• Tyler Vance

Stranger Times Onward: A Guide to Streaming During Quarantine

During this quarantine, we have all tried to find shows and movies to pass the time, whether they be on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney +. As the quarantine keeps getting longer it becomes more challenging, but I have made a list of the best shows and movies to watch to pass the time!


Each movie and show has been selected based on reviews on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic. They have all been given a total score, out of 100, and placed in order from lowest score to highest.


TV Shows

3. All American (Netflix)- 78.3%

All American is a drama-filled sport show that focuses on the main character, Spencer James, and his football journey. It reveals the struggles of growing up in Crenshaw, Los Angeles, and being catapulted to the rich life of Beverly Hills. One fun fact about All American is that it is based on the true-life of NFL star, Spencer Paysinger. The show stars Daniel Ezra, Samantha Logan, and Michael Evans. EHHS student, Ava Esposito, said, “All of the characters have really different personalities...and it is not like a normal show where everyone's life is perfect. There are challenges they go through, and they are able to talk about sensitive topics”. There are two seasons so far, with a third on the way. The best episode, based on IMDB rating, is “Crossroads” (season 2).


Awards: 2019 Black Reel nominee for Most Outstanding Drama



2. Stranger Things (Netflix)- 85.3%

In 2016, Stranger Things catapulted Netflix to the forefront of the streaming industry. It has already lasted for three seasons, and there are more coming. IMDB states, “Hawkins, Indiana, 1983. A young boy, Will Byers, goes missing near a top-secret government laboratory. [...] As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl”. Many are drawn to this series due to its high level of thrill. Every episode is able to draw audiences in with its unexpected twists and turns. The 1980’s setting is able to draw in audiences of all ages and keep them attached to the TV waiting for the next episode. Hannah Kupson, from Milford High School, said, “It has a little bit of everything for everyone. It has action, it has romance, it has Sci-Fi, it has scary aspects, but it also has humor. If you don’t like the scary aspect of it there’s always a character who has so much comedy to cover up for it. It has a lot for everyone, and I think that everyone who watches it will find something that they like...” According to IMDB, Stranger Things’ best episode is season one, episode 8 “The Upsidedown”


Awards: 2017 & 2018 Golden Globe nominee for best television series



1. Our Planet (Netflix) - 90%

For those who are nature documentary enthusiasts, you will know that David Attenborough is the most well-known narrator. He has narrated over 100 documentaries and docu-series. In Our Planet, he is able to make the audience feel as though they are in the jungle, ocean, or desert watching the gracious creatures the cameramen are able to capture. The Netflix series takes the audience through different ecosystems and shows them the beautiful animals and plant life that live there. Carol Midgley of the UK Times, says, “The camera-work and the colours are exquisite. A lone elephant and zebra walk across an African salt pan, looking like works of art.” There are eight episodes, each spanning fifty minutes. Because of this series I have grown a greater appreciation for nature's wonders. It truly shows how beautiful the world is. The best episode is episode two Frozen Worlds.


Awards: 2019 Emmy winner for most outstanding narrator and most outstanding documentary


Movies

3. Star Wars Franchise (Disney +) - 71%

Recognized as one of the most influential and well-recognized series around the world, Star Wars has changed the culture of filmmaking. In a galaxy far, far away, the Republic controls an entire galaxy. They allow everyone to live in peace, but a new regime is slowly emerging. As time goes on, the Republic starts to fall and be taken over by the Empire. To combat the Empire a rebellion starts to form, comprised of Jedi, who are fighters that use lightsabers. The rebellion has spacecraft pilots, Jedi Masters, and other rebels. The franchise focuses on the development of many Jedi, and fights against the Empire. New leaders rise and fall, but the main goal is to take down the torturous empire. There are 11 movies starting in 1977 and ending in 2019. The last installment, Rise of Skywalker, supposedly ended the franchise, but some say they’re not through. Adam Gardner, a history teacher at EHHS, said, “I love the genre, I love the adventures that they go on...Overall, we wouldn’t have a lot of what we have today without Star Wars.” Accounting for every movie, Star Wars has made 9 billion in revenues. Disney had just created a whole new land dedicated to Star Wars, so what better way to spend quarantine than catching up on all of them?


Awards: 1977- 2020 oscar for best picture, best special effects, film editing, music score, best sound, best costume, best set decoration, best sound effects


2. Onward (Disney +) - 75%

In March of 2020, Disney had released Onward, a new Disney Pixar film. Starring Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movie depicts them as elves who are brothers. IMDB says, “Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on a journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.” This is a heartfelt film that is best to watch with your family. It digs in deep with the brotherly bond that is created when coming together for a common cause. Asher Luberto, of Standard UK, says, “Pixar specializes in grounding storybook worlds in real-world-problems, and this one does so with a sprinkle of pixie dust and a dash of realism.” This film feels real as if the magic presented can truly come true.


1. Inception (Netflix) - 80%

When it comes to directors, Christopher Nolan is one of the best, and when it comes to actors Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best. In 2010, they came together and created the movie Inception; Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio work perfectly together. IMDB says, “Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved.” One of the greatest parts about this film is that most of the special effects are practical. Christopher Nolan always finds a way to put a practical element into a film that deals with the impractical. One thing suggested when watching this film is to always pay attention. There are many aspects to this film and it can get confusing, but when paid close attention to, it is spectacular. Tom Charity, from CNN, says, “A spectacular fantasy thriller based on Nolan's own original screenplay, Inception is the smartest CGI head-trip since The Matrix.” This action-filled movie is put at number one not only because of the data, but because of the spectacular elements of fantasy, realism, and excitement Nolan is able to put in his films.


Awards: 2010 Oscar for best visual effects, best sound editing, and best cinematography



Finding something to watch can always be challenging, but with my list, it’s a breeze. Television and movies are a great way to pass the time and connect with those you watch it with!


References:

1. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/review-our-planet-netflix-xd92hbv79

2. https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/26/media/star-wars-skywalker-box-office/index.html

3. https://www.laweekly.com/review-pixars-onward-conjures-the-magic-of-brotherly-love/



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