If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you’ll know that I went through a few (positive) life changes over the past few months. One of these changes involved moving back home with my parents after living in the city for 7 months. I’m not gonna […]
I was recently nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Christie from the blog Girl Sees the World. Thanks, Christie! She’s my sister, so I would have been a little pissed if she hadn’t nominated me. But she did, so you should totally check out her […]
My last post, 7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity, offers my advice on cutting out some unnecessary spending so you can afford to travel. One of my pieces of advice is to cut out going to restaurants, as restaurant bills […]
Can’t afford to travel? Sorry, but that’s not a good excuse. So many millennials “can’t afford” to do certain things, like go on a life-changing trip or make their monthly payments on time, yet they’ll post a picture of their Starbucks venti macchiatos on Instagram […]
Summer is all about the outdoors, sitting in the sun and swimming in the ocean, right? Wrong. It’s about applying 4 layers of deodorant, wearing a T-shirt at the beach to avoid painful sunburns, and staying in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. I’ll be honest: I don’t love summer. I’d take the cold over the heat any day. I support staying home and watching Netflix on a hot day with the same gusto as most people have about going to the beach.
I plan on watching a lot of TV this summer. Even though Big Brother is on three times a week and The Bachelorette trumps everything else on Monday nights, there really aren’t many other shows I’m into on a regular basis in the summer. Meanwhile, Netflix has a ton of shows that have caught my attention. In my opinion, watching shows on Netflix is the best; the whole season is available for you and the Netflix original shows are fantastic.
Fellow couch potatoes, need a new Netflix show to get into? Do you need 15 of them? The following 15 TV shows on Netflix are addicting and entertaining. Much more exciting than sweating your ass off at the beach!
Santa Clarita Diet
Fellow dark-humored individuals, you are going to be obsessed with this show. When this first came out, I barely heard any hype. The only reason I watched the trailer on Netflix was because Amy Schumer posted on Instagram about how she was addicted. It must be funny if she’s raving about it, I thought. A few people I know watched the whole series in one day, which seems like a pretty easy feat, since the episodes are so short and the quick-witted humor makes them speed by. (The only reason it took me about two weeks to watch it was because I watched it with my boyfriend and didn’t watch ahead. How loyal of us.)
The plot: Joel and Sheila are two normal real estate agents living in an affluent town in California. That is, until Sheila turns into a zombie and begins to crave the taste of human flesh.
I just mentioned this show in a previous post, but I’m going to bring it up again. This musical-comedy show is upbeat, fun, campy, and light. Fortunately, there are 2 seasons on Netflix right now, which provides you with some solid viewing material. You’ll have the soundtrack’s catchy songs in your head all day long.
The plot: Rebecca moves from a high-pressure job in New York to the small city of West Covina, California to reunite with her ex-boyfriend, who is just not that into her… or so we think.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Based on the movie of the same name, the Netflix adaptation follows the same characters as they get to camp for the first time. The best part: the cast is the same. Yep, that means the same people that played teenagers in the 2001 movie are still playing teens in 2015. Pretty awesome. The cast is super star-studded as well, with regular appearances from Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Jon Hamm, and Molly Shannon. If you want to get the full experience, you might want to watch the movie first. (Don’t worry, it’s also on Netflix!)
The plot: It’s one of those shows with so many small plots that are trivial and silly, like a show about nothing!
Master of None
This new show is pretty popular with millennials. Some of the themes of this show include being a minority in a white-dominated career field and country, dating in the 21st century, finding yourself in a hectic world, and so on. Honestly, I don’t think Aziz Ansari is a good actor (sorry!). But this show is different than a lot of other millennial-focused shows on TV right now. It’s simultaneously realistic and heightened, uplifting and sad, and serious and funny.
The plot: The series follows Dev Shah, a hopeless romantic living in New York City, through his romantic, professional, and personal pursuits.
If you’re American, you may not have heard of this. If you’re English, you’ve probably watched this series several times. I’ve watched this series 3 times, enjoying it just as much the second and third times. There are also 2 films based on the show, which I think are pretty decent as far as movie adaptations go.
The plot: Basically, if Superbad was a British TV show. In short, 4 teenage boys want to find love… or just get laid.
Shows with a Cult Following:
Freaks and Geeks
This Judd Apatow series shockingly only aired for one season, yet continues to appear on multiple online lists compiling the greatest TV shows of all time. Apparently, the reasons for its cancellation were its tough time slot and disagreements that Apatow had with NBC executives. The show appeals to a broad range of viewers, ranging from modern-day high schoolers who might relate to the main characters to adults that went to high school in the early ’80s. It also features some pretty big stars in their younger years, including Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel, and Linda Cardellini.
The plot: The story follows Lindsay and her friends of “freaks” and her younger brother, Sam, and his group of “geeks.” The “period TV show” (set in 1980) is a sort of coming-of-age for Lindsay, who goes from dedicated student to rebel, and Sam, who’s just trying to fit in.
If you want your parents or middle-aged coworkers to love you, talk to them about Cheers. Like Friends, this is a show that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Also, 11 seasons make for lots of viewing material!
The plot: Sam is a retired Boston Red Sox pitcher who owns a sports bar in Boston. The bar staff and regular customers are quirky, lovable individuals. What’s not to love about this show?
Orange Is the New Black
If you’ve never heard of OITNB, you must live under a rock. This is one of the first Netflix original shows — House of Cards was the first, fun fact — and one of the most successful. I still need to watch season 5, but the first 4 seasons are all hilarious, suspenseful, and just addicting.
The plot: Piper Chapman, a privileged young adult, is sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime she committed years ago. Season 1 follows Piper for the most part, but the rest of the show switches around, showing the back stories of different prisoners. If you didn’t love season 1, don’t give up; nobody’s favorite character is Piper.
I can’t believe I waited so long to get into this show! For people feeling like they need more “Bechdel Test” friendly shows, this is the one for you! And once you finish, you can check out Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a Netflix original reboot of the show.
The plot: Lorelai Gilmore is a single mom balancing her professional life, love life, and family life. Rory, her daughter, is a driven bookworm dealing with some issues most high school girls struggle with: boys and grades.
One of the biggest series of 2016 is something you can binge this summer in preparation for season 2, which comes out in the fall. Whether you love sci-fi or don’t, you’ll find this show extremely entertaining… and very weird.
The plot: A young boy disappears in a small town in Indiana. Meanwhile, supernatural forces seem to be at work. Things become especially odd when a young girl with psychokinesis appears. There are lots of questions for these townspeople. And lots of questions to be solved for us viewers in season 2.
I’m still halfway through season 1 so far, but I’m enjoying it a lot. The episodes move pretty slowly, but the writing and acting are phenomenal. Maybe the slow pace is why this show didn’t get the views that other Netflix original shows got, which resulted in its cancellation after just 3 seasons. Also, the show takes place in humid Florida, so the costumes and atmosphere have got some serious summer vibes.
The plot: A dysfunctional family reunites, secrets are revealed, and… there’s death. That’s all I’ll say; even halfway through the first season, enough has happened to make me feel restrained while explaining the basic story.
This show is so damn good. What started as a somewhat successful British TV show turned into an international phenomenon when Netflix picked it up for a third season. The show is funny at times, creepy at times, and thought-provoking at all times. It’ll make you think about how lost we would be without technology in our present society.
The plot: Every episode takes on a new plot line and cast, so you don’t necessarily have to watch them in order. Think of a modern-day Twilight Zone with technology as its major point of criticism.
13 Reasons Why
This is another one of those shows that almost everyone has seen or heard of. I liked it — didn’t love it — but it sure was addicting, even though I read the book and knew what was going to happen. Personally, I think it’s really stupid that they’re bringing it back for a second season — as I think it would have worked perfectly for a miniseries — but I’ll probably tune into the first episode to see how it goes.
The plot: After a girl commits suicide, she reveals whose actions “caused” her death. Sound controversial? It was.
I still haven’t seen this show, but I’ve heard that fans of crime shows — like Broadchurch, Hannibal, Fargo, Luther, etc. — love this one. My dad recommended it to me, so I moved it to the top of my to-watch list. The show aired on AMC for its first 3 seasons but was cancelled. Then Netflix picked it up for a forth and final season a few years ago. I love crime stories like this.
The plot: The series follows multiple murder investigations performed by 2 homicide detectives.
There’s only one season of Riverdale so far, but season 2 will be returning in October. I haven’t watched this show yet, but after hearing how well it was received, it’s moving its way to the top of my to-watch list.
The plot: Take some of the characters by Archie Comics and through them into a teen drama series, and that’s Riverdale.
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I’m going to try something a little new this week! Originally, I considered doing month-by-month “favorites” lists. But then I realized 2 things: 1. I don’t buy things often enough to call for monthly favorites lists. and 2. I only post once a week anyway, […]
I’ve really been slacking on reading. You can check out my pitiful amount of books I’ve read so far this year here. My goal of reading 52 books this year — AKA, a book every week — isn’t going so well. For some reason, I’ve just wanted to sit back and relax on my commute. Although sometimes I need to shut my eyes in the morning or want to watch a downloaded episode of Bloodline on my phone, the tiny bit I’ve read over the last few months is not exemplary behavior of a writer and former English major! This summer, I plan on catching up. Especially with the weather changing from under-the-covers-in-bed-with-Netflix weather to on-the-beach-with-a-book-weather, I have no excuse!
This is a list of some of the books I want to read this summer. Some are new, some are old, some are borrowed, and some are blue.
1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
You probably recognize the author’s name, as she is also the author of The Girl on the Train, a popular suspense novel from a few years ago and the book title from which I derived my blog name. In Into the Water, a crime finds multiple women dead on the bottom of a river in a small town. The story is told from the point of view of a 15-year-old girl whose mother and best friend were victims of the mysterious murders. Like The Girl on the Train, this novel is told from the perspectives of multiple characters, with each chapter from the point of view of a different person. Though this novel didn’t get quite as much positive feedback as her first novel, I’m still excited to dive into a thrilling beach read.
2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I’ve heard fantastic things about the HBO series, so I want to read the book before I tune into the show. This story is told from the point of view of 3 women, a divorcee, an adult queen bee, and a young single mother. What seems like a calm little town is full of secrets, scandals, and even a murder. Apparently, Moriarty is great at writing characters and building their relationships. I can’t wait to see what all the hype’s about!
3. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
My dad is the one that got me into Dennis Lehane. Though I haven’t read much of his stuff, I’ve loved what I’ve read. Mystic River in particular had me hooked. Lehane is just such a fantastic writer. In this, we have a female protagonist, which I’ve never seen from Lehane. In fact, the only problems I’ve ever had with his writing is that I don’t really buy the women he writes; this could be interesting. The main character, Rachel, is a former journalist who barely leaves the house after a breakdown on the air. Her marriage and life are relatively normal, but something causes that nice life to change. My dad said it’s not as great as his other books, but if Lehane wrote it, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.
4. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
This will be the first book I read this summer, since I joined a book club at work in which this is the next book we’ll be discussing. The founder of Patagonia, Inc. wrote this memoir to tell his readers about his life of environmentalism, one of Patagonia’s biggest initiatives. I love nonfiction books and since this one is so short, I know it’ll be a breeze to get through.
5. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
I’m sure you’ve all heard of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the popular children’s series. In recent years, it’s been made into movies and a Netflix series. Since the last time I read this book was in sixth grade, I thought it would be a good thing to pick up. Not only did I never finish the series completely, I remember really enjoying the books as a middle schooler. Sometimes, reading children’s books as an adult can shed light on different themes and ideas I never would have seen at a young age.
6. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
This was the book that was required reading of the class that graduated a year ahead of me at college. (Instead, we got stuck with a terrible book about the risks of the internet and how it’s making us stupid; meanwhile, all of our homework assignments and tests were online. But I digress.) Though I eat meat, I think knowing where our food comes from and the psychology and business aspects of factory farming are very important. Many people turn into vegetarians after reading this book, as it reveals the gruesome side of the meat industry that so many Americans turn a blind eye to.
7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
As an English major, how have I not read this book?! This is one of the most acclaimed feminist novels of the twentieth century. In addition, it’s one of the first highly popular dystopian works. Basically, this dystopian society has women playing the role of wife and mother… and nothing else. I look forward to reading this before tuning into the Hulu series, which I’ve heard is excellent as well.
8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I’m sure a lot of you have read this book or seen the movie. I have not experienced either and therefore want to get to something that’s been on my reading list for years. A journalist receives a task to investigate a disappearance that has remained unsolved for years with the help of a female investigator, the girl with the dragon tattoo. Everyone I know who’s read that has loved it. I also find it so interesting that the author died before finishing the last book in the series. Apparently it takes a while to get into it, but once you’re in, you’re hooked.
9. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
I read Fun Home — which inspired the famous Broadway musical — last summer and really enjoyed it. Like Fun Home, this is in the form of a graphic novel, telling the story of her life and childhood. While the other focuses on her relationship with her father (a closeted gay male), this focuses on her relationship with her mother. You might recognize Alison Bechdel’s name, as she is a famous feminist and LGBTQ+ activist. She also developed the Bechdel Test, a famous test for books, movies, TV shows, etc. to see if they include dynamic female characters. Since it’s a graphic memoir, it’ll be a fast read; I think I read Fun Home in one afternoon and can surely do the same with this one.
10. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
I’ve read a few Jodi Picoult novels before and liked them, didn’t love them. After a friend recommended this one, I knew it would be a great read from the plot alone. A labor and delivery nurse finds out that a parent has requested her not to work with their child — and don’t even want her to touch the child — because they are white supremacists and the nurse is black. The next day, the baby goes into cardiac arrest while this nurse is the only one in the room but she hesitates, not sure if she should treat the child or follow the racist wishes of its parents. As a result, she is put on trial for murder to neglecting to help the child. The concept alone sounds intense, but in our present society, reading something about racial prejudice at such a high level could be really eyeopening.
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