Leila Faraday: “Big Little Lies” whisks me away to the magical world of Monterey, California — equipped with elementary school mom conflict, range rovers, ugly marriages, fake philanthropic jobs and some dark secrets. The stacked cast and incredible performances from every actor against the beautiful pacific backdrop and all-too-realistic drama of being the parent of an 8-year-old future tech startup owner make this one of the best shows I have ever watched.
Sanjana Jairam: “Before Sunrise” acts as a metaphor to the growing pains of people in their twenties pondering the feasibility of lasting love. It’s not a cheesily romanticized love story. As the movie proceeds, we get to hear different ideologies from both characters on the transitory nature of relationships, which makes it natural and raw. Having its grandiose moments of epic chemistry and exceptional dialogues, there was one scene that really caught my eye for its honesty. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are standing side by side in a music booth, feeling extremely shy and resisting looking into each other’s eyes. Looking away each time the other looks at them reminds us of that first brush of infatuation. ⠀
Jared Quigg: I’m in the middle of rewatching the greatest show of all time, “The Americans.” Two KGB spies pose as a married American couple in the 1980s, but over the course of time, they begin to genuinely fall in love and must navigate their dangerous, secretive job while raising a family. Oh, and an FBI agent has just moved into the house across the street. It’s a Cold War love story/spy thriller and it’s perfect. Warning, though: don’t expect any happy endings – no one gets one. Stream it on Hulu.
Elizabeth Valadez: Despite its controversy, “Call Me by Your Name” is genuinely a beautiful film. Its setting, characters and soundtrack undoubtedly reel me in every single time. Ignoring the predatory stereotypes it perpetuates isn’t OK – but there is so much more to love about it (like Sufjan Stevens’ musical genius). The film makes it easy to daydream about falling in love in northern Italy.
Carolyn Marshall: “Babylon” is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has received a lot of backlashes because of its chaotic portrayal of Hollywood, but I think this portrayal is important because of how much chaos is hidden within Hollywood. In the end, I think this movie was made to cater towards filmmakers of today because of its ability to show all the different pieces that build up what Hollywood is today.
Danny William: I recently rewatched one of the best zombie films of all time: 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead.” The film is funny, clever, heartbreaking and everything else in between. It’s truly an underrated classic that birthed so many of the tropes we know and love today. If you like zombie films at all, I seriously recommend it. George Romero is truly a legend.
Joey Sills: I recently finished watching the first season of HBO’s “True Detective,” one of the best crime thrillers I’ve ever seen, film or television. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are both good actors in general, but they gave this series their all and cemented themselves as two of the greats. Netflix’s “Mindhunter” is scratching my crime fiction itch now, even though I only have so much to look forward to with season three having been canceled.
Nick Moser: Recently I have been watching 1998’s “Cowboy Bebop.” It is one of the best animes of all time, and it is one of my favorite shows in general. The show has an amazing soundtrack and has that 1990s anime-style drawing and it’s really gritty. It's on Hulu, and I highly recommend it if you love the sci-fi genre and great storytelling.