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Binge-worthy TV shows to help you settle back into reality...

Saiba Haque is blessing our TB2 with a list of easy and entertaining watches to help us transition back into university routine and reality. Read on to find out what shows she recommends...

By Saiba Haque, Third Year, Politics and Philosophy

Winter holidays are long gone, and so are the days when we students have an ounce of free time. It’s time to get back to the reality of endless deadlines, job applications, article submissions and socials. Although everyone’s schedules will likely start to become alarmingly hectic from now until Summer, it’s good to unwind sometimes; and what better way to unwind than some good TV?

Here, I provide you with some spectacular TV shows to align with your busy student schedules. These shows are particularly great for those little breaks you may want to take in between revision, studying and/or writing. Alternatively, some are also great to binge for a cosy night-in or at the end of your day.

So if you want some great recommendations for TV shows, and you would like to diversify your watching experience instead of re-watching The Office (2005-2013) for the 100th time (guilty!), then look no further:

The Office (2005-2013) // Courtesy of NBC on IMDB

The Bear (2022-)

With the second season approaching this summer, there is no better time than now to catch up to the first season of this brilliantly written and produced show.

The Bear is fast-paced, with a storyline that is both humorous and tragic and characters that are written profoundly well. This show heavily critiques the toxicity within the food and hospitality industry while synthesising the complexities of grief and bereavement, family, and friends, amidst bringing a run-down restaurant back to life.

Emmy-winner Jeremy Allen-White in The Bear (2022-) // Courtesy of FX Network on IMDB

Community (2009-2015)

This show takes the tropes of an early 2010s sitcom and flips it over, creating a perfect “anti-sitcom”.

The show follows a group of students from different walks of life who end up in a less-than-ideal community college. One of my favourite comedy shows to come back to for my study breaks, with clever gags and meta jokes.

I would go as far as to say that the first three seasons of this show are television gold!

Ken Jeong in Community (2009-2015) // Courtesy of NBC Universal on IMDB

Succession (2018-)

Alike The Bear, the new season of Succession is also underway. Again, no better time than now to catch up on the last three seasons.

This satirical drama, or as I see it, this “satirical dramedy”, certainly delivers in regards to storyline, suspense and character development. Essentially, the show is about a billionaire family that owns the largest US media conglomerate.

Due to its satirical nature, many aspects of real-life billionaires are emulated in this show in an alarmingly humorous way. I also find it rather amusing that the creator of Peep Show (2003-2015) also came up with this show.

Courtesy of IMDB

Death Note (2006-2007)

If you want to get into anime, I can adamantly say that Death Note is the best way to start your journey. This is my all-time favourite anime that I come back to, and although this may be controversial to some, this anime works excellently in either sub or English dub form.

The anime is only a season and follows a high-school student finding a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone he wants to.

The show is not only thrilling but also allows viewers to grapple with the ethical and moral conundrums of the characters and their motivations.

Courtesy of Tsugumi Ôba, Takeshi Obata / Shueisha / Nippon TV / Madhouse on IMDB

Spaced (1999-2001)

Before Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013), Edgar Wright created Spaced: a brilliant and funny sci-fi-esque series with Bristol Alumni Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Jessica Hynes.

The show gives us a taste of Wright’s early work and emulates his iconic directorial style whilst focusing on mundane (and not so mundane) experiences of a bunch of 20-something-year-olds struggling to find apartments and with adulthood.

A great watch if you like all the films from the “Cornetto Trilogy”.

Courtesy of IMDB

Doctor Who (1963-)

Whether you are a new watcher of the show or whether you would want to shroud yourself in the comfort of nostalgia, Doctor Who is a great show to watch in between your studies.

I have recently started watching the show, and my personal favourite era is the season with David Tennant.

If you are a fan of science fiction, then it is no doubt that this show will be heavily enjoyable.

David Tenant and Catherine Tate in Doctor Who (1963-) // Courtesy of BBC on IMDB

Kitchen Nightmares (2007-2014)

Sometimes you just want to switch your brain off and watch trashy reality TV. While Love Island (2015-) is not my cup of tea, Kitchen Nightmares certainly is.

World-renowned chef Gordon Ramsey goes to different marginally failing restaurants and presents  “fixer-upper” solutions to transform the failing businesses.

Depending on what you are looking for, you can either watch the UK episodes for a more subdued experience or for a more dramatic experience, you can opt to watch the US episodes. The production styles for each are drastically different.

Nevertheless, I do enjoy a good end-of-day brain-rot.

Gordon Ramsay in Kitchen Nightmares (2007-2014) // Courtesy of Jeffrey Neira on IMDB

Nathan for you (2013-2017)

If you want to watch a show that hilariously parodies “fixer-upper” reality shows like Kitchen Nightmares, then this is the show for you!

Nathan Fielder goes around businesses and offers outlandish solutions for problems that may or may not even heavily resonate with the business.

Fielder perfects this by presenting us with layers upon layers of comedy, and his deadpan and awkward demeanour makes it all the better to keep on watching.

Nathan Fielder in Nathan For You (2013-2017) // Courtesy of IMDB

Derry Girls (2018-2022)

Hands down, one of my favourite British shows.

The show delivers smart, well-written comedic characters, clever (and intentionally not-so-clever) one-liners and absurd storylines that are relatable and humorously stupid.

The light-hearted comedy of the show often juxtaposes impactfully with more serious tones of the show, namely the setting of the show being in the 90s Ireland, in the middle of a political conflict.

A great watch with short, fleeting seasons.

Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, and Saoirse-Monica Jackson in Derry Girls (2018-2022) // Courtesy of Netflix on IMDB

Fresh Meat (2011-2016)

Finally, if you want to dive further into the experience of Uni, then Fresh Meat is indeed a hilarious show to start watching or go back to.

It follows a group of uni students (just like us) living together in a less glamorous uni house.

It certainly feels relatable watching a show about uni students while at uni.

Greg McHugh and Jack Whitehall in Fresh Meat (2011-2017) // Courtesy of IMDB

Featured Image: The Office (2005-2013) / Courtesy of NBC on IMDB

Have you seen any of Saiba's favourite shows?