I’ve always been a huge movie buff and, in recent years, I’ve gotten into watching several TV series on Netflix.
It’s really interesting how media can infiltrate your mind and help you to better understand different situations and different perspectives. A lot of the times, I end up thinking to myself about how often certain things happen in the real world and go completely unnoticed.
So, in case you too are also a movie or TV series fan, I wanted to compile a list of 5 shows or movies you need to watch that will change your perspective or further enlighten you to think harder about the world around you.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Seriously, if you haven’t seen The Breakfast Club, you’ve got to watch it as soon as possible. This movie, from 1985, follows the story of a group of five high school students who are sentenced to Saturday detention for various wrongdoings.
The five students include a jock, a “princess,” a criminal, a “brain,” and a basket case. Throughout the day, they reveal more and more about themselves and end up seeing that, although they are really different, they have a lot more in common than they thought.
I have to admit that I binge-watched Scandal on Netflix. The show follows a powerful woman, Olivia Pope, who helps clients get out of sticky situations. Some of her methods aren’t exactly legal, which is what really changed my perspective and enlightened me. I began to wonder if there was a real type of Olivia Pope out there who cleaned up messes for people of power. I’m sure there is.
In the series, Pope has an affair with the president of the United States (which I of course don’t like) and also finds out that her mother is a terrorist and her father is the head of a secret spy agency that helps “defend the republic at all costs.”
Crazy things happen, and it really makes you wonder if this goes on in our own government and how people manage to cover it up so easily without millions of people finding out.
13 REASONS WHY
I actually read this book when I was a library assistant in high school. We were required to do a book report every few weeks on a book we picked out from our favorite section. Actually, the book isn’t far from the TV series if I remember correctly.
Basically, the series follows Hannah, a girl who has committed suicide. She sends out tapes to everyone who “played a role” in her death. Personally, I didn’t agree with Hannah’s decision, but it makes you really understand how your words and actions have impacts on people. Hannah was bullied and even assaulted, but no one finds out until after she is dead.
The second season is even more revealing, as it follows the lawsuit Hannah’s mother and father filed against the school for not protecting her. You learn so much and there is a twist ending that may leave you kind of queasy.
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
This show is a Netflix original. I really like the plot of the show because I kind of relate to it in a way. It follows Sam who is the host of a radio show called “Dear White People” at a prestigious college. Because it is prestigious, a lot of privileged white students (and some who aren’t) are on campus and say and do things that make life uncomfortable for students of color.
The thing I relate to is that Sam is actually in a relationship with a white TA, at least for the better half of the first season. A lot of her friends give her trouble for being in a relationship with a white man. I’ve been the white person in this type of relationship. I’ve seen negativity from both sides, so I really related to it. Of course, I can't fully relate to the experience of a person of color because I'm not one, but this series really helps. It eloquently explains Sam’s position and the opinions of her friends. I did still come away from the show with disagreements, but they were really minor.
DEAD POETS SOCIETY
This is another movie that tackles deep themes in a very charming and beautiful way. The movie centers on a boy’s school and their class with Professor John Keating, played by the beloved late Robin Williams, who teaches them all about poetry.
The thing is, Keating is no ordinary professor. He teaches the boys to think and look at life from different perspectives, even making them tear a page out of their textbooks. The boys find out about the Dead Poet Society, which was a group of boys who met up to read poetry in a secret location.
Keating introduces himself in class by telling the boys they can call him Professor Keating or “Oh Captain! My Captain!” which was based off of a poem by Walt Whitman. The end is touching. When Keating is leaving the school (you’ll have to watch the movie to find out why he is leaving), the boys get up on the desk and call out to him “Oh Captain! My Captain!”
The story explores themes associated with growing up, hormones, learning, death, life, and love to name a few. Check it out on Netflix.
What is one of your favorite movies that changed your perspective or opinion on something? Let me know in the comments!
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