Ready for a break but unsure what to do? Writer Varshini takes you through a tour around Disney+ for the best series to binge for your unique tastes.
Mid terms may not be over for all of us, but if it makes the minority of you guys feel better, the pain of this semester is nowhere near the end.
However, with recess week now, it is still a breather for many of us to finally indulge in other activities that do not suck up our sense of joy and happiness completely. Just because you have only a couple of hours of free time this week does not mean you cannot enjoy a good Disney+ show that does not push you into an unhealthy binge.
With over 100 shows currently on Disney+ and new ones added every week, that would mean going through the pain of navigating the good shows from the bad so you do not end up wasting what precious time you have on a show so badly done or so good but finishes with a terrible ending that just enrages you.
Not to worry, as the resident media junkie of all my social circles and a regular critic on IMDB, I have done the hard work of sitting through the good, bad and the ugly to give you a curated list of shows based on how much free time you have.
1. MONSTERS AT WORK -- 1 SEASON
For a quick guilty pleasure where you do not want to fall into a binge but still enjoy a relaxing and wholesome show from start to finish, Monsters at Work is my recommendation.
This new spin-off from the nostalgic Monsters Inc. focuses on a young graduate by the name of Tylor who had just finished the top of his class at University. After being offered the prestigious job as a Scarer at the Monsters Inc. power company, he arrives to a changing boardroom that has decided to do away with scare power (the current source of electrical power) and has replaced it entirely with laugh power and ‘Jokesters’.
Realizing his skills are now obsolete, he gets assigned to do technical and facilities maintenance with an eccentric but lovable team of facility managers with a rather dark but comedic workplace culture. Each episode focuses on him working his way to get into the new position of a ‘Jokester’.
For a simple comedy show that explores many great themes such as career aspirations, friendships and determination, each episode is only a mere 25 minutes long but it can nonetheless satiate you. The season is complete and now available for streaming on Disney+, perfect for anyone who wants a pick-me-up after the semester we all had and be given an ending that does not leave an empty feeling in your stomach.
2. HARROW -- 3 SEASONS
You have more time on your hands now and you want a good medical drama that is not Grey’s Anatomy long. Well, I would say Harrow is a great show that will keep you at the edge of your seat without requiring you to dedicate over 30 hours of your life.
Harrow is a compelling and well-written Australian medical drama that focuses on Dr Daniel Harrow, a forensic pathologist who is more dedicated to the mystery than he is to the murder. As much as this sounds like a typical mystery-thriller drama, what makes this show’s premise utterly unique and thrilling is that Harrow himself is not a man of a clean slate. A body is found that threatens his career, family and is at the verge of exposing his past secrets, and you get to see a man desperately juggling between solving complex murders and covering up a murderous mystery of his own from the people he cares about the most.
The plotline of this show alongside with the character development throughout the seasons are paced out carefully and appropriately. It explores tumultuous familial relationships and some really good medical information (fact checked with my medical student brother) that compels you to root for Harrow and pique curiosity on his actions and behaviour. 3 full seasons are out now and streaming on Disney+ with rumours of a final 4th season. Overall, it's a short but extremely entertaining medical drama you won’t regret indulging on for recess week.
3. CASTLE -- 8 SEASONS
You can handle it. You want to absorb yourself into an amazing show that has a simple premise but it just works so well that it keeps you wanting more. Look no further, because I have the show for you. Castle is my all-time favorite and it is that one show that checks all of my boxes for the ‘perfect series’.
The premise is somewhat simple; a famous author and a regular cop. Richard Castle is like the Stephen King and James Patterson combination in this series; an excellent mystery writer bored of his muse and wants to explore a new character. He meets Detective Katherine Beckett, a hardboiled and no-nonsense detective with a keen sense of judgement and a captivating gravitas. Castle squirms his way into solving murders alongside Kate and the series follows the many murders they solve together, but also brings up excellent storylines and character developments that run parallel (but not really). What makes this series so perfect for me compared to other procedural crime shows is that no particular character is treated any less important and the relationship dynamics between any two characters are very well thought out and delivered.
Honestly, it is a show you have to just watch for yourself to realize its beauty (and also because I can write a whole paper on why this show and storyline is so well crafted and created but I sadly do not have the space). You can easily stop at any episode and then come back to it when you have time, but my warning would be that it is so good it will tempt you into an unhealthy binge to finish the show (which I would not discourage).
4. MODERN FAMILY -- 11 SEASONS
This show can be easily summarized to be the ‘Friends’ of our generation. A series that was revolutionary in the modern use of humor and situational comedy, ‘Modern Family’ ,for those who are not already familiar with it, is a masterpiece.
It is a comedy mixed with multiple mature and coming-of-age themes that follows the life of the Pritchett Family. The 3 families featured give the audience a varied insight on various family structures and how they deal with similar situations like caring for a child, marriage and friendships.
A traditional family block is represented by Claire Pritchett and her husband Phil, while an unconventional age-gap relationship is represented by her father Jay Pritchett and his significantly younger wife ,Gloria, and finally a progressive gay couple consisting of the youngest Mitchell Pritchett and his partner Cameron Tucker.
If you have never heard of this show, nothing can explain the comedy better than watching an episode on your own.
For many television addicts like myself who are already aware and even rely on Modern Family as a ‘comfort show’ we can go back to, good news! Recently, Netflix has removed the quintessential seasons (1 to 8 and 10) from their platform due to license expiry. However, Disney+ has all 11 seasons still streaming and would not be leaving the platform anytime soon.
The recess week may be short and all hell would most probably break loose next week, but never let the stress keep you away from your mental health. We all deserve a breather and to be able to enjoy a good show no matter how you felt you performed for your examinations. Even if you do not want to indulge in any shows for the week, take some time out for yourself to do something you enjoy and save up this curated list for the summer break!