Now Is The Perfect Time To Start A TV Addiction

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Now that we are out of school and forced to be at home, we find ourselves with an insane amount of free time. What are we going to do as we bide our time until things go back to normal? There are some television shows that, I believe, are necessary viewing for the human race. You will, undoubtedly, run into people who ask you with a sense of urgency: “Have you seen (insert show here)?” I cannot recommend that we indulge in every single one of these shows that have a cult following, but there are a few that you can get lost in before we can start crawling out of our caves again. 

 

“Breaking Bad”/”Better Call Saul”

Watching “Breaking Bad” for the first time is an experience that I wish I could have again, but never will. I am fortunate that I’ve only seen the first four seasons of “Better Call Saul”, and I have a season that is currently being released and more in production. I absolutely love this story and the rich and addictive world that showrunner and producer Vince Gilligan has created for all of us to enjoy. Vince Gilligan’s pitch for “Breaking Bad” was simple; he would turn an ineffectual, weak, and milquetoast ‘Mr. Chips’ character into Scarface: a violent and manipulative crime lord. This concept on its own is fascinating, and we for sure are witness to one of the greatest metamorphosis of a character in television history, but I think that the initial concept is far more simplified than the finished product would end up being. It is a fantastic ride of mythic proportions. It is a neo-western of Shakespearean magnitude, it is a sight to behold and I can’t recommend it enough. 

“Breaking Bad” is like watching a runaway train that is accelerating full-throttle into an explosive ending. However, “Better Call Saul” (the “Breaking Bad” spinoff prequel) is a far different show. Where there is a sense of urgency in the events of “Breaking Bad”; “Better Call Saul” takes a more thoughtful, meditative approach towards the corruption of a good but ineffective man into a monster. Even though “Better Call Saul” takes place years before “Breaking Bad”, I would recommend watching “Breaking Bad” before “Better Call Saul” to get the full effect. 

 

The Office” 

I am not breaking any new ground here. Everybody has seen “The Office”. If I met somebody my age who was completely oblivious to the characters or motifs in this classic show I would be shocked. However, I think in times like these it would be useful to tread familiar ground. We already know and love these characters, and revisiting them feels like coming home. At my house, we will go through stretches of weeks where we will watch a ton of episodes and stop abruptly because we watched it to death. However, I find it fascinating that after some time I always end up missing it. As my siblings and I fall back into “The Office” during this crisis I am comforted by the normalcy that it displays. It is always fresh, it is always funny, it is always warm, it’s a wonderful show and a wonderful tool to get your mind off of the crisis we all find ourselves in the middle of. Plus, if you need one after being exposed to the wickedness of Walter White, it’s a fantastic palate cleanser from “Breaking Bad” 

“Mad Men” 

If you can compare “Breaking Bad” to a Shakespeare play, you can most certainly compare “Mad Men” to a great American novel. “Mad Men” is a show that is so good that it takes over your entire world, and its characters become so familiar to you that you become fascinated with where their lives will be led. Binging “Mad Men” makes you feel like you’re wading knee-deep through a narrative that is so rich and interesting that you can’t find much else that you want to occupy your mind with, or even talk about. I was fortunate that I watched “Mad Men” in the Summer when I didn’t have much else to do because if I watched it any other time I would either get horrible grades or become a social hermit for months. This is a perfect time to become obsessed with this outstanding show.