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The Paly Voice

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Get your holiday Netflix fix

What is better than curling up in front of the fire with hot cocoa and Netflix over winter break? Nothing. The question now is what movie or TV show to watch. Don’t worry. Here are some ideas based off some of our favorites.


These are photos from our five movie recommendations- “Titanic,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “The Hunger Games,” “Safe Haven” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Lions Gate Entertainment, Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company.

1. “The Hunger Games” (2012) and “Catching Fire” (2013)

If watching the third installment in the Hunger Games series, “Mockingjay – Part 1,” this past month is making you nostalgic for where it all began, you’re in luck. Both “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” are now available online. You can travel back into the arenas with Katniss and relive all of her adventures. Her kick-butt attitude combined with deep passion will make her feel like the best-friend-you-never-had. The emotional, action-driven storyline will keep you on your seat, perfect for a movie night with friends or family (or honestly, if we’re being real here, a movie night with yourself). Read a review here.

2. “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)

If you didn’t get enough of Jennifer Lawrence from religiously watching “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” from our first suggestion, this will be the perfect fix. A troubled Tiffany meets up with the equally messed up Pat, played by the easy-on-the-eyes Bradley Cooper, and embarks on a slightly off-beat journey to recovery. It’s intense at times with a rough vocabulary and raw emotions. An unconventional friendship tip-toeing around a relationship will be a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s tired of the typical Hollywood romance. Read a review here.

3. “Safe Haven” (2013)

Sometimes it’s just a Nicholas Sparks kind of night. Indulge yourself in Katie (Julianne Hough) and Alex’s (Josh Duhamel) peaceful life in coastal North Carolina. Coming out of an abusive relationship, Katie is reluctant to fall for widowed Alex, yet she adores his two young children, which brings them closer. All seems perfect until secrets from the past are unearthed. Following the classic Nicholas Sparks storyline with many twists and turns, “Safe Haven” will surely hold your attention and warm your heart.

4. “Titanic” (1997)

Although this movie predates students at Palo Alto High School, it is a perfect classic for the holiday season. Watch working-class Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) fall for aristocrat Rose (Kate Winslet) in the fictionalized story revolving around the R.M.S. Titanic tragedy in 1912. Watch Jack and Rose evade Rose’s judgemental parents and evacuate the ship together. Although we all know that Jack dies from hypothermia while Rose survives by lying on a door (by the way Rose, there was totally room for two – scoot over), “Titanic,” whether you have watched it before or not, is the perfect catharsis for crying and eating ice cream on the couch after finals.

5. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003)

Watching “Black Pearl” will bring you back to the beginning of this amazing series by reminding us why this franchise is so fantastic: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow is perfect, and the soundtrack is flawless (seriously, adding in that music to any situation automatically makes it 100 percent cooler). Following along with Sparrow on his adventures will keep you thoroughly entertained with his classic one-liners, swagger and winding exploits. You may find yourself developing a soft spot for this infamous pirate, even if you’re really supposed to be pulling for Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and Will (Orlando Bloom). While their romance is a nice side plot, Jack Sparrow is the true main act. It’s perfect for a throwback Thursday over break and to get you pumped for the release of the next installment of the series, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” due to come out in 2017 (don’t worry if that sounds like forever, there are three other “Pirates” movies to keep you satisfied in between).

T.V. Shows

Photos from our five T.V. recommendations – “Friends,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Gossip Girl,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.” Photos courtesy of NBCUniversal, CBS Broadcasting, NBC and CW Network.

1. “Friends” (1994-2004)

Prepare yourself. On Jan. 1, all 10 seasons of the iconic ’90s show, “Friends,” will be on Netflix. “Friends” is a sitcom revolving around six –  you guessed it – friends experiencing their first years of adulthood in New York. Between Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) famous on-and-off relationship, flashbacks to Monica’s (Courteney Cox) not-so-glamorous high school years, Joey’s (Matt LeBlanc) comic relief, Chandler’s (Matthew Perry) quirkiness and Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow) singing, “Friends” will keep you laughing through winter break. Even if you have seen every single episode, indulge yourself by watching your favorite episodes or by watching 238.

2.  “How I Met Your Mother” (2005-2014)

If you’re looking for a modern comedy series, “How I Met Your Mother” is the show for you. Also set in New York, the series follows bachelor Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) through flashbacks as he recounts to his children in 2030 how he met their mother. Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Ted’s best friends from college, unconditionally support him as they go from dating to married. Throughout the entire series Ted juggles his complicated relationship with TV news anchor Robin (Cobie Smulders) and often fights with his womanizing “best bro,” Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). After the truly legendary finale that aired this March, all 77 hours (208 episodes) are available for your viewing pleasure.

3. “Gossip Girl” (2007-2012)

Look no further if you want to enter the lavish secret world of the Manhattan Upper East Side. “Gossip Girl” follows Selena (Blake Lively), Blair (Leighton Meester), Chuck (Ed Westwick), Nate (Chace Crawford) and Dan (Penn Badgley) from their last years of high school and through college as they navigate their complicated lives filled with money, lies and betrayal. Despite their internal group drama, they are the victims of an internet blogger, Gossip Girl. Ultimately, after six seasons, Gossip Girl is revealed. Voiced by Kristen Bell, each episode begins with Gossip Girl’s famous slogan, “Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite. And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me. xoxo, Gossip Girl.”

4. “The Office” (2005-2013)

The shenanigans of “The Office” could lift up anyone’s spirit. Even though it ended nearly two years ago, you can still relive all of the glory days on Netflix over this holiday break. Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson will keep you laughing as you go through the mockumentary of “The Office.” It has something for everyone, with a variety of pranks and relationships (doesn’t everyone just want to be like Jim and Pam). Perfect as an escape this break from boredom or any awkward relatives, you won’t be able to stop smiling watching “The Office.”

5. “Parks and Recreation” (2009-present)

Currently finishing up its final season, now is the perfect time to marathon all six seasons in anticipation for the last one. A rock-solid comedic cast will have you falling in love with Pawnee and the affectionate Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). Similar in style to “The Office,” featuring deadpan humor from cast favorites April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). If you can’t get enough of Aubrey Plaza, she also stars in the Grumpy Cat movie, “Grump Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever,” which came out late last month. Watching this TV show will make you want to have a friendship like Leslie and Ann (Rashida Jones), make you fall in love with the opposites-attract-romance of April and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), and make you want to treat yo’ self like Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and Donna Meagle (Retta).

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About the Contributors
Liana Pickrell, Author
Maddy Jones, Author

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