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Must-watch TV shows and movies to binge over the break

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

With summer comes less assignments and more free time. Here I’ve compiled a few of my must-watch shows and movies to keep you entertained during the break.

“The Vampire Diaries” Universe

To keep yourself occupied the entire summer, get sucked into the whirlwind that is “The Vampire Diaries.” While this went off the air in 2017, the second show, “The Originals,” aired for a total of five seasons, with “Legacies” still running and on its fourth season.

It’s difficult to explain the actual concept of the show, as it first starts out as a love triangle between two vampire brothers and a human teenage girl, later introducing the original family of vampires, a witch serial killer, a siren for some reason and the constant unknown fate of characters that never seem to stay dead.

The second show in the franchise focuses on the original vampire family, the Mikaelsons, and the third show focuses on the children born in the two shows prior, hence the name “Legacies.” Each show keeps you invested with every new episode and plotline and they’re all available on Netflix.

“Julie and the Phantoms”

One of my favorite shows of all time, “Julie and the Phantoms” takes around four hours to watch, with just nine episodes. Because of its unfortunate cancellation after just the first season, I’ve made sure to re-watch it numerous times, with each time being just as magical as the first.

It’s generally considered to be a kid’s show, but many teens and adults have taken a liking to it. The show follows Julie Molina, a young girl who recently lost her mother, as she finds her way back into music by forming a band with three ghosts.

This is a lighthearted show with musical numbers each episode, along with being critically acclaimed after receiving 13 Daytime Emmy nominations, winning three of them and being placed in Netflix’s “Representation Matters” collection.


One of the most genius shows to have ever been produced, “Psych” is available with an Amazon Prime membership and free with ads on Peacock.

The premise of the show follows Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster as they work to solve crimes for the Santa Barbara Police Department, under the false assumption that Spencer is a psychic.

The show includes an abundance of comedic elements, along with some romantic and serious aspects. Essentially, it has everything that makes a good show, and with 120 episodes and three movies, you’ll be occupied for a decent part of the break.


For those interested in a must-watch foreign show, “Rebelde” is a Mexican telenovela following students at a private school, each competing for a “Battle of the Bands” title.

The first episode introduces the antagonist of the series, along with potential love interests and rivals. The character’s styles throughout the season and their different passions give each viewer something to love about each character, although I’m still not the biggest fan of Luca.

With LGBTQ representation and original music along with covers, the eight-episode show keeps viewers captivated the entire way through, leaving just enough of a cliffhanger — until the second season’s release sometime later this year.

“Fear Street” Trilogy

If movies interest you more, Netflix’s “Fear Street” movies are loose adaptations of R.L. Stine’s books of the same name. The three movies follow a different year in the same plotline, with elements of horror and science fiction, along with a touch of romance, the show delivers a compelling thrill-laden narrative that is sure to keep you interested.

The first movie, “Fear Street: 1994” centers around a group of teens that discovered an evil force responsible for a history of brutal murders. The next movie, “Fear Street: 1978,” lets viewers tag along as a dark secret is uncovered, transitioning into the third and final movie, “Fear Street: 1666,” which flashes back to the evil’s origin.

The end of the third movie brings viewers back to 1994, concluding the trilogy. Each movie is around two hours long, making them perfect for a movie marathon.

Honorable mentions

Some movies and shows that are worth the watch but are more acquired tastes are “Twilight,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Glee” and “Descendants.”

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