It's no secret that us students have more spare time in the summer. With more spare time comes more boredom, and thus more media consumption. While watching and listening to things can feel like a waste of time, some of the things you stream can teach you about relevant issues. If you find yourself in the mood to lean back and binge, these are some socially conscious shows and podcasts you can stream to fill the time.
Podcast: The Bechdel Cast
Using Alison Bechdel's "Bechdel test" as a springboard, comedians Caitlin Durante and Jamie Loftus discuss the portrayal of women in movies. Ranging from half an hour to ninety minutes, I've found these to be a perfect way to pass the time on my commute to my internship. It's honestly difficult to listen to one of these episodes without laughing out loud for at least half the time, so keep that in mind if you're using earbuds to listen. Aside from the infectious comedic banter between the hosts and their guests, this podcast provides great insight about your favorite films through an intersectional feminist lens.
Natalie Wynn, or "ContraPoints," is a YouTuber I've been binge watching for the past month. She creates fabulously exaggerated, sarcastic, and eye-catching videos about race, gender, philosophy, and politics. As a theatre person, I'd compare the theatrical style of her videos to Brecht. As a law person, I applaud her for her comprehensive, compelling arguments and clever rhetoric. Overall, she's insanely witty, self aware, and intriguing in her analysis and dramatization of social justice issues.
Amazon Video Series: Transparent
I initially began watching these because I'm such an admirer of Alexandra Billings, who plays Davina on the show, teaches at my school (!!!!!), and has an inspiring social media presence. Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor as Maura, is similarly inspiring. The series centers around a transgender woman and her family during her transition. Although the characters are mostly white, I feel that the show has an exceptionally intersectional bent. It explores the role of gender, sexuality, mental health, and religion (specifically Judaism) in the lives of the main characters. This, along with the impeccable acting and writing, makes the show impossible to resist.