Due to this period of confinement, the theme of this watch list will be the liberty we have all seemed to have lost. Freedom is not only the ability to move physically, but also encapsulates the individualism and peace of mind all people deserve. Though it is just a glimpse of possible movies, television shows and even YouTube channels to explore, I hope this list eases whatever stress you may be under and nudges you towards greater relaxation.
“The Shawshank Redemption”: The only adjective to adequately describe “The Shawshank Redemption” is legendary. Just like we are confined to our homes, the movie takes place in a prison, tracking the journey of a man who is wrongly convicted of a double murder. It shows both the ups and downs of prison life, and the remarkable relationship between Andy (Tim Robbins) and Red (Morgan Freeman). I do not mean to sound like a cliché movie critic, but this movie really is a triumph of the human spirit.
“Forrest Gump”: Aside from the fact that I’ve practically memorized the movie, this really is a perfect time to watch it. It is quite long, but it takes the viewer on an improbable journey of a man who constantly defies the odds. Tom Hanks is incredible, and the iconic running scene exemplifies the freedom we all long for. I never used to cry at the end of movies, but this, along with Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” is one I’ll never be able to resist.
“Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”: The movie that transformed a likable Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader will forever be the best “Star Wars” movie, even if it is a prequel. If you are a “Star Wars” fan, this movie will help you turn back the time, and if not, it will surely propel your interest into the unforgettable saga.
The Entire “Harry Potter” Series: The feeling of watching “Harry Potter” is just magical, and who wouldn’t want to be in a fantasy during these dismal times. Personally, my favorite movie is “The Half-Blood Prince,” but you really cannot go wrong with any of them. There is something even more rewarding about starting from the beginning.
“Up”: This literally is the adventure of a lifetime. Trust me, watching this classic animated movie as an older and more aware adolescent will not disappoint.
“Cars” or “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”: Perhaps the best Pixar movie ever (very debatable), this movie conveys a sense of speed and adrenaline we all long for at this moment. The story checks all of the boxes, and is quite funny too. If you are looking for an adult racing movie, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” is a great option and truly one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. It is R rated, though, so make sure to check with your parents first.
“The Office”: Like probably half of the world at this point, this is my favorite show of all time, but it is particularly appropriate at this moment because a group of common office workers find something extraordinary in their everyday lives. At this time, we are stuck in our homes, but who is to say that we cannot do the same?
“Freaks and Geeks”: I’ve read in many other places that it’s a shame this show was not continued for a second season, and it’s true – it really was amazing. It is produced by the reliable Judd Apatow, and is a show that is not only relatable to teenagers, but is also just flat out entertaining and engaging.
“Shameless”: This really is a great show about a dysfunctional yet nonetheless admirable family on the South Side of Chicago growing up without true parental figures. This is definitely in the R rated section, but if you are able to, it is worth a watch.
“Regular Show”: A Cartoon Network classic, this show reminds me of home. There is just something familiar about the two main characters, Mordecai and Rigby. The episodes are short and sweet, and if you are in the mood for some lighthearted fun, give it a shot.
“Atypical”: I’m trying to not go too heavy on Netflix, but this show really encapsulates the nuances of high school and growing up in subtle and creative ways I have not seen in other shows. It is a very good binge watch.
“The Good Place”: Are you going to the good place or the bad place? Judge yourself based on this show, or not. Either way, Ted Danson is a crowd pleaser, and every main character becomes more likable as the episodes advance.
Yes Theory: This channel exemplifies what it is to be free. The creators push themselves beyond their comfort zone as a life motto, and their videos will surely entertain and inspire you, quite a combination.
Mr. Beast: He might be the most popular YouTuber at this moment, and for good reason. His creativity is unmatched, and will perhaps motivate us all to innovate during self-quarantine. Plus, almost everything he does benefits somebody in need – he really is a good person.
Men’s Health: Gym and Fridge: If you are having trouble motivating yourself to work out at home, this series is a good place to start. Celebrities, athletes and musicians reveal their workouts and diets and prove that it is possible to manage their physical health alongside a busy schedule. Chances are we’re all a bit slow to making the gains we set out to at the start of social distancing, and this series will surely change that.
Vogue: 73 Questions: At this moment (and always), we all need to appreciate each other for who we are, and what better way to understand someone then watching a video where they answer 73 questions about themselves. Through these segments, you get to see that celebrities are normal people too.
Architectural Digest: On the Market: If you want to be cultured, these videos will do it for you. Not really, but you can at least see what some of the largest and nicest homes in the world look like. They might look a bit too big to live in normally, but since we are all stuck in our homes at the moment, these hotel sized houses might make you a bit jealous.
Thoraya Maronesy: We are all further realizing the importance of mental health as we are confined to our homes, and this YouTuber pushes strangers’ spiritual awareness day in and day in out. She interviews them with tough questions most are afraid to ask, and watching her videos will surely be a step towards some sort of self-improvement.