Weekend Watchlist: College edition


Image via Wikimedia Commons

“Community” title card.

By The Pitt News Staff

For the last Weekend Watchlist of the semester (and the decade!), we decided to focus on something we know very well: college. Here are our favorite movies and shows involving college that are currently available to stream.

Greek (NBC, Hulu) // Maggie Young, Contributing Editor

Before the channel rebranded as Freeform, ABC Family had a poppin’ weeknight roster. “Greek” represents this peak age of TV in the late 2000s, a time when you were too old for Disney Channel but your parents said you were too young for anything else. Set in the fictitious and unbelievably idyllic Cyprus-Rhodes University — lovingly dubbed CRU — the story follows Rusty, a geeky first-year who’s trying to find his niche. Meanwhile, his older sister Casey has more than found her place by the start of her junior year. A member of the top sorority on campus, Casey is next-in-line to become chapter president, and her stud boyfriend Evan Chambers is president of the top fraternity. The two are unstoppable. But things start to get messy once Casey sees that Rusty wants to rush, and all of Casey’s Greek-life peers learn about her dorky little brother — whom she conveniently forgot to mention before.

Superficially charming at best and cheesy at worst, “Greek” is the perfect show for when you want to feel like you’re somewhere else. Cyprus-Rhodes is an undoubtedly unreal atmosphere — somehow it’s always sunny, even though they go to school in Ohio — but the plots and characters just barely resemble your college life, so you can’t help but love the show.

The Magicians (Syfy, Netflix) // Megan Williams, Staff Writer

For fans of fantasy, “The Magicians” is a perfect gateway into a world where grad students at Brakebills University aren’t working on their thesis — they’re learning to control magic. The story follows Quentin — a 20-something academic whose Ivy League MFA ambitions are interrupted by his discovery of magic — and the first-year class of Brakebills as they explore the school and the magical world at large. With help from older students, mysterious teachers and mystical creatures, Quentin, his friends and his frenemies harness their inherent power. All is not well outside of Brakebills, though — in nearby Fillory, a fantasy kingdom ripped straight from the pages of Quentin’s most beloved book series, a beast is growing stronger and stronger. “The Magicians” is the perfect blend of academia, fantasy and friendship.

Community (Hulu) // Ana Eberts, Staff writer 

If you are in need of some comedic relief at this very stressful time of year, “Community” is a great option. The show takes place at Greendale Community College, where the story follows Jeff Winger (Joel McHale). Winger is a former lawyer, who, after being disbarred for faking his education, is forced to attend community college to earn a legitimate undergraduate degree. There he meets a host of eclectic characters who form a study group. Soon, a wholesome, yet dysfunctional, family dynamic eventually takes over. However, “Community” is less about plot and more about parody — it’s a little different than your usual mockumentary or sitcom format. “Community” never fails to entertain and features a hilarious cast including Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Joel McHale, Alison Brie and Chevy Chase. If you are stressed about finals and are looking for something to help you take school just a teeny tiny bit less seriously, this is the show for you.

The Social Network (Prime) // Thomas Wick, Senior Staff Writer

David Fincher is synonymous with some of the best dramas and thrillers of all time, and “The Social Network” is perhaps one of his best. The film tells the true story of Mark Zuckerberg’s journey from nerdy college coder to the creator of one of the biggest social media platforms of all time, thriving in Fincher’s trademark direction. Every scene oozes in tension, intrigue and psychological drama and the script is top-notch as well. It starts off strong and only gets more and more interesting as the film goes along. And of course the acting must not be overlooked. Jesse Eisenberg gives one of the best performances of his career, not only because of how his physique and mannerisms match the nerdy Zuckerberg so well but because he brings so much dedication to each scene. Other notable performances include Andrew Garfield, Brenda Song, Armie Hammer and even Justin Timberlake. No offense to any of the entries here, but this is definitely the one you must see if you haven’t already.

College Road Trip (Disney+) // Hayley Lesh, Staff Writer 

As college students, many of us have embarked on the anxiously awaited (or dreaded?) college road trip. Of course, every road trip is bound to have its highs and lows. Disney’s “College Road Trip” is no different. This comedy follows college hopeful Melanie (Raven-Symone) as she undertakes a road trip with her father (Martin Lawrence) from the outskirts of Chicago to the heart of Washington, D.C. It has always been Melanie’s dream to attend Georgetown University. However, Melanie’s father James would much rather have her go to a college that is closer to home. What could possibly go wrong?

“College Road Trip” hilariously tackles the complications of college visits and the struggles of the college decision process. The comedy also includes the familiar faces of Brenda Song, Donny Osmond and Kym Whitley. It might even have a dance number or two. “College Road Trip” is bound to make you laugh and reminisce on those days when you were just a prospective college student.