As the summer nears and you find yourself with plenty of time on your hands, the TV and Film department here at UnCOVered have got you, well, covered.
Here’s a list of some must-see boxsets as selected by our ‘experts’.
If you haven’t seen Breaking Bad yet, watch it. If you have seen Breaking Bad, watch it again. It’s a superb series and perfect for binge watching. The show tells the story of Walter White; a normal, middle-aged chemistry teacher, whose life is turned upside-down when he learns he has cancer. To pay for his treatment, White decides to make crystal meth (don’t try this at home kids) and turns to former troubled pupil Jesse Pinkman. What ensues is a 5-season-long rollercoaster of emotion and tension. It was the first big hit Netflix had when they launched in the UK and gave people the first real chance to binge watch a new show through streaming. Until then you could buy DVD boxsets and swap discs every four episodes but Netflix allows you to roll straight through episode to episode, season to season. A must-watch… or a must-watch again.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Now time for the greatest show you’ve probably never heard off! From the creator of the West Wing and Newsroom Aaron Sorkin and boasting acting talent such as Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford and Amanda Peet, Studio 60 shows the behind the scenes goings-on at a SNL-style comedy sketch show. The scripts are fantastic, the storylines are thought-provoking and the characters are both endearing and hilarious. It tackles some hard-hitting subjects like drug addiction, terrorism, racism and racial stereotypes in Hollywood. It’s a shame that poor viewing figures in the US led to it being cancelled after just one season. I strongly recommend you give this a go. If you like Sorkin’s other stuff, this should be right up your alley. While you’re at it, watch The West Wing and The Newsroom too, they are also brilliant. In fact, type Aaron Sorkin into your chosen library and watch everything!
Parks and Recreation
Let’s add a bit of comedy to the list with this hit US show. Based around the goings-on in a local government department of a little town in Indiana, the show focuses on the small band of government employees. This show helped in launching the career of Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World) and many other hilarious stars. I’d like to pick out my favourite character, but truth be told, they are all my favourite! From the all-swagger Tom and clumsy Jerry, to the overly-enthusiastic Lesley and utterly-obtuse Ron Swanson. The show is very funny and engaging, and once you’re hooked, there’s no getting out! There are seven-seasons to get through and each episode is only around 20 minutes long so it’s a very easy watch.
Game of Thrones
Are you watching the biggest show on the planet right now? The goings on in Westeros have had audiences gripped for six seasons now, and it just keeps getting better! The last two episodes of season six have received ratings of 9.9 and 10.0 on IMDB. Binge-watching is a great way to catch-up and understand why everyone is on about #holdthedoor, why so many kids in the US are being named Khalesee, and who is this Joffrey character and why he is so unpopular! The wondrous mind of author JRR Tolk… no sorry, George RR Martin, has sent viewers on an emotional see-saw (far more up and down than a rollercoaster). The show is famous for killing off popular characters at the drop of a hat and allowing devious villains to prosper longer than one would deem acceptable. This one is definitely one ‘for the watch’.
The multi-award winning and critically acclaimed series rounds off our list. Each season – of which there are nine – plays out in ‘real time’, and follows a day-in-the-life of Counter Terrorism Unit agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as he battles enemies, foreign and domestic, to protect his family, his city, his country, and occasionally, the World! The show was particularly timely when it first aired in November 2001, coming just two months after the 9/11 terror attacks. 24 was very innovative when it hit TV screens, being the first to be set in ‘real time’ and also pioneering the use of split-screens to show the different storylines running at the same time. This is another example, and possibly the first, of a show known for killing off main characters on a regular basis. If you pay attention during your binge, you’ll see some fun cameos from stars such as Zachary Quinto, Elisha Cuthbert, Jon Voight, Kate Mara, Powers Booth, Peter Weller, James Cromwell, Robert Carlysle, Freddie Prinze Jnr and even Stephen Fry.
So, there you go. Here’s just five boxsets to binge on while you wait to continue your journey to graduation. Why not keep a note of what you think as you watch these shows and share them with us either in the comments section below or via our various social media channels.