From seniors weary from a long college application process to freshmen still becoming acclimated to the high school environment, SIS students of all grades need efficient methods of stress relief. Surprisingly, few SIS students have turned towards television shows to fulfill this demand. For students looking for binge-able and high-quality shows to unwind with, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chernobyl, and Rick and Morty are all excellent options to explore.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the smash hit American police sitcom following the 99th New York precinct, is a must-watch for comedy lovers. Ranging from the stoic, no-nonsense Captain Holt; immature and childlike Jake Peralta; super nerd Amy Santiago; and narcissistic, brutally honest Gina Linetti, the show has some of the most radically different characters on television and iconic chemistry in their interactions. Furthermore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has one of the most socially and racially diverse casts on the small screen. With characters like the gay, African American Captain Holt to Hispanic Santiago, the show provides a snapshot of New York City’s diversity while avoiding the common pitfall of using minority stereotypes to define characters. This embrace and representation of diversity allows the comedy to surpass its genre and emphasize surprisingly socially relevant lessons about discrimination, justice, and equality.
“I think my students got me interested in the show,” said Kimberly Alden, English teacher. “They mentioned to me how it was kind of like escape, and at that time I needed some lighter, ‘garbage’ television. It’s totally funny. The main characters are likeable and its simply fun. It’s really binge-able and mindless.”
For fans of more serious or dark shows, the 2019 HBO miniseries Chernobyl is a perfect match. Chernobyl retells the tragic story of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, one of the most atrocious man-made disasters in history. Depicting the attempts to cover up the incident, the horrifyingly deadly consequences of the disaster, and the fight to reveal the truth, the show captivated audiences worldwide with its Emmy Award-winning storytelling. Chernobyl’s profoundly relevant questions about the value of truth and human life have netted it nearly universal critical and popular praise. The show is jarringly heart wrenching, horrifying, thrilling all at once, and worth renewing your HBO subscription or signing up for a free trial.
“I thought that the show creators did a great job shedding light on an event that was not well-known or talked,” said Steven Chung (11), enthusiastic fan of Chernobyl. “Chernobyl had great cinematography with an excellent choice of music to accompany it. The music and the shots really captured the intenseness and horror of the event.”
Rick and Morty
The popular sci-fi cartoon Rick and Morty returned on Nov. 10 for a fourth season, giving viewers the perfect opportunity to re-watch or catch up on the series. The show recounts the interdimensional adventures of Morty, a meek high schooler, and Rick, his brilliant but highly cynical grandfather. Rick and Morty, which began as a parody of Back to the Future, has evolved into one of the premier modern meta shows on television. The show’s immense wit and dark sense of humor refuses to pull punches, which may turn off some viewers but increase the allure for others. While Rick and Morty may not be for everyone, it is an incredibly addictive show that has secured itself in modern pop culture. Its short episodes make it ideal for either binge watching or as an intermediate break between studies, making it worth a look for fans of dark humor.
“My favorite aspect of Rick and Morty is the hilarious ways Rick neglects Morty during their adventures, such as when Rick gave Morty wall climbing boots, but forgets to tell him that the feature needs to be manually turned on before Morty walks off a cliff,” said Eddie Choe (11), avid Rick and Morty viewer. “Although I do sympathize with Morty, Rick and Morty’s prominent and unapologetic portrayal of sensitive topics is refreshing and made the show funnier for me.”
The small screen is one of the most diverse and stress-relieving forms of entertainment available to high school students. Whether you are looking for a quick laugh during a break between tests or a heart-wrenching thriller after finish college applications, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chernobyl, and Rick and Morty manage to be entertaining, thought provoking, and approachable for television veterans and rookies alike.