As Winter Quarter comes to a close, free time and relaxation will quickly be re-entering the lives of Northwestern students. If you’re anything like us, those precious free hours will be spent consuming copious amounts of entertainment. We compiled this handy list of TV shows, movies, books and music to make sure you’ll only be spending your time on the highest quality content. Spraang Braaake!!!

TV Shows:

You (Thriller/Drama) — Available on Netflix

By Navpreet Dhillon

1 Season (10 episodes, ~45 minutes/episode)

Released in Sept. 2018, You is one of the most emotionally challenging psychological thrillers in a long time. The show is packed with actors who have been in multiple dramas before. Case in point – it stars Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey, Gossip Girl), Elizabeth Lail and Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields, Pretty Little Liars). What separates You from a show like Pretty Little Liars is that we’re voting for the antagonist. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg is riveting – we know he’s not a good guy, and yet we don’t want him to get caught. You is about a stalker who will do anything he can to get the girl of his dreams, and he’s truly put to the test.

Sex Education (Comedy) — Available on Netflix

By Navpreet Dhillon

1 Season (8 episodes, ~50 minutes/episode)

Sex Education is a raunchy, hilarious British teen TV show about an awkward teenager who gives sex advice. The show keeps you hooked with its deep characters who actually develop throughout the season rather than staying stagnant and naive. They actually learn and grow from their mistakes compared to the all-too-common one-sided characters of other teen shows. Sex Education keeps you laughing and clicking past the 5-second wait period to watch more. Sadly, you could finish this show in two days, but what’s Spring Break without going through at least five shows?

This Is Us (Drama/Romance) — Available on Hulu

By Navpreet Dhillon

3 Seasons (18 episodes each, ~45 minutes/episode)

This Is Us has won too many awards to name (36 wins out of 111 nominations) over its three year run. This show has the best character development I have ever seen and the most talented actors under its belt. Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson, has won 12 awards from 24 nominations alone, most of which are Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. This Is Us is the most real drama show perhaps ever – the Pearson family deals with the struggles that so many real families do, and the show breaks your heart every episode. This Is Us makes it impossible to not love their family and to not feel their pain because of how incredible the acting is. Season 1 may be the best of all three because it’s the most memorable. I can’t speak highly enough of this show.

Saturday Night Live (Sketch Comedy) — Available on Hulu

By Navpreet Dhillon

44 Seasons (~23 episodes each, ~1 hour/episode)

SNL needs no introduction. It’s easily the best show to binge watch on a snowy, dreary day because it makes you laugh so hard you forget that it’s miserable outside. The guests are most of the time insanely talented, and the Five Timers Clubs features the most well known stars (i.e. Alec Baldwin, Drew Barrymore, Justin Timberlake, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill and more). SNL is a fun pick-me-up that never gets old.


The Fifth Element (1997)

By Masha Dolgoff

I’ve been wanting to get something off my chest for a while now. Something which has been clawing at my insides, yet I was afraid to speak my truth for the fear of being charged by the entirety of Comic Con and/or the McCormick School of Engineering. And that inescapable truth is that The Fifth Element is a much better space movie than the entirety of the Star Wars canon. Angry readers, please do not send an army of porgs to my house if you disagree with my hot take. Especially because I’m right and you’re wrong. You can keep your deadly glow sticks, I’d rather watch Milla Jovovich save the universe in orange rubber suspenders any day of the week. Genius fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier dreamt up the costumes for this movie, which explains why even the futuristic McDonald’s uniforms slap. If you have never seen this beautiful, hot mess before, do yourself a favor over spring break and release yourself from from the clutches of sexist writing and dusty landscapes.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

By Joan Gwak

The final installment of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy has finally hit the theaters, and the consensus seems to be that the sequel does indeed surpass longtime fans’ high expectations with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92%. Ever since the release of its trailer last year in the summer, HTTYD: The Hidden World has been a hot topic of conversation among both the series’ dedicated fans and those with a passing interest in the story. The drama-packed trailer, with scenes of Toothless meeting a female Light Fury dragon and attempting to woo her and the dragon hunter Grimmel imposing a huge threat to Berk’s world of dragons and humans, showed viewers crucial parts of the story they’d be missing out on if they didn’t visit the theaters. If you want to know how the epic story unfolds and revisit one of the most prominent series of your childhood, make sure you watch HTTYD: The Hidden World during Spring Break.

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

By Camille Williams

Even though this coming-of-age-comedy-drama came out in 2016, it’s worth at least a dozen re-watches. Hailee Steinfeld delivers an heartfelt performance as Nadine, an awkward high school junior who finds herself hopelessly lonely after her all-star older brother starts dating her best friend. Things start turning a corner when Nadine befriends a thoughtful boy in her class (but not without a mental breakdown, or two). Rotten Tomatoes scored it at 95% and rated it on par with classics like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Another bonus is that Woody Harrelson graces the movie with his presence as Nadine’s sardonic teacher and mentor. You’ll laugh, cry, cringe and feel all the feels a movie should make you feel. At this very moment you can watch a low-quality version for free on YouTube and or a high-quality version on Netflix.


The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

By Camille Williams

This book was turned into a motion picture starring Amandla Stenberg last October, and I still think both are underrated. This is not your average YA fiction story – rather, it is a deeply-moving story addressing sensitive issues of race relations and police brutality. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter witnesses a police officer fatally shoot her childhood best friend, Khalil, who is unarmed. As media frenzy and community protest ensues, only Starr can testify what really happened that night. Angie Thomas is a gripping storyteller, and this one kicks you square in the all the emotions. We hear “institutional racism” thrown about without always understanding what it really means, but Thomas’ novels help illuminate these topics no matter what your race is. Other great novels from Thomas include T.H.U.G. and her just released book On the Come Up.

I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux

By Camille Williams

If you still need convincing after reading one of the best book titles ever, I don’t know what else to say. Through a collection of hilarious and thought-provoking essays, Arceneaux shows what it’s like to be a young gay black man in America at this moment. His story is one most people don’t get to hear, and one that deftly depicts the challenges of intersecting marginalized identities. His tone is forthcoming and unapologetic, and will have you laughing out loud one moment and reflecting on social injustices the next.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

By Masha Dolgoff

You guys, what happened to my attention span? I fully consumed this 900-page book when I was 16 without hesitation and when I saw it a few days ago in Barnes & Noble my only thought was “Wow, that is one thicc boi.” Anyway, this is the perfect vacation book and an unmatched story about personal transformations and the ultimate revenge. If you feel oppressed by Winter Quarter like I do, read this book over Spring Break about a man getting his life back and maybe you will get your life back! Yes, it is old and long, but something I’ve learned is that nothing aids personal growth like reading books that are old and long. Besides, if you get into them they can be infinitely more exciting than even the newest Netflix special.


Solange - When I Get Home (R&B)

By Camille Williams

If you liked Solange’s seminal album A Seat at the Table (which I also highly recommend) then you’ll also find her fourth album worth a listen. When I Get Home is more exploratory and ambiguous than her earlier works, oscillating between jazz, trap, R&B and funk. Solange recorded the album in Houston and based it off the city’s local black culture, sampling locals artists including Devin the Dude, Scarface and Mike Jones. There are 19 songs (including six interludes), and the album comes with a thirty-three minute short film on Apple Music. When I Get Home is the perfect album to chill to whether you’re feeling contemplative or stressed. The collaborations with Tyler, The Creator (“Down With The Clique”), Cassie ("Way To The Show"), The-Dream ("Binz") and Gucci Mane ("My Skin My Logo") help bring the album to life.

Higher Brothers - Five Stars (hip-hop)

By David Deloso

Members of Chinese rap group Higher Brothers prove they aren’t messing around on their second full-length album Five Stars, which garnered a 3.5/5 on Highsnobiety and a 3.7/5 on HipHopDX. The 14-track album is bolstered by contributions by artists such as Denzel Curry, ScHoolboy Q and Soulja Boy, as well as fellow Asian artists and 88rising signees KOHH, Niki and Rich Brian. Don’t let the stacked lineup of features overshadow the Higher Brothers themselves, though — each member’s flow rivals (or even surpasses) the skill of the better-established artists on the record. While the album’s lyrics are mainly in Chinese, you don’t have to speak the language to appreciate the intensity and technical prowess the Higher Brothers possess. Whether you can’t understand anything or 你什么都听懂, Five Stars will light up your parties this Spring Break.

Kehlani - While We Wait (R&B)

By Joan Gwak

If you’re burnt out from winter quarter and ready to let go and move on during Spring Break, Kehlani’s newest mixtape While We Wait should be added to your Spring Break playlist. The singer’s soothing, honey-like vocals and harmonies are easy to get lost in, and they’re accompanied by the voices of other famous artists like Ty Dolla $ign, 6LACK, Musiq Soulchild and Dom Kennedy. While We Wait, created in anticipation of the birth of Kehlani’s child later this month, presents nine fresh tracks with hard-hitting bass and a complex combination of background beats that allow the listener to groove along. The more upbeat tracks such as “Too Deep,” “Nunya” and “Morning Glory” are perfect for road trips, creating an atmosphere of purely good vibes.