BuzzFeed's One Redeeming Quality Is This Series

BuzzFeed's One Redeeming Quality Is This Series

One of BuzzFeed's most popular series is easily my guilty pleasure
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Ask any of my friends, I am horrendously awful at starting and keeping up with TV shows. I either watch with a friend (or with my mom if it's Downton Abbey) or fall in love with the first episode and watch the show all at once. It can't be a casual watch either. It's hyperfixate or bust.

That being said, I also do not go out of my way to look for new shows to watch, so when YouTube recommends me a video to watch that looks interesting, I decide to go for it, for better or worse. While perusing YouTube one day, I was recommended a video from BuzzFeed, more specifically one of their subchannels BuzzFeedBlue, which left me hesitant. I do not watch their other series (Try Guys, etc.) and do not care much for BuzzFeed in general, both their site content and videos. I poke fun at them every opportunity I get.

But this particular video caught my attention. It was a video about the Black Dahlia murder case, a story I have always heard about but never explored further. So I figured, "Hey, what not give this a watch? If anything, I'll learn something new." Little did I know that I would fall into a rabbit hole of a show full of murder mysteries, paranormal exploration, and unsolved crimes. Appropriately enough, the series is called BuzzFeed Unsolved, and it is one of my favorite webseries to date.

Each episode features two hosts: Ryan Bergara and formerly Brent Bennett until Brent was replaced by Shane Madej halfway through the first season. New fans of the show might be confused to see that BuzzFeed Unsolved has two Season ones and two Season twos. Why they do not choose to give them different season numbers I'm not sure, but the sub-seasons (if you will) are split so that one sub-season focuses on crime stories called True Crime and the other explores the paranormal and aliens called Paranormal (genius names, guys).

Confusing season lineup aside, one of my favorite aspects of the series (and what I think makes them stand out in comparison to other ghost hunting shows) is the contrasting points of view the hosts share. Ryan, an avid believer of ghosts and advocate for the possibility of alien encounters on Earth, allows us to learn about theories that seem a little out there (no pun intended).

On the other side, Shane the skeptic scoffs at the idea of ghosts existing and often jokes about the supernatural, bringing the voice of logic to the discussion. Each episode entertains me with their constant banter, often showed as typed out dialogue on screen.

New BuzzFeed Unsolved episodes are uploaded every Friday and follow the same formula with Ryan giving the story or historical background of any case or haunted entity and each episode ranging anywhere from 8 to over 45 minutes although newer episodes tend to be more consistent. Starting in Season Two, Ryan and Shane also host a Q&A session BuzzFeed Unsolved Postmortem after every new episode. In the True Crime episodes, Ryan offers a number of theories that serve as possible answers to the unsolved cases to which both Ryan and Shane discuss the most probably theory. The Supernatural episodes have them visiting the haunted places themselves, attempting to pick up any unnatural audio, typically followed by Shane's skepticism.

They really do their research for each episode, reading news stories, finding scientific reportings, and giving interviews to support their topics. In fact, one source they cited came from a professor at my university! Go Big Red!

Other than their misleading season lineup structure, BuzzFeed Unsolved serves as an educational and entertaining series for anyone interested in crime stories, the paranormal, and conspiracy theories. The dialogue and comedic chemistry Ryan and Shane share add a bit more personality to the show, and the episodes have great rewatchability. I always catch a different piece of information that I missed before.

BuzzFeed Unsolved is currently on Season Two of True Crime, so if this sounds like the show for you, then I'll see you this Friday where we can talk about theories of real world whodunnit stories.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.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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