Blog: Weekend watchlist, take five


Image via Wikimedia Common

“Jersey Shore” title card.

By The Pitt News Staff

For the fifth time, The Pitt News staff is sharing our top picks of films and TV shows. Last time, we shared our LGBTQ+-themed watchlist, but this week, we’re be back to our usual theme — the best of the best from popular streaming services. For a post-midterms binge-watching session, look no further than the TPN Weekend Watchlist.

“Daredevil” // Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot, Senior Staff Writer

Netflix // Created by Drew Goddard // A+

Huge save-the-world superhero stories are great and all, but who takes care of the everyday ground-level heroics that big players like the Avengers can’t get to? Enter Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil — lawyer by day, vigilante by night. I knew of Daredevil before the 2015 Netflix show — through the edgy yet campy 2003 live-action movie starring Ben Affleck — so first-year me was very excited to see how it would get new life as a TV show. Presently, it’s one of my absolute favorite pieces of media ever.

“Daredevil” spans three seasons following the escapades of lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), who was blinded as a child in an accident that gave him extraordinarily heightened senses. In the face of constant injustice on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, Murdock takes matters into his own hands to make things right. The first season shows the beginning of Murdock’s vigilantism and his fledgling law firm with his friend and partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), while they uncover a conspiracy of the criminal underworld led by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).

The performances in this show are absolutely spectacular across the board. All of the actors bring such depth and heart to their characters. The writing is sharp and keeps the spirit of the comic book source material while grounding the story in a realistic world. I can’t go without mentioning the famous long take hallway fights that came out of each season. They are so expertly done on all counts, from lighting to incredible stunt work, and each gets more elaborate and impressive. If you’re into gritty crime dramas and character-focused stories then I highly recommend checking out this crown jewel of Marvel Netflix shows.

“New Girl” // Sarah Connor, Culture Editor

Netflix (seasons one-six), Hulu (season seven) // Created by Elizabeth Meriwether // Rating: B+

Who doesn’t love Zooey Deschanel? Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who dislikes her. Between her beautiful singing voice we all heard in “Elf” and her memorable performance in “500 Days of Summer,” most people I know have utterly fallen in love with the actress — myself included.

On the Fox sitcom “New Girl,” which ran for seven seasons from 2011-18, Deschanel steals the hearts of America again as the central character, quirky teacher Jessica Day. After a rough breakup, Jess needs to find a place to live, and her best option is a loft with three goofy guys in the heart of Los Angeles. Thus, the show takes off. It follows Jess’s ups and downs living with unpredictable men, especially law-school dropout and bartender Nick Miller (Jake Johnson), who eventually develops a romantic connection to Jess.

Overall, the show is hilarious, and I’m still processing that season seven was the last one. This show has been a platform for me to watch one of my favorite actresses and role models since I was 14, and now I am left with nothing but re-watching all 146 episodes. I highly recommend that you do the same.

“Jersey Shore” // Alexa Marzina, Staff Writer

Hulu // Created by SallyAnn Salsano // Rating: A+/F-

Since beginning college almost four years ago, I’ve been shocked to learn that keeping up with “Jersey Shore” wasn’t as big a part of cultural capital in other places as it was my school district. Where I came from, if you weren’t up-to-date on the latest “Shore” drama it was a laughable offense. Cut to me sitting millimeters away from my TV with the volume on “1” and my finger on the “last” button so if my mom came in I could say I was just watching the Food Network.

During my latest search for a mind-numbing show that I could watch in the background while doing something else, I decided to take another romp to the “Jersey Shore” and wow, this show is really 10 years old, huh? Occasionally, one of my roommates who has never indulged themselves in this trashy goldmine of entertainment will pop in and comment something along the lines of, “This show is so bad!!”

Like, yeah — doesn’t it make you feel better about yourself?

We’re on season two out of six now, and thinking about how I seriously watched and valued this show as a tween is mind-boggling to me now. The scenes where the housemates brag about not getting home from a night of drinking until 6 a.m. make me so tired and second-hand nauseated. It provides all the side effects of going out without me having to pay for drinks!

“L.A. Confidential” // Trent Leonard, Sports Editor

Netflix // Directed by Curtis Hanson // Rating: A

In retrospect, “L.A. Confidential” (1997) often gets lost within the crowded group of landmark films that came toward the end of the previous millennium. Released in the same year as the domineering blockbuster “Titanic,” it still managed to eke out best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay awards at the Oscars, and maintains a stellar 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. “L.A. Confidential” might be more than 20 years old now, but it’s definitely worth your time to revisit it.

Critical acclaim aside, this movie has it all. Looking for the movie that put Russell Crowe on the map? Look no further — he plays a classic noir anti-hero detective who would rather punch first and ask questions later. Wondering what else that smarmy villain from “Iron Man 3” has been in? Well, that would be Guy Pearce, and he also plays a star-making role as a nerdy, by-the-book cop caught up in a growing scandal of deep-seated corruption.

Witty lines, constant developments, diverse characters, a major plot twist and an action-packed final shootout scene make this one of the most overlooked great movies ever made. If you’re a movie lover, or just a Netflix account owner who’s bored with some time to kill over the weekend, this is your best bet.