Tag Archives: comedy shows

Top 10 Underrated Gems on Netflix

Got decision fatigue? Here’s a list of underrated movies and TVshows from your fellow Longhorns to alleviate that fatigue and introduce you to some new favorites.

Kim’s Convenience

In need of a heartwarming show that will make you laugh until your sides hurt? This show portrays a Korean-Canadian family’s struggle to assimilate with the world around them without compromising their culture. The show captures a wide range of emotions from estrangement, generational guilt, and toxic masculinity while conveying peak comedy.

Courtesy of Polina Kovaleva 

A Simple Favor

Five words: Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. A Simple Favor is a psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes and have you hooked with its sarcastic humor and effortless storytelling. Lively and Kendrick perfectly fit the roles of Emily and Stephanie. While Henry Golding’s Sean Townsend somehow seems like the manipulator and the victim simultaneously. This movie will have you question every single detail about the case and all I can say is Gone Girl, who?

Young Royals

Looking for a more dramatic teen show? Young Royals may be the show for you. The show portrays the complexities of a young LGBTQIA person’s life with picturesque scenes and dark undertones. Through all the royal scandal, the show makes an important point about the last vestiges of royalty desperately clinging onto heterosexual views rather than the reality of the society they rule over.

Courtesy of Steve Johnson 

Sex Education

Moordale Secondary School seems like a fever dream with its rambunctious students, questionable teachers, and on-campus sex therapist. But Sex Education is truly one of the best Netflix original shows you will come across. Characters like Otis and Maeve are flawed yet fully fleshed out and seem real. Eric’s coming-out story is genuine and not forced or cheesy. Mr. Groff finding happiness after a lifetime of upholding societal expectations is truly inspiring. Most importantly the show de-stigmatizes sex and its activities without hyper-sexualizing its characters.

Fractured

Our worst nightmares are the product of our own imagination. This psychological thriller makes you question who is telling the truth, and you find yourself sympathizing with the protagonist, Ray, or is he the villain? The movie makes you go back and forth between the two versions of reality until the horrifying truth is made evident. A thriller truly worth watching that will keep you at the edge of your seat the whole time.

Courtesy of Michael Burrows 

Atelier

Get ready to step into the world of fashion with this beautiful and Get ready to step into the world of fashion with this beautiful and entertaining show. Atelier is the story of Mayuko Tokita finding her way into the fashion scene of Tokyo’s infamous Ginza district. If you loved The Devil Wears Prada and enjoyed watching glamour and style, this is the show for you.

Derry Girls

The Northern Ireland conflict of the 1990s is the last place you think of when looking for the setting of a feel-good coming of age story. Derry Girls captures the trials and tribulations of school dances, no-good tattletales, and boy troubles. The show is able to avoid cliches and captures its audience’s heart with its authenticity and humor.

She’s Gotta Have It 

This comedy is a fresh take on the struggling artist by replacing the whining pseudo-intellect with a young woman full of life. Furthermore, the show depicts sexuality without bias and portrays a pansexual without judgment or value-calls.

Courtesy of Tamanna Rumee 

AlRawabi School for Girls

Standing up to your high-school bully can be a pinnacle moment and the shifting point in your journey to find your confidence, but what happens when it goes wrong? This show examines the fine line between a victim and a bully. In the words of the director Tima Shomali, the female-led cast gives a “female perception on their issues.” The show carefully avoids the usual tropes of mean high school girls but rather goes deeper and questions the motivations behind being a bully and how your circumstances can turn you into a monster without realizing it.

To the Bone

Eating disorders are often mocked and used for cheap laughs in entertainment. To the Bone is raw in its depiction of how pervasive an eating disorder can be and how the disorder is not superficial or for attention. While To the Bone is not perfect in its depiction of mental illness it is a step in the right direction.

Featured Image Courtesy of cottonbro

Funny Bones: The Problem With How Comedies Treat Eating Disorders

Disclaimer: While eating disorders are a major issue that can impact anyone, this article will primarily focus on the way comedic media treats female characters in regards to eating/exercise behaviors as these are the characters eating disorder “jokes” tend to be focused on. If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please seek help immediately. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship with food, exercise and their body. 

Hollywood is full of unrealistic body expectations. From digital retouching to cosmetic surgeries, Hollywood and celebrities are under constant pressure to keep everyone looking supernaturally perfect all the time. 

As if this doesn’t have a big enough of an impact on the self-esteem of impressionable girls and women everywhere, many comedic shows tend to make the same cheap “joke.”

 We’ve all seen it. A beautiful woman in a scene displays some kind of eating disorder behavior but it’s played off as being “just how those crazy girls are” and lumped in with a cheesy laugh track.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at one of the most popular comedies in the last 10 years, “New Girl.” This Fox show was named one of the best new comedies when it premiered in 2011 and still has a large fan base. 

It’s full of dynamic characters, hilarious moments and unfortunately total disrespect for the severity of eating disorders. You don’t have to look any further than season 4, episode 16 “Oregon” to see one of the most horrific examples of this. Ashely Berkman, played by the stunning Kaitlin Olson, enters the scene. 

From the moment she comes into the room, the topic becomes food. The scene hits it’s unsettling climax when Ashley remarks “I haven’t eaten in three weeks. Trying to fit into my wedding dress.” The character doesn’t say the line ironically and she later reveals she is so hungry her dreams are about food. Despite the terrifying and life-threatening connotations of the scene, none of the characters point out any issues with it and the situation is presented as if the audience should laugh. 

At this point, you may be thinking “New Girl is just one show. Maybe the issue of eating disorders being treated as jokes is isolated to the “New Girl” writers room.” Unfortunately, no. 

Let’s talk about the iconic medical comedy “Scrubs”. The show ran for almost a decade and had nine seasons. “Scrubs” is from an entirely different production company than “New Girl” but the idea that eating disorders equate to comedy is the same. I’ll paint the scene:

Two main characters, J.D., a man, and Elliot, a woman, are walking down a hallway. The pair are discussing their upcoming trip while they enjoy donuts.

“Think about it, Elliot. Three days and you’re walking on the beach in your bikini,” J.D. says. Elliot immediately spits out her donut, an indicator of bulimia, a common bingeing and purging eating disorder. A laugh track plays and J.D. is unbothered. 

Pretty much every main character in “Scrubs” is a trained medical professional yet none of them recognize this as a serious issue or try to talk to Elliot about it. 

“New Girl” and “Scrubs” are far from the only comedies that hold this disturbing trend. If you want to see more examples for yourself, just take a look at “Glee”, “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother”. 

Why does it matter though? It’s just fake characters with fake disorders, right? Well, yes, but they have real consequences. Showing viewers, especially young viewers that these sorts of behaviors are not only acceptable but funny is irresponsible at best and deadly at worst. It is particularly damaging because the actresses who speak these lines are beautiful. So, a message is lodged in every viewer’s mind. “If you want to be beautiful like this person, you should do what this person is doing.” Suddenly, an eating disorder is born.  

This is not to say that comedy and media are responsible for all eating disorders. However, this is a call for comedies to stop treating eating disorders and those affected by them as punchlines.
I said this at the beginning of the article but I will say it again because it is the most important thing in the entire article: if you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or eating disorder behaviors— seek help immediately. You deserve to be healthy.

Featured image by Bettina Mateo