5 Must See Docu-Series

5 Must See Docu-Series

Along with providing insightful entertainment, many telling docu-series have sparked important conversations, proving knowledge is power.

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Documentaries are Saving Lives and Opening Eyes

In the last year, Docu-series have become extremely popular and consequently instrumental. Upon their release, these in-depth documentaries, broken up into multiple episodes, have continued to inspire audiences to take action where there's passion; whether it's speaking out about an abusive past, or fighting for a love one to be acquitted.

Here are 5 influential documentaries worth the watch:

1. Surviving R. Kelly

Surviving R. Kelly: R. Kelly Documentary On Abuse Allegations & Sex Cult www.youtube.com

This documentary is comprised of six vulnerable episodes, starring R. Kelly's victims, well-known pubic figures, and educated commentators. Viewers learn first hand about the underaged abuse many young girls experienced at the hand of the R&B; singer throughout his long career, and the public is made aware of his inexcusable actions. The brave women featured in this series detail their past interactions with R. Kelly, sparking up meaningful conversations about red flags, abuse, and power struggles within a relationship.The docu-series can be found on Hulu or on the Lifetime website and app.

2. The Keepers

As well as being a murder mystery documentary, exploring the question: "Who killed Sister Cathy?", The Keepers also features survivors who've experienced sexual abuse at the hand of a Catholic priest. Since its debut, The Keepers has had a positive impact on viewers, showing them that they are not alone in their abuse.

Sister Cathy Cesnik disappeared in November of 1969, and her body was found the following January. The Keepers connects her disappearance to the rampant abuse which had been occurring under the radar at the Catholic school she taught at.

The Keepers is currently streaming on Netflix.


The Keepers | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com

3. Evil Genius

Evil Genius has been dubbed a true crime show focusing on one of the most twisted, yet genius bank robberies in America. This strange story begins with the death of a pizza delivery man, but as the episodes progress more ugly truths are uncovered. The unconventional lives of the duo in question, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and Bill Rothstein, are thoroughly examined by documentarian Trey Borzillieri. Borzilleri was actually in contact with Marjorie from 2005, until her death in 2017. Many of their phone calls and letters are aired in the series.

Who's the true master mind behind the pizza bombing? To find out, watch all episodes of Evil Genius on Netflix.


Evil Genius | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com

4. Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer is probably one of Netflix's most well-known documentaries. It follows the double sentencing of Steven Avery, twice accused of murder. Avery was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1985, but a few years after his release he was sent to jail once again, found guilty on new murder charges. The fanfare generated from Making a Murderer's first season led to the re-examination of Avery's case in season 2.

Is Steven Avery truly a murderer? Find out for yourself by watching the 2 part series on Netflix.


Making A Murderer: Part 2 | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com

5. The Staircase

The Staircase follows the 2003 murder trial of Novelist Michael Peterson, who is thought to have killed his wife. Viewers are able to evaluate the truth for themselves while watching everything play out in real time, as the footage captures fresh reactions and raw evidence in real time was it was discovered. Michael Peterson's fame may have sparked an initial interest in this case, but the details keep viewers intrigued.

Testimonies from Peterson and his family are included in the series, and a murder from Peterson's past is further examined.

Watch The Staircase on Netflix.


The Staircase | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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