By Jen Eason
What’s On Your Watchlist?
BY JEN EASON
I have the privilege of being quarantined with five other human beings and two felines, namely, my family. They provide madness-abating social interaction and give me someone to talk to besides myself and the walls. They also provide movie recommendations (well, the cats don’t) when we’ve decided that we can’t actually stand another evening of card games. It’s mostly my mom and my brother, who have two very different tastes. David is a self-proclaimed weeb (someone who likes anime) and tried to explain the origin of the term to me, but I’ve already forgotten. We started with Spirited Away which is the first and last anime film that I think my nearly 60-year-old father will ever watch. He wasn’t really the target demographic, I suppose. I’m not going to say that I completely followed the plot—David looked up a 17-minute video afterward explaining all the references to Japanese folk tales—but it did earn two hours and five minutes of my attention. We followed up with Princess Mononoke, which has a slightly more understandable plot but a lot more death. The last one we watched was I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, during which David admitted that even he didn’t really understand Japanese culture just yet. It’s a cute movie, though.
Nights when we let Mom pick, we travel back to 1980s America, which has made me realize that even if our country isn’t where it should be, we have improved a little bit. In Flashdance, a 30+ year-old guy has a relationship with an 18 year-old girl, who is also his employee. Her kids watching the movie with her were appalled at this, but Mom recounted how her bosses in the 80s frequently asked her out on dates, sometimes during performance reviews. So there’s that. And one of the only lines spoken by a person of color was, “I’m glad I’m not a honky!” which Mom had to explain the meaning of to us. In Risky Business, which my dad claimed was just like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, *SPOILER* a rich white kid gets into Princeton for starting a brothel. Another spoiler, that is not the plot of Ferris Bueller. The next slotted film is Fame which is primarily about singing and dancing, some of my favorite things, so I have slightly higher hopes.
When I’m Netflix and chilling by myself (don’t take that the wrong way), I have a slightly different selection. Most of the shows are in Spanish, a habit leftover from last fall in Barcelona. (Wait, Jen, did you study abroad? Oh, shut up.) They just released the last season of Élite, which is basically Pretty Little Liars set in Spain. The latest season of La Casa de Papel which you might know as Money Heist just came out as well. My new favorite is called Toy Boy and is about a male stripper accused of murder, think Magic Mike meets Law and Order. Another one that I’ve recently become obsessed with is La Esclava Blanca which means the white slave. It’s about slavery in Colombia in the 1800s, which I’m sure I knew existed, but when you say slavery, I only think of the US. It’s very educational. The last show on my alluring “Continue Watching” list is Osmosis, which is in French, because I told myself I’d learn French during quarantine. I’m watching it in French with French subtitles, so I’m not going to claim that I know exactly what’s going on, but it has a very Black Mirror vibe, especially if you’ve seen the episode “Hang the DJ.”
So, during quarantine, I’m learning a little history and getting a little bit of culture. I’m being very productive, as you can tell. Just ask my cats.
Jen Eason (email@example.com) watches Netflix for the Harvard Independent.