive in! The world of media is waiting for you, and this guide is your best friend. Whether you’re just getting into true crime, are fascinated by real-world phenomena, or simply looking for a good laugh, give one of these pieces a go and get ready for your life to change.

Pooja Hanagandi is a senior attending Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is a Journalism and Media Studies major with a minor in Labor Studies. She's always binging a TV show or movie, and knows all the best ramen spots.