(Graphic by Laura Breidenstine)
Regardless of how we all spend our time at Drexel or who we spend it with, all of us are going to be listening to music, watching movies and TV shows, and possibly even reading some unassigned books to unwind. Here are some of the A&E staff’s go-to picks for art and entertainment that we like to share with our friends or use to unwind.
Song: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
This is a banger for a reason. Hit the reset button with this bop.
Book: “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells.
When you need a break from Drexel’s rigorous timing and are looking to shut your brain down without spending all your time on TikTok, consider Wells’ classic. This book is interesting enough that it will keep the good part of your brain working, but doesn’t feel so realistic that you’ll spiral. Despite being written in 1895, The Time Machine is still whimsical and engaging for the 21st century.
Movie: “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again”
Catchy. Classic. Cher.
Song: “Bags” by Clairo
This song described my freshman year. I was shown this song very early on in my year, and throughout all the emotions I experienced I felt that this song could fit with the feelings that I had. I’d also credit this song for re-shaping my music taste quite a bit.
Book: “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead
This is a book I first read in fifth grade, but it was given to me during the summer prior to leaving home. Before class, I would eagerly walk to the Korman Center to read before my classes began. It gave me a good habit for the year.
I’m not much of a movie-watcher, but I was in search of this movie on DVD last year due to its absence from streaming services. It’s got a timeless soundtrack that my family used to play on repeat, and after miraculously stumbling across the DVD at Philly AIDS Thrift I was finally able to view the full movie.
TV Show: Black Mirror
Although it has become so popular, I remember showing my favorite episodes to my friends at night many times and watching them get drawn into the intricate stores.
Song: “Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars
Every now and then, typically around finals, I have the intense urge to do absolutely nothing. After revisiting my playlist from the 2010’s, I was reminded of how much I love early Bruno Mars. While I ignore the large stack of papers on my desk, no song rings more true than “Lazy Song.”
In times of stress, there is no better use of time than a comfort movie. Revolving around the plus-size daughter of a former beauty queen, “Dumplin” redefines the coming-of-age genre. Although my comfort movies are usually from the 80s and 90s, “Dumplin’” hits all the right spots. Romance? Check. Humour? Check. Dolly Parton songs? Check. Escape Philadelphia for an hour and 50 minutes and travel to the charming, proudly Texan world of “Dumplin”.
TV Show: “Nailed It”
If you feel as exhausted from studying as I am, “Nailed It” is the perfect show to watch on your downtime. Featuring some of America’s most laughably terrible bakers, the competition is a recipe for disaster. Even the most depressing test grades will pale in comparison to these baking abominations — find “Nailed It” streaming on Netflix today.
Song: “Amoreena” by Elton John
This is one of Elton John’s lesser-known songs, but it might be one of his best. It’s a bittersweet song that can kind of lend itself to any mood or situation.
Book: “A Song of Ice and Fire” Series
More commonly known as the “Game of Thrones” books, the first three of these are really engaging reads. I’ll admit that I haven’t finished these, but whenever I have time to read, this has historically been what I reach for. It may or may not hit the same as the show does, but if you were disappointed by the show’s conclusion, this is a way to revisit Westeros in a new way.
Movie: “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”
It’s imperfect and it’s kind of an obvious choice for people our age, but it captures the early 20’s vibe really well and is just a really fun time. It’s great to watch by yourself or with friends, and features some insanely impressive filmmaking and one of the dopest soundtracks ever. For extra credit, you can also read the graphic novel that it’s based on.
TV Show: “Community”
A friend introduced this to me right before I went on co-op, and it’s now one of my top five favorite shows. It may not capture the actual experience of being a student, but it’s a great time with some excellent characters and has a lot better writing and a stronger emotional core than most sitcoms.
Book: “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino
In a time when we are all stuck inside, Calvino’s poetry will transport you to lands that don’t exist.
Movie: “Legally Blonde”
Sometimes we just need to sit back and watch a 90s classic, “Legally Blonde” is that classic. Watching Elle Woods’s journey through law school helps remind us that undergraduate life isn’t everything and that despite life’s challenges, we can achieve our goals.
Music: “Vampire Weekend’s Self-Titled Album”
The band’s first album after meeting at Cornell University, this album encapsulates the unique college experience. Listen to “Bryn” in the academic quad this Spring, it will make you feel like the main character.
Show: “New Girl”
With over 140 episodes, this hilarious sitcom is great to binge when you want something funny to distract you from upcoming finals.