Five Binge-Worthy Favorites at Media Services

If you are as weary as I am of watching another eight or so bucks deduct from your bank account every month just so you can see the end of your favorite classic sitcom, then you have two options available to you: a) get a gullible friend or relative to lend their streaming passwords to you (this works wonders, but gets awkward when you accidentally log out and have to ask a second time…plus, you know, laws) or b) take advantage of the resources provided by your local library. This blog post is totally above board and therefore about the latter.

The collections at Herman B Wells Library’s Media Services department contain all manner of art films and educational documentaries, which are frequently used by instructors in all manner of courses in many different fields. But the holdings in our collections are not all obscure, “highbrow,” or educational, as much as those types of films may thrill some of our patrons.

L: Bergman, Ingmar. Senses of Cinema. Digital Image. https://www.sensesofcinema.com/2002/great-directors/bergman/. R: Federico Fellini. Wikipedia. Digital Image. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_Fellini#/media/File:Federico_Fellini_NYWTS_2.jpg.

In fact, many films in our collections are iconic classics and recent blockbusters. One of my personal favorite sections is our television series section, which boasts more than 50 TV series, most of them complete, from the early days of the medium to recent titles. If you have not visited us yet, here are five potentially amazing TV binges we have at Media Services for you to check out!

The Office

The Office (US version) is like the “Sweet Caroline” of TV shows; when it first came out it wasn’t bad but also wasn’t very popular until years later. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this mockumentary sitcom based on the British series by the same name is about an awkward, eccentric paper manufacturing regional manager (Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell) and his employees’ experiences in the workplace. This show’s comedic writing and interesting characters launched it into the mainstream after its availability on Netflix, and since then has become a cult classic and a quotable cultural cliché. You won’t regret watching or re-watching such a classic hit!

The Office  cast on set. Digital Image. Thrive Global. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/mindful-communication-lessons-from-the-office/.

Game of Thrones

The HBO masterpiece that needs no introduction, Game of Thrones is a cinematic, 8-season show based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Critically acclaimed (with a 92% average on RottenTomatoes.com), some fans will argue that the series only devolves as it progresses.

Game of Thrones Promotional Artwork. Digital image. Digital Spy. https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/a33833081/game-of-thrones-an-oral-history-of-the-greatest-tv-show-of-our-time/.

Others argue that the creative directions in the middle and final seasons were unexpected and therefore fascinating. However, no one will argue that the story and world that is experienced by watching Game of Thrones will keep you hooked and begging to know to whom does the throne end up with at the end of the game.

Photo credit: Game of Thrones. Digital Image. IMDB.com. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/mediaviewer/rm3519114752/

Arrested Development

Arrested Development (2003) Cast. Digital Image. Den of Geek. https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/why-you-should-watch-arrested-development/.

Arrested Development is about Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), a man who is forced to inherit his father’s company, built on criminal activity, all the while rebuilding his eccentric family’s reputation and fortune and his relationship with his son. But what’s more interesting than the story of Arrested Development is the story behind Arrested Development. When the show first aired on the Fox network in 2003, it got pretty good reviews and developed a loyal fanbase, but by 2006 and after three successful seasons, the creator felt that he had told the story he wanted to tell. Those are the three seasons that are available at Media Services, but the remaining two seasons, released in 2013 and 2018-19, were only released as Netflix exclusives. Fortunately, the seasons we do have are considered the best by loyal fans, so let’s just say we did that on purpose.

Arrested Development (2013) Cast. Digital Image. The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/17/15653446/arrested-development-netflix-fifth-season.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The show that was there for a whole generation of children, Avatar: The Last Airbender mastered the formula of the kids-show genre. It does this by mixing traditional elements like good morals and a simple plot with more complex storytelling and worldbuilding. The fantastic world of Avatar tells a story of what it means to have a destiny or a purpose, and what it means to value life itself. Not only that, but it tells the story set in a magical world where people have the ability to control either fire, water, air, or earth, but only one hero can master all four elements. That being is known as the avatar, and Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen), the next avatar, must travel the world with his friends to master the elements and stop the evil fascist Fire Nation from enslaving the rest of the world! A simple story with high stakes, all three seasons of ATLA are a must-watch!

ATLA Characters. Digital Image. Common Sense Media. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/avatar-the-last-airbender.

Boy Meets World

Last but not least is Boy Meets World, an appropriate series for those who are inching closer to graduation year and starting to look back on your educational experience. This 90s sitcom is about the life of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and the lessons he learns as he navigates a life of middle school, high school, and eventually college. Along the way, Cory learns life lessons about love, family, work, society, respect, health, and a myriad of other themes that would be featured on an after-school special, and it wouldn’t be inaccurate to call Boy Meets World an extension of exactly that. Although the 90s humor and morality-grounded plot may get monotonous, those who already love the series will love to know that Media Services has every season of Boy Meets World! Even if you’ve never seen it before, this timeless series is definitely worth a binge!

Boy Meets World (1993) Original Cast. Digital Image. Vulture. https://www.vulture.com/2012/11/5-things-the-boy-meets-world-sequel-needs-to-do.html.

All of the shows mentioned above are very different, with completely different storylines, plots, settings, themes, and overall vibes. But there are two things each of these series do have in common: they are all incredibly good classic TV shows that are hard to tear away from, and they are all available to check out for free at Media Services! BC

Student staff blogger Brandon Carr is a recent graduate of IU Bloomington with a BA in Psychology and a double minor in Counseling and Japanese. He has worked at Media Services since 2017, and he also likes to play video games in his spare time. This summer is Brandon’s last with Media Services, and we are so grateful for his many contributions to the department over the years. We wish Brandon the very best in his next chapter and will miss his fun spirit!