Meet the Reporter: Things To Watch in Weird Times
Community

Meet the Reporter: Things To Watch in Weird Times

Odyssey reporter, Brandon King, on what to binge-watch while you're stuck at home

17
Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

*Before the article starts, I want to give a quick thank-you to all of the doctors, nurses, scientists, physicians, and medical professionals who are working insane hours in less than preferable conditions to try and get us out of the situation we're in. I don't know how much far one guy's thanks will go, but you guys are heroes, now more than ever; please don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Welcome to the seventh installment of 'Meet the Reporter,' or as I prefer to call it, screaming into an overcrowded content window emphasized by a global pandemic.

season 12 episode 21 GIF Giphy


As per usual, this is our monthly series where we here at ASU Odyssey want to give you a bit of insight into our lives. This month is diving into a question that's been prevalent the last few years, and has only escalated in the last few weeks: if I'm stuck at home, say, during a near-nationwide shutdown, what should I binge to pass the time?

Let me be perfectly clear: I'm not great at binge-watching. I'm getting better at it, but I don't keep up with TV trends nearly as much as film trends. That being said, there's been a few series that I've had the chance to catch up with. I certainly don't know how "original" my choices will be for some of you that do binge multiple series at a time, but I think all of these series are worth a watch on some level or another, especially if you've ever related with my taste in content.

If you want to talk about shows that I WANT to binge soon, then fellow human, I have a laundry list that I'll run off quickly:
Star Trek/Star Trek: The Next Generation, Hilda, Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, Narcos, The Runaways, Raising Dion, I Am Not Ok With This, Living With Yourself, New Girl, The Americans, and Breaking Bad (yes, I've never seen an episode of Breaking Bad Before, I told you, I'm not good at this).

On to the list, here are 5 Things You Should Binge-Watch During Quarantine!

1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 - Present) (Disney+)

Dee Bradley Baker voices the Clone Troopers in Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'

Photo Credit: Star Wars - YouTube

Did I rewatch 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' purely for my own fandom or as a hint for *a future article? That's still up for debate, but either way, I had a blast revisiting the television side of 'Star Wars' in honor of the show's return for a (seemingly final) seventh season. You might think that blasting through over 100 episodes and an animated feature film might be a bit intimidating and you're likely right.

The show's first two seasons, in particular, don't escape some of the prequel trilogy's more questionable dialogue and pacing sensibilities, and it can definitely take some time for new characters like Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, and Cad Bane to sink in. But around the end of Season 2/start of Season 3, this show really becomes something special. It builds on so much mythology of the franchise after it, from the ramifications of variety in the clone army to the blind hubris/militarization of the Jedi Order to those aforementioned new characters feeling like they've always been a part of this story.

In addition, I was surprised at just how many of these episodes held up from when I watched them in middle school, whether they were single episodes of new side characters or expanded story arcs that delved into questions I never thought the franchise would touch. 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' isn't just pivotal storytelling for the prequel-era, but for 'Star Wars' in general, and I can't wait to see how Season 7 ties everything up.
*Seriously though, keep your eyes out for that Clone Wars article in a month or two...

2. Black Lightning Season 3 (2018 - Present) (Netflix/The CW App)

Wayne Brady and China Anne McClain star in CW's 'Black Lightning'

Photo Credit: The CW Network - Youtube

Ok...let's address the elephant in the room: I stopped doing the Arrowverse Recaps with pretty much no warning. There were a variety of reasons for that, but the biggest was that my schedule has been getting more cluttered as of late and I simply didn't have the time to compile an article for every show. Now that doesn't mean I haven't stopped watching (actually quite the opposite) but it did mean that I wasn't able to catch up on shows like Season 3 of 'Black Lightning' until they hit Netflix this past month. Honestly, it was well worth the wait.

Granted, I've been on the 'Black Lightning' hype train since Season 1, but even though I'd consider Season 3 the most inconsistent of the three seasons, it also had some tremendous highs as well. In Season 3 specifically, we get to see Jefferson struggling with having to work with authority, the different ways the rest of his family are affected both physically and emotionally, and see the rise of some of the most fascinatingly complex superhero antagonists this side of 'Daredevil.'

More importantly, I also can say pretty confidently that 'Black Lightning' is easily the most accessible when it comes to binge-watching, as most (if not all) of its episodes are based in multiple-episode arcs. In fact, in catching up with Season 3, I was amazed at how well it flowed as a binge format story. If this was the show in the Arrowverse that you may have skipped over (and I know many of you have), I encourage you to give it a chance and see just where this kind of storytelling can go.

3. Hip-Hop Evolution (2016 - Present) (Netflix)

Ice Cube appears in the Netflix series 'Hip-Hop Evolution'

Photo Credit: Hip-Hop Evolution - YouTube

Some of you VH1 fans out there might remember a 2011 series called 'Metal Evolution' from Banger Films' Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen that attempted to dissect and analyze the history of metal music. I absolutely loved that series growing up and to see that same team tackle the history of hip-hop already had my attention. Thankfully, 'Hip-Hop Evolution' is just as investing and compelling as its predecessor that also respects the complexities and varying styles of its subject matter.

Canadian rapper/broadcaster Shad takes viewers into the history of, not just hip-hop music, but culture, fashion, and art with an incredibly likable interview style, only helped by his cavalcade of guests ranging from KRS-One to Sean Combs. We get to see the very early start hip-hop's pioneers, how rapping, DJing and breakdancing came to evolve as art forms that defined entire generations of artists, the mainstream's love/hate relationship with rappers, and even get into lesser-known topics like the mixtape boom of the late '90s.

It's also not just central to Los Angeles and New York as other docuseries have tried; everywhere from San Francisco to Detroit to Atlanta gets its moment to explore and it all is maneuvered into a fascinating piece of music history. As far as music history goes, this is essential watching and with only 16 episodes to its name, Season 5 can't come soon enough.

4. The Toys That Made Us (2017 - Present) (Netflix)

'Transformers' is one of the toy brands explored in the Netflix series, 'The Toys That Made Us'

Photo Credit: ERiKC3000 - YouTube

Another Netflix documentary series (not called 'Tiger King') that I cannot recommend enough, this one from producer Brian Volk-Weiss, who is best known as a stand-up comedy producer for everyone from Arsenio Hall to Ali Wong. Each episode of the series goes into the history and impact of different toy brands, from the gender demographics that defined the creation of 'Barbie' to the incredibly convoluted rights history of the WWE line of action figures. Surprisingly, the show manages to make all of those different brands feel universally appealing.

All of us, at some point or another, have had toys mean the world to us and this series, beyond the business deals and brand opportunities, really tries to extend that love to every kind of toy. I found that I was getting just as invested in the stories and mass appeal as I was my connections to the toys (see how I got legitimately emotional watching the LEGO episode). Add to that some legitimately funny narration, quick but not distracting editing, and some great commentary from around the toy world to add that sense of personality, and you're left with a solid watch.

5. 8-bit Music Theory (2016 - Present) (YouTube)

'Bioshock Infinite' is one of the video games explored in the YouTube series, '8-bit Music Theory'

Photo Credit: 8-bit Music Theory - YouTube

Yes, I'm highlighting a YouTube series; what, did you think binge-watching is only paid-for content? '8-bit Music Theory' takes video game music and soundtracks and attempts to deconstruct them through, what else, music theory. I just found this channel a week before writing this article and I can't think of too many channels where I've gotten hooked this quickly. The bizarre thing is that I'm not necessarily a gaming enthusiast or a music theory nerd, and yet I know/care JUST enough about both to get invested in this content.

It can't be overstated (even if it has been said to death) that music is one of the key aspects of engaging emotionally in art. In 8-bit Music Theory's case, that idea is framed around deconstructing the music video games have canonized and getting to the heart of why melodies hit us in the ways that they do. This ranges from the evolution of Mario Kart's iconic "Rainbow Road" theme, the integration of ragtime jazz to 'Cuphead,' and of course, plenty of 'Persona 5' discussions. It's the kind of nerdy content that seems intimidating to get into, but we get driven along by a knowledgeable narrator with some great visuals and relaxing pacing.

What shows are you guys keeping yourselves occupied with? Are you going back to old favorites or trying something new?

Either way, keep your heads up, call your loved ones, and WASH YOUR HANDS!

____________________________________________

Want to follow me on social media? Follow me on Twitter and IG @TheMovieKing45

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

While parts of the U.S. are beginning to re-open after months in quarantine, the future of date nights at home is still bright — because, let's face it, wearing masks to a fancy restaurant with your boo in the coming months just doesn't sound fun.

So, if you're looking to have a little romantic fun indoors, we've got just the games for you. Click through the slideshow below for 11 couples games that'll help you two become closer than ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been interested in any product that can get me the Jennifer Lopez-esque natural glow. I'm Indian and have medium-toned skin, so getting darker was never really the goal. Rather, I've always looked for a product that would even out my skin tone and cellulite, basically making my legs look Photoshopped.

Now more than ever we're craving that healthy, tan glow most of us only get after spending a week poolside with margarita in hand. We may not be spending an SPF-soaked summer hitting on our local lifeguards. But when we're going on socially-distanced walks outside, taking viral-worthy selfies, or just want to test out the best self-tanners for when you do finally get to show off all the bikinis you binge-purchased through your quarantine boredom, these are the best to ways to glow up, no matter your shade of skin, whether you have uber-sensitive eczema-ridden skin, or just want J-Lo glow, smooth legs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Quarantine Checkup Week 10: It's Officially Summer, Even In Quarantine

An Odyssey panel discussion about all things quarantine.

Thanks to coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the United States has gone into its own version of quarantine. While no one loves this new way of life we're adjusting to, it's the necessity that will eventually help us fling open our front doors and frolic freely once again!

Premature thinking? Maybe. But while we're in the midst of this quarantine time, we're chatting about the most terrifying, the funniest, and the weirdest thing that quarantine has forced us into recently.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only did she launch her beauty marketing career at legendary Smashbox Cosmetics, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments