Spring Break Streaming: What You Should be Watching

11 mins read

What I miss most while at Swarthmore — besides good tacos — is the ability to sit down and watch television. I am not ashamed of my love of television. My parents just sort of plopped me in front of the small screen as a child, and while I lost a fair amount of vision because of it, I also gained some great taste in TV.
So, with spring break on its way, I think it’s time that we all answer one very important question: What will I binge watch while I’m off school? If you still have no answer, I’ve got you covered. I have listed here what I believe to be the three best shows to watch over spring break. They were selected due to their content, internet accessibility, and overall easiness to finish in one week (nothing with more than two seasons was considered for this shortlist).
“The Crown”
 This shit is good.
“The Crown” has just about the most brilliant source of drama out there: the British royal family. This allows the show to have the urgency and tension of a political drama, and all the pettiness of a social and familial catastrophe. It’s sort of like a PBS “Masterpiece Classic” and “Gossip Girl” all thrown into one.
The Netflix series looks at the early part of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, beginning with her assuming the crown at the young age of 25. The Queen is played by the brilliant Claire Foy, who is simply so good it’s criminal. Foy gives a real humanity to her character, presenting her with equal parts of naivety, reluctance, and a badass boss mentality.
From the romantic affairs of Princess Margaret (who is a total brat, by the way) to the slipping grip of Prime Minister Winston Churchill (impressively played by American actor John Lithgow), the drama that unfolds is almost too ridiculous to be true, but historically it all is. What I find to be the most compelling, however, is the power dynamics between the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The audience gets a unique look at a relationship in which the spouse is both the other’s equal and their absolute sovereign, all at once. What plays out between the two of them is so good that I literally couldn’t enter daylight for a week and a half.
So what makes this show such an ideal spring break watch? The first is that it’s easy to tackle within the course of a week. The show has produced one complete season consisting of ten one-hour-long episodes (each with absolutely stunning production quality), so it’s easy to slide through. But what makes it even more of a perfect break time watch is its smartness. This show will keep your wits up, both entertaining and educating you. And so, I highly recommend “The Crown” to anyone looking for a spring break escape without totally frying their brain.
There are also lots of corgi puppies on this show. If that’s not a draw, I sincerely don’t know what is.
“Difficult People”
Do you ever just feel like you need a complete break from — well — humanity? Comedians Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner (the star and head writer, respectively, of the hit show “Billy on the Street”) are right there with you, and they explore this mentality on their hilarious Hulu series “Difficult People.”
The two play Billy Epstein and Julie Kessler, two struggling New York City comedians trying to navigate life, love, and pushy Jewish family members (which is how I primarily relate to it). Above all, however, the two are fighting for their big break into mainstream show business.
Each episode tackles a different element of their attempted leap to stardom, including antireligious podcasts and a loose musical dramatization of President Jimmy Carter’s life. The show has also played host to some killer guest stars, including Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, and John Mulaney.
“Difficult People” is the perfect show for those of us who need to get away from “it all.” Let’s be honest, other human beings are exhausting to be around, and the dynamic duo of Billy and Julie are more than prepared to validate those feelings. They will also by comparison make you feel better about every single crappy thing you’ve done in your entire life (it’s hard to top Billy abusing his niece’s ballet class to get closer to Neil Patrick Harris, or Julie feigning a disability to get on a Showtime series, or both of them accidentally causing Broadway star Nathan Lane’s death).
This show is the perfect spring break binge watch. The series, as of now, consists of two seasons (with a third coming later this year), and has a total of 18 episodes, each under 30 minutes. This makes the show very easy to pick up and put down throughout your break, while still being easy to finish in its entirety before you have to schlep back to school. But above all, the show will make you laugh and help you blow off some steam. Who doesn’t need that?
Also worth noting: The first few episodes are a little weaker than the rest, so feel free to speed through or even skip them all together.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
I know this is an older one, but hear me out, I have good reasoning I swear.
“They alive damn it!” The quirky Netflix sitcom “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which was co-created by Tina Fey, is hysterically brilliant. Starring a phenomenal cast led by Ellie Kemper and featuring Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Carol Kane, the series tells the story of Kimmy Schmidt, an always-optimistic woman trying to handle life in New York City after forcibly spending 15 years in an underground bunker as a part of a doomsday cult. As weird as that may sound, the show is happier, funnier, and more uplifting than those internet pictures of Rosie O’Donnell as Steve Bannon (Did you see those? They were pretty good).
I experience a small earthquake that only I can feel each time someone tells me they started “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” but just “couldn’t get into it.” Do people have no loyalty or commitment these days? You gotta get through those first slightly wonky episodes to get to the absolute brilliance that is the latter portion of season one and all of season two. Your appreciation for the earlier episodes will grow once you finish the rest of them, trust me.
What makes this show so genius — as well as the perfect spring break show — is its sunniness. There is almost no way not to smile when you’re watching Kimmy (Kemper) and her roommate Titus (Burgess) running to the library just to use the internet. It’ll remind you how happy spring break is supposed to be, and the absurdly quirky humor will keep you engaged while also giving your brain a much-needed break.
The show has two seasons and a total of 26 episodes (each under 30 minutes), so it may be slightly more difficult to finish completely over spring break, but there’s a solid chance you’ll be so into it you won’t be able to set it aside. And what makes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt even more of a perfect break-time watch is the fact that its third season is being released on May 19. This means you can finish the first two seasons over spring break, come back to school, and have a whole new set of episodes waiting for you once summer break starts.
Final Thoughts
I ultimately implore all of you to dive into the gorgeous ocean that is streaming this spring break. I believe there should be no shame spending some quality time with your favorite shows. What’s truly best for all of us is a brief break from the books, and a quick romance with streaming services.

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