With the holidays drawing to a close, what better way to utilize the new semester than to embark on a marathon of TV shows and take full advantage of your Netflix subscription, while you sideline your academics and CCA commitments? So snuggle up under a warm blanket with a bowl of *insert favourite snacks* as you delve deeper into the world of dissatisfied medieval ghosts, attractive people committing crimes, and even more attractive people unknowingly serving as statutory warnings for excessive usage of social media.
Source: Movie Pilot
American Horror Story
American Horror Story has been around since 2011, with each season tackling vastly different yet strangely interconnected subject matters in seemingly parallel timelines. So far six seasons have been produced, with the set of actors in each season remaining more or less constant. AHS’s latest season titled My Roanoke Nightmare is presented in the form of a documentary, and focuses on a family which is terrorized by a variety of supernatural entities.
Watch it because: it's got top-notch acting, convoluted plotlines and well-written characters. Suspension of disbelief is required while viewing this series, as there inevitably will come a point when you are questioning your own sanity and wondering if a particular character is alive, dead, human, alien, or some other species altogether. Despite being a horror series, the jump scares are minimal and each episode focuses much more on psychological horror. Historical characters and events are often the focal point of the plot, so tune right in if you’re a nerd for tales of the past. However, the series is not for the fainthearted as there is a considerable amount of blood and gore. This can only be attributed to the nonchalance with which key characters slice, tear and hack other characters to death. Stay away if blood makes you nervous.
I was introduced to Black Mirror this year, by a friend who insisted it was a horror series. Going by the title itself, I was mentally prepared to watch a show about cursed mirrors or alien mirrors. It took me three separate episodes to realize that the eponymous Black Mirror was none other than the screens we stare at for the majority of the day-our smartphones, laptops and televisions.
Black Mirror is a three-part British anthology series which examines the excessive use and misuse of modern technology in a bleak, satirical manner. It also highlights how awry emerging technologies can go once in the wrong hands. Every episode is a universe in itself, featuring a unique set of cast members and a storyline with no connection to the previous episode. I often found myself wondering, ‘technology has not advanced to that extent yet, surely that isn’t possible.’ The very next day I woke up to a sobering article about how the Chinese government had a Social Credit system in the works, which would allow citizens of higher social standing to possess certain privileges – much like a Black Mirror episode where the central character is denied a plane ticket because of her low social credit score.
Watch it because: every single episode of Black Mirror seems like a wild exaggeration, yet awfully familiar. In one episode, the old joke about TV watching a person in Soviet Russia is brought to life in a grotesque, hacker-led expose of consumers of child pornography who hack into laptops. In another, rogue drone bees are programmed to kill Twitter-users who wished for the death of anyone they disliked, via a unique hashtag. Another episode addresses the issue of mob-justice, both glorifying and condemning the people who gleefully participated in the very public vilification of a seemingly innocent person. However, every episode will leave you with one familiar feeling – the extreme urge to deactivate all your social media, throw away your black mirrors and live in a cave.
How To Get Away With Murder
If there was an award for accurately named television shows, How To Get Away With Murder would win hands down. For three seasons, all the central characters of the series do just that: repeatedly get away with the murders of several characters. Professor Annalise Keating is easily one of the most exciting instructors at a top university, after having transformed her Criminal Law class into a larger-than-life courtroom simulation. Five students from her class are specially handpicked to accompany her on each of her cases, while she baits them into competing with each other for a solid piece of metal.
Watch it because: it brings to life the phrase “what a tangled web we weave”. The drama is excellently paced and features several moments which will make you want to jump off your seat. The background music is phenomenal, and plays a huge role in heightening the atmosphere. This is one show where you are simply unable to root for a single character, as How To Get Away With Murder paints each of its characters in several shades of grey. Annalise and her prodigious students are thrown into exceedingly complex situations, sometimes entirely of their own creation, and their moral turpitude shines through.
That sums up my review of these utterly macabre, gory gems. Now get out that comfort food and get ready for some good old Netflix!