It’s been another week hunkered down, so here’s another list of entertainment recommendations. This time, it is courtesy of the staff at The Northern Light.
My entertainment recommendations to keep busy during the COVID-19 period would be the “Harry Potter” movies. I’m probably biased because I am the biggest fan, but honestly, it’s a great series. It contains eight movies, which would keep anyone pretty occupied. It also teaches very real life lessons and brings magic to this very dark time.
One series available on Netflix that my mom and I became hooked on is “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.” There are six episodes in the documentary series about a little boy who was abused. Eventually, it led to his death. Honestly, I’m such a sucker for twisted documentaries. I was hooked because it also showed me what my career path could look like as a journalist. All the information about how a trial works is fascinating and to learn about the holes within our police departments and the Department of Family and Child Services is chilling.
The “Harry Potter” movies are available to rent or buy on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, FandangoNOW and the Microsoft Store.
“The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” is available on Netflix.
“Haven” is a science-fiction drama TV series based on “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King. Set in Maine, the story is about people that have supernatural afflictions or powers called “the troubles” that cause chaos in the town. The main character, Audrey Parker, works alongside the Haven Police Department to find the sources of the mayhem and bring peace to the afflicted. Parker goes on a journey of self-discovery as she fights to find a cure for the troubles.
I love a good murder-mystery or drama series, but “Haven” is more than that. The writers reveal the plot in bite-size pieces as the episodes progress, tricking me into binge-watching seasons at a time. Things are far more complicated than they first appear. Though metaphorical, it is realistic in the way that the characters develop, discover themselves and struggle with their own fears. An underlying message suggests that personal trials must be dealt with by the individual because they end up hurting the ones they love around them. While it is up to each of us to fight our own battles, we are all fighting them together — the thoughtful counsel of a friend goes a long way.
“Haven” is available to watch for free on Tubi and Netflix. You can rent or buy it on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu.
I have been catching up on “Star Trek: The Original Series,” and just finished up “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I’m just starting “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” While the original “Star Trek” series has dated visual effects, outfits and technology, many topics it discusses were ahead of their time and are still very relevant today. All of the series feature a community of characters that you get attached to and lots of interesting side characters throughout the adventures.
The adventures are fascinating in both what the characters are up to and the designs. Some of the costumes and designs of other species are very… interesting. “Star Trek” features a diverse cast as well, including people of color and other humanoid life forms that serve side by side with the crew members. “Star Trek” is a progressive series that was groundbreaking in its time and many themes and messages hold up to this day.
I’ve also been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. For me, Animal Crossing has always been a relaxing franchise that never loses its charm. It is exactly what we need right now. With everything happening in the world, you can boot up your Nintendo Switch and play as a villager and just work on your little island paradise. The goal of the game is to build your island up from a recreation of the Fyre Festival to a paradise.
One new feature in New Horizons is how easy it is to play with your friends. In a time of social distancing, you can have your friends come over with their villagers to your island and hang out, fish, catch bugs or watch for shooting stars. The new crafting mechanic allows you to harvest new resources daily to save up and build things for your island and home. Even though I can’t go anywhere right now with social distancing, I can boot up my game, go hang out with my friends on their island and fish peacefully.
“Star Trek: The Original Series” is available on Netflix, Hulu, CBS and Amazon Prime Video. You can also rent or buy it on YouTube and iTunes.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” is available on Netflix, Hulu, CBS, Philo and Amazon Prime Video. You can also rent or buy it on YouTube.
“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” is available on Netflix, Hulu, CBS, YouTube TV, fuboTV and Philo.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch for $59.99.
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A prevalent theme I’ve noticed with people who are staying indoors and wanting to keep busy is trying something new. If that “something new” is getting into anime, “Attack on Titan” is your entry-level friend. With anime skyrocketing in popularity as a trendier, more mainstream medium over the past decade, it’s no surprise that production value has increased as well. “Attack on Titan” is one of those shows that has benefitted from anime becoming a more respected and accepted entertainment medium.
Unlike some animes, whose tropes resonate specifically with a niche crowd or solely anime fanatics, “Attack on Titan” features a riveting story and compelling characters that anyone can enjoy.
“Attack on Titan” follows Eren Yeager, a teen living in a satirized version of Earth, where all of humanity is confined within one diameter and a tall wall is the only thing that separates them from the outside world. Yeager and the rest of humanity live ignorantly and blissfully in their dystopian bubble until one day, the wall is breached by beings called “titans,” humanoid giants who have one desire: to eat humans. The story focuses on Yeager and his friends’ coming of age as they join the military to fight for humanity against the titans — that is, until the plot thickens.
Season one of “Attack on Titan” is available on Netflix in Japanese and English dubs — both of which feature a star-studded cast of voice actors. Seasons two and three can be found on Hulu and anime streaming services such as Crunchyroll.
I recommend the show “Bojack Horseman.” With the show being about anthropomorphic talking animals, you would think it would be a kid’s show. Bojack starts out as a lighthearted journey of a washed-up ‘90s sitcom star, now living in the 2010s. He tries to be relevant again, writing a memoir that he has been procrastinating for over a year and a half. Bojack meets people throughout the series who help him, but he does himself no favors.
While a funny, lighthearted time for the first few seasons, it takes a turn for topics that are very heavy, such as addiction to hard drugs, pain killers, alcoholism, depression and loneliness. Bojack turns from an OK show in the first season to a great show the more you watch it while the protagonist makes mistakes and tries to cover for himself.
Overall, it’s a great show to watch on Netflix while quarantined.