Netflix has delivered a digital media revolution. No longer are we restrained to broadcasting schedules, borrowing movies or googling ‘watch [insert movie/TV title here] free online’. Instead, we can scroll through the seemingly endless lists of chick flicks, rom coms, docos, action, thriller and horror provided to us through our favourite streaming services. For poor students, who are always on the lookout for something to distract themselves from the endless pressures and workload of school and uni, Netflix is a gift from the Gods. But, thanks to the sheer amount of choice facing us, it’s easy to spend hours scrolling without ever finding something you’d like to hit play on. Here’s what to watch if…

You’re in a study rut

You hit the ground running at the start of school this year (or maybe you didn’t) but now you’re running out of steam. If you feel like you need an academic pick me up in the form of a televised series, hit up Suits’. One of my friends said the super smart and hot lawyers made her pick up law units for her degree at uni. If that doesn’t convince you, the huge popularity of the show should. If you’re looking for a movie, Elle Woods showing everyone that she’s not the blonde bimbo they think she is in Legally Blonde’ will do it for you. Watching someone else study hard or being productive might give you the kick start you need to get going on the list of essays and exams you have coming up, or it might not. Either way you’ve spent a couple of hours watching a kick ass movie.

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You’re feeling like a kid

Studies have shown that people who watch an animated Disney movie a week are significantly happier than those who don’t (disclaimer: definitely not scientifically proven but it might as well be).You’ve got your more recent Disney releases like ‘The Good Dinosaur’, ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Zootopia’ to remind you how damn good an animated movie can be. If you want to go a bit further back into your childhood, Netflix also has the likes of ‘The Magic School Bus’ (admit it, Ms Frizzle is the teacher you wish you had in primary school). Matilda’ is also up there to ramp up your nostalgia as well as 52 episodes of Pokémon: Indigo League’ (if you don’t know the intro off by heart after 5 episodes you’re doing something wrong).

You need to binge

Sometimes all you want to do is spend a day in bed watching episodes back to back. Aside from the occasional prompt from Netflix, ‘are you still watching?’, this uninterrupted bliss is a great way to avoid any deadlines or responsibilities you may have. ‘How I Met Your Mother’ is an easy watch and if you can avoid the train wreck that is the finale, the 9 seasons on Netflix are perfect for a 3am binge session. Hugely popular and nostalgic ‘Gilmore Girls’ is also a good one and can be conveniently followed up with the latest reboot ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in The Life’. For a series with more drive between episodes, look for ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ where Neil Patrick Harris wielding a knife is both ridiculous and terrifying and the car crash that is the Baudelaire’s story will be hard to tear your eyes from. If none of those are piquing your interest and you’ve been living in a pop culture bubble for the entirety of 2016/17, now is a good time to settle in to watch the likes of ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Orange is the New Black’, ‘Narcos’ or ‘House of Cards’, if only to cross them off your must watch list.

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You want to feel intelligent

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a binge cycle of trashy rom coms look no further than ‘Black Mirror’ to kick your brain into gear and start thinking critically about the world. This series is exactly the sort of show that your English teacher would go crazy for with each self-contained episode offering a social commentary on the world we live in today. Warning: it’s definitely not for the faint hearted; the pessimistic and dystopian futures can be confronting but if you make it through the very first episode of season 1,  you’re probably set for the rest of the series. To keep the gears whirling, coming soon is Dear White People’ which is set to be released in April. Although the trailer has copped some criticism, the satirical look at racial tensions within an American college that this series offers will force you to re-evaluate the privilege within your own life.

You need a laugh

Netflix delivers the comedic goods in the form of Carl Barron: A One Ended Stick’ and Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain’. You’ll know the jokes, you’ll know the punchline and you’ll know the delivery but you’ll laugh anyway. In the ‘so bad it’s funny’ category you’ve got Sharknado’. All four of the Sharknado movies are up on Netflix (how a budget was ever approved after the train wreck of the first movie was produced is a mystery) , but you’ll probably only be able to laugh your way through the first one before averting your eyes. Recently added is ‘The Campaign’ and this political satire is exactly what you’d expect from a movie starring Will Farrell; crude but managing to make you laugh anyway.

 

Emma Kocbek

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