As the fall semester wraps up and we start our winter break, be kind to yourself and acknowledge your accomplishments of completing this unfamiliar semester online amidst a global pandemic. If you can only watch so many Christmas movies like me, here are my three suggestions that you won’t be able to turn off:
Normal people (2020 / 12-episode series)
This series produced by BBC follows an on-again, off-again love story of an insecure high school jock (Connell) and an intelligent loner (Marianne). The show adapted from Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel is one of the raunchiest dramas BBC has ever produced; I wouldn’t recommend watching this with your family. However, aside from the intimate scenes raising all the buzz, the series captures a heartbreaking story of two people who are addicted to each other; but their lack of communication constantly causes heartache. As the story moves from high school, where Connell’s mother cleans Marianne’s family mansion, they continue to cross paths with breathtaking scenery ranging from Ireland to Italy to Sweden as they move through college.
After I finished this show, quicker than I would like to admit, I could not get over the ending. However, I reflected on the refreshing reality in the conclusion and the overall plot representing a shy yet intelligent female character who struggled with knowing when she deserved better.
All American (2018 / 2 Seasons)
I began watching this show in the middle of the pandemic and I could not get enough of it. Just shy of the season 3 release announced to premiere January 2021, All American tells the story of a high school football star, Spencer James. Raised in the lower-class burrows of California, Spencer transfers to an upper-class high school on the other side of town after being scouted for his talent. The show skillfully creates a narrative covering struggles of class and race as the superstar tries to balance his talent, upbringing, relationships and more.
Incorporating topics such as gang violence, homophobia, single-parent households, and police brutality, this show dramatizes the journey of a young man’s life who you can’t help but root for.
The Morning Show (2019 / 10 episodes)
This star-studded series I would watch again just for the smaller moments. In between dramatic and tense scenes with Jennifer Anniston and Steve Carrell, it is the raw moments of humor, inner morals, and honesty from the smaller characters that is the glue of the show. The series portrays a workplace harassment scenario that unfolded on The Today Show in reality (#MeToo Movement). Reese Witherspoon’s character is dropped into a toxic and secretive aftermath as a replacement for the accused host. The show covered the sensitive topic commendably and furnished an ending that had me shocked for weeks. Season 2 can’t come fast enough!