Weekend Binge Guide: June 2018

Have the weekend free? Going out is overrated! Binge-­watch one of these shows instead:


If you want to laugh:


My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

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An interview program is not necessarily one you would normally think to binge through, but these Netflix specials are an exception. First off, there are only 6 hour-ish long episodes, each focusing on a famous personality, including Barack Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern. Secondly, they don't follow a completely standard format: they split time with Letterman interviewing in front of a studio audience as well as traveling to places of significance for each of the various guests. This ranges from visiting Selma, Alabama - site of the Civil Rights Movement's Bloody Sunday in 1965 - with Barack Obama, where they meet with Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis to crashing an Oxford tour with Malala. If you weren't a regular viewer of Letterman's late night show, you may not have seen many of his interviews previously. Letterman remains one of the best interviewers in town, and it's a delight to watch his conversations with each of these guests. Nothing is too hard-hitting (no Trump talk with Obama), but you still feel that you are learning a lot of intimate details about some very interesting lives. And bonus, Malala even cracks a joke!


If you want to cry:


13 Reasons Why (Season 2)

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We try to not repeat shows too often in this feature, and we had already covered the first season of 13 Reasons Why, but we thought an exception was appropriate for the recently released (last month) second season of this high school drama. This series is the definition of binge-worthy; last year's first season captivated people of all ages, and raised important questions about the responsible way to portray a suicide on television. We weren't necessarily expecting the show to return, as it was based on - and covered in its entirety - a novel, but with its massive success, Netflix opted to bring the show back for another round. This second season continues the plot from season 1, exploring the aftermath of Hannah's death (and Katherine Langford returns in flashbacks once more), with a deeper exploration into the sexual assault(s) that took place at Liberty High School. The core characters are all returning, as well as a bunch of new ones, but one thing that will not be returning: the tapes.


If you want to scream:


Killing Eve

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It's entirely possible that you've already watched Killing Eve, which wrapped up its freshman run of 8 episodes at the end of last month. The show was a hit for BBC America - gaining audience in all of the key demographics from week to week throughout the entire season. Starring Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) as a (previously) desk-bound MI5 security officer who gets drawn into a cat and mouse hunt for talented (and clearly psychopathic, but still sympathetic) killer Villanelle, played to perfection by Jodie Comer, who was a new-to-me actress, but already has appeared in many other series. She also has an amazing wardrobe. It's more complex than your average thriller, and passes the Bechdel Test by leaps and bounds. Killing Eve - from Fleabag (also excellent) creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge - has already been renewed for a second season, and if you don't have access to BBC America, will soon be available on Hulu.


If you want to think:


Altered Carbon

See all reviews for Altered Carbon

I don't think that Altered Carbon is by any means a perfect show (critics had mixed reviews), but it is still one that I find myself thinking about a few months later (it dropped on Netflix in February), which is the mark of a good sci-fi show, or any show really! In a nutshell, the series takes place in a futuristic San Francisco where the rich are able to upload their consciousness into a stack, which can be transferred to different sleeves (bodies), rendering them effectively immortal, unless their stack is destroyed. If that's not enough to absorb, the show also weaves in a murder mystery where a frozen elite soldier (played by Joel Kinnaman *and* Will Yun Lee in flashbacks, when the character had his original sleeve) is brought back to life - after being frozen for 250 years - to figure out why an ultra rich man was killed - in exchange for his pardoning and freedom, which he may or may not even want. Some of this show works and some doesn't; it gets convoluted at points and is sometimes violent to the point that it's difficult to watch, but the questions that it raises about wealth inequality and immortality are fascinating, and you'll also find yourself thinking about it long after you finish watching.




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Jun 10, 2018 11:24AM EDT

Well Altered Carbon was pretty Okayish.


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Jun 15, 2018 4:29AM EDT

13 reasons why s great intro to discussing suicide and whats happening in American or Canadian schools today Degrassi jr high does all the topics too and its been on for years. The music the acting in 13 reasons why is must see by all. or binge watch Sense 8

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