Tyler’s Flix Pix: Binging in January

With the arrival of another new year, most people typically make New Year’s Resolutions, whether they be exercising more often, eating healthier, or catching up on acclaimed movies and TV shows.       Unfortunately, one thing Hollywood can’t resolve every January is releasing quality movies in theaters that are not Oscar contender re-releases. Fortunately however, January does serve as the perfect time to binge-watch television shows. Though homework and other extracurricular activities can constrain someone’s time to fully dive into this hobby, the following recommendations will be shows that lasted only a season or two on the air, but whose acclaim left a strong impression on the TV industry.

First up is “Firefly,” a series set 500 years into the future on the eccentric crew of the transport spaceship, Serenity, all of whom take on renegade jobs to survive, while also being pursued by agents of the corporate supergovernment, “The Alliance.” Though the science fiction genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the show manages to blend that genre with western elements to create more thrills, in addition to dialogue that almost always has a cleverly comic touch. The ensemble cast is also one of the best to hit the silver screen in the last 15 years with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk being the standouts. Today, it still sports one of the biggest cult fanbases in television, and if you end up enjoying the series, I also recommend “Serenity,” a movie that acts as both a continuation and conclusion of it.

Next is a set of two shows that can best be watched back-to-back, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared.” The former is a dramedy set in a Michigan high school during the early 1980s, while the latter is a sitcom centered on a group of college freshmen where the setting is more contemporary. Best of all, both of these shows feature big-name actors before they were famous, including Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and James Franco to name a few.

“Freaks and Geeks” is one of the most mature portrayals of the high school lifestyle, however its subtle moments of comedy in each episode flow well with its confrontation of common issues teenagers face. Additionally, the characters in the two title-mentioned cliques have qualities in their unique personalities that numerous people can relate to.

“Undeclared” on the other hand is more comedy centric, however it has a cast of almost equally charming and eccentric characters. Also like “Geeks,” it addresses familiar college subjects, though most of them are executed with a satirical edge that makes them feel fresh.

As the weeks pass by, free time as a college student will begin to dwindle, so take one or more of these recommendations into quick effect as soon as possible. As usual, keep watching movies and TV shows you haven’t seen before, and I’ll be back soon with more suggestions.