By Katie Heyes
Self-quarantine or not, binge-watching a TV show is nothing new, particularly for students. Whether you’re procrastinating from completing those extra two pages for an assignment or treating yourself to a nice night off (or two), sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting back on your couch/bed, sticking on your favourite show and becoming hooked on a gripping storyline. Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting hooked into a nail-biting show that will keep you glued to your screen from start to finish, especially in these trying times.
But if you’re struggling to choose the perfect show to sink your teeth into and escape the outside world, you’re in luck. These three TV shows left me on the edge of my couch episode after episode, and have offered me that relatable 3 AM realization that the extra episode you were planning on squeezing in ended up turning into an extra season.
This is a Spanish murder-mystery thriller based around a group of students at the Las Encinas private school. Whilst on the surface, this may look like your typical teen drama show it soon becomes clear that this isn’t your normal private school. From having to cope with the murder of one of their students, wrongful arrests, and corruption within the school system all whilst dealing with typical student endeavours such as wild parties, relationships, and popularity battles – perhaps studying isn’t the main thing on these students’ agenda?
The series clearly takes influence from other popular crime dramas such as How to Get Away With Murder, adopting a flash-forwards style structure, letting the mystery, drama, and tension slowly unfold before our eyes. The result? An addictive viewing experience for us sat watching at home. With many additional subplots dealing with sexuality, corruption, family tensions, drug abuse, and exam pressure, all the while taking place in a world where your social status becomes determined by wealth, sex and power, it’s safe to say that it’s difficult not to get hooked.
2. The Passenger – Le Passager
You’ll start to see there’s a running theme with all these choices. I find that murder-mysteries and thrillers offer the perfect formula for obsessive consumption, and it didn’t take long for me to become hooked on this show in particular. This French psychological six-part thriller follows the journey of Mathias, a psychiatrist who soon becomes connected with a series of perverse, ritualistic murders each inspired by figures of ancient mythology, despite having no knowledge of committing them.
Captain Anaïs Châtelet is the first detective on the scene and initially enlists Mathias’s help in trying to solve the murder, whilst also helping him search for his true identity. Whilst the unique concept for the basis of a murder-mystery is in itself very intriguing, it’s the functioning of these two characters as a team that really makes this series for me. As the series continues and more and more clues and revelations unfold, the relationship between the potential-murderer and detective becomes more tense and captivating. With so much of the character’s backstories shrouded in mystery, you have no idea which way the story can turn, resulting in viewers constantly demanding answers and being right on the edge of your seat for every episode. Although I don’t want to give too much away, Le Passager is without a doubt an intense yet all the while entertaining viewing experience always leaving you wanting more.
3. Money Heist – La Casa de Papel
If you’re looking for suspense, action, crime and a bit of romance thrown in there, this show is perfect for you! This series follows a group of unique robbers that begin an assault on the Factory of Moneda and Timbre to carry out the most perfect robbery in Spanish history. The Mastermind of this meticulous plan is none other than El Professor, who demonstrates impeccable attention to every small, seemingly insignificant detail in his plan of attack. So much so that whenever something appears to go wrong, you’re constantly wondering whether he’ll pull out another ingenious strategy or whether this will finally be his downfall. Such intrigue and mystery creates an immensely entertaining experience. As each episode continues, you’ll gradually begin to question who you’re rooting for.
While the beginning seems to be very black and white with regard to the heroes and villains, these lines between good and bad end up becoming so blurred as the series progress that questions of morality and justice are brought to the forefront. Not only is this very thought-provoking but it is as much entertaining as any other murder-mystery in such unique ways. Each character in this series is so unique, especially the robbers. that seeing them all work off each other can be moving, comical, and infuriating all in one scene. The enjoyment of this series comes from the cliff-hangers and gradual dramatic reveals, and the delicious pain of constantly asking yourself the same question – who am I meant to be rooting for again?