What I watched over winter break

With the close of yet another gruesome exam season, I realized how little television I had watched throughout the semester. With this in mind, I decided there was only one way to kill my new found free time. Netflix had gone on a spree with their releases, and so obviously I had to watch them all, not just for me, but for all you readers. The three series that stood out most to me are Wednesday, the Recruit, and Kaleidoscope, and I hope my review of these shows help influence your “To be Watched” list.

Wednesday came out before break, so naturally I spent the entire exam season resisting the temptation to watch it. I was a little skeptical when I first heard about it, but I got excited along with everybody else. Sadly, I did get spoiled for this show, but that didn’t make it less entertaining. The show follows a pretty standard teen-girl so naturally there were lots of cringy parts, but I think Jenna Ortega was able to pull it off. I’m a big Jenna Ortega fan after watching The Fallout, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. I’m excited to see the next season, but I do worry about the apparent drama around Xavier’s actor, Percy Hynes White. Hopefully the recent scandal will not interfere with the second season plot, but I trust Netflix to make the smart decision. Overall, I would give the show a solid 8/10 since I think it could be a little more suspenseful, but they balanced the comedy with the fantasy well. I also think that by the last few episodes, the conclusion of the season was growingly obvious, which I didn’t love.

After watching Wednesday, I was show-less, which is never fun on break. One day, while I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw Jenny Han’s story post about The Recruit starring Noah Centineo. I am a huge Noah Centineo fan because I think To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of the funniest and sweetest rom-coms out there, so I immediately put it on my radar. Additionally, I am also a huge fan of crime and spy shows, so The Recruit was an obvious pick for my next show to binge. As I expected, I finished it in two sittings. The idea of a lawyer turned spy is interesting since it’s entertaining when he fails but even more awesome when he succeeds. The show covers the balance between comedy, drama, and action with multiple love interests, quirky young people, and the chaos that is the CIA in Hollywood. The setting of DC and other international places adds a huge part of the dynamic with half of the backstory of the lead being in Georgetown. Furthermore, what  truly made me love it at the end of the day was the characters. I can’t watch anything if I don’t like the characters, and each personality was unique but likable. Everything tied together well in the end, but I am still bothered by the cliff hanger. I am very anti-cliff hanger since I don’t think it contributes to a plot, it’s just a ploy for viewings. I just hope that The Recruit makes up for it next season. I was so thrilled when they announced a second season, so I’ll be waiting patiently until it comes out.  

My final review is for Kaleidoscope. I initially didn’t have a strong inclination to watch this show, but as more people around me insisted on how amazing it was, I had to give it a try. The plot was intriguing considering the complexity of it all. I started off the show loving the characters and their relationships, but as I continued to watch I started to increasingly dislike them. Netflix just walked the line between flawed and unlikable too much in my opinion. While that might have been purposeful, it made it hard for me to enjoy. If you aren’t familiar with Kaleidoscope, let me explain quickly since it is quite complex. The plot is centered on a band of high end criminals coming together to pull off a grand heist, not an original idea, but you are meant to watch the episodes in a random order. This means that people start the show in the aftermath of the heist, twenty years before, or right in the middle, and then proceed to jump around from there. The idea of watching the episodes in a random order is definitely a strong concept that I think was pulled off well, but it didn’t lend itself to the plot much. The mixing of episodes didn’t change anything for me personally. By the sixth episode, I had pretty much figured out the ending of it all which was so disappointing. I wanted there to be more twists, but the characters were so stereotypical that their roles in this elaborate heist became too obvious. I wanted this show to be better, but honestly, I would rather watch one of the Ocean’s movies.

As this semester continues, and we all wait for more of Wednesday and The Recruit, I have a few more recommendations to keep you entertained. New Amsterdam is an amazing medical drama that I recently discovered despite it not being new at all. Burn Notice is also a fascinating show with tons of seasons, again not a very new show. Finally, if you haven’t seen Lincoln Lawyer, definitely give it a watch before season two comes out later this year.

Edited by Helen Slawson