Now that the cold front has officially made its way into Berkeley, we at the Clog really only have one thing on our minds — Netflix. As cuddle weather commences, all we want to do is snuggle up and let mindless television carry us somewhere far, far away from the quickly encroaching cloud of finals. While the idea, in theory, is pretty straightforward, the task of choosing from thousands of titles to find the perfect one can be incredibly daunting. So we thought we’d give you all a little something special this holiday season — think of it as an early Christmas present — and provide you with a list of the top 10 movies and shows to watch on Netflix this winter. Here they are, in no particular order. Happy viewing!
1. “Frances Ha” (2012)
Watch this one on a lazy Sunday with your best friend after you’ve both just realized that there is life after college and that it feels slightly terrifying. The film revolves around 28 year-old Frances as she traverses the ups and downs of the real world, featuring shaky friendships and an unsuccessful dance career. It makes us laugh, cry and hope that everything works out in the end.
2. “Love Actually” (2003)
Honestly, how could we not? Have a movie night with the whole crew (significant others included) and drink hot cocoa with marshmallows while you wish Hugh Grant were actually the British prime minister and wonder why you didn’t have a sizzling hot romance when you were 11. And really, anything that can make a porno romantic is a winner in our book.
3. “Beginners” (2011)
Need a movie that restores your faith in 21st-century cinema and humanity in general? Watch this one. Ewan McGregor (swoon) and Melanie Laurent (double swoon) bring out the absolute best in each other and put our #relationshipgoals through the roof. Watch it by yourself at the airport when your flight gets delayed. Watch it when you decide to have a stay-in date night. Watch it with your grandma on Christmas Eve. Literally, just watch it.
4. “Submarine” (2011)
A coming-of-age indie romance for people who are not really into coming-of-age indie romances. Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate tries to simultaneously save his parents’ marriage and lose his virginity, making for a beautifully sad and wit-filled film that you don’t think can get any better until you find out that Alex Turner produced a collection of gorgeously soft, acoustic-filled songs for the soundtrack. Ugh, yes.
5. “Stand By Me” (1986)
If you have gone your entire life thus far without seeing this classic, we’re seriously questioning whether or not you know the true meaning of friendship. This is kind of everything we just talked about, wrapped up into one hilarious, tear-jerking, coming-of-age story that can be watched alone or with all your best friends. A group of young boys holding on to the last few years of innocence as they prepare to enter high school go on a journey to find a dead body in the hopes of gaining fame and notoriety in their small town. Don’t let the plot mislead you, though. The movie is less about dead bodies and much more about the crucial, yet often heartbreaking, process of growing up — #relevance
6. “First Position” (2011)
Documentary time! Watch this one before finals, and let yourself be inspired by hard work paying off and dreams coming true. Even if you fail every final — which we totally know you won’t — at least you’ll have the vicarious satisfaction of knowing that Joan Sebastian is now living out his dream of becoming a professional ballerina. And that is all any of us are really asking for at the end of the semester, right?
7. “Mortified Nation” (2013)
Do you ever look back on something really dumb you did when you were 8 and just cringe for, like, five minutes? Want to watch an entire documentary that revolves around people doing the same? We know you do. Because we did. And trust us, you will not be disappointed. In a stand-up-style environment, people from all over the country read excerpts from the diary entries they wrote between the years of elementary school to high school about everything from discovering their sexuality to discovering cuss words. Want to know the coolest part? “Mortified Nation” actually makes stops in San Francisco and Oakland, which means that if you like it enough, you may actually have the opportunity to see it done live! Just don’t forget to invite us.
8. “The Killing” (2011-14)
We all know what Dead Week is actually about — Netflix binges. So, of course, we have provided you with a show with which to do just that! Originally aired on AMC, “The Killing” is not your average detective show. It follows the unlikely duo of Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder as they attempt to solve the case of a missing young woman. The dialogue, character profiles and plotlines are all spectacular and will, unfortunately, keep your attention much more than any organic chemistry notes ever could. Sorry, not sorry.
9. “The Virgin Suicides” (1999)
Looking for a really good book that turned into a really good movie? Here ya go. The story, told through the perspective of four neighborhood boys, revolves around the five Lisbon sisters, whose tragic suicides shook their small town to its core. As the boys try to uncover what led to the girls’ ultimate fate, they reveal a strange, yet beautifully compiled, collection of youthful tragedies that can only be expressed justly by Sophia Coppola. Just don’t forget to read the book, too!
10. American Horror Story (2011-13)
We are not going to pretend that this is some hidden gem you’ve never heard of and take credit for its ever-increasing popularity. We’re just going to politely suggest that your winter break involve a little less holly jolly and a little more creepy crawly. Good horror flicks are pretty tough to come by these days, so when you stumble upon a collection of episodes with an all-star cast that does what you thought could not be done, it is about time you get on that bandwagon.