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What to Watch While Stuck In Your Room

Does the ongoing pandemic have you spending more time in your room than usual? Do you turn on your television or laptop, only to find that you have no clue what to watch next? You’ve already binged all of the shows Netflix recommended you, and you haven’t been coming across many interesting movies — what next? No worries! These suggestions will save you tons of time that you may have otherwise wasted browsing for things to stream!

High School USA!

This adult animated series will leave you longing for high school all over again. The 12-episode series revolves around a group of five high school juniors who are modeled after the characters in the original Archie comics. ‘The Gang,’ as they are called, often find themselves in awkwardly hilarious scenarios that perfectly encapsulate the high school experience of a student in the 2010s.

 Profane, quirky, and painfully underrated, High School USA! will crack you up. I could not stop watching; this series can be binged in a mere two hours, as episodes run only 10 minutes each. Since this is a fun show with a colorful and zany gang of best friends as the protagonists, I would suggest viewing this with friends for an extra engaging experience. 

High School USA! was released in 2013, and is rated MA. You can stream this series on Hulu. 

Shameless

Alright, I know that plenty of people have already watched this one; it’s a quite popular series. However, as a fan myself, I have found myself asking students at Beloit if they’ve watched Shameless, only for most of them to say ‘no.’ This is a must watch. 

If you think you’ve got it bad, try being a member of the Gallagher family. Shameless is centered around the impoverished and dysfunctional Gallagher family that is composed of six children (ranging in age from young adults to babies) and their father, a raging alcoholic. Along the way, plenty more quirky — not to mention memorable — characters pop up in the Gallaghers’ lives. If you are a sucker for well-developed characters, this series is your bread and butter.

Shameless is 10 seasons long, with each episode running between 45 minutes to an hour. Despite the length of both the series and the episodes, once you start this series, it is impossible not to binge it! If you are a fan of shows that take you on an emotional rollercoaster, Shameless is 100% for you. Each episode and new plot line evokes new emotions within its viewers. Some episodes are downright hilarious, others are heart wrenching, and some are just… odd — then of course, there are the episodes that manage to balance all three of these things. 

Another thing that many fans of Shameless appreciate is the way the series handles topics such as growing up as an LGBTQ+ youth, race, teen pregnancy, poverty, addiction, and even sexual assault. While the series has its raunchy and unapologetic moments, it is also an incredibly sincere piece of media — this is precisely what fans love about it. 

Shameless was released in 2011, is currently running, and is rated MA. Showtime is the channel that broadcasts new episodes, though the entire series is available for viewing on Netflix. Showtime has yet to release the 11th — and final — season which has been put on hiatus due to — you guessed it — the pandemic. It usually takes around six months to a year after airing on Showtime for the most recent season to arrive on Netflix.

Da 5 Bloods

When I went to watch this movie, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that it was Spike Lee’s latest film, and that Chadwick Boseman was in it — sounded good enough. It was when I finished the movie that I recognized the hype surrounding it. Wow. It is incredibly hard for me to put my viewing experience into words. Da 5 Bloods is, truthfully, a masterpiece. Yes, there is a good deal of violence and gore that may turn some viewers off, but the story and the use of flashbacks are so powerful.

Da 5 Bloods focuses on a group of four Vietnam veterans who return to Vietnam in search of the remains of their fallen platoon leader (Chadwick Boseman), as well as some gold that they buried while at war. Filming actually took place in Southeastern Asia, which I appreciate, because I, personally, loathe films that are set outside of the US but are nonetheless filmed in America. The filming locations make for some serious eye candy throughout the film.

Now, onto the aforementioned employment of flashbacks. Since Chadwick Boseman’s character, Norman, died in Vietnam in his 20s, he is presented as he appeared at the time of his death (logically so, since he is eternally in his 20s). However, it is Spike Lee’s directorial choice to depict the surviving four veterans as they appear in the flashbacks as their present-day selves (in their 70s) that makes for some compelling scenes. It is a hoot to see 70-year old men in combat scenes.

Chadwick Boseman gives an excellent performance in this film — as always! Watching the film now is an especially emotional experience, keeping in mind that Da 5 Bloods was, in fact, Boseman’s final film prior to his passing in August. Seasoned actor Clarke Peters also provides a stellar performance, masterfully embodying a veteran with a debilitating case of PTSD. Every actor brings their absolute best to Da 5 Bloods, however, so even if you are not particularly a fan of war or action films, this is one that I would highly recommend —  if only because of the acting and the intricate storyline. Da 5 Bloods is rated R, and is available for streaming via Netflix. 

In memory of Chadwick Aaron Boseman (November 29th, 1976-August 28th, 2020)

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