By Meredith Jarchow
Thanksgiving is a time for family, football and food. But it’s also a time to avoid your grandma asking why you haven’t met a nice young man yet, or your Uncle Steve bringing up uncomfortable political topics.
My suggestion? Hide yourself away in your room and binge watch that Netflix or Hulu series you’ve been meaning to, while also avoiding homework.
My binge-worthy suggestions are two science fiction television series, Black Mirror on Netflix and The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. With dystopian-like themes, these series are for those of us who like to question “what if?” Both shorter series, they are a great pick for our five-day Thanksgiving break.
Originally aired on the British Channel 4 and later picked up by Netflix, Black Mirror is a science fiction television series that explores darker themes around technology. The title itself, Black Mirror, is a reference to the reflection one sees on their cell phone when the screen is off. The episodes present scenarios of what might happen in the near future if technology goes too far.
Similar to a movie but shorter, each episode has a different theme, cast list and setting. With topics ranging from using mechanical bees to pollinate flowers to
everyone having an implant that records all of their memories, this series will push you out of your comfort zone and make you question if technology has gone too far.
On Netflix there are a total of 12 episodes that span over three seasons, but because each episode has a different theme it is not necessary to watch them in order. With a total runtime of 12 and a half hours, Black Mirror is a binge-worthy choice for Thanksgiving weekend.
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale is a Hulu original series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel from 1985 of the same name. The series takes place in a dystopian future where the government has been taken over by a radical Christian regime. While this series is very graphic, I would recommend it to those who enjoy similar dystopian society themes like in the novels 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.
The new government implements laws that are derived from extreme interpretations of the Bible, such as not allowing women to read and outlawing
homosexuality. Due to environmental effects and sexually transmitted infections and diseases affecting the human fertility rates, the government assigns fertile
women to men whose wives are unable to bear children, calling them handmaids.
The series follows the handmaid Offred, formerly known as June Osborne, who is the handmaid for one of the powerful men in the government. The story is sporadically interrupted with flashbacks to Offred’s life before her time as a handmaid while she struggles to survive in the role that has been forced upon her, and hope to one day be reunited with her husband, daughter and best friend.
The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale is on Hulu with 10 episodes that are 45-60 minutes in length apiece which will come in handy while waiting in line for Black Friday deals.
We all have good intentions to work ahead on our homework, study for our next test and fill out job applications while home over Thanksgiving but let’s be
honest — we probably won’t do any of these things. So grab your laptop, your
pajamas, some snacks and binge-watch one or both of these series.