Life Roundtable: Winter break binge-watching 

“Only Murders in the Building,” a show released in 2021 about a group of apartment tenants investigating strange happenings in their building, binged by Daily Campus Life Editor Hollie Lao. The show stars Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin. Photo from Hulu.

Binge-watching TV series on various streaming services is a main activity for most college students during break, whether your brain was fried after finals and unable to do much else, you wanted to catch up on the latest season of a show during that limbo week before Christmas and New Year’s or you distracted yourself from the inevitable start of the semester. If you need more show recommendations to queue up before the semester gets any busier, see what the Life section watched over break! 

Hollie Lao, LE 

At the end of the fall semester, I had exhausted all of the TV series I was interested in watching, which probably was for the best considering I was supposed to focus on finals. However, I entered winter break without a new series to look forward to and landed in a rut of rewatching other shows. The first few rewatches were welcome, as I had not watched “Steven Universe” or “Legend of Korra” in awhile; however, after a while, even my favorite shows could not satisfy my craving for new stories to ponder and new characters to discuss. My main binge-watches this winter break were “Only Murders in the Building” and “Single’s Inferno.” 

The comedy-mystery series on Hulu caught my eye after Joanne Biju positively reviewed the first three episodes in September — and after I saw the lovely Selena Gomez stars in it. Gomez doesn’t disappoint in her first recurring television role since the iconic “Wizards of Waverly Place,” providing quiet introspection and cool intelligence to the mysterious Mabel. Her, Steve Martin and Martin Short form an unlikely, bumbling, yet loveable trio investigating a murder in their apartment building, serialized in their own podcast. I know mystery and crime shows are sometimes best watched with time in between each episode to ruminate, but I blazed through the 10 episodes of the first season, enjoying the quirky characters and the show’s well-crafted narrative. 

As soon as “Single’s Inferno” started populating on my Netflix homepage, I added it to my list, but hadn’t gotten around to watching it until my sister prodded me; I require more motivation to watch non-English shows because they need my full attention for me to read the subtitles, and I love multitasking. Further, despite my love of drama and romance, popular dating shows like “The Bachelor” don’t really interest me. Nonetheless, I’m glad I finally buckled down and binge-watched the eight episodes, because I had a great time watching the contestants interact with each other and watching who liked who. Unfortunately for my sister, I texted her my live reactions as I was watching the show — although she did say she enjoyed reading them! 

Taylor Coonan, ASE 

I’ll be honest, I don’t watch a ton of shows or movies — I waste enough time on my own and don’t need an additional screen to help with that. However, I learned over break that Dexter Morgan is someone who wastes absolutely no time killing other murderers in the Miami area. “Dexter” is a Showtime series that originally aired in the mid-2000s, and I probably would have loved it even when I was six, but the profane language is the only thing that my mother wouldn’t have allowed me to witness. We watched it together while I was home for break, and it’s such a thrilling series — you’re actually rooting for people to die and are devastated when the ones who shouldn’t be killed end up dead. It’s a series full of ironies, as Dexter Morgan is, in himself, a murderer who believes that murdering is wrong, so he tracks down killers to finish them off. He has a code that he follows, which I won’t give away here, but his work is all done in private. This is because he’s a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, but his coworkers don’t know. They probably wonder where all the plastic wrap goes, though.  

Kieran Culkin as character Roman Roy in the hit show Succession. The show’s first season released in 2018, and the third and most recent season released in 2021 to large amounts of hype. Photo from HBO.

Abby Palmer, CC 

There are not enough hours in the day to get through everything on my Netflix queue and maintain a passing GPA, but I was thankful for winter break. As usual, I watched a little too much TV — if that’s even a thing — and I finally hopped on the “Succession” train. I’d been hearing about the show for a while, but after the “Downton Abbey” rewatch I was completing at the time, I wasn’t sure how many more rich White people stories I could take. “Succession” was oddly refreshing, however, and offers a pointed yet entertaining portrayal of capitalism in America and billion-dollar businesses.  

The latest season of the HBO original wrapped up at the end of the fall semester, which is unfortunate because I’m already hyped for season four. “Succession” follows the Roy family headed by aging patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox), and the fight for who will succeed him as CEO of his media conglomerate Waystar Royco. It sounds boring, but the show is filled with scheming, betrayals, steamy romances and engaging characters. Logan’s screw-ball but driven and intelligent children are what really make the show worth watching. Eldest brother Kendall (Jeremy Strong) struggles with addiction and is most at odds with his father, who he vows to take down after Logan doesn’t make him the successor. Siobhan “Shiv” (Sarah Snook)  must outsmart her brothers and secure her place in the boys’ club of Waystar Royco. Roman (Kieran Culkin), who appears to be the weakest link of the sibling trio, proves his family and audiences wrong by being much more of a threat for CEO than anyone predicted. “Succession” is a bit of a slow-burn series, so exercise patience while watching it. However, once you make it to the season one finale, I promise you’ll be hooked.  

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