10 Must Watch Shows On Netflix

Being a broke college student without cable TV, I’ve been around the Netflix lineup my fair share of times. It’s easy to get caught into the same old, same old shows like Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things or How I Met Your Mother (which if you haven’t watched any of those – stop reading right now and go watch them) and it’s easy to forget that there are actually a lot of good shows out there that people just aren’t talking about. So I’ve went and put together a list of shows that I feel are “must watch” if you need a shake-up in your traditional suggested TV shows.

Sherlock 

9.2/10 IMDb and 91% Rotten Tomatoes

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Many people know or have heard of Sherlock Holmes. This BBC TV series did a great job making this show full of twists and often very funny scenes to keep you totally engrossed while watching. It is brilliantly acted and by far the best iteration of Sherlock Holmes ever to air on TV.

Downsides: Each episode is an hour and a half long so make sure you grab some popcorn because these episodes are basically like a continuous movie.

Jessica Jones

8.2/10 IMDb – No Rotten Tomatoes score

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Everyone seems to be talking about the series “Luke Cage” but I find that not many people know that he was originally introduced in the “Jessica Jones” series! I personally like Jessica Jones over Luke Cage but to each their own. Jessica is a personal investigator who is trying to leave her life as a superhero behind her. Marvel’s Jessica Jones is extremely addicting to watch and a must see in my opinion – if you like Marvel / superhero type stories anyways.

Downsides: None – it’s a great show!

Black Mirror

8.8/10 IMDb and 96% Rotten Tomatoes

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For some reason Netflix has this listed as 3 out of 5 stars but you have to give it a chance. It is seriously such a good series! Each episode is completely different from the next and no episodes are tied together. They are like little movies with new actors and actresses in each episode, chalked full of mind blowing theoretical future technological scenarios in a twisted, Twilight Zone type of way. Trust me, watch one episode and you’ll be hooked.

Downsides: There are only 3 seasons and the first two seasons only have 3 episodes (but the last season has 6! Woohoo) so you might go through them fast.

Shameless (U.S. Version)

8.7/10 IMDb and 92% Rotten Tomatoes

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This was one of those shows that I binged watched all summer long. It’s an honest comedy about an alcoholic father (Frank) who can hardly take care of himself and his family of six children who struggle to keep life going together. Despite the seemingly harsh premise, Shameless is seriously hilarious and it is so easy getting caught up in the Gallagher’s dysfunctional world. Netflix has 6 seasons available so you have plenty of episodes to keep you busy.

Downsides: There is a lot of sex scenes. Like a lot – but you get used to it after a while. Just a heads up haha

Broadchurch

8.4/10 IMDb and 88% Rotten Tomatoes

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Broadchurch is a British television crime drama. The premise is typical of a crime show in the sense that there are two main detectives that are investigating the mysterious murder of a young boy in a small seaside town in England. Give it two episodes and I promise you’ll watch the whole two seasons in no time flat. Make sure to watch the BBC version and not the U.S. version for this one though!

Downsides: Becuase this show is a British TV series, all of the cast have heavy accents making it, at times, hard to hear what they are saying. Not a big deal but still wanted to mention it 🙂

The 100

7.8/10 IMDb and 90% Rotten Tomatoes

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Imagine a Hunger Games meets Divergent meets The Maze – That’s what The 100 is like.  After living in space for three generations due to a nuclear Armageddon that destroys civilization on Earth, the survivors of the international space station start running out of resources. The 100 is all about a group of kids trying to save the human race. If you can get through the first four episodes, you’ll be in it for the long haul.

Downsides: There are only 2 out of 3 seasons available on Netflix so if you really like it, you’ll have to get your fix by some other means online.

Limitless

7.9/10 IMDb and 57% Rotten Tomatoes

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If you have seen and liked the movie Limitless, then you will definitely enjoy this spin-off. Even if you haven’t seen the movie you should definitely give this a watch. Just like the movie, Limitless is about a young man who is down on his luck until he is introduced to a drug that enhances his mental acuity. While the show and movie parallel each other, they are quite different in their story line (although the TV show does a nice job picking up where the movie left off). Oh, and Bradley Cooper, the main character in the movie, makes appearances throughout the show as well which is pretty cool.

Downsides: There is only one season available right now and last I looked, there is no hope of a second season starting anytime soon. With that being said though, season one has 22 episodes and it wraps up pretty good while still keeping a small door open for a potential second season.

Nurse Jackie

7.7/10 IMDb and 84% Rotten Tomatoes

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This is a really easy show to watch. I would typically have it playing in the background while I was getting ready. Nurse Jackie is centered around the chaotic, relentless ER of a busy New York hospital as Jackie maneuvers through her busy work life, one Vicodin pill at a time. It’s a funny and quirky series that will keep you coming back for more.

Parenthood

8.1/10 IMDb and 90% Rotten Tomatoes

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Parenthood is a heartfelt family show with some popular actors and actresses in the cast including Lauren Graham and Dax Shepard. The show features the whole Braverman family tree and follows the ups and downs of four grown siblings as they juggle parenthood, relationships, and their daily lives. All six seasons of the show are available on Netflix and I highly recommend if you are looking for a feel good show!

The Following

7.7/10 IMDb and 55% Rotten Tomatoes

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While this series has the lowest ratings of all the shows on this list, it is still one of my favorites that I felt needed to be included. The Following is a mystery / detective show centered around the hunt for a serial killer who has escaped from death row. This show is full of twists and turns that will keep you wondering and wanting more. Don’t be surprised if you end up misplacing hours of your time while getting engrossed watching.

So there you have it, 10 shows to go watch on Netflix! Hopefully there is one show on this list that you haven’t seen yet that you can add to your queue. Happy watching! 🙂

By: Lauryn Wate – University of Montana student studying Business Marketing

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10 Surprising (but true) things Wikipedia won’t tell you about growing up in small town Montana

1. Stargazing is a nightly thing and when you can’t see them, you miss it immensely.

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Growing up laying out on a blanket late at night is one of the best things in small town Montana. According to vox.com, 80% of Americans can no longer see the Milky Way. I consider myself one of the lucky ones that can still see stars outside my window and can see the Milky Way only a couple miles out of town. I remember multiple nights around the campfire (or bonfire depending on the time of year) and staring up at the sky talking with the family about everything imaginable. We still do this today, not as often as we should though.

2. Friendships are a thing of a lifetime, the few kids in your class easily become kids that you are friends with forever.

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I grew up with 80 kids in my entire school, it was a 9 grade school (K-8), that means less than 10 kids per class, on average. Can you imagine that? If you didn’t know every name for every kid then they must have been new. This had both good and bad aspects to it. The good was you created friendships that lasted a lifetime, but the bad was that growing up a girl there was a lot of drama among the girls in the school. When I was eight I remember coming home from school with different “best friends” every day. But the friendships that lasted are still strong 15 years later.

3. Hard work is a part of life, from getting firewood in 10 below weather to bailing hay in 90 degree weather, you don’t get to slip by without working hard.

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Have you ever come home from a long day at work, at 15 degrees and had no firewood to heat your house? I have and do you know what that means? You get to go chop would and wheel it to the house in a wheelbarrow. It really teaches you a lesson in chores and hard work. I can remember having multiple school days where the bus just couldn’t reach our house back on 2 miles of dirt road covered in feet of snow or inches of ice. I can count on two hands how many times my dad had to use his own personal truck to pull out the school bus in order for us to get to school.

4. If you have more bars in your town than you have churches, that’s average.

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I can remember when my older brother had decided to go to the public schools in the larger town over a small school farther out in the country (both the same distance away) he made his decision based off of the fact that the town had more bars than churches and it definitely only had one school and one store. To a 13 year old this meant literally nothing to do, ever, besides drink. Just to let this sink in, Montana ranks #2 (according to eater.com) in number of bars per capita. The number for Montana is 1,658 people per bar, meaning that Montana has 602 bars in the state. That is a fairly daunting number and when it comes to small towns, don’t be surprised if you have at least 2 or 3 bars.

5. Seeing more animals during your commute than cars is a normal everyday occurrence.

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According to beef2live.com Montana has 2.51 cows to everyone human. That means there are over a million people in the state but almost 2.5 million cows. Seeing cows and driving over cattle guards on your daily commute is in no shortage in small town Montana. Also according to 50states.com, the average square mile of land in Montana “contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, and 3.3 deer.” The last time I drove home for a visit (a 170 mile drive) I counted 6 cars and at least 30 herds of deer during the 2 hours I spent on the road. Talk about a stressful ride.

6. Driving miles to see a big box store is a weekly adventure.

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Take a moment and think about this; how far ahead do you decide what you want for dinner? 1 hour before you start making dinner? 1 or 2 days before so you can run to the store? Well living in a small town means not having the ability to decide at the last minute what you want for dinner, it means planning a week or two weeks ahead just so you can run to town (which maybe an hour or two away) and buying hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries. This also means that pantries, gardens, and canning are almost necessary the farther you live away from a decently priced store.

Montana fun fact: Circle, MT is the farthest spot from a Starbucks in the continental USA which is 185 miles.

7. A story that starts with “so I was at this party in a field” is not uncommon, actually a rather common occurrence.

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I have heard so many stories about parties in fields, this is the normal once you hit high school in a small town. What also is normal is driving through the back dirt roads in a truck with a beer in your hand. Not that I condone this behavior, but there is nothing more impressive than watching your dad hold a beer, roll down the window (with the actual window crank), and shift the truck all at the same moment. Driving through the back roads and partying in fields are all a part of growing up in the middle of nowhere and the only thing that puts a damper on the party is the sheriff (who only comes around once a month, if you’re unlucky).

8. Dangerous animals are a large part of life and you better get used to it.

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On any given day during the summer months, you can trip over rattlesnake walking through a field or run into a bear in the woods. Both of which can kill you in a matter of minutes or hours, depending on the severity of the damage they do. As of this year, one Montanan was attacked twice in the same day by the same bear! And what’s even more surprising is finding a bear in a Target parking lot or finding an elk in a schoolyard. But when I was a kid, there was one time that my mom was walking through our own backyard and almost stepped on top of a rattlesnake. There is nothing scarier than hearing a rattlesnake rattler and not knowing where it came from.

9. Dial up internet is not a thing of the past, but a thing of the present. And having cell phone service in a really desolate place is basically impossible.

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That’s right, you read that correctly. My dad still can’t get high speed internet at his house, because guess what? They don’t have wires that go out that far from town. Can you imagine not having Netflix, Hulu, Amazon? Or not being able to update your PS3 because that runs off the internet? That’s a normal occurrence for small town Montana, even today. According to a study in January of 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission, 90% of the rural population is without access to 25 Mbps Broadband internet. And overall 87% of Montana is without this access… so basically most of Montana is without broadband internet. Scary thought, huh?

10. Fireworks, sparkler bombs, tannerite, and loud guns are not a thing for only holidays, but for whenever the heck you feel the need.

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If you have never put a sparkler bomb inside a snow drift or put some tannerite inside a pumpkin and watched them blow up then you are definitely not living yet. When you live out in the middle of nowhere there is a great chance your neighbors don’t care what in the heck you do, or are so far away that they can’t hear you from their house. There was many a time when I was growing up and we would have a great Saturday full of shotguns and whatever we felt the need to shoot. That could be garbage cans, televisions, kids toys, barrels, or even straw targets put out at 100 yards. Almost every year we would even take a barrel of used oil and light the weeds on fire to decrease the fire hazard of dry grass.

Small town Montana will always be a part of who I am and where I came from and I am proud to proclaim that we are still and forever will be the LAST BEST PLACE! 

Be a “Yes Man”

“Great stories happen when we take action.” 
— Donald Miller

 

What if you were to say “yes” to more questions from people to do something or go somewhere? Would your life be different from what it is now?

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Most of us enjoy being comfortable. In fact, it’s in our DNA. We naturally want to stay in our comfort zones because we view any sort of change as negative. Being in our comfort zones keeps us safe, away from change, but it keeps us in an idle position… we cannot move forward. We cannot grow in our comfort zones.

We are habit-forming beings, meaning we shape habits that become routines. We like schedules, some for the week, some down to the minute. However firm the schedule, all accomplish the same thing: repetition. Day after day, we keep to our schedule and do the same activities, with the same people. Occasionally, we will throw in a lunch with an old friend or a nice stroll through the park… oh how exciting!

So, why not change? Why not break the cycle? Why not try something new or explore a new destination? The only thing stopping you is yourself. Take the leap of faith.

With this being said, I challenge you to a game…. A game in life. But before we begin, there are a couple rules:

  1. Be open-minded.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone.

Here is the game: Say YES!

Answer “yes” to doing things and going places you would normally turn down. Of course, only do so if the idea is something you are OK with and morally agree to. The whole point is to push you to the point of un-comfortability.

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Try it for a day or a week, maybe even a month. See where this little game takes you. You never know, maybe you will find a new hobby, land a new career opportunity, fall in love!

If you are truly passionate and all in on this idea of “yes,” I promise you that your life will change. And that change is good! Don’t be afraid of this change, embrace it and ride on it.

So on this note… enjoy life! Have fun and take risks that lead you outside of your comfort zone. This is when you will grow as a human being. Nothing exciting happens inside walls of comfort. Break out of your comfort zone and SAY YES!

Group Projects Are Bullshit

by Bridger Frandsen

You know the drill. You’re sitting in class when the professor explains the next dreadful group project. Instead of letting you choose your group, meaning your friends or the smart fucker in class, he demands you count off by numbers, randomly assigning you to your new clusterfuck.

Now it’s awkward

You find yourself in a 4 week long polygamist marriage with 5 strangers.

There’s always one who isn’t a complete stranger though. You’ve had classes together for years but now you have to awkwardly ask them their name because you didn’t care to remember it in the past.

You get stuck with that overly outgoing guy in class that you want to punch in the dick already, and now you have to listen to his bullshit in your spare time. There’s a reason none of you are friends, and its painfully uncomfortable putting on a half assed smile as you introduce yourself.

You get to exchange phone numbers and emails, 35 useless digits that take up space in your phone. Leading to the group text message that inches you closer to homicide every time someone suggests meeting up to collaborate.

Group think

For the uneducated who don’t know what this means, group think is a decision making process that discourages creativity or individual responsibility. For example, when overly confident Carol chimes in and nobody has the balls to refute her, her idea stands, whether or not her idea is worth the ingrown hair on my left nut. Or perhaps the hot dumb girl is in your group. She presents a stupid ass idea, and because you want to treat her like your big toe and bang her on every piece of furniture in your house, you smile and agree with her senseless suggestion.

Low Priority

Everyone has shit they’d rather do instead. When you’ve got a few weeks to finalize your presentation, might as well put it on the back burner. This is college, you procrastinate. We let it marinate in a shit stew until the night before. Then, when it’s time to rise to the occasion, like the drunken students we are, we word vomit all over our professor’s lap and hope for a pitiful C.

Schedules

You’re busy with other classes, assignments, exams, and your job. Five students will rarely have overlapping free time. You have a personal life and don’t want to spend your precious free time working on a project you don’t give a damn about with people you don’t like.

Free loaders

There’s never an equal distribution of the work load. There’s the group leader and one person who isn’t retarded that they can bounce ideas off of. Other than these two, everyone else is useless. The excruciating part is everyone is going to receive the same grade, even though two never showed up to a meeting. Tom was too hungover and Susan was on her knees getting her A- for another class. Still, the workhorse and the worthless turd get the same grade. Too bad it’s not like survivor where you can vote off the village idiot.

 

Unfortunately group projects are abundant in college courses. Professors see the importance of teamwork and use these agonizing assignments in an attempt to improve our cooperation skills. Group projects are inevitable. Each a nightmare in its own. When given a group project, don’t be one of the douchers mentioned earlier.

I’m Angry

The election is over, the results are in, but the results are not what I’m concerned about. Today I voted for the first time and I am angry about what I experienced when I was trying to vote.Image result for voting

I don’t really follow the news too closely, so when I received my Absentee ballot and didn’t recognized most of the names on the ballot, I decided to wait to fill out my options and try to make the most informed choice I could make. So I googled them. I looked for them on OnTheIssues.org, on Ballotpedia, on VoteSmart.org, etc. but I couldn’t find most of the names, and if I did find them the information was sparse or irrelevant.

Then I thought that maybe the place where I drop off my absentee ballot will have some information pamphlets or something that would give me more insights into my options. Shockingly they didn’t. I asked how or where I would be able to find out more and they just said google.

This was my first time voting, but I thought it would be drastically different then it was. I thought the people working at the polls would be happy that someone would want to make an informed decision, instead they were unhelpful and did not provide any resources.

The lack of information available made me angry, but what really frustrated me was the lack of information even available online. I ended up spending an hour just googling candidates on one of the Image result for polling placecomputers at the senior center.

Either the candidates only listed their stance on a few issues, or they didn’t have any information at all. One even had a campaign website that just didn’t work. Why isn’t there one website that has a compiled list of their opinions, or better yet a required questionnaire when announcing their candidacy that is circulated to voters.

If the goal is to get people to vote, you have to give them a reason. They need to know what they are voting for or against and why. This applies to all voters of all parties. There needs to be a push for education surrounding the election and the process.

I should probably have done more research, or read more articles, but I feel that I probably made a more informed choice than a lot of people who voted today. Information should be readily available for anyone who wants it. In any case my mood is shared by a lot of other people, angry, frustrated, and scared of what the future holds.Image result for frustration