Binge Watch: Shows With a Lesson
When we finally get a break from the winding cycle of work and doctor’s appointments and tidying your desk for the fifth time this week, there are always two options presented to us. We can slip our favorite pair of heels on, call a cab, and set out for a night on the town. The plan, consisting of cozy pajamas, endless snacks, and catching up on your favorite shows. My favorite, as a natural introvert and homebody? The latter.
I didn’t have cable television in my house until I was 14, so all of the references made about old Disney sitcoms constantly go over my head. I didn’t know what the ‘bone dance’ was until I had an anatomy test in biology and the student sitting next to me starting reciting the apparently classic Hannah Montana moment. The only shows I avidly watched were Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and Gilmore Girls, all which conveniently found themselves on channels 2, 4, and 9.
With the luxury of online streaming at the access of our fingertips, watching and finishing an entire television series within a few months is a common pass time. It may not sound like the best hobby for us to indulge in, but we all know it’s bound to happen. Below, I have included some of my favorites to spend hours mindlessly watching. Helpful hint: my personal justification to my binge watching sessions is that the shows I watch should offer some sort of personal growth or lesson, one way or another.
Luckily, on school nights that I stayed up just a bit too late on, I was able to catch this on Nick at Nite. The episodes were never played in chronological order, however, so *SPOILER* one night Ross and Rachel would be planning Emma’s first birthday party, and the next the infamous break would be in full swing. This show offers so much, from lessons about friendship and personal growth to how to channel your strongest sarcasm (thanks Chandler).
I recently just finished rewatching the series for a third time on Netflix, and I still felt the same emotions I did when watching for the first time. Every actor creates such a genuine persona out of their character, and makes you wish you had a local coffee shop for you and your friends to make memories at. Hopefully one day, we can all find our own Central Perk - and maybe even our own lobster.
I know. This show is EVERYWHERE right now. I don’t know where the rush of binge watchers came from, but I get caught in the current early on, and I don’t regret not trying to swim against it. The Gallagher family has a dynamic like no other, and even though the troubles and dangers they find themselves in are constantly at the highest degree, you can still find yourself within the characters. The immense pain that the characters face seems unbearable for a single individual to endure, and yet at the end of the day, they all still come together to support each other.
Emmy Rossum has also been someone who I have admired due to her passion for social rights and charitable acts. As her character, Fiona, her strength and perseverance roars, while also letting her genuine thoughtfulness come through. Based off of the emotional breakdowns I’ve had over this show, I might as well start signing my name as Chelsea Gallagher.
I’m pretty sure this one is self explanatory. I wouldn’t say I necessarily enjoy having my heart ripped from my chest, thrown on a OR table, poked and probed at, pushed 2 of epi into, and resuscitated, and yet, I still find myself sitting in front of my TV every Thursday night at 8 PM. I also wouldn’t say that I’m a doctor, but I do have a new set of vocabulary stored. To every man his own.
Meredith Grey is a character that truly defies low expectations. From the very beginning of her interning years, the fact that she was THE Ellis Grey’s daughter sat on her back like a shell, trying to prove that she could never be as legendary as her mother. Thirteen seasons later, overcoming the loss of more peers and family members than one could count on their fingers, as well as defeat of personal challenges in her career, she still remains as the top surgeon and overall badass of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (or Seattle Grace if you haven’t gotten THERE yet - sorry in advance). I used to find the monologues that bookend the episodes to be cheesy, but after going through my own battles in the midst of my two year binge watching in order to catch up to the currently airing season, I have truly become empowered by them.
This show is a different kind of binge watch for me. Like I said earlier, I grew up on this show. No, I may not have understood much of what was going on most of the time, but I can guarantee that every morning at 11 when I was home, I was watching. Lorelai and Rory have a similar dynamic that my grandmother and mother had, and of what my mother and I have. They’re best friends. They grow from each other. They aren’t afraid to speak their minds. They truly define the dream team for mother daughter duos.
In the small town of Stars Hollow, everyone knows everyone, as well as everyone’s business. My hometown is known as the biggest small town of the state - in other words, a Stars Hollow on steroids. If there is one show that I would say has genuinely taught me life lessons, it would without a doubt be this television child of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Lorelai may need coffee in an IV, but I need her spirit in an IV.
Header Credit: Warner Bros. Television