Top TV Shows Offer Alternative to Test Prep

Mariel Rossi-deVries, Editor

Advanced Placement exams loom on the academic horizon, instilling terror into the the hearts of all College Board fearing students. Stress levels are on the rise, and so is procrastination. For all those preparing to APs, final exams or simply looking for a short (or slightly longer) break from studying, here is a list of recommended shows:

  1. 13 Reasons Why: The show is a recently released Netflix drama based on Jay Asher’s bestselling novel published in 2007. Watch Clay Jenson, played by actor Dylan Minnette, uncover the story behind his classmate Hannah Baker’s suicide. Its poignant messages about the social struggle of adolescents has hooked fans and earned an 8.9/10 on MiDB. A review from Collider by Aubrey Page called it, “an incredibly mature and a devastating look at the ripple effects of loss.”
  2. Midsomer Murders: If you are a fan of Sherlockian detective work and comedy duos, this 19 season murder mystery set in the British countryside is the show for you. The plot revolves around aging detective Tom Barnaby (played by John Nettles) and his various bumbling assistants as they bust crimes in the sunny, cottage-filled county of Midsomer. Each episode is around 90 minutes and watches like a full length movie, so it is unlikely you will run out of episodes before the end of AP testing.
  3. Gallavant: ABC Family’s adventure-comedy follows knight Gallavant (played by Joshua Sasse) on his various quests. The show features an array of famous actors such as Vinnie Jones, John Stamos, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Sophie McShera. Episodes include musical numbers and will neatly fit into a 20 minute study break.
  4. A Netflix documentary: From life in prison to undersea photography, personal wellness, and wildlife, Netflix has a documentary to suit any interest. The content ranges from pictures of adorable baby animals to philosophical questions about American moral integrity, which makes documentaries a unique way to acquire knowledge while procrastinating about studying for your exams.
  5. Santa Clarita Diet: A stereotypically Californian family finds their life upside down when Mom becomes a flesh eating zombie. While sometimes bordering on absurdity, Santa Clarita Diet has entertaining characters and a plot as realistic as a spray tan.
  6. The Americans: With all of the tension going on between Russia and the United States, you may want an escape. Director and former CIA officer Joe Weisberg’s series depicts a pair of Russian spies posing as an American couple. For some, this may induce more anxiety than AP testing.
  7. Bob’s Burgers: Animated comedy (and all-time favorite of La Puma opinion editor Isabel Owens), Bob’s Burgers combines humor with surprisingly thoughtful plot lines. Each character has a unique personality and the puns just keep coming. This is the perfect show to watch with friends or family, providing endless entertainment that doesn’t get old.
  8. Freaks & Geeks: This 1999 classic aired for only 1 season, which is disappointing. Catch a glimpse of James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogan in their awkward, adolescent years. The show covers the typical teenage angst while managing to develop in a meaningful way. By the end of the season, the characters are as different from the first episode as a freshman is by graduation.
  9. Black Mirror: Season 3’s release came with new stories that reflect another year of technological advancement. This tech-focused horror gives a different perspective on modern gadgets and is a chilling fix for those who enjoy scary movies.