Weekend Watchlist: Cathartic classics

By The Pitt News Staff

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This weekend, we’re watching stuff that makes you cry, laugh-cry, cry so hard you laugh, or laugh until you start crying — anything that leaves you feeling emotionally fulfilled afterward.

Someone Great (Netflix) // Maggie Young, Contributing Editor

Through a poignant nonlinear narrative and a timely pop soundtrack — this movie put Lizzo on the map for me — “Someone Great” makes someone feel great, indeed. When the film begins, Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) has just landed a killer job as a music journalist for Rolling Stone. Currently based in New York, Jenny decides to relocate to San Francisco for her dream gig. Nate (Lakeith Stanfield), her boyfriend of nine years, breaks up with Jenny upon hearing the news, and she’s devastated. Jenny’s best gal pals try to help her out of her funk by trying to score tickets to a music festival they used to attend that’s happening on the same day. When the pals have trouble with their mission, quirky chaos ensues.

Though cliche at times, “Someone Great” breaks down a relationship from beginning to end, often anchoring moments and places with songs. Nate and Jenny made an adorable couple, but not all good things are meant to last forever. “Someone Great” inspires you to look back on happy memories with positive affect, even if you’re disconnected from those who made them memorable.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix) // Sarah Stager, Staff Writer

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is a show about a woman who was kidnapped by a cult leader and imprisoned in a bunker for 15 years. Doesn’t sound too cathartic, right? That’s what you think until you meet Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), our bright-eyed and bushy-tailed main character who, as soon as she’s released from her cult imprisonment, decides to try city life in the Big Apple. There she meets a colorful cast of characters, including her roommate Titus (Titus Burgess), a gay aspiring Broadway actor, her landlord Lillian (Carol Kane), who is a typical street-smart New Yorker but in old-lady form, and Jacqueline, her employer and stereotypical rich lady (Jane Krakowski). Over the course of the four-season show, these characters bond and feud, laugh and cry and encounter the most ridiculous situations you could possibly imagine, but they do it all with a brightly positive attitude. You might even call them unbreakable.

Adventure Time (Hulu) // Charlie Taylor, Senior Staff Writer

This beloved Cartoon Network animated series follows Finn the Human (Jeremy Shada) and his best friend Jake the Dog (John DiMaggio) as they fight evil in the wacky Land of Ooo. On the surface, it’s a cute kids’ show full of characters shaped like snack foods and ukulele-accompanied musical numbers. As the series progresses, however, Finn and Jake begin to uncover the dark secrets of their world and are confronted with larger and larger evils. 

The show’s nine seasons allows plenty of time to get invested in the lives of the characters, like the complicated and villainous Ice King (Tom Kenny), the scientist-monarch Princess Bubblegum (Hynden Walch) and her on-again off-again vampire lover Marceline (Olivia Olson). All the while, Finn and Jake are growing up and learning to come to terms with the fact that the world is not as black and white as they once saw it.

“Adventure Time” also lands some seriously funny jokes. The series’ sense of humor proves endearing due to its mild absurdity and the fact that comedy is always balanced with plot and character growth. The saddest part of finishing the last episode is saying goodbye to the wonderful people of Ooo.

Wall-E (Disney+) // Diana Velasquez, Senior Staff Writer

I am one of those people who watches a Pixar movie when I need to cry. There are parts of each and every one that can bring you to tears, and most people would tell you to watch the first 10 minutes of “Up” if you needed a good cry. But “Wall-E” really is the hard hitter.

“Wall-E” tells the story of the last lonely little trash robot left on Earth who spends his days cleaning up the trash-filled Earth that humans left behind, until one day, Wall-E encounters a strange new bot, all sleek and shiny compared to his bucket-of-bolts look he’s got going on. This bot is named Eve and is looking for evidence of life on Earth. Predictably, Wall-E is smitten, and the two have to navigate amidst their feelings while trying to figure out where mankind has gone. And the movie, no matter what anyone else says about environmental themes or criticisms of capitalism, is about their love story. 

Wall-E and Eve have themselves a space adventure, a really beautiful one. The most amazing part of it is that neither of them say a word the whole movie, but communicate in movement and voice — or shall I say beep? — inflections. It’s beautifully animated as most Pixar movies are, which is enough to bring a tear to your eye. And a lot of the movie does center itself on the human crisis, and our impact on the Earth, but it’s overshadowed by a love story without words. That’ll have you watching teary eyed, as Wall-E and Eve discover exactly how robots learn to love.