Okay, so maybe I won't ghost you if you haven't seen all or most of these movies and TV shows, but I will respond with exaggerated shock. Not all of these are necessarily classics, but they're what I consider to be truly the best. So consider this your official list of recommendations.
*DISCLAIMER: For all my friends who also prefer to watch filtered content, nearly all of these have filters available either with ClearPlay or VidAngel. Just...so you know that that's an option.
1. "The Parent Trap."
Literally my favorite. Like, so much so that for my 18th birthday I celebrated coming into adulthood with a movie theater themed party and watched this film.
I was sh00k when I found out that Lindsay Lohan did not in fact have a twin and instead it was movie magic that made it seem so. But that hasn't lessened my love for this one. Dennis Quaid, pre-crack Lindsay Lohan, and the lovely Natasha Richardson star in a film about long-lost twins finding each other and scheming to get their divorced parents back together. Basically it's the best and why are you still here and not watching it right now???
2. "The Goonies."
’80s. Kids on an adventure. Pirate treasure. Group dynamics and bantering. Baby Sean Astin. If that doesn't have you thirsting for a movie night with this film, I don't know what else I can tell you.
Except that this is such a classic, you guys, come on! How have you not seen it already??
3. "The Sandlot."
"You're killing me, Smalls!" Only talk to me if you know what this is from.
Okay, I'll tell you: It's from a feel-good movie that follows the nerdy Scotty Smalls as he takes extreme measures to fit in with the neighborhood baseball boys, succeeding in being accepted but at the cost of landing them in hot water. There's also a scene where they go to a carnival and throw up after eating old tobacco set to "Tequila" by The Champs. The whole film is i-con-ic.
4. "Jurassic Park."
Before there was Chris Pratt, there was Sam Neil as a paleontologist who's honestly awful with children yet somehow gets stuck with two for the entirety of the film. It also turns gender stereotypes in action movies on their head by having Laura Dern's character—a paleobotanist and literal sunshine—as the one who goes on the life-threatening mission, leaving behind the injured Dr. Ian Malcolm (played by the glorious Jeff Goldblum) lounging with his shirt unnecessarily open. I mean, I'd prefer no character be objectified, but does it make me wet human garbage to find it refreshing that at least it wasn't Laura Dern?
It's also about the best ever subject in the history of all of life: D I N O S A U R S.
I mean, obviously. You should know that if you've seen or have heard about the recent movies. But you should also know that the original 1993 film is the best in the "Jurassic" series, and if you can only watch one, it should be this one.
5. "Star Wars."
I almost feel fake putting this up here because I haven’t seen the prequels since the last one came out in theaters, and it’s been a hot minute seen I’ve watched the original trilogy. But I’m always down to sob over Anakin or fight someone over Kylo Ren’s (BEN SOLO’S*) redemption arc.
In fact, I recently lost track of my professor's lecture because my classmate and I started texting about "Star Wars" and I clearly have my priorities straight. I just really enjoy talking about Finn's hero journey and Rey being the purest thing in all of existence and how one family can so royally mess up the entire galaxy, okay?
It's the perfect blend of murder mystery and comedy. This guy with a photographic and eidetic memory has to pretend to be a psychic for the Santa Barbara Police Department, and hilarity—and crime-solving—ensue. Full of obscure ’80s and modern day pop culture references and featuring a pair of best friends with the best chemistry ever, "Psych" is one that you don't want to miss.
And while it's technically a TV show, they also have two movies out—including a musical. I hope you're rushing to Amazon Prime to watch it now.
7 and 8. "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation."
Maybe it's sacrilegious to have these grouped together as if they're one and the same, but basically, if you've watched one or the other, we can still be friends. Both is preferable.
"The Office" is about the boring/entertaining lives of the employees at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. It has literally some of the funniest bits I've ever seen in my life. And the rest of the funny bits are in "Parks and Rec."
Leslie Knope leads a team of government employees in a small town of Indiana, where they're ranked first in friendship and fourth in obesity. Like, I honestly don't think I could form coherent sentences about the greatness and characters and bits in either of these mockumentaries so I won't even try. But you should definitely be watching both of them right this very moment.
9. "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
This show literally has its own listicle because the reasons you should be watching it are too many to count (it's 16). If you still haven't seen it, you should probably just delete my number.
Jk, keep it so I can keep nagging you to watch it. It will honestly change your life. If you like the Marvel movies and yet aren't watching this show, you're missing out on high-quality entertainment that isn't even a companion piece to the films anymore; it's stand-alone worthy. Anyway watch this bye
10. "Stranger Things."
Another cinematic experience about kids on an adventure, what a surprise.
This is probably hands-down the best TV show, though. It's set in the '80s, and even though I wasn't alive then, let me just tell you how true to that era it is, right down to the show's font, outfits, hairstyles, pop culture and political references, synthesizer soundtrack, and wood paneling. Netflix and the Duffer brothers really nailed it.
The first time I watched it, I was only supposed to watch one episode. It was during finals week of the Summer B term a few weeks after its release, and I was in between writing essays. I felt I deserved a Netflix lunch break, so I decided to check out this ’80s sci-fi show with Winona Ryder, expecting to watch one or two and go back to my second essay. Eight hours later, I had finished the first season in one sitting, two meals worth of plates on either side of me on the floor of the family room.
The pull of of kids on bikes helping a mysterious girl as they try to find their missing friend, a teen coming-of-age story, and government conspiracies was too strong. It will make all other forms of entertainment pale in comparison, so what are you waiting for? Binge that puppy.
It's totally fine if you don't watch any of these. We can still be friends, and I won't hold it against you. You probably just won't understand half of our conversations.