Written By Caitlin McDonough & Isabella Diaz
- I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix) – This seven-episode Netflix series follows a teenage girl, Sydney, who finds out she has strange powers while dealing with grief, her sexuality, high school drama, and family issues. Created by the same guy who made End of the F**king World, this comedy-drama is a mix between Stranger Things and any coming-of-age film about a small-town teen. Since the episodes are short and captivating, this show is worth a watch for anyone who likes coming-of-age or supernatural stories. Also, for anyone from PA, it was filmed in Brownsville and Pittsburgh!
- Chernobyl (HBO) – Chernobyl is a five-episode long miniseries on HBO that focuses on the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine, telling the personal stories of those involved with the explosion, cleanup, and politics of the disaster. The production of this show is amazing but also disturbing, since it shows the result of nuclear radiation and the horrible things that can happen when truth is kept a secret by the government. A bit reflective of our current political climate and pandemic, Chernobyl is a great watch for those who are interested in historical dramas or tragedies.
- The Circle – The Circle is a social-media oriented reality show recently released on Netflix. It’s about young adults competing against others without meeting each other for 100,000 dollars. The debut season has 12 episodes that are roughly an hour long. The premise of the competition is to utilize your social media skills and personality to be voted the top influencer by the end of the show and win the prize money. The concept of this show is unlike any I have seen. The upbeat energy it brings through the screen is sure to cure your stressful thoughts.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch) new – Currently, many people are talking about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and for good reasons! This relaxing game is perfect for killing time while stuck at home since you’re able to customize your character, clothes, home, island and befriend cute villagers. By allowing you to do tasks and explore at your own pace, this game is a must-have for any Switch owner that needs a way to relax during this stressful time in the world.
- Half-Life: Alyx (Steam VR) new – Everyone could use a break from reality right now, so why not try a Virtual Reality game like Half-Life: Alyx? After 13 years of waiting, this new installment in the famous Half-Life series takes place before Half-Life 2. Players play as Alyx Vance, fighting aliens through quarantine zones to find her father. VR isn’t for everyone and can be expensive, but this game is too incredible to not mention. If you don’t have VR, you can also use this time at home to catch up on Half-Life 1 and 2.
- The Last of Us (PS4) – With the release of The Last of Us Part II coming this year, of course we must recommend playing or re-playing The Last of Us. This PlayStation classic tells the story of Joel and Ellie as they’re making their way across America, 20 years after a viral outbreak caused a zombie apocalypse. Joel, a survivor of the world before the outbreak and quarantine zones, travels with Ellie, a teenage girl immune to the virus, fighting zombies and hunters in hopes that they can cure humanity. The Last of Us has been named the game of the decade by PlayStation fans (it’s so beloved that HBO recently decided to pick it up as a TV series), and its sequel is one of the most anticipated games of all time, so use our own viral pandemic as an excuse to catch up on the series.
- The King (2019) – This Netflix original movie, directed by David Michôd is set in the 15th century and follows a young Henry V (played by Timothée Chalamet) and his encounters with deceit, war and treachery after assuming the role of the 15th King of England. The screenplay is based off Shakespeare’s King Henry IV (parts one & two) as well as King Henry V. This movie keeps you intrigued throughout the entire duration of the film (which was shocking for me, someone who doesn’t typically enjoy periodical-based films). Overall, the acting in this movie is impeccable and I would strongly recommend it to anyone (especially if you enjoy historical films).
- Mid 90s (2018) – Mid 90’s follows the story of 13-year old Stevie (played by Sunny Suljic) who throughout the summer, picks up an interest in skateboarding and becomes adopted into a group of older kids. They take him around to skate and wreak havoc on the city of Los Angeles. What makes this coming-of-age film so special is that the director, Jonah Hill had selected real kids skating off the street to be a part of this movie. Making a choice so bold proved to be a great decision, because the film gives viewers a feeling of watching an actual group of kids in the 90s skating and living their reality. This movie is available to stream free on prime and is a great temporary escape from the stress of the pandemic.