New TV: Worth the Watch?

Bela De Jesus, Aylin Tepe, and Sage Ye

Big Mouth Season 4: A fresh take on preteen angst

By Bela De Jesus

Photo by IMDb

Everyone’s favorite animated middle schooler’s are back! Big Mouth Season 4 came out on December 4th, 2020 after a couple months delay due to Covid-19 restrictions. The season was long awaited after the success of the first three seasons, which followed Nick, Andrew, and their friends as they navigate puberty in middle school. The show is known for its raunchy humor and comedic writing from some of the best comedians and writers in the game. Season 4 is no different in its hilarity, and insanity.

We follow Nick, Andrew, and Jessie as they go to sleep away camp, while the rest of the gang stays in Westchester. On top of keeping the same witty humor and bizarre relationships, Big Mouth addresses issues that needed to be addressed. The season introduces the Anxiety Mosquito, which follows the middle schoolers as they go through the summer. The manifestation of anxiety is something that many kids deal with, and is included in a funny, yet thoughtful way.

The show also made a change to their cast in replacing Jenny Slate, the voice actor for Missy, with writer Ayo Edebiri, who made her acting debut this season. Their choice to evolve the cast with Missy is essential, as Missy comes to terms with being a mixed-race pre-teen, and struggles with her complex racial identity as a mixed black woman in this season. This shows that the show is evolving with its characters, which is something that should be applauded. While the season can get weird at times, the season is definitely worth a watch, and if you haven’t seen the whole show yet, you should, it’s a great laugh full of absurd fun.

BEASTARS Season 2: Welcome to Cherryton

By Aylin Tepe

Photo by Orange: Anime Studio @CG_Orange_eng

After a massively successful first season, Paru Itagaki’s award-winning manga series Beastars has officially released its second season on the popular content platform Netflix. The critically acclaimed series has garnered the support of thousands due to its elaborate storyline, fantastic soundtrack, and beautiful animation. 

Often referred to as “R Rated Zootopia” due to the fact that both series contain anthropomorphic animals, the similarities between the two lie at surface value as the world of Beastars takes a much darker turn. Many often water down the complexity of this series to that of a kids show, but Beastars manages to compellingly incorporate the mundanities of high school life, to larger than life topics such as racism, social taboos, and discriminatory prejudice. 

The first season of Beastars covers the murder of a student at Cherryton Academy, which causes a major rift in this already tense, fictional society between herbivores and carnivores. The protagonist, a grey wolf called Legoshi, who is all too aware of his social standing as a “vicious” carnivore, has to deal with constant prejudice directed towards him, while simultaneously grappling with his own, deeper instincts. The series later takes on a slightly romantic turn as Legoshi falls for a herbivore, a dwarf rabbit named Haru. Well aware of society’s view on this scandalous friendship-turned romance, the two struggle to maintain their daily lives while dealing with the complicated emotions of youth. 

The initial 12 episodes ends with a cliffhanger that will bring tears of frustration to your eyes, but so far, the second season has managed to unravel some of the show’s multifaceted mysteries. A brand new opening with lyrics that tie directly into the plot, the introduction of captivating characters, and after credits that tug at the heartstrings, it is clear that Beastars is preparing to make audiences howl. Additionally, the second season tackles the taboo of consuming meat in a much more straightforward fashion than before, insinuating that the season would get even grittier. Even with only three episodes of the second season out, I can personally claim that no corners were cut, and the series is continuing to pave its way towards quite the wild legacy. 

Plot twists, conflict, and drama galore, Beastars will leave you on the edge of your seat with every episode. This idiosyncratic series offers a refreshing perspective on nature vs nurture, instinct vs rational thought, and control. If you wish to dive into this fictional world be prepared for an untamed journey of push-and-pull conflict as you watch the characters sort out their past in order to move on with their future.

The Queen’s Gambit engulfs you in a tale of a troubled child prodigy

By Sage Ye

Photo by Film Daily

Recently, a new show called Queen’s Gambit has taken over Netflix and captivated audiences worldwide. It came out in late October of 2020, and since then it has only grown in attention and viewership. The story is taken not from history, but from a book called Queen’s Gambit by author Walter Travis. Although it is not a true story, many characters seem to parallel real life chess legends during the 1960s, such as one Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. 

The show follows Beth Harmon, the female underdog chess player who charms audiences through a series of cunning moves in her chess games, as well as her resilience to the struggles that come her way. An important part of Harmon’s life that the episodes follow is her usage and eventual addiction to drugs and alcohol. Harmon’s chess success and her substance abuse work as two plot lines that drive the show, and thoroughly intertwine. The games themselves are nothing short of riveting. Every match Harmon plays displays her sharp intuition as well comprehension of each piece and their moves. 

The show itself does a very fine job of showcasing the epic highs and lows of simple chess games authenticity representing how real players feel when they sit in front of the board. One possible critique could be how it handles substance abuse in an unrealistic way, but that and any criticism falls short when you get through a story that’s sewn together by the perfect mix of drama, beauty, emotion, and chess. The show was just what everyone needed at a time where everyone is staying home binging, and it’s popularity has been reflected by the sudden growth of the chess community, with 7 million people joining in the two months following the show’s release. Even non-chess enthusiasts will find something to enjoy in it. It is most definitely a show to check out filled with characters to fall in love with.