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Staff Streaming Picks: Binge-worthy Shows For The Holiday Break

Staff Streaming Picks: Binge-worthy Shows For The Holiday Break

You know you're going to have time to kill. Why not spend it with these great TV shows and movies?

We all know that a major part of relaxing and enjoying our breaks revolves around watching TV shows and films. Whether you’re with family or friends — or hanging out by yourself — here are some themed picks to get you in the holiday spirit.

 

 

Forest recommends……How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Available to buy for $7.99 on Amazon

Based off the iconic Dr. Seuss book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic Christmas movie. Anybody who is a fan of Christmas should see it at some point. Follow the story of a grumpy hermit who hates happiness so much that he tries to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. My favorite character is The Grinch’s kind and loving dog, Max, who gets dragged into his master’s plans to steal christmas but is just happy to be there.

 

Ms. Kelly recommends……White Christmas.

Available on Netflix

A classic holiday pick  jam-packed with Golden Age Hollywood talent, this musical Christmas romp is clean and cozy. The show stopping rendition of “(I’m Dreaming of a) White Christmas” alone makes it worth a watch.  When Bob (Bing Crosby) and Phil (Danny Kaye) meet the Haynes Sisters  (Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney) on their way to perform at a resort in Vermont, sparks fly. Phil attempts to play matchmaker to his friend, and in the process may find his own happy ending. The film is full of toe-tapping ear worms as much as it is full of soulful crooning. Don’t miss Clooney’s “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me” or Kaye’s “Choreography” either.

 

Forest recommends……A Christmas Story. 

Available to rent from Amazon for $3.99

Anyone who watches A Christmas Story is bound to end up quoting it at least a few times. The show follows Ralphie Parker’s wintry adventures, which are mostly dodging a neighborhood bully, Scut Farkus, and dreaming of the gift he wants above all else, a Red Ryder air rifle. Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas day with both his head and hopes high. My favorite character would be Ralphie’s bratty little brother, Randy, who is doted on a little too much by his mother. This film is available for streaming, but it is often shown on television around Christmas Day. Some channels even run it on a 24-hour loop. 

 

Ms. Kelly recommends……The Holiday. 

Available to rent for $2.99 from Amazon

Just like Love Actually, this is a cheesy yet charming blend of American and British actors and settings. When two women — Cameron Diaz’s American Amanda and Kate Winslet’s English Iris — grow weary of their daily monotony and the painful machinations of the men in their love lives, they agree to swap houses for the holiday break. Iris jets off to sunny California and Amanda settles into a sweet English cottage. Their lives take predictably adorable turns (as they often do in films set during the holidays), and improbable but endearing consequences occur. Will Iris find love? Will Amanda also find love? You already know the answer, but it’s still definitely worth a watch anyway. Bonus points if you make hot chocolate to drink while watching this from under a blanket on your couch.

 

Once the holidays are over, the presents have been unwrapped, and the treats have all been eaten, we know you’ll need a little something to keep you entertained. Here are some non-holiday picks to check out once you’ve had enough of the holidays.

 

Forest recommends……Chill with Bob Ross.

Available on Netflix

Whether you are learning how to paint, trying to relax, or just bored, Chill With Bob Ross is a perfect fit. He goes through different wintery scenes full of “happy little accidents”, showing how to perfect different techniques. With most shows, saying you fell asleep halfway through would be an insult, but with Bob Ross it is the highest compliment. My personal favorite moments are when Bob Ross shows off his “most precious characters”, especially Peapod his squirrel.

 

Ms. Kelly recommends….Bob’s Burgers

Available on Netflix and Hulu

An irreverent mix of adult humor and puns, this animated show follows the daily shenanigans of the Belcher clan as they attempt to run the family restaurant. The episodes are chock-full of running gags and fresh laughs. From daughter Tina’s deadpan quips to son Gene’s wacky antics, the family is certainly entertaining. My personal favorites are the punny burgers of the day advertised on the restaurant chalkboard and the themed vans that pull up during the iconic intro.

 

Forest recommends…..Parks and Recreation.

Available on Netflix and Hulu

Everybody deserves to see “Parks And Rec,”as it’s called by fans. It is packed full of laughs but also displays substantial heart; watch as a small town parks department struggles to make their town a better place. The main character, Leslie Knope, is the perfect blend of naive and well meaning. Leslie and her colleagues struggle through their town’s overwhelming obesity, corrupt councilmen, and the constant pressure to please all citizens of the town. My personal favorite character is Andy Dwyer, whose dry humour and clumsy mistakes always makes me laugh.

 

Ms. Kelly recommends…..Black Mirror

Available on Netflix

If you’re a fan of the darker side of life (like me), then you’ll love Black Mirror. This small collection of episodes from three seasons delves deep into the twisted possibilities of our modern technology. Income-based social media ratings, visual implants that allow you to “block” other users, creepily accurate artificial intelligence software — it all serves as a stage on which humanity acts out its most gruesome and cruel instincts. Though most episodes are fairly dystopian, there are a few glimmers of soft promise, like in the award-winning episode, “San Junipero.” My personal favorite, however, is the Christmas special, which weaves together three separate storylines in an unexpected and sinister way.

 

 

Forest recommends…..Arrested Development.

If you like The Office, Friends, or any other sitcom, you will love Arrested Development. The show originated on Fox and was abruptly canceled before moving to Netflix seven years later. It centers around the Bluth family’s real estate business and is full of quirky family members and problems that are sure to make you laugh. Follow Michael Bluth, possibly the only normal person in the family, as he tries to take care of the business and his spoiled family, all while trying to be a good role model for his son. My favorite character would be Gob Bluth, Michael’s brother and aspiring professional magician.

 

Ms. Kelly recommends…..Les Revenants (The Returned)

Available on Netflix

This French language mystery series has a beautiful noir tone to it, and the characters are enriched with full backstories and personal demons. As the seemingly dead residents of a small French town return to their homes just as they were on their last day alive, their families, friends, and neighbors start to question how this is possible. While there are several shows available that feature this story thread or something similar (Glitch, The Leftovers), Les Revenants takes several iconic steps in a new direction. Most notably, the story heavily features the Seguret sisters, a set of identical twins separated by death. When Camille returns four years after her fatal bus accident, she encounters her more developed and substantially more mature twin, Lena, and the two must try to understand their new roles as static and dynamic halves of a larger whole. This watch is definitely binge worthy, though you cannot put it on to play in the background; full attention must be paid to the subtitles!

 

We at The Claw hope you have a great break. Happy streaming and travel safe!

 

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