Weekend Watchlist | Back to School

By The Pitt News Staff

The first week of classes is behind us, bringing back the crushing reality that school is nothing like you see in TV shows and movies. Everyone’s too tired from getting through fifty pages of reading or studying to really have the kind of fun shenanigans you see on-screen.

We’ll just have to be content watching them while putting off discussion board posts, so this week The Pitt News Staff are listing some of our favorite shows and films depicting school life with varying degrees of accuracy.

The Breakfast Club (Peacock) // Patrick Swain, Staff Writer

One morning, a nerd, a jock, a diva, a goth and a rebel walk into the high school library where they will sit inside, serving a seemingly ceaseless detention sentence and sacrificing a sunny Saturday. Confined within the walls of a library, the group sulks in silence, staring into space surveilled by a stickler vice principal. Everyone would rather be elsewhere. When their authoritarian observer is distracted, they finally shatter the ice with the help of good ol’ marijuana and secrets begin to spill. Each individual is spending half their weekend indoors for a different reason, corresponding to their vastly contrasting lifestyles and social circles, but they unite around their disillusionment with family, school and the world.

Director John Hughes poignantly portrays teenage angst in the 1980s with a succinct and marvelously entertaining comedy traversing the dread of young adulthood, which persists in the present.

So, in honor of “The Breakfast Club,” remember to trauma dump to strangers while sitting in a circle on the floor some time.

Never Have I Ever (Netflix) // Katelyn Kruszewski, Staff Writer

Sit down, grab your popcorn and prepare to binge watch “Never Have I Ever.”

This coming-of-age comedy-drama series on Netflix follows the life of highschooler Devi Vishwakumar. Devi struggles to navigate life after the sudden death of her father Mohan. Devi loses sensation in her legs due to the psychological trauma of his passing, but miraculously recovers just in time for her next school year.

After the hell that has been her highschool experience, she is determined to change things. Devi seeks to elevate her social status, score school playboy Paxton Hall-Yoshida and get into her dream school. Chaos ensues when Devi finds herself making a series of wrong turns leading her into the middle of a love triangle. She struggles to navigate her close relationships with friends and family, with all events being narrated by professional tennis player John McEnroe for comedic effect.

“Never Have I Ever” is witty, fun and heartfelt, pulling at your heartstrings with loveable characters that you can identify with. You’ll find yourself screaming at the screen when Devi makes a rash decision and cheering for your favorite love interest (Team Paxton!) While the series makes you laugh your butt off, it has incredibly intimate moments that make you realize how important family, identity and love are. Odds are you’ll breeze through the series in three days.

Back to School (HBO Max) // Jacob Mraz, Staff Writer

Did you know you can use that HBO subscription for more than just “Game of Thrones”? Plus, who doesn’t love an old school comedy?

The year is 1986, the Chernobyl disaster is fresh on the minds of the world, the Montreal Canadiens have just won their 23rd Stanley Cup, and acclaimed comedic actor Rodney Dangerfield stars as Thornton Melon in Alan Metter’s “Back to School.”

Thornton is a corporate giant in the plus-size clothing industry and father to Jason (Keith Gordon), a dejected college student who feels unfulfilled in his college career. He has no friends, is a waterboy for the diving team, has no luck with the girls and wants to drop out. Thornton, having never gone to college, convinces Jason to stay by enrolling in school with him after making a bribe to the university for a new building.

With his wealth and booming personality, Thornton gains his son a slew of new friends and notoriety. But fame is a powerful drug and a rift forms between the two, along with a string of academic and social problems for Thornton as he clashes with teachers and staff.

Hilarious, lighthearted and featuring a cameo by the late great author Kurt Vonnegut, “Back to School” is a must-watch and a highly quotable classic.