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Procrastination Recommendations (aka, Binge-Watching Recommendations)

Karsten Erzinger (3L)

We all do it. We get home from school tired and hungry, so we throw some leftovers into the microwave and sit down in front of the TV and promise ourselves “just one episode, after that I’ll be done eating and we’ll get back to work.” Except that inevitably never happens, and one episode turns into five before you haul yourself off to bed. Well, for those of you to whom this applies, here are this month’s binge-watching recommendations:

Netflix:

Rectify: √√√√
TV Drama starring Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron

Rectify is a slow-paced, but intriguing drama about a convicted man on death row who is suddenly released when newly discovered DNA evidence is found that calls his guilt into question. Starring a number of people whose names you don’t know but faces you’ll probably recognize, Rectify follows the story of this man and the impact his return has on his family and the community around him. While the pace is a bit sluggish at times, the show features strong writing, fully developed and well-crafted characters, and some excellent acting from the cast.

The Grinder: √√√√
TV Comedy starring Rob Lowe, Fred Savage

A hilarious comedy that has Rob Lowe playing Dean Sanderson, an actor who is out of work due to the cancellation of his long running legal drama where he played a hotshot lawyer. He returns home to the Midwest US where he decides he wants to work with his brother and father at their law firm, to the dismay and annoyance of Sanderson’s brother. This forms the basis of a very funny, very witty comedy that has its best moments when it is spoofing TV legal dramas.

The Infiltrator: √√√
Movie Drama starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt

A tense drama about Robert Mazur, a US Customs special agent who helped break up the money laundering scheme of Pablo Escobar in the 1980’s. Based on a true story, the film features some strong acting and many tension-filled moments; it’s a very good but overlooked film from 2016.

The Invitation: √√√
Movie Thriller starring Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard

This is one of those hidden gems; an indie movie you probably haven’t heard of, starring no one you’ve heard of, that still manages to be much better than many movies that have ten times the budget and starring power. An excellent thriller best seen without watching a trailer or knowing too much about the plot.

CraveTV:

Children’s Hospital: √√√
TV Comedy starring Rob Corddry, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Ken Marino

This is a very bingeable scattershot comedy (not just because the episodes are 11-12 minutes in length) that does a great job spoofing medical dramas. Taking place in a Children’s Hospital in Brazil, the jokes come fast and while not all land, more hit the mark than miss.

Homeland: √√√
TV Drama starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin

A solid thriller that gets a bit uneven after season two. Claire Danes stars as a CIA officer who believes a returning war hero (Damien Lewis) is a domestic threat after being flipped by al-Qaeda during his captivity.

Bond Movies: √√√√
Action Movies starring Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig

All of the Bond films (except Spectre and Skyfall) are available on CraveTV, which basically makes this the best but probably lengthiest binge-watching exercise you can undertake. If in a time crunch, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye, The World is Not Enough, Casino Royal, and Quantum of Solace are some of the better Bond flicks.

Amazon Prime Video:

The Grand Tour: √√√
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May

After BBC gave Clarkson and crew the boot after Clarkson allegedly punched a producer in a heated argument, Amazon decided to throw some money at these guys and let them continue to make their show, which is exactly what they do to much enjoyment – The Grand Tour is Top Gear, minus the Top Gear intro, theme, and name.

Collateral, Miami Vice, Public Enemies (The Michael Mann collection): √√√
Movie Dramas starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrel, Johnny Depp

Amazon Prime also has a collection of Michael Mann films, which are worth watching if you’re in the mood for some gritty yet stylish action thrillers. While not all of Mann’s films are excellent, even when he’s making mediocre ones he still infuses a certain style and flair into them that makes them not just watchable, but enjoyable. Collateral is definitely the best out of these three films, but Miami Vice and Public Enemies are solid movies worth seeing.