What to binge-watch over fall break
What Columbia University calls “fall break” is upon us! From where I stand, there are two ways to spend our five-day break from classes: You can do the responsible thing and catch up on all of the reading/work you’ve neglected OR you can get back in touch with the zeitgeist by binge watching one (or more) of these recommendations.
“The Good Wife”
“The Good Wife” is arguably “Breaking Bad’s” rightful heir to the Best Show on Television throne. This past Sunday, it aired its best episode to date, and that is saying something since most of its episodes are exceptional. This CBS legal drama stars Julianna Margules as Alicia Florrick, a wife who must return to work as a lawyer at a Chicago law firm after her husband Peter (Chris Noth), the Chicago State’s Attorney, is ousted from office and jailed following sex and corruption scandals. “The Good Wife” boasts a strong cast that includes Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, and “Gilmore Girls” heartthrob Matt Czuchry. Do not let the fact that this is CBS legal drama deter you from watching! “The Good Wife” masterfully mixes serialised and procedural storytelling, and reaches “Breaking Bad”-quality levels. The first four seasons are available on Amazon Prime.
If you watched the last episode of “Parks and Recreation,” you were probably curious about the actress that played Tom’s new love interest, Nadia. The actress in question is Tatiana Maslany, the star of the BBC action/mystery series “Orphan Black.” “Orphan Black” was one of last season’s most buzzed about shows, and several critics were disappointed that Maslany was not nominated for an Emmy. The BBC America series is about Sarah Manning (Maslany), who steals the identity of a girl who looks exactly like her after she witnesses her suicide at a train station. She turns out to be a clone. Actually, one of several clones, all played by Maslany. 10 episode first season is available on iTunes (or in dark corners of the Internet).
“New Girl” (Season Two)
“New Girl” was last year’s the unofficial winner of the “Most Improved Series” award. In its second season, the writers moderated Zooey Deschanel Jessica Day’s quirkiness, made Schmidt (Max Greenfield) the show’s comedic center , and rounded the character of Winston (Lamorne Morris) to make him more than just the token black character/”the guy that replaced Damon Wayans Jr’s character after ‘Happy Endings’ was renewed.” Very few shows last season matched “New Girl’s” laughs-per-episode ratio. The first two seasons are available on Netflix.
On the surface, a television series about a fantasy football league sounds rather boring. This FX comedy, however, defies the odds and is one the funniest, and most underrated, television shows on the air right now. “The League” follows the lives of six friends who participate in a fantasy football league and enjoy making each other’s lives hell. Odds are you’ll recognize many of the cast members from other shows they’ve guested on: Mark Duplass recurs on “The Mindy Project” and Nick Kroll has his own show on Comedy Central and has recurred on “Parks and Recreation.” As someone who understands very little about football, I can say that you do not need to understand football, let alone fantasy football, to understand this comedy (if anything, I’ve learned more about football from this series than from watching the actual sport). The first four seasons are available on Netflix.
Nostalgia Pick: “24”
On November 6th, “24” will turn 12, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to marathon as many episodes as possible! The groundbreaking series ran for eight seasons on FOX, and starred Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer. Marathoning “24” over fall break will also prepare you for “24: Live Another Day,” a limited series follow-up to the original that will air in 2014. Moreover, this might be the best way get over the disappointment that has been “Homeland’s” third season. All eight seasons are available on Netflix.
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