Unfortunately, the biggest dilemma is just a click away. While you curl up in bed with your soda and an entire pizza, you are met with an almost endless selection of movies and television shows to watch. You turn to the familiar: Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill and The Office, but maybe it is time to shake things up. Beyond the featured selections are television shows and movies that will scare you, make you laugh and bring you out of your comfort zone.
Out in the Dark
Whether one is for or against gay marriage is up to him or her, but “Out in the Dark” is not just any LGBTQ film. At its very core, the film is simply a tale of forbidden love, something everyone can appreciate. “Out in the Dark” is an Israeli film set in the Middle East. Nimir receives an academic pass that allows him to cross between Ramallah, in the West Bank, to Tel Aviv, Israel. There, Nimir meets and falls in love with an Israeli lawyer named Roy. In such a world, the film’s climax shows the trials and perceptions of the LGBTQ community in the Middle East. The film also depicts the conflict between Palestine and Israel, which creates the hardship of separating the political matters from personal matters. “Out in the Dark” may be out of some people’s comfort zone, but the film allows a person to briefly observe the conditions of the Middle East, the hardships for those in the LGBTQ community and the sacrifice people would take for loved ones.
“The Babadook” relates back to the most basic fears of one’s childhood and its manifestation in adults. Amelia is a grieving widower with a six-year-old son, Sam. They receive a mysterious book called “Mister Babadook” which leads to events that cause terror in Amelia and Sam’s daily lives. “The Babadook” is not just a cliche horror film where a group of friends think the best choice is to hide behind a pile of chainsaws instead of running to an open area — the film does not rely on gore and jump scares. Instead, the film brilliantly uses horror as a way to capture the darker parts of life. “The Babadook” digs deeper into grief and depression, and how the scariest thing that can go on in someone’s life is their past, family, and how these elements affect one’s mind. A clever movie that folds in fear, tenderness, resentment and grief, “The Babadook” is frightening and disturbing, but most of all, leaves the audience with the question of “What really is the Babadook?”
The Saturday Night Live dynamic duo Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are back together, but with heavier material and a different take on comedy. Milo and Maggie are twins that coincidently attempt to commit suicide on the same night. Right before Maggie takes her handful of pills, she gets a call saying that Milo has attempted to commit suicide. Maggie flies to L.A. and offers Milo to stay with her in New York. There, both siblings have their own complicated situations to deal with — family, relationships and each other. “Skeleton Twins,” directed by Craig Johnson, is not just an ordinary comedy that tries to make the audience laugh, but a film that also taps into harsh reality, and uses comedy as a tool. Maggie and Milo make funny remarks that irritate and offend one another that ultimately allows them to bond. “Skeleton Twins” captures the difficulties of having a sibling, but especially captures the importance of having a sibling. If you do not want to watch the movie, that is fine, but give the lip sync scene to Starship’s ’80s rock anthem “Nothing’s Gonna to Stop Us Now,” performed by Milo and Maggie, a chance.
Call The Midwife
Television shows can easily create drama by simply throwing a baby into an already complicated situation. But “Call the Midwife” takes a different and delicate approach to maternal matters. Based on the memoirs of a midwife who lived in London’s East End during the 1950s, this show follows a group of midwives and nuns helping pregnant women and the people within the community. “Call the Midwife” depicts an event that creates sadness, happiness and euphoric sensation. The British series captures how the birth of babies do not just create a family, but a family with the blood-related midwives and nuns that help with the births. Each nun and midwife is so different from the other, but together they embody a spirit of unity and power. “Call the Midwife” has a multitude of stories from different sentiments, but each baby delivered creates a world of love, possibility and risk. It bravely explores topics such as abortion, contraception, class and poverty. Although the show will require tissues, the tenderness and care the midwives give to each baby is simply moving.
It seems like there is already a copious amount of crime television series that feature serial killers. “The Fall” will satisfy those who crave a psychological thriller that maintains a sense of tension throughout the series. Rather than a new killer each episode, “The Fall” is an arching story of Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), who is brought in to catch the serial killer, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). The series follows the hunt for the serial killer, but within the first five minutes of the pilot, the serial killer is revealed. Thus, the series dedicates just as much time to the double life of Paul as well as the investigation to capture him. Within a turmoil of emotions and events the line between good and bad become blurry. While it is easy enough to call the serial killer the “bad guy” and to call the detective the “good guy”, motives, interactions and reactions to the events and people distort the viewer’s view of morality and turn the tables on the typically clear definitions of good and evil apparent in most television thrillers. “The Fall” is a smart show that is able to make viewers have flashes of pity for a obsessive, heartless murder. The BBC series may be unsettling and creepy, but viewers can appreciate the “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan’s wonderful Irish accent.