Rating the TV Shows I Binge-watched during Quarantine
By: Christina Corbisiero
Before the pandemic, I would like to think I balanced my work and activities with watching television, a little better. When I was stressed in college I would treat myself to a few episodes of Sex and the City or That ’70s Show, or whatever the latest popular show was. During quarantine, I found myself finishing all seven seasons of New Girl in a month, which is an accomplishment I don’t know whether to be proud of or not. Although I tend to fall into watching shows that are teen dramas, such as Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, I was proud of my more diverse range of shows. Here are some opinions and ratings about the latest shows that have made it off of my ‘To Watch’ list.
First, I want to talk about the CW’s Dynasty. I’ve always been a fan of Liz Gillies since she was on Victorious, and for the longest time I wanted to watch this show; and I finally did and it’s absolutely fantastic. Dynasty is a reboot of the soap drama that had the same name and aired from 1981 to 1989. The storyline follows the Carrington Family, who are very wealthy and take own a major oil corporation in Georgia. On one side of the show, you follow Fallon Carrington navigating the world of business as a young woman and trying to make a name for herself away from her family, but also you get very invested in her love life. At the same time, the storylines of characters that aren’t in the family are just as appealing, especially Anders, Kirby, Sammy Jo, and Liam. When rebooting the show, the CW wanted to update the show to be more in line with today’s views, and that involved making the cast more diverse compared to the original soap opera. The storylines are very relevant to today’s topics and are very engaging. There are a few instances of characters’ treacherous plans being a bit farfetched, i.e car bombings, stealing documents from big corporations, lots of affairs, assassins, kidnappings, and stolen identities. I was completely obsessed with the show, and there are so many comedic moments (two episodes that are really funny are Season 3 Episode 10, and the last episode before production got canceled due to COVID-19). Throughout the show, I was very engaged in the drama, loved the fashion choices of the characters, rooted for the relationships, and hoped the villains would get what they deserved. Overall, I would give the show a 10 out of 10 and will recommend it to everyone.
I’m currently watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, and am enjoying every single episode so far. The show was aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008 and follows the story of Aang, the avatar, and his friends as they make a plan to defeat the Fire Nation. The world that they live in is divided amongst four nations; Earth, Fire, Water, and Air; and people amongst those nations have powers that let them control those elements. Aang is the last air bender, hence the title of the show. Throughout the show, his companions are made up of both characters that can bend elements, but also warriors. I used to watch this show when I was young and recently when it came to Netflix, many of my friends told me to get back into it. The show is genius in my opinion. The characters are very well thought out, and the plot is always so fun and interesting but filled with learning lessons. Avatar: The Last Airbender is heavily influenced by Japanese, Tibetian, Chinese, and Inuit cultures, and respectfully include elements from them. Although the characters are young, the cartoon transcends time and people of all ages can find this show enjoyable. I would also give this show a 10 out of 10.
Based on the book by Sally Rooney, Normal People was adapted to become a Hulu Original. I read the book earlier in the Summer, and I have mixed opinions about it. I read the book in three days and felt so absorbed in the lives of Connell and Marianne. The book follows the two main characters as they navigate relationships in high school through their first three years of college. In the book, you get inside both of the minds of the characters and follow along as they have hardships and are finding their purpose and place with each other and in the world. I think the show is well done and shows the complexity of feelings that are spelled out in the book. The actors, Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones, are both excellent and it’s a bit of a shame that they don’t get the credit due because of their show being aired during a pandemic. I enjoyed the show, but my only issue is how frustrating the characters are at some points; there are specific situations in which they could’ve communicated better. I would rate this show a 7.5 out of 10 because the filming is excellent, but some of the plots aren’t the best.
I have a love-hate relationship with the show New Girl. As I said earlier, I watched all the seasons in a month, and I can overall say I liked it, but there are quite a few flaws. The plot of the show is that Jess (Zooey Deschanel) moves into a loft with three men; Nick, Winston, and Schmidt, and they deal with relationships, job changes, and lots of different issues from writing novels to jury duty. Almost all the characters are very quirky. My biggest issue with the show is that all the characters are nearing thirty and have a very childlike attitude to them. It sometimes pains me to hear some of the lines that the characters say, particularly Jess, Winston, and Nick. I like that New Girl had guest stars such as Taylor Swift, Prince, and Megan Fox. I know people who loved the show in its entirety, but for me, I think seasons 5-7 are the best ones because the characters are more mature. I would rate this show a 6 out of 10. I would recommend watching episodes sporadically instead of consecutively.
The last show I want to go more in-depth is HBO’s Euphoria. The eight-episode first season came out in June 2019, and I only just got around to watching it. The show follows Rue (Zendaya), a drug addict who just was released from rehab, and all the stories of all her friends and the people in their lives. The show is very relevant and some of the themes of the show come from Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules, and her personal experiences as being a transwoman, along with Barbie Ferreria, and her search for feeling confident in herself while being plus-sized. The show is very modern and showcases a lot of aspects of pop culture such as fanfiction (particularly One Direction), social media, and dating apps. I think the show is well done, but be wary of how graphic some of the scenes are. One thing I particularly loved is the fashion in the show. Each character has a unique style about them, and there are a lot of incorporations of glitter and color. Euphoria is very raw, and I am excited about the second season. I would rate the show 8.5 because some of the scenes are disturbing, and sometimes don’t fully fit in the context of the episode.
I dabbled with a few other shows such as Too Hot to Handle, Tiger King, and Outer Banks. To sum up my experience with those shows; Too Hot to Handle had the potential to be the next Love Island, and fell short. The first few episodes were fun to watch, but after the halfway mark; it got boring. Tiger King was very interesting, and I loved the TikTok trends and conspiracies that came out of it. As for Outer Banks, I watched two episodes and wasn’t a fan, but I will possibly try again in the future.