Blog: Spring break watchlist



“Shrek” production still.

By The Pitt News Staff

As promised in our 2019 spring break bucket list, The Pitt News staff is here with our Weekend Watchlist. This time, we are offering our favorite movies and TV shows to watch during spring break. Relax, ignore the fact that you’re at your parents’ house ‘outside Philadelphia’ instead of on a beach in Florida and call up a high school buddy to binge-watch our top picks from your favorite streaming services.

“Friends” // Trent Leonard, Sports Editor

Netflix // Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman // Rating: B+

We all have that one friend who claps along with those four iconic claps at the beginning the “Friends” theme song — “I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrandts. I am, quite proudly, that friend. “Friends” is like the “SpongeBob SquarePants” of live-action TV shows — it truly never gets old.

The show, which first aired in 1994 and has 10 total seasons, follows a group of six close friends living in New York City, navigating their late 20s with exceptional humor. Characters like Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) are funny and sarcastic, rousing snorts with all of their snarky one-liners. Other characters like Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) are delightfully goofy, making us laugh every time they say, “We were on a break” or “How you doin’?”

The 10 seasons — 236 episodes — all on Netflix make this show temptingly binge-able. It is so easy to use this show as a distracting background noise while cleaning your apartment or as a way to survive through a rainy or snowy day inside.

“Shrek” // Sarah Connor, Culture Editor

Hulu // Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson // Rating: A

Ahh yes, a true classic. Unlike many children’s films, the DreamWorks film “Shrek” actually gets better with age. As I try to watch the animated “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” movies with my 2-year-old niece, I can’t help but think about how boring those movies are for adults. I don’t like musical movies, and I could care less for the “princess finds her prince” trope. But “Shrek” is a true anomaly. It made me crack up as a kid, and now, at 21, I still find it absolutely hilarious.

Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) was always my favorite part of “Shrek” when it first came out in 2001. Though I do still adore the wisecracking sidekick, the big green ogre himself has become more relatable than I ever imagined. Shrek (Mike Myers) is seamlessly sarcastic and prefers to mind his own business. When people enter his property, he unleashes the ever-iconic line “GET OUT OF MY SWAMP!” and I don’t think I have ever related to a quote more.

Jokes aside, “Shrek” is one of the better kids’ movies out there, considering the ultimate message is that a girl doesn’t need a handsome prince, seen when Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is rescued by a smelly ogre instead of a charming warrior. Fiona eventually learns that looks don’t matter, and falls in love with said ugly ogre. Oh man, what a plot twist!

“Legally Blonde” // Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot, Senior Staff Writer

Netflix // Directed by Robert Luketic // Rating: A

There are some days when all I want to watch is fluffy, positive and empowering content. In my experience, nothing says positivity and girl power like “Legally Blonde.” Is it a bit campy and formulaic? Absolutely. That doesn’t stop me from cheering every time our irrepressible heroine Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) triumphs over the obstacles thrown her way. Elle was a role model for me growing up and her character continues to inspire me both as a girl and a college student.   

While I have grown to prefer the 2007 Broadway musical adaptation, which starred Laura Bell Bundy as “little Miss Woods comma Elle,” that performance would not have existed without the great work that went into the 2001 film. Reese Witherspoon brings Elle to life with sincerity, capturing the character’s heart and intelligence along with her bubbly and outgoing personality. Elle’s friendship with hairstylist Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge) is one that is both particularly funny and heartwarming.

From the start, Elle is shown to be smarter than the blonde stereotype everyone thinks she is. Elle has a 4.0 average, which is difficult to maintain no matter what you’re studying, and she got a 179 on her LSATs — all on top of being president of her sorority. Despite the fact that she’s constantly put into a box, whether it be by her ex-boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) or law professor Callaghan (Victor Garber), Elle excels and fights for what she wants to achieve for herself and her friends. That kind of energy is one that I definitely recommend indulging in this spring break.  

“The X-Files” // Alex Dolinger, Staff Writer

Hulu // Created by Chris Carter // Rating: A-

While I try to expose myself to new creative content as often as possible, I almost always turn to this old reliable when I actually have the free time to enjoy it. “The X-Files” first aired on Fox in 1993 and remained on air through 2002. But the fanbase for this classic sci-fi show was so strong that it was revived in 2016.

“The X-Files” centers on two FBI agents who try to solve crimes that no other department can explain. This show provides a healthy dose of ’90s nostalgia with a side of supernatural thrills that make the terrible lighting and really long blazers worth checking out.

There are 11 seasons in total, with another one in the works, so the enjoyment is endless and plentiful. I have been re-watching this show since my first year of high school and still have not gotten tired of it, and I highly recommend it for the cold days of spring break to come next week.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” // Vikram Sundar, Staff Writer

Netflix // Directed by Tim Burton // Rating: B+

I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur of musicals, nor do I take much enjoyment in them. I find the singing is often gleefully annoying and the stories tend to be lackadaisical (High School Musical especially). However, “Sweeney Todd” is among my favorites.

Everything about “Sweeney Todd” feels like the antithesis of the prototypical musical with its drab, gray cinematography and deathly, mannequin-looking characters. I’m a little bit biased when it comes to the aesthetic of the film, since I adore Tim Burton’s gothic style, but this film doesn’t feel like any other Tim Burton film.

The style feels intrinsically a part of the story, which is about a wrongly accused convict turned barber who kills his pompous customers and gives the bodies to a conniving pie baker who sells meat pies. Both characters are no strangers to tragedy, and it shows in their desensitized outlook on their grotesque actions, giving their actions a morbidly comedic feel.

The biggest plus of the movie is that the songs aren’t some catchy, one-note beat. Each song is unique and, collectively, they hold the film together, expanding upon the narrative and giving further depth to the characters.