Binge-worthy shows for deadline distraction

Deadline season is upon us! To distract us from the impending doom of assignments, our writers discuss their favourite relaxing binge-watches

multiple writers
22nd November 2021
Image Credit: IMDb

Gossip Girl

I’m definitely throwing Gossip Girl in the category of both ‘bingeworthy’ and ‘relaxing’ and I’ve turned to it many, many times as a relaxing comfort show, particularly around times of deadline stress. I suppose you could argue the actual content of the show is far from relaxing - full of drama and deceit - but for me, the familiarity and kind of silliness of it makes it so enticing as a show to relax with. The whole show, up to the final reveal of Gossip Girl’s actual identity, was kind of nonsense and I suppose this quality of it takes you away from the stresses and worries of the ‘real world’ and allows you to laugh and cry with characters living such an unimaginable lifestyle. Furthermore, the sheer quantity of series and episodes avalible to binge on offers plenty of opportunity to retreat into the theatrics of the Upper East side - maybe like eight seasons to plough through?! So yeah, I take to the fictions of Blair and Serena living their Upper East Side theatrics when I’m looking for a familiar show to relax with.

Image Credit: Gossip Girl (2007) - IMDb

Maud Webster

Joe Pera Talks With You

Joe Pera Talks With You follows a mild-mannered choir teacher living by the shore of Lake Superior. In each ten minute episode he talks to viewers about one of his favourite subjects, from rocks to ‘Baba O’Riley’ by The Who. The series emerges into something more as the characters develop, but the beauty of it is in the simplicity. We follow Joe as he goes for breakfast, waits for his nana in the hairdresser's, or drives to see a waterfall, all shot exquisitely. It’s not all retirement home stuff - the show is distinctly weird, with Conner O’Malley, who co-writes and plays Joe’s neighbour, routinely pitching in with his absurd chaos. On Adult Swim, home to shows like Rick and Morty and The Eric Andre Show, it is tempting to see this strangely earnest show as ironic, but with time one learns that the best way to appreciate it is at face value. Pera’s peaceful tone, gentle humour, and way of seeing the beauty in the mundane make binging the first two series, and the third which is airing in the US now and due on Channel 4 in the future, a blissful experience.

Image Credit: Joe Pera Talks With You (2018) - IMDb

Peter Bath

Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

You may find it odd for a student to willingly choose to watch two middle-aged men go fishing, and you would probably be right. But there is just something about Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing that sets the flounder(ing) world to rights. Fear not, an intense love of fishing is not a requirement to enjoy this show. Take it from someone who has absolutely no interest in fishing and does not care to develop one – as simplistic as it may sound, watching two good friends enjoy themselves, regardless of what they are doing, makes for a comfortingly wholesome viewing experience. Quite possibly one of the least stressful shows out there, Gone Fishing follows two of comedy’s greats on a journey around the waterways of the UK as they contemplate life, their pasts and ultimately produce a life-affirming yet consistently comedic series. It’s like therapy, just with less crying. So, next time deadlines get on top of you and you’re contemplating dropping out, stick on the telly and enjoy some very fishy fun.

Image Credit: Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (2018) - IMDb

Rachael McCreanor

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