By Alexis Schatten and Jordan Brown, Managing Editor and Section Editor
- On My Block on Netflix
Dropping in March, this show follows four best friends going into freshman year while also tackling love, a new school, family drama and other normal teenage problems. Unlike other coming-of-age shows or movies, the show is almost entirely made up of people of color, takes place in a poor and violent neighborhood in southern Los Angeles and deals with real-life issues facing black and hispanic teenagers every day like gang violence, deportation and just trying to make it to the next day. Everything about this show is real and authentic: the acting, the pacing but especially the writing because it doesn’t sound like a bunch of white writers trying to cater to the black and hispanic community but not having a clue as to who we are as actual human beings. As a black girl, this show gives me the representation that my race (along with others) has so desperately been needing without portraying us as stereotypical or as a joke.
2. The Good Place on NBC
The Good Place is a sitcom unlike any other. Centered around recently deceased Eleanor Shellstrop, the show begins with Eleanor being told she’s dead, and it only gets more intriguing from there. Not only is that beginning something unheard of for a comedy, but the ways in which death and the afterlife are discussed is done in a tasteful way that is simultaneously entertaining and unoffensive, which is sometimes hard to find. When telling such a complex story, other areas may suffer, but with this show, that’s not the case at all: the writing is fantastic, the acting is amazing, and the story itself flows perfectly across the three seasons that have been released. I’ve personally watched the show three times in the last year since my first watch, and each time has been more entertaining than the previous. The show’s cleverness makes it entirely worth the watch, and you may even learn something about ethics without meaning to.
3. La Casa De Papel (now called Money Heist) on Netflix
Airing on Spanish network Antena 3 in 2017 and then being acquired by Netflix, this show is about a man named The Professor planning the biggest bank heist in the world and recruiting eight people to pull it off. As always, no heist goes perfectly according to plan and those problems are seen playing out (and blowing up) on screen around the characters. This show cleverly balances nine main characters and their various relationships in and out of the group without neglecting the main point of the show: the heist. Besides being entirely in Spanish, the show is unique because at the same time that the crew is pulling off the heist, it shows the Professor preparing them for the heist and has one of the main characters narrating both points of view from some point in the distant future; much like the show How to Get Away with Murder. The writing never gets messy and nonsensical, like one would expect, but gets more intricate and interesting.
4. Superstore on NBC
Superstore follows the lives of employees at a “supersized megastore,” and the ups and downs that comes with working there. Not only is the show hilarious, but it also discusses important topics, like immigration, in ways that show the people involved as they are: real people that are not defined by their struggles. The show contains a diverse cast, but that diversity is not the point of the show, and that diversity is never made to be a joke as it may be in lesser shows. The writing makes the show seem effortlessly funny, and it’s incredibly easy to watch whole seasons at a time without even realizing that you’ve done it. The characters are relatable enough that you can see yourself in at least one of them, if not all.
5. Tagged (stylized as t@gged) on Hulu
Airing on go90 in 2016 and being picked up Hulu after go90 shut down, this show centers around three girls who are tagged in a video showing the murder of a girl, among other violent videos, and they have to figure out who tagged them before time runs out. Along with being a typical teenage show, it also takes invasion of privacy to the extreme and depicts what could happen if your social media profiles fall into the wrong hands. Given, there are a few storylines that don’t really fit, but the show’s intensity and realistic teenage messiness makes up for it. Unlike other shows, you find out everything at the same time the characters do and feel everything the characters do but only you have the luxury to pause whenever you please. It’s like a better version of the show Pretty Little Liars, with none of the unnecessary build up and unsatisfying payoff.
6. That ‘70s Show (originally aired on Fox) on Netflix and Hulu
Despite being much older than the other shows on this list, That ‘70s Show has rightfully earned its place on the list by being a go-to rewatch show. The show, covering the whole of the 1970s, tells the story of a group of friends beginning in high school and following them into adulthood, despite their many attempts to hold onto their fleeting childhoods. Despite having began production in the ‘90s, the show portrays the time period it’s written in well, and does so without seeming like it’s making a mockery of the time period. Each character on the show is written differently, and the differences between the characters complement each other nicely. After watching the show’s eight seasons, the Foreman home feels like a second home to me, and if you watch the show, it’s likely that you’ll feel the same.
Posted: Dec. 19