PHOTOS COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Netflix’s Luke Cage is Good… At First

Luke Cage is a good show… for a bit. The first seven of thirteen episodes are a delight. Marvel’s new entry into its online-exclusive Defenders series (comprised of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the upcoming Iron Fist) will get its fans all the more hyped up for when the four eventually convene. Creator Cheo Hodari Coker and lead actor Mike Colter do brilliant jobs in what is another solid entry to the already-great Netflix universe. Luke Cage provides an enthralling look into a gritty Harlem still reeling from the extraterrestrial incident of Joss Whedon’s Avengers (2012).

COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Easy on the Eyes

There’s so much sex on TV. Like, so much. Think: Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, Orange is the New Black, Masters of Sex, Skins. The list goes on. Sex is so ubiquitous on TV that you’d think the new Netflix series, Easy, is just another title to add to the list of sex-themed programs, with nothing quite fresh or new to add besides the shock value of obscenity.

COURTESY OF NETFLIX

A still from Netflix's new original series The Getdown, directed by Baz Luhrmann.

STANTON | On Hip-Hop and Nostalgia

Nostalgia — that seemingly endless pool of artistic inspiration — motivates at least half (by my less-than-scientific calculation) of this year’s major pop culture moments, from Netflix’s Stranger Things all the way to Frank Ocean’s Blond(e). As source material, it’s a tricky beast, at its best capable of drawing on shared memories to remind us what made something great in the first place. At its worst, though, nostalgia invites a kitschy reimagining of the past that too often morphs into revisionist history. Perhaps nowhere is this division more hotly debated than in the realm of hip-hop, a former subculture whose influence now runs far beyond its original parameters, sparking important questions as to how it should continue to evolve while remaining true to its roots. “No one alive can name me one rapper that was bigger than the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC or Spice Girls was in the 90s and mean it,” asserted rapper Vince Staples in a recent interview with Noisey.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Stranger Things Puts the Science (And Much More) Back in Science Fiction

When you watch Stranger Things, you are immediately transported into a relic of the 1980s. It was a time when adventure was sought out, science was deemed cool and heroism was somewhat synonymous with nerdiness. We are introduced to our heros — four boys around ten years old who strive for scientific exploration, fantastical adventure and unbreakable friendship — and, as viewers, immediately become attached to them. From the beginning of the first episode, there is an underlying element of supernaturalness that becomes much more overt later in the hour. However, unlike most shows for which the basis of the storyline is made up of supernatural events, this show isn’t nauseatingly cheesy or predictable.

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The Characters: Experimental, if Inconsistent

What happens when you give comedians free reign for a 30-minute special? Utter absurdity. At least, that’s what the Netflix comedy special, The Characters, would suggest. The avant-garde experiment features eight lesser-known comedians who write and star in a 30-minute episode completely under their own creative control. The big twist?

GUEST ROOM | An Ode to Binge-Watching

Many thanks to the Internet, the television world and the desire for more cutting-edge content, binge-watching has become America’s pastime. For many, there is nothing more satisfying (yet also daunting) than spending hours on end watching a series, and then finally completing it. In the days before readily accessible media, it would take (literally) years to start and finish a television show. You also had to start it as soon as it was on air in order to ensure you didn’t miss a beat. Fans had to make sure their DVR was set (if they even had it) in the event they couldn’t work with a network’s agenda to get a show out.

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A Not So Loving Love Story

Call me a romantic, but I like my comedies funny and feel-good. Love fits the bill of funny (well, sometimes), but overall leaves you feeling pretty bad about people and love in general. Love tells the story of a man and a woman falling in love and the rough start of their relationship. “Rough start,” though, might be one of the biggest understatements I’ve ever written. We are introduced to Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust), our protagonists (but also antagonists, because they are their own worst enemies) as their lives fall into more of an abyss than usual.

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‘Have Mercy!’ Full(er) House Is Back

Full House is back! Kind of. Fuller House, the modern day spin-off of the sitcom Full House, was released in full on Feb. 26 as a Netflix original series. The original cast members, with the exception of the Olsen twins, returned to reprise their roles.

Courtesy of The Times UK

WATCH ME IF YOU CAN | Hollywood vs. Television: A Brief History

After World War II, many things changed in American culture. There was a chain reaction, from soldiers returning home to their families, to the baby boomer generation being born. Thanks to the highway systems built in the 1950s under the Eisenhower administration, families were able to move to the suburbs in order to live more comfortably. This suburbanization became the hallmark of the post-World War II period. On weekends and workweek evenings, families with smaller children would stay home and gather around their television as the primary source of entertainment.