Clayton’s Catastrophic Column: What do I do with all this free time?

More from Clayton's Catastrophic Column

As the curtains closed on Saturday, Nov. 15, the musical officially came to a close. It was an honor to act with so many amazing actors and actresses, and I can honestly say that I was very sad to have to say goodbye to ’40s New York. Now that I don’t have rehearsal every single day after school, what do I do with all this free time? Obviously, I watch Netflix all day. So, to assist all of you in your Netflix expeditions, I’m going to give you my recommendations on the best shows/movies to watch when you’re procrastinating all your homework (except AP Literature, of course).

TV Show – Drama

Looking for action, murder, mystery and politics? Look no further than “House of Cards.” The Netflix original series premiered in early 2013, releasing all 13 episodes of the first season at once, as they did with the second season as well. I watched the first season a couple months after its release over the course of a couple weeks. However, my situation with the second season was much different. When I found out the date of the second season release I began preparations to stay up until 2 a.m. so I could watch every single episode in a row, without stopping. This may seem like a tough feat, but I succeeded. I stayed up until the season was released, then sat in my basement for 13 hours watching the season from beginning to end. I was stuck to the screen from the opening of the first episode to the closing of the finale, and the show threw in just enough twists to keep my attention, but not too many to make the show seem unrealistic. Overall, definitely a show to watch someday when you’re feeling like you want to punch someone in the face.

TV Show – Comedy

Is it always sunny in Philadelphia? Probably not, but you’ll be feeling sunny if you watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (that didn’t make any sense, I know). Created by a group of friends struggling to find their way in the performing arts, “Sunny” chronicles the lives of four young adults and an old man as they manage their bar in downtown Philadelphia, and engage in various antics that culminate in one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in my entire life. There are currently nine seasons on Netflix, and every single one of them is worth it. In fact, going on its tenth season, “Sunny” is one of the longest running television shows in history, behind classics such as “The Simpsons.” If you do watch it, look out for the episode title cards at the beginning of each episode; they’re honestly some of the funniest parts of the series.

TV Show – Reality

It’s really hard to pick just one reality show from Netflix that I could honestly call my favorite, so I’m not going to. Instead, I will suggest a broad category of shows. Recently, Netflix put a couple shows from HGTV and Food Network on their streaming service, and this is quite possibly the best decision they have ever made. You are now able to watch titles such as “Cupcake Wars,” “Chopped,” “Good Eats” and many others literally whenever you want. What could be better? The answer is nothing: nothing could be better than constant access to cooking shows at all times. The only downside, however, is that for each show, Netflix has only provided 25 episodes for streaming. Though this is a little bit of a damper, 25 is still enough to occupy you for a pretty long time.

Movie – Drama

Though it features many high profile stars, “Zodiac is a movie that seldom gets any attention. The movie is a recreation of the events surrounding the Zodiac killer, a mass murderer that terrorized the San Francisco area for nearly 10 years, and was never found. It focuses on a journalist, Robert Graysmith, in his trek to discover the identity of the killer, and the creation of his book on which the movie is based on. The film flawlessly recreates the atmosphere of ’60s San Francisco, and the actors’ performances make you feel as if you were in the action, investigating a crime scene or witnessing a murder yourself. Though the movie is centered around a mass murderer, the film does an excellent job at keeping the gore to a manageable amount in order to keep the focus on the characters, rather than the gruesome feats of the killer. However, it’s not a very good idea to watch this movie alone in the dark, as it does get pretty spooky.

Movie – Comedy 

Alright, this isn’t really a movie, but it’s so funny I honestly couldn’t pass it up. Bo Burnham’s “what is a stand up special from his most recent tour, and it is absolutely hilarious. In fact, senior Eric Marquardt and I saw this show at the Midland Theatre when he made his way through Kansas City. When I watched it live, I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe, and I still struggle to find my breath every time I watch it again. With his unique and new sense of humor, Burnham brings stand up comedy to an entirely new level. He incorporates music, poetry and choreography to culminate in one amazing product. It is also available on YouTube for anyone who does not have Netflix, or you could buy the recording off of iTunes. Whichever way you prefer, you have not lived until you’ve seen this show.

Movie – Documentary 

Many people pass up documentaries when they’re on Netflix, but they have a plethora of informative programs on any topic you could possibly dream of, so there’s bound to be one everyone would enjoy. “The Woman Who Wasn’t There  is an especially interesting one, in my opinion. It tells the story of woman who rose to the top of an organization of 9/11 survivors, serving as a figurehead for the thousands of people who survived the attacks that day. However, after years of telling her story to countless amounts of people, it was discovered that she wasn’t even a survivor; in fact, she wasn’t even in the country during 9/11. This documentary takes you though the ins and outs of how she could have done it, and includes testimonials from people who worked with her for years. Riveting from start to end, you won’t be disappointed when the credits roll.

Movie – Horror

I’m a pretty big fan of horror movies, specifically Netflix horror movies, because there always seems to be a new one added every time I log on. For that reason, it’s hard to pick one single movie that has stuck out to me, but I shall try. In one of the many movie nights I attended last year during football season, my friends and I came across a movie that seemed odd, specifically because the title was so stupid. “Truth or Die chronicles a group of friends who are locked in a cabin by a sociopath, and forced to play a deadly game, and not surprisingly, some of them die. Through some gruesome tasks, you ultimately discover the reason that the sociopath is so insane, and there are a few screams along the way. Overall, a good movie to sit back and laugh at, but also almost pee your pants when it gets scary.

So there we have it. Now, put down that homework and go watch some Netflix; you know you want to. That is all.



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