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Netflix shows to watch when you need a break during finals season

I am wrapping up my seventh quarter of college, and my finals season always looks like this: 20 to 30 pages worth of essays that are all due within a five day period. I am notorious for working from the time I wake up until I go to bed, with minimal breaks for basic self-care like eating and showering. This year, I have made it a goal to be much more gentle with myself and my mental health, which means working on assignments for a healthy amount of hours, and still taking breaks. Watching an episode of a show is the perfect way for me to take a short break without accidentally letting my break turn into a three hour one. TV episodes are 30 minutes to an hour most of the time, and when I limit myself to one episode per break, it’s the perfect amount of time to let my brain cool down. Here are some of my favorite shows in some easy to watch genres.

[bf_image id="m8kn7tjzkcxtk55w2ghksft8"] If you like animated shows:

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a popular choice, but my unpopular opinion is that Legend of Korra is better. While the main character, Korra, is Aang’s successor as the avatar, you don’t need any prior knowledge to watch this show, which is perfect. It has a dynamic female heroine, a gripping storyline every season, and every episode is only a half-hour. If you like a show that’s fun to watch, but subtly  addresses more serious topics like race, gender, and sexual orientation, this show is perfect for you. This show is a little dangerous, only because every episode is so gripping, you’ll want to watch more than one. But because each episode only lasts 30 minutes, you can.

[bf_image id="74m3ht9gxvkq43t3rf8fs3sr"] If you like comedies:

There is no other show that makes my heart feel warmer than Schitt’s Creek does. I binged-watched this show during the first COVID-19 lockdown, and ever since then, it has been my go-to feel-good show. The sitcom chronicles the life of an affluent Canadian family that has recently lost all their money. They move to a town that they bought as a joke: Schitt’s Creek. Schitt’s Creek has all my ideal traits of a perfect sitcom: no laugh track, queer representation that is free of strife or tragedy, and perfect comedic rhythm.

[bf_image id="ggb79275xc6pn7gwxx5kp45"] If you like competition shows:

I firmly believe that the Great British Bake-Off is the nicest competition show in existence. The judges are positive, but offer constructive criticism, and all the bakers are sweet and help each other out. There are no Gordon Ramsey personalities on this show, making it the perfect thing to watch if you want to see real people duking it out to be crowned the best baker. Not only are English desserts super interesting and different from American ones, everything always looks so delicious that I get a sweet tooth after every episode.

The best feature of all these shows is that they take you to a world that is completely different from the current one. Whether the show is in a totally fantastical universe, a quirky small town, or in a tent in the British countryside, they all offer an escape from not only finals, but also the stressors of the real world. So do yourself a favor, give your brain a break every once in a while, and lose yourself in a thirty minute or hour long episode.

Isabella Guerrero

UC Riverside '21

A writer learning as I go.
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