Recess week this semester couldn’t come at a better time, as it coincides with the exciting fall TV season lineup. After 7 whole weeks of slogging it out with assignments, essays, and presentations, we can all finally take a well-deserved break. And what better way to spend your recess week than to settle in on your couch or bed with chips in hand, earphones in ears and a good old-fashioned Netflix or TV binge? I review this season’s hottest shows about drug lords and hackers, and an upcoming series about superheroes.
The Netflix drama about the infamous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, that has taken the world by storm last year recently premiered its second season to pretty solid reviews. Told from an American DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) agent’s point of view, Narcos provided us with an inside glimpse of a fascinating tale of corruption, power, and money. The second season premiered at the start of the month, and picked off right where Season 1 ended. It focuses on the intensified efforts of the Colombian government as well as the task force Search Bloc to locate the ever elusive Escobar, taking down his network of street-level informants and confidantes one by one, leaving him increasingly vulnerable and exposed.
Why you should watch this: Watch it for its outstanding balancing act between the action set pieces and heartwarming dramatic moments. The cat and mouse chase between Escobar and law enforcement ratchets up the tension and suspense, and you never really know who to root for while watching both parties trying to outsmart each other. The fierce and intense love that Escobar has for his family shines through especially in the second season, where he will go to the ends of the earth, including carrying out terrorist acts, to protect the one constant thing in his life – his family. History dictates that Escobar was killed in a shootout with Search Bloc in 1993, and I can’t wait to watch for myself how this unfolds in the final two episodes that have left on my Netflix queue.
The breakout drama of 2015 just concluded its second season a couple of days ago, and boy, what a ride it was. A gripping drama about hacking with alarming relevance to current world events, Mr. Robot wasn’t afraid to delve into darker psychological themes and the fractured psyche of its main character, Elliott. After Elliott successfully carried out the hack on the largest conglomerate in the world, E Corp, with the intention of making the world a better place, Season 2 focuses on the ramifications of his plan as well as his increasingly tortured mind.
Why you should watch this: After a fantastic and tense first season, Season 2 suffers from the slight “Season 2 syndrome” that TV shows often face. Its plot lines may be scattered and vast, but stay till the end and you will be rewarded with the tying up of loose ends, as well as the setting up for Season 3. It may take a little while for it to settle into its own rhythm, but once it takes off, you’ll find it hard to not binge watch the next episode in order to find out what happens next. The occasional flashes of brilliance and intelligence that Mr. Robot displays are good enough reasons to start watching this drama.
Be still, my Marvel fangirl heart. Thanks to a collaboration between Marvel and Netflix, we have been blessed with two fantastic Marvel superhero Netflix series last year (Daredevil and the fabulous Jessica Jones). Come September 30, the third instalment in the Marvel-Netflix tie-up, Luke Cage, will finally be released.
Together with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the upcoming Iron Fist, these four heroes collectively termed as The Defenders (another upcoming Netflix series in 2017) are the hidden heroes of New York, defending the city from gritty crime elements. Luke Cage was imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit, and gains superpowers in the form of superhuman strength and unbreakable skin, who has since devoted his life to fighting the underbelly of crime in Harlem, New York City. Coming hot on the heels of the popular predecessors mentioned above, there has been much hype about this TV series, notably because of a rare black comic book hero coming to life on the small screen. Music in a crucial element in this story, described as the “Wu-Tang-ification of the Marvel universe”, where the title of every episode is named after Gang Starr songs, drawing heavily from hiphop culture that Harlem is so closely associated with. The world is certainly ready for a bulletproof black man, as succinctly put by showrunner Cheo Coker.