Ronan’s Recs

Read about and review these recommendations so you can rest while watching these shows

It’s almost Christmas break, and during these times of the pandemic, most of us will be stuck at home for most of our two weeks off school. However, fear not, for I have written this story to endow you with what I like to call “Ronan’s Recs”, which is where I will provide you with some recommendations for exciting entertainment for you to consume while you are at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I will equip you with the knowledge of what some of the best and newest movies and TV shows are, so you will not be stuck endlessly searching through the vast and infinite expanse of random media that is the Netflix home screen. Keep in mind, these recommendations are in no particular order, and I am not ranking these shows and movies. So feel free to watch whatever you want on this list and in any order you want.

The Mandalorian from the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian” is seen here interacting with The Child. (Photo by “The Mandalorian (2019), ‘Chapter One’, episode art 01” by gameraboy is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)
  1. “The Mandalorian”

You have probably heard of this show already, but that doesn’t mean that “The Mandalorian” doesn’t deserve its own recommendation. The show is currently airing its second season on Disney+ every Friday, and it follows the perilous adventures of a bounty hunter by the name of, you guessed it, Din Djarin (a.k.a. “Mando”). “The Mandalorian” must fight off threats from the Empire, local inhabitants of many different planets, and dangerous creatures across the galaxy. On top of that, he is tasked with discovering the secrets behind The Child, most commonly known as “Baby Yoda”. The best part about this show is that it has something for all viewers to enjoy. For more casual viewers with less knowledge of the Star Wars universe, the show is still exciting and easy enough to understand, without requiring any expertise. For more knowledgeable Star Wars fans, “The Mandalorian” has many elements that excitingly connect it to the original movies, the Clone Wars series, and even the Grand Admiral Thrawn lore. Overall, this show is just good, clean fun that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.

This image depicts the book entitled “The Queen’s Gambit” that the Netflix series of the same name is based on. (Photo by “The Queen’s Gambit” by Stewf is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
  1. “The Queen’s Gambit”

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a new show on Netflix that released this October. More importantly, it is a limited series, which means that this show is perfect for people looking for something quick to watch and that doesn’t require commitment. The seven episodes follow the story of an orphan girl in the Cold War era who grows to become a chess prodigy. The show details a large span of her life as she works to balance addictions with making her way to the top of the chess world. “The Queen’s Gambit” is about overcoming life’s obstacles and pushing yourself to your full potential, which is especially evident in the way the world treats the main character, since she is a woman in the male-dominated world of chess. The show has received good reviews, with a score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. In summary and in summation, “The Queen’s Gambit” is a quick and easy watch that has good themes and a memorable story.


  1. “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

“Whose Line is it Anyway?” (the American version, not British) is a show where everything is made up and the points don’t matter. In other words, it is an improv comedy show. The premise of this show is that four improv comedians get on stage and play games, with the sole intention of making the audience laugh. The show’s permanent cast includes Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady, with a cycle of guests that include Greg Proops, Chip Esten, and Brad Sherwood. Also, it is hosted by Drew Carey of “The Price is Right” fame. The dynamics and interactions between the comedians and Drew Carey are what really makes the show stick out. And the best part is, every single episode of the show is available on the CW Seed app, which is completely free. This show has enough content to keep you entertained for months on end, and it is actually still airing today (although the new host isn’t quite as enjoyable as Drew Carey). Plus, you can watch the show at your leisure since none of the episodes are interrelated. I can guarantee that this show will leave your face hurting from laughing and smiling, and it is an all around good and fun time if you can’t find anything to watch.

This image shows the four main characters in “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace”. From left to right, they are Lucien Sanchez, Thornton Reed, Rick Dagless, and Liz Asher. (Photo by “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” by w_lydecker is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
  1. “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace”

“Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” is definitely the most obscure and unknown suggestion on this list, mainly because this show is from 2004 and only aired in England. “Darkplace” is a British horror parody show that makes fun of the horror genre. Similar to “The Queen’s Gambit”, “Darkplace” is very short and only has six episodes. However, these six episodes probably make up the best six-episode series of all time. “Darkplace” is a weird format for a show, and this is because it is a story-within-a-story type of series. The show includes interviews with an actor and author named Garth Marenghi, who invented the TV show “Darkplace”. The series also includes footage of the show “Darkplace”, and it blends interviews with the actors of the show-within-the-show with actual footage of “Darkplace”. Basically, the real-life actors must play fake actors who play characters in a show. The premise of the show “Darkplace” is that doctor and ex-warlock Rick Dagless (Garth Marenghi, played by Matthew Holness), his best friend Lucien Sanchez (Todd Rivers, played by Matt Berry) and their boss Thornton Reed (Dean Learner, played by Richard Ayoade) must fight off supernatural creatures in the institution known as Darkplace Hospital. However, since “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” is a parody of horror, it is full of bad acting, bad line delivery, stereotypical characters, bad editing, weird audio glitches, and terrible set design. In my opinion, “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” is the best horror parody media of all time. Also, even though the show isn’t available on disc or streaming services, it is completely available for free in a playlist on YouTube. This is the perfect show to watch if you are looking for something different and absurd, and I strongly recommend that you check it out.

Pictured above is the movie poster for “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”. (Photo by “Hunt for the wilderpeople poster HD” by sac_sae is marked with CC PDM 1.0)
  1. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is a comedy and drama movie that was released in 2016 and was added to Netflix this October. The movie was directed by Taika Waititi, and it is a very unique but enjoyable and compelling flick. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” follows a young boy and his adopted caretaker who get lost in the wilderness while being hunted by the police for a crime they did not commit. It sounds serious, but it is actually a very lighthearted movie with some good jokes and likeable characters. It does take place in New Zealand, so the characters’ accents can be a little tough to understand at times, but that can easily be resolved with subtitles if necessary. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is a quirky and unique movie, but that contributes towards its greatness. Everything in this movie is solid, and it is an easy and memorable watch that will certainly bring some wholesome entertainment if you watch it.