5 shows to watch instead of rewatching friends again

I don’t think there is anything wrong with rewatching shows. In fact, I am almost permanently doing it. Whenever I am doing something, the Office is somehow on in the background. It seems to just be permanently playing. However, I do think (myself included) people get stuck watching the same shit because they just simply don’t know. Well here I am to save the day, offering 5 critically acclaimed and very well-known shows…

5. Normal People

I recently heard in a Russell Brand interview why he believes this show is so popular and addicting, and I couldn’t agree more. It comes down to one key reason. The shows portrayal of young love. It is so honest and relatable because realistically, everyone has been there. Everyone puts themselves in these characters shoes and links it back to their own life.  Everyone has felt what these characters feel and has been through the same ups and downs.


I also love how this show is directed. It has this slow, dream like feel to it. In particular, episode 8. It is one of the best episodes of a TV show I have ever seen. The awkward tension of this episode is done so accurately to real life. Plus, it paints Italy in this perfect and gorgeous light, just making you want to hop on a plane and travel there.

4. True Detective Season 1

No show has hooked me in like True Detective. The ending of that first episode just sucks you into these characters and the mystery at hand. It makes you question everything you thought was going to happen and flips the structure of a normal Crime show on its head.

Lately, there has been a lot of hype around Mare of East Town. I do think this is a good show, but it is just not on the same level as True Detective. This is due to the rich and layered characters of Rustie and Martin. They are so flawed, opinionated, and different in such a refreshing way to other crime shows. For example, Mindhunter. I love this show and almost put it on this list. But the protagonists just aren’t there for me. They seem almost two dimensional compared to True Detective.

3. Bojack Horseman

Whenever I recommend this show to people, I think they dismiss it because it’s a cartoon. So, for just one minute I want you to completely forget that this is a cartoon. JUST TRY.

Bojack Horseman is the saddest show I have ever watched. And perhaps, the saddest piece of art I have seen.  It is truly depressing. So why would you wanna watch it? Well I guess it comes down to personal preference, but I love shows like this. Shows that perfectly balance drama and comedy and sometimes they just delve straight into the dramatic side of life. It doesn’t hold back. It just presents a very flawed man (Horse) and lets you make your own opinion of him.

2. Fleabag

Recommending Fleabag just feels weird at this point (same as the majority of stuff on this list.) Its so famous and popular now that it just feels kind of pointless. But it truly deserves the hype. Before I watched BARRY, it was my favourite show ever written. And I thinks it’s for just that. The writing.

Pheobe Waller Bridge has this method of writing called making something “Pheobe proof.” Essentially, every show or movie she watches she can guess what’s going to happen straight away. So when writing this script, she prevents it from being predictable in a truthful way. This is so effective and will definitely be something I steal. The whole show I never guessed the big reveal (something I wont spoil) even thought it gives you 1000 clues. It is such a good plot twist because it is so true to what the protagonist would do. It is not a plot twist just for the sake of surprising the audience. Perfect writing.


Barry is a car crash. And I mean that in the best possible way. Every episode worse shit happens and you just can’t pull your eyes away from the screen. What’s so fucking crazy about this show is the writing of the protagonist. Bill Hader and Alec Berger give you this cold-blooded murderer who kills for his self-interest. And (spoilers) he keeps killing. Yet, as the show progresses you seem to care for him more and are almost rooting for him. Despite LITERALLY KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU.

I also believe Bill Hader’s performance deserves an Oscar (I know its not possible). He constantly shits on how bad of an actor he is in interviews, and it blows my mind. The unsettling rage of BARRY and deep loneliness is expertly shown through Hader. There are these few very dramatic scenes throughout the show that you will know when you see. With a lesser actor, it just couldn’t be done.


“Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”

 The Shawshank Redemption Rant

I feel like it has become fairly common lately to shit on Shawshank Redemption. You say it is the best movie ever made and people scoff, laugh and proceed to throw stones at you. The worst is when you say it around other people who consider themselves “film lovers”. This is a death sentence.  People just don’t respect Shawshank Redemption as one of the greatest movies ever made and I have never understood why. If you say you love Citizen Kane or the Godfather, (one of which I have seen) someone will probably wet themselves. Especially if there a film student. But Shawshank Redemption deserves to be equally respected, and here’s why;

  1. It is the most rewatchable movie ever made

Oooo controversial I know. But hear me out.

When someone says rewatchable, a couple of movies come to mind. Back to the future, Jaws, Star Wars, Love Actually, and at the top, is Shawshank.  And I think there is a clear reason for this.

The ending.

The whole film builds up to the ending perfectly. Throughout the film, some of the worst possible shit happens to Andy Dufrene. He is falsely imprisoned, beaten, raped, locked away, lied to. But the audience knows what’s coming. They are sitting there, waiting for his moment of freedom and redemption. Waiting to see the look on the Warden’s face. Waiting for his reunion with Red. No other film has that same sense of satisfaction as Shawshank’s ending. It draws the viewers in, forcing them to wait to finish it and see his escape. Saying to their parents at 11:00 at night when its on Channel 7 “just one more bit.”

Just me? Fair enough.

2. The Writing

Every list I ever write will have a point about writing, mainly because it is very broad, makes you sound smart and to me, is the most important part of a film.

But Shawshank Redemption has some of the best one liners in movie history. Instead of ranting about how much I love them, I will simply drop my favourites below.

“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really: Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

(I mean come on)

“Andy Furesne – Who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side”

“I’ve decided not to stay. I doubt they’ll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me”

“They send you here for life and that’s exactly what they take.”

“I like to think the last thing that went through his head, other then that bullet…”

Its like every second line in this movie is quotable. Something I don’t think I have ever seen in another film.

3. The structure

I honestly can’t remember where I heard this but it has always been stuck in the back of my mind ever since. (I am also probably butchering this) Basically, Frank Darabont structured the film as 6 short stories.

  1. Andy’s trial
  2. Andy’s first few years in Shawshank
  3. Andy and the library
  4. Andy and Tommy
  5. Andy’s Escape
  6. Red’s Redemption

Having such a unique and bold structure has always felt like I was watching someone’s entire life, rather then just a few parts of it. It makes the audience engaged in such a long film because they are only waiting for the conclusion of this story, not the whole film.

It’s always reminded me of a parent, uncle or teacher telling interesting anecdotes from their lives. Stories that hook you in and show you what type of person they are. Stories that have multiple characters that you only understand if you know that person well.

Ultimately, this film comes down to just pure excellent storytelling.

4. The casting

I just don’t think I have ever seen two roles cast so perfectly.

It sounds like a cliché, but Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are born to play these roles. Ever since this movie, both actors got stuck playing a similar role – a shy man, and an old narrator. And that’s for one very specific reason.  They are so good at it.

Tim Robbins can play that quiet, awkward man so accurately. That soft whisper he does is so effective. It draws you in, waiting for every word he perfectly delivers. Even his walk is scarily accurate to people I have met. His hands hanging limply by his sides, almost uncomfortable in his own body. But throughout the film, he drops the moments of anger. (at the warden, at life, at the sisters.) Its not overbearing yelling like you would see in 12 Angry Men, but a more subtle, realistic anger. Showing a man whose rage is slowly rising throughout the film, until his boiling point, where he is forced to escape.

Morgan Freeman. For me, his performance is special for two reasons. His voice and his face. Both combine to show you this man that is aged and worn down. The deep wrinkles and voice display this wise man who has been beaten down by the world around him. Its almost this purposeful contrast to how he acts, so young and full of life.

5. The antagonists     

There is undoubtedly another 10 points I could make as to why Shawshank Redemption slaps.  But I will finish on this one.  

For me there are roughly two types of villains in films. One is outright evil, doesn’t hide it and         basically knows it. This is like your Darth Vader, Jason, Freddy Kruger. But there is also one much harder to perfect. A villain that truly believes they are doing good work. For me, Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter comes to mind. And for Shawshank Redemption, it has both. Two villains you love to hate and are desperately waiting for their comeuppance. Two antagonists that are so evil you would watch the entire film just to see them crumble at the end.


6 Amazing Coming of Age Movies

For this list I am completely ignoring anything older then 20 years. That’s another whole list. Also, there will definitely be another one for all the ones I missed (Ferris Bueller, I am looking at you.)

6. Me and earl and the dying girl

  • Available on Disney

This movie could be on this list for one reason alone. The hospital scene. Very rarely do coming of age movies have such brutal scenes in them. It has always give me that hard to swallow feeling watching it and I think its for one key reason. Brian Eno’s Big Ship. This song is fucking insane.

5. Eighth grade

Available on Netflix

I’m going to take a wild gamble and say you have never seen or potentially heard of this movie. If you have, send me your credit card details and I will send you a fiver. 😉

But who you have heard of is Bo Burnham and his comedy. Surprisingly, that is the least interesting aspect of this film. The most you ask? The cringe. Eighth grade captures the cringiness of modern high school so well. Especially for someone who just finished it, I was sitting there thinking, “Jesus christ I have done exactly that.” Maybe its because it was made in 2018, but this movie just feels so scarily accurate compared to all the others. Bo knows exactly what it was like going to high school with social media and dumps it all into this film.

4. Rushmore

  • Available on Disney

Rushmore is by far the most unique coming of age movie on this list. The pacing, the story, the characters. I mean fuck it is Wes Anderson. And that’s exactly why it is here. It is so different to every other teenage story. In particular, the main character, Max Fischer. He completely contrasts the stereotypical teenage protagonist. Max is neither a nerd or a rebel but this weird mix of both. Something that is far more accurate now, as most teenagers don’t simply fit into one category.

3. Superbad

  • Available on Amazon

What more can be said about Superbad. I honestly spent 30 minutes simply thinking about what I would write about this film. There is one thing that has always amazed me about this movie. The rewatch ability. I would argue that there is not a more rewatchable coming of age story over this one. Every time it is on I have to sit down and finish it.

Making a good movie is a skill. Making a movie that can be watched 30 times is genius.

2. It’s kind of a funny story

-you gotta buy this one :/

It’s kind of a funny story has never gotten the praise it deserves. It is truly one of the best depictions I have seen about mental health in a coming of age movie. Also, it perfectly depicts the pressures teenagers face and almost offers a solution to these.

  1. The Way Way Back
  • Available on Stan

The Way Way Back is one of my favourite movies ever made. I watched it when I was around 15 and have probably seen it 15 times since. I fucking love this movie. And it comes down to two key reasons.

The writing and the performance of Sam Rockwell. Throughout this movie, Sam has some of my favourite lines in any movie ever. But what is so pivotal is his character. I have this feeling that when you are a teenager you pick someone in your life and replicate their mannerisms, whether you realise it or not. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash capture this so well with Sam’s character. All Duncan needs in his life is a male role model and Sam perfectly capture that, because at one stage or another, everyone needed theirs.