“I Think You Should Leave” poster via Netflix
Yes. We’re studying for our midterms. But we can, like, take a break. You can make short work of these five shows, streaming on Netflix and Hulu and recommended by our staff.
I Think You Should Leave (Netflix) // Megan Williams, Staff Writer
SNL alum Tim Robinson’s sketch comedy show is one of Netflix’s shortest originals. “I Think You Should Leave” consists of just six episodes, all of which run under 20 minutes. The show features other famous SNL slums like Kenan Thompson, Andy Samberg and Vanessa Bayer, and Robinson’s funky style of physical comedy and willingness to embrace the awkward combine to create some of the most original comedy in recent years. Several sketches have been elevated to meme status — specifically, the parody of three women trying to write an appropriately self-deprecating Instagram caption that thrust the phrase “hog shit snarfing contest” into cultural relevance. When you need to take a study break, “I Think You Should Leave” is the perfect short, episodic comedy that you can breeze right through before getting back to work.
Persona (Netflix) // Sarah Stager, Staff Writer
There’s no getting around it — “Persona” is deeply weird. There are only four episodes, each based on a different short story, each about 20 minutes. The plots are often simplistic — a jealous daughter challenges her father’s girlfriend to a tennis match, or a smitten man gives his heart to a woman who is obviously not as invested — but the fascinating filmmaking techniques and strange visual metaphors ensure that this series is anything but boring. These short films basically serve as a space for acclaimed directors to show off their chops. “Love Set” is written and directed by Lee Kyoung-mi, “Collector” is by Yim Pil-sung, “Kiss Burn” is the work of Jeon Go-woon and the series finishes off gently with Kim Jong-kwan’s “Walking at Night.” Each film in the series is short, yes, but don’t expect to breeze through them all at once. They are to be savored, like fine wine, like the art they are. If you don’t have a ton of time, but you still want to witness good filmmaking in action, “Persona” might be just the ticket.
Queer Eye: We’re in Japan! (Netflix) // Diana Velasquez, Senior Staff Writer
It’s time for Tokyo, everyone! Fans of Netflix’s rebooted series “Queer Eye” starring Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness are used to the “Fab Five” making their way across the American South, but Japan is a new challenge with completely different customs. “Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” is only four episodes long, each about an hour, but they manage to tackle a handful of issues particular to Japan and the people who live there. Just like the original, “We’re in Japan!” is a great feel-good show, but this one allows the viewer — along with the Fab Five — to gain some insight into a culture you might know less about. In the first episode, the Fab Five glamour up a woman who spends her days taking care of the elderly in her home which she’s converted into sort of assisted living center — addressing Japan’s problem with their large older population. And in the second, they help a young gay student in Tokyo with accepting his sexuality in a culture where he’s been attacked for it since elementary school. “Queer Eye” viewers may be used to more than four episodes, but these four pack just as much of a punch with each hour, so be sure to bring your tissues. It’s crying time.
Kipo And The Age of Wonderbeasts (Netflix)// Sinead McDevitt, Staff Writer
The animated adaptation of the webcomic by the same name, “Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts,” is just a blast from start to finish. Set on a post-apocalyptic Earth 200 years in the future, the show centers around the titular Kipo, who has been forced out of her underground home and must find a way to reunite with her friends and family while traversing the very dangerous surface with the help of some other survivors she meets along the way. The show has gorgeous animation, with vibrant colors and fight scenes that are quick and fluid, not to mention accompanied by a very good soundtrack. On top of that, all the characters are fun to watch play off each other, and each gets their own standout moments throughout the season. Since the show just came out this past January, there’s only one season consisting of 10 30-minute episodes, so it’s very quick to get through. And for the most part each episode has its own self-contained story, so it’s easy to watch in chunks. The setting is creative, the various tribes of mutant animals are all unusual and fun and, most importantly, there are giant corgis.
High Fidelity (Hulu) // Nadiya Greaser, Staff Writer
How good can the TV adaptation of the movie adaptation of a book about a white guy in a London record shop really be? Surprisingly good, especially when it moves across the Atlantic to a record store in New York that feels like the antidote to the sterilized, gentrified, white New York of “Girls.” Rob, last played by John Cusack, is now a too-cool, slightly grungy woman in her 30s played by the inimitable Zoe Kravitz. Kravitz has been hovering around the edges of other great shows and movies for a while, and this show feels uniquely poised to catapult her to the center of the scene. The soundtrack is eclectic and perfectly balanced, it’s visually dynamic and Rob breaks the fourth wall in an homage to Ferris Bueller and the ’80s aesthetic that “High Fidelity” matches. The supporting characters are everything that we like about our own friends, but kinda cooler and with better taste in bands. And the love interests are everything we wish the randos on Tinder would turn out to be but never are. So if you want a 30-minute millennial version of your favorite John Hughes movie, or a whole-season binge of the coolest mess on TV, check it out. Or don’t.