By: Ava Breemes
Trigger Warning: This article contains content about violence, eating disorders, and assault.
The Netflix series, You, is one of my all time favorite shows. Joe Goldberg goes to extreme ends to be with the one he loves and tends to fixate on new women often. I feel as if lots of people nowadays tend to become obsessed with the one they love and will stalk them on social media, talk to their friends, and try to figure out everything about them. It shows how passionate they are about the person, but it also gets unhealthy when they learn more about them through a screen rather than face to face. This picture of Joe shows that even within his current relationships, he is always pursuing a new one. He is lonely and fills the void by trying to live out the role of a perfect boyfriend, often failing and revealing his psychotic side. Joe has an odd perception of relationships and takes the saying “Would you do anything for the person you love?” in a literal sense. He has killed potential competition, stalked his next target, and has become completely infatuated with the women to the point he would steal their underwear and keep it in a special box. Whenever Joe puts on his hat to disguise himself in public, he isn’t only hiding from his prey – Joe is hiding from himself. He refuses to take a step back and realize the damage he has done not only to those he has murdered, but to his mental health. Joe needs someone by his side and can’t stand to be alone and often traps his new girl with his charming personality, later revealing his messed up intentions. This show has taught me to never judge a book by its cover and to never trust a stranger with your heart.
Tiny Pretty Things is one of my favorite Netflix series and helps portray the harsh reality of dance. From starving and binging to working tirelessly for hours on end, dancers must train their bodies to move in strange yet beautiful ways. This series has a dark twist and on top of training for their next ballet, the dancers are also in the midst of a tragic murder mystery, covered up as a suicide. Secrets are kept and lies are told, trying to save the reputation of the ballet program. I feel as if many dance programs hide the struggles of dancers who are trying to be the best of the best. Eating disorders have become more common, and we need to raise awareness of body positivity in the dance world. Especially in ballet, it’s difficult to make it if you aren’t tall and thin, as many of the dancers in this show are. Even the ones who fit this category are still seen binging and tracking their food intake. They will do anything to be the best dancer and the picture above shows an intense moment in the show. The dancers all stand in front of head ballet master Ramon Costa, trying to gain his attention and not make a mistake. The constant pressure has broken these dancers’ minds and pointe shoes alike as they face the harsh realities of being in this professional dance company. I can relate to these dancers because I know the feeling of not being good enough and wanting to constantly improve. The competition is intense and sometimes you feel like the worst dancer in the class. This show gives viewers the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of a dancer and understand the backstage struggles that dancers face.
Shrek the Halls is a masterpiece. Yes, Shrek is one of my favorite movies ever, specifically the holiday version. Shrek struggles to celebrate Christmas with his family because ogres don’t celebrate Christmas. This picture is the scene where Fiona and the babies are about to go after their friends after Shrek kicked them out. He lashed out because he didn’t know how to handle or process the party they threw for him. He has always been lonely and lacked holiday spirit, making it difficult to take it all in. A lot of people can relate to this because after being lonely and unfamiliar with certain things, it can be hard to embrace the happiness that everyone else around you feels. Shrek isn’t the bad guy, he just needs a little bit of care and help. In the end he forgives his friends, who he then calls family and begins to understand the true spirit of Christmas. It’s a nice reminder to check on your friends and family when they’re feeling uncomfortable or new to certain things because they may feel like an ogre during Christmas.
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a sweet movie that I watch every year around Halloween. I have been watching it ever since I was little, and it never gets old. It may seem like a kids movie, but it gets me in the Halloween spirit and surprisingly has deep meanings. As portrayed in the picture above, you see Linus and Sally being taunted by Lucy and her gang. The two stayed in the pumpkin patch all night to look out for the Great Pumpkin, a magical creature similar to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Lucy makes fun of them for missing out on trick-or-treating only to watch for the Great Pumpkin that never showed up. Although Lucy and her friends are the older group, they aren’t much more mature than Linus and Sally. She thinks believing in the Great Pumpkin is childish and stupid, yet she went trick-or-treating which is another childlike activity. It shows how we tend to judge others who aren’t much different from us and we should take a look at ourselves first. The holiday season is supposed to be an enjoyable, exciting time, but some people are miserable and will project their insecurities onto others who are just trying to live their life. Aside from the deeper meanings of this movie, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang bring joy to my family’s holiday season, and watching this movie is a tradition I plan to continue throughout my life.
All of these movies and shows have impacted my life in some way. Whether I can relate to the deep context or just simply need a good laugh, these four films are ones I would watch over and over again.