I spend a lot of time watching TV (a lot) so I figured I would organize some of my favorite shows for you guys!
For the Sociology Major…The Walking Dead
What happens when a disease plagues the world, and people are left to fight for their lives on a daily basis? What are people willing to do for survival? The Walking Dead, based off a series of comic books written by Robert Kirkman, follows Rick Grimes and his ever-changing group in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. After waking up from a coma in a world controlled by “walkers,” he is forced to fend for himself, fight for his family, and seek refuge wherever possible. This show is not for the squeamish: we all know the only way to kill a zombie is a headshot. I urge you to look beyond the cover of “oooh, cool sci-fi!” and see the greater purpose of this show: what would you be willing to do if you were in Rick’s shoes?
For the Business Major…30 Rock
Tina Fey uses her experience as head writer of SNL to give a unique look into the world of television and its ups and downs. The story follows Liz Lemon and her show: “The Girly Show” (an SNL-like sketch comedy) and their fight to survive when Jack Donaghy becomes her boss, mentor, and somehow her life-coach. When Tracy Jordan-played by Tracy Morgan-joins the cast, the show flips upside down. All seven seasons of this hilarious sitcom are available on Netflix-don’t worry, episodes are only 22 minutes. 30 Rock, one of the few shows I have loved that hasn’t been cancelled, gives you great closure to the story…you just have to wait 139 episodes for it. Yes, it’s a comedy, so don’t expect hard hitting ideas and emotional backstory: but do expect some great one-liners.
For the Psychology Major…United States of Tara
Tara, a mother and wife with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) has struggled since college to keep her many identities in check. When she decides to go off her meds, her “alters” resurface and her family has to learn to manage life again with Tara as well as her three-very different-alters; T, Alice, and Buck. This show is one of my favorites: it tackles mental health stigmas, is informational, and focuses on Tara and how she affects her family while trying to regain control of her life. Hey, Steven Spielberg is the Executive Director! How bad can it be?
For the International Studies Major…
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Set in an immersive, fictional universe where its inhabitants have the ability to control all four elements (water, earth, fire, and air) Avatar follows Aang and his friend’s journey to bring balance to a world by defeating the evil Fire Lord and Fire Nation. Don’t judge the show because of its animated medium. Although originally meant for kids, it deals with issues of redemption, sacrifice, genocide and reincarnation. Whether you’re a 10 year-old staying up way past your 9pm bedtime, or a 40 year-old with a PhD swamped with work, Avatar goes beyond the everyday action cartoon, bringing an interesting mix of Asian mysticism and epic fiction to the small screen. Sure you might end up overly attached to an animated character, but what have you got to lose?
For the Criminal Justice Major…Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black is a Netflix original, based off a true story, that politely asks the viewer to break down barriers and ideas of inmates. Piper Chapman ends up in a women’s correctional facility for an incident that occurred years ago, and she’s not exactly “prison material”. Thrown into a new place with all different types of people, Piper is at a loss. While trying to regain balance in her life on the outside (and avoid making enemies on the inside) we learn more about her and the women she lives with. This show takes a deeper look at the “system” in our country: you will learn to empathize with these women and begin to see them not at inmates, but as human beings. Expect to get attached, and prepare yourself for a season cliffhanger that won’t be solved until season two comes out this summer.
For the Interdisciplinary Studies Major…
American Horror Story
You’re clearly interested in a wide range of subjects, and Murder House, Asylum, and Coven (seasons one, two, and three respectively) all offer a different, twisted, look at…well I still don’t really know. These psychologically twisted horror plots might become your favorite stories, but I can’t reveal too much without giving away spoilers. Each season will leave you wondering up until the last episode. AHS reuses actors, in different character roles and plots. This means there’s real closure at the end of every season (finally!) and the stories are unrelated, so no need to watch in season-order. The beautiful acting of Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy and Sarah Paulson will make you cringe, cry, and probably scream. It’s hard to believe the creator of this thrilling horror series wrote Glee.
There are plenty more, so I urge you not to judge a DVD by it’s cover: give ’em a chance!
By Quinn Murphy