If you’ve got some time on your hands and you’re at a bit of a loss while staring at Netflix, wondering what exactly to watch, then I’ve got some shows I think everyone should watch. Despite many flaws and inaccuracies, these shows were made to make their target audiences feel less alone in the world. Every journey the characters/ stars go through can be relatable in one way or another. So these are my top 5 shows everyone should watch, and why. Before you read on, some of these shows may be triggering for some people. If anything sounds too much for you, please don’t feel like you have to watch it. These are all of my personal opinion and are not meant to cause offence or any discomfort to anyone.
Glee took to our TV screens in 2009 and took us all by storm. Granted, it wasn’t and still will never be everyone’s cup of tea, but it did it’s best to discuss everything from sexuality to mental health, from following your dreams to being pregnant in high school. It even dealt with the extremely tragic and heartbreaking death of its star Cory Monteith. Although he passed away due to an accidental drug overdose, they don’t directly say how his character, Finn Hudson died. They never shied away from taboo topics, so why should the death of their co-star and friend be any different?
The journeys each characters go through throughout the seasons definitely appeal to the shows target audience. For me, it gave me friends for an hour or so when I felt like I had no one. When a character felt alone, I felt like I wasn’t alone in feeling alone. Even if you just enjoy the first couple of seasons, Glee is something I can’t imagine not having in my life. Everything about it makes me want to cry because I feel as if I could say ‘yes! Someone somewhere finally gets how I feel/ felt when I was in that situation!’ That’s why I think Glee should be on this list.
4. RuPaul’s Drag Race.
You might have heard of this show. Heck you might even be a fan of the many memes and gifs that come from the show. But what you might not know is that RuPaul’s Drag Race is so much more than just a show about the LGBTQ* community. RuPaul’s Drag Race is about acceptance, friendship and respect. Something everyone needs reminding of every once in a while. The life lessons and advice the queens share throughout their time on the show can be extremely moving. The show has seen queens openly discuss their experiences with AIDs, abuse, neglect and of course coming out to their friends and families.
Even if you aren’t in the LGBTQ* community, the show is worth a watch just for the entertainment value of it all. But you never know, you might just learn something that opens your eyes, mind and heart. Since watching the show, I feel much more confident in being myself and the lessons I’ve learnt are invaluable. My style is my style. I am loved. I am a valid human being despite the hardships I’ve gone through. And more than anything, when the time comes to lip-sync for your life… you better work! (Basically, don’t waste opportunities when they come your way).
3. Orange Is The New Black.
Orange Is The New Black is so much more than just a comedy drama that’s shown on Netflix. It shows how unfair America’s justice system is, how LGBTQ* people are ridiculed and seen as taboo, it shows that’s mental health comes in all shapes, colours and sizes. But still, there’s prejudice that surrounds certain ethnicities, mental illnesses and so on. The show really sheds light on key issues in today’s society, which can be extremely difficult to watch as it gets too close to home in some cases.
Every issue the show delves into, the creators do it with such consideration and respect for anyone in similar situations or facing similar challenges, it becomes reality for everyone. The uncomfortable truths for some people are the uncomfortable and heartbreaking lives for others. Orange is The New Black gives people the chance to experience life in several different view points, all whilst adding that much needed comedy. It’s a clever and unique show that everyone should at least watch once. I had to watch the first season 3 times before I finally got into it, and I am so glad I found my love for it!
When I went to college after dropping out of sixth form, I low-key expected it to be like the college from Skins. I was expecting my own group of friends that had their own quirks and flaws. But like the other shows I’ve listed so far, Skins is extremely close to home for me seeing as it discusses issues and topics that I’ve lived through, and will continue to live with. Each ‘generation’ had their own storyline, but each one struck a chord inside me. Everything and anything you could think of, Skins discusses it. From drugs, sex and illnesses, to friendships, death and life.
When I started watching Skins, I didn’t think my life would be that crazy. But little did I know that I’d have to deal with the death of five friends in the future. I didn’t think I’d have to contemplate my own life. Or that I’d be diagnosed with physical and mental illnesses that would stay with me for life. I mean, who could ever predict that?! But Skins got me through some hard times. It triggered a mental breakdown (the episode when the thing happens to Freddie….that nearly ended me) and it was also the cause for me to know that help is always there. It’s definitely an over exaggeration of everything it discusses. But I guess that’s how being a teenage / young adult feels. You feel like everything is the be all and end all. Skins is an iconic show that should be watched by British teens and young adults no matter their situation in life. Skins can shed some light on some hard-hitting issues that can be deeply unsettling, but they’re also issues that need to be heard. During it’s time airing on-screen, many young people sought help for their mental health. It also encouraged more open and honest discussions about mental health amongst young people. All whilst still being hilarious and relatable.
1. My Mad Fat Diary.
My Mad Fat Diary is by far the only show I’ve ever watched that I have honestly sat there and identified with the main characters struggle. I get so emotional talking about this show because of how important it is to me. The show follows 16-year-old Rae who embarks on the long road of recovery after suffering with depression, self harm and attempted suicide. Not only does the show delve into Rae’s life, but the lives of her friends. Everything about the show was scarily similar to how my life was. Everything from Rae’s life to the types of friends she had.
I could talk about this show for hours and hours. I could even write an academic essay on it. But I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of why this show is super important. I’ll just give you a brief explanation and then hopefully you might decide to check it out for yourself. Anyone that went through any type of hardship, a love life, low self-confidence, bullying, a drastic change in lifestyle, loss, confusion and everything in-between, this show will appeal to you. Every single aspect of the show is pure yet gritty. It’s beautiful but shows the ugly truths of mental illness. It is a perfect example of life. It’s utterly heartbreaking, but it will lift your spirits and make you feel pride. Pride for the characters striving and achieving in life, but also pride for yourself. For getting where you are today. This is by far my favourite show (sorry Supernatural!) and it is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. If you’ve ever felt alone or in need of some reassurance, then this show is something you should really consider binge watching. Just get a hot water bottle, chocolate/ice cream/ pizza and some tissues at the ready, because you’re about to discover a batch of completely new emotions that you’ve never, ever felt before.
If you’ve seen any of the shows above, let me know what ones and what you thought about them in the comments below! It’s so hard to think of just 5 shows that have had a huge impact on my life, but finally, I managed to narrow it down to what you’ve seen above. I hope you see why I feel like these shows deserve some recognition and why they should be seen by everyone at least once. As I stated at the beginning of this post, some of these shows may be seen as triggering to some people. So please, if anything seems too much, or too close to home, please don’t feel the need to watch them. They’re all on this list due to my personal opinion and I hope, if you do decide to watch any of them, you find some comfort and peace of mind through them. They did that for me, and I hope they do that for you. So, until next time, have an awfully big adventure for me!
Ps. Crowley helped me write this list and he says hello! Woof!