SPOILER WARNING: TV Critic Callum Gurr gives a comprehensive breakdown of the ITV drama LiarWritten by callumgurr on 20th October 2017
Redbrick TV’s Finest Distractions for Students
TV Editors Matt Dawson, Abbie Pease and Amelia Bacon recommend the perfect series for breaking the ice with your new flatmates or relaxing after partying
University can be overwhelming, repetitive and stressful. Luckily for us, television was invented! Binge watching television can act as a welcome distraction to students on the darkest of days, and there are a few special shows that can offer a better escape than others. Here are our top three picks.
Four distinct personalities from different walks of life are thrust out of their comfort zone to face a challenge that unites them. While this sounds like a uni group project, it is in fact the premise for the latest Netflix series set in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a culmination of 5 different TV series, The Defenders attempts to recreate Marvel's magic Avengers-formula for the small screen in that it brings together Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). Each super-powered protagonist is led by their own investigation into the mysterious organisation known as the Hand - led by the dominating screen presence of Sigourney Weaver - and so they are thrust together to defend the city of New York.
The highlight of the series is watching the protagonists bounce off each other, with Ritter's snarky one-liners rivalling the likes of Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. It is great to see each Defender's fighting style reflect their backgrounds, creating an interesting visual contrast between the likes of Iron Fist's kung-fu and Luke Cage's indifferent indestructibility.
Cox really shines through as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen provides the groups emotional lynchpin, especially considering his personal connection to his ex-lover Elektra Natchios (Élodie Yung), newly resurrected and converted into a servant of the Hand with a sub-plot that draws parallels to the Winter Soldier.
At only 8 episodes long, The Defenders is shorter than previous offerings, but it makes for condensed and easily watchable viewing. The pace is quick to match the action and the dialogue, providing a decent distraction for when student life gets a little hectic.
Rick and Morty
Gracing screens since 2013, the ingenious Rick and Morty follows the intergalactic adventures of Rick, an alcoholic scientist, and his awkwardly pubescent grandson Morty. Currently releasing its third season on Netflix, the cartoon series balances its time between the duos expeditions through space and time, and the affairs of their unconventional family. Pushing boundaries in its use of science and humour, the programme never fails to shock and confuse, making it the perfect tool of distraction from a day of lectures and assignments.
Laced in dry and adult humour, the clever plot lines delve into a world of multiple realities and time frames. But do not be put off by the apparent complexity of the show, as just with TV classics such as the Simpsons, each episode of Rick and Morty contains its own storyline and conclusion.
Unlike anything else on TV, the shows ability to come up with wacky and ridiculous ideas makes it intensely distracting. Although light hearted, the show touches on real issues such as alcoholism, divorce and social anxiety. Rather than add a depressing tone to the series, this dimension to the show makes it relatable and grounded. The last thing you want from post-uni binge sessions is a feeling of boredom, so the unpredictability of the show ticks it off as the perfect programme for distracting you and your housemates. Ranging from adventures in which Rick transforms into a pickle, to meet and greets with alternative versions of Morty, the show is anything but conventional.
RuPaul's Drag Race
Grip your house mate’s hands, start your engines, and leap into the world of Ru Paul for the perfect Netflix bingeing experience. RuPaul’s Drag Race is the ultimate show for your uni house to get stuck into, and undeniably provides a drastic but welcome change to your average Netflix viewing.In the format of America’s Next Top Model, contestants compete weekly in a series of challenges to win the title of America’s next drag superstar, as well as a bundle of prizes including a year’s supply of makeup and a $100,000 cash prize, the stakes have never been higher - the only difference being of course the competitors consist of drag queens as opposed to aspiring super models. On paper this may not appear to be your kind of thing, but in reality is an accessible and entertaining way in to the world of drag. What may begin as tentative viewing, evolves into an intense involvement in the cutthroat realm of Ru Paul and his ‘girls’.
It’s not just the content that makes Ru Paul binge material, it also has the key feature of longevity. Netflix currently has nine seasons ready for viewing, and there is no sign of stopping, there is even talk of expanding to a UK version, meaning dragtastic enjoyment for you and your friends indefinitely. You’ll find yourself with some new catchphrases that will work their way into your everyday life without even realising, to begin with the usage shall be ironic, but your quality of life definitely improves when you’re using "sashay away" on a regular basis, and you have Ru Paul’s original classic ‘Jealous of my Boogie’ playing in the background.
Aside from all of the gossip, entertainment, and outlandish outfits, at the very least you’ll learn how to glue down your eyebrows, and have a handful more sassy Dynasty references in your repertoire.