What We're Watching 10/10/19

Scene+Heard’s staff returns from summer break to discuss these bingeable TV shows we’ve been obsessing over. These are the perfect shows for you to stay in and watch as the temperature drops.

Mad Men

Don Draper (Jon Hamm)’s iconic Carousel pitch.   Courtesy of AMC

Don Draper (Jon Hamm)’s iconic Carousel pitch.

Courtesy of AMC

By Matthew Kim

Mad Men has always been a show that existed in the background of my life as I heard about it here and there without the full draw of me actually sitting down and watching it. Last spring quarter, my Communication Studies professor showed me a clip of Mad Men, "The Carousel" scene. From that one clip alone, I knew that I'd been missing out, as the writing, directing, and the acting were all top notch (look for yourself because it's a really well-written scene).

The start of Mad Men gives off an impression that it's a show that glorifies the alcoholic ad-men who ruled 1960s New York City, but don't be fooled. Within each episode, the show offers insightful commentary on the social issues that plagued America during that era such as misogyny, racism, and a lot more. On top of that, Mad Men's writing is heavily character-driven; therefore, there aren't a lot of cliffhangers, nail biting moments, or major twists. Instead, Mad Men opts to provide a story that delves into each of the character's psyches and motivations which are backed with punchy dialogue and meaningful, sometimes downright genius, cinematography (reminiscent of Breaking Bad's cinematography).

Mad Men's strength is in how satisfying each of the character's arcs are and how each character, even those polar opposite to you, can be relatable in some capacity. I found myself identifying with many characters as the seasons progressed and the characters slowly become more introspective.

Mad Men has a lot to offer. It provides a medium for the audience to look within themselves and better understand their motivations in life within an entertaining historical drama.

Breaking Bad

An iconic poster you can find in many a college dorm room.   Courtesy of AMC

An iconic poster you can find in many a college dorm room.

Courtesy of AMC

By Oscar De Leon

In preparation for El Camino this Friday, it felt right to rewatch one of television’s finest products. Breaking Bad has some of the best acting ever and a story line that will make you cringe and feel for every character. It’s a true modern Shakespearean tragedy that will definitely keep you hooked. This show more than earned its place as a crowning achievement in the golden age of television.

Élite

Netflix’s fun,  Gossip Girl  esque show— but make it Spanish.   Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s fun, Gossip Girl esque show— but make it Spanish.

Courtesy of Netflix

By Grace Lemon

Élite, basically the Spanish Gossip Girl, follows the dramatic lives of a group of students attending one of the most exclusive private schools in Spain. Social currency is established by wealth and family power, and the main characters are in constant competition to be at the top of the social and academic ladders. This whirlwind of social drama revolves around the central crime plot, with the first season alternating between two different timelines that take place before and after the murder of one of the students. The second season came out last month and a third season has already been confirmed for some time next year, leaving plenty of Spanish drama to binge on Netflix

Veronica Mars

Kristen Bell returns to her role as detective Veronica Mars in Hulu’s revival of the show.   Courtesy of Hulu

Kristen Bell returns to her role as detective Veronica Mars in Hulu’s revival of the show.

Courtesy of Hulu

By Grace Gay

Cult-classic Veronica Mars has always been a compelling, fun show. In the modern era, with the fourth season recently released on Hulu after a long hiatus, the original three seasons are a charmingly imperfect example of early 2000s culture, particularly related to gender roles. The first episode features Veronica Mars, Nancy Drew-esque with a cynical twist, revealing that her best friend (and her ex-boyfriend’s sister) was murdered, her mother has abandoned her, and she has been sexually assaulted. So yeah, it’s quite a lot for a first episode, and not all handled the most delicately. The show is far from perfect; tonal inconsistencies, bad haircuts (RIP to fringe bangs), and the treatment of class and race in California often imply the showrunners bit off more than they could chew. But even with these faults, the show manages to come from a place of pure heart and goodness with moral ambiguity and surprising twists, and at the center of it all, one sassy, brave girl detective who just wants the world to be a better place.