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Your spring break binge-watch guide

No travel plans? Never fear: Hell's Kitchen, Stars Hollow and more are just a click away


March 08, 2016

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    If you fell behind on your binge-watching itinerary this semester, or if you're in between shows, we have a few suggestions. Netflix and Amazon Prime are rolling out new shows and seasons this month, and a few big streaming releases are on the horizon. Be prepared, and check out these suggestions from streaming and culture guru Kenneth Lee:

Daredevil
    When Netflix’s Daredevil came out last year, it impressed us all with its darker tone, gory shots and mature subject matter. It was the bleach we needed to erase the memory stain that the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie left on our brains. Season 2 will conveniently be released in concurrence with spring break on March 18, and will introduce new comic book characters who have had their own horrible movies released in the early 2000s: The Punisher and Elektra, played by Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) and  Élodie Yung (Gods of Egypt), respectively. Catch up on Season 1 if you haven’t already, and prepare for the rollercoaster ride of Season 2. 
    If you enjoy Daredevil, be sure to watch Netflix’s other Marvel show, Jessica Jones, which continues the precedent set by Daredevil in delivering upon us memorable characters in a gritty, occasionally unforgiving setting. 

Better Call Saul:
    Captivating as he was, Walter White was always inherently bad. Repressed and neutered, maybe, but he was always bad from the start. Better Call Saul follows criminal lawyer Saul Goodman six years before he became entangled in the meth-related exploits of Breaking Bad. In this prequel spinoff, we get to see the slow, cringing struggle of an actual well-meaning person “break bad.” Better Call Saul is the best kind of spinoff: It’s able to stand strong as its own property. Better Call Saul isn’t just a dessert for Breaking Bad enthusiasts — it’s a whole extra entrée for both fans and newcomers to devour.  

Flaked:
    Will Arnett has already done tremendous voice work in the Netflix original Bojack Horseman. Now he’s teaming up with Netflix again, starring in the eight-episode comedy Flaked. Arnett will play Chip, a former alcoholic turned self-help guru who lives in Venice Breach. Fans of sharp, witty comedy should be excited for this upcoming Netflix original — which is set to be released on March 11 — since Mitch Hurwitz, the creator and executive producer of Arrested Development, is attached to the project as well.
    If you end up finishing Flaked, check out either Bojack Horseman or Arrested Development. The former is a hilarious animated show that’s also one of the most stunning, truthful representation of depression shown on television. The latter is a cult comedy that was ahead of its time and canceled too soon, despite its array of absurd characters.

Gilmore Girls:
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock since January, you’re probably aware that Netflix has fronted the money to bring back Gilmore Girls from the cancellation grave. The revived series, tentatively called Gilmore Girls: Seasons, will consist of four 90-minute episodes and will feature the return of the original showrunner and creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino. 
    For years I’ve heard arguments over who Rory should have ended up with: Dean, Jess or Logan. I have no prior knowledge of these men to pass judgement on them, and maybe you don’t either, but this spring break will allow us to catch up and do exactly that before the revival is released next year. 
    If Gilmore Girls ends up striking your fancy, and you end up watching all seven seasons before spring break is over, check out Parenthood — a funny, heartwarming show following the Braverman clan and their respective families. Netflix has all five seasons available for binging.

Mad Men:
    During my freshman year of college, the final season of Breaking Bad was a television phenomenon. People would have viewing parties in their dorm rooms the night each episode of the final season aired. The final season of Mad Men, another popular AMC show, went by largely unnoticed. The character arcs of Don Draper, Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson and others on the show concluded with considerably less cheer and discussion than those of Breaking Bad. Now that Netflix has acquired the whole series, this spring break, you and your friends can travel back to the 60s and binge on alcoholism, advertising and sexism. 
    If you don’t want to leave the 60s after watching Mad Men, turn your sights on the Netflix exclusive, Narcos, a crime thriller set in the late 70s. Narcos follows drug lord Pablo Escobar and his rise in the cocaine trade, as well as DEA agent Steve Murphy and his attempts to apprehend Escobar. It’s a nice substitute for Breaking Bad; fans who wish to make the transition from meth to cocaine will definitely be satisfied.

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