It’s been quite a few months now since quarantine has become a new way of life. A lot of people who are stuck inside their homes set out with lofty goals or projects they wanted to accomplish. At first we saw A LOT of bread baking, cooking new foods, learning new languages, home remodeling, and self-care routines. Meanwhile, over at Kulture Popped, we are physically located in “HOT ZONES.” And most of us along with pop culture fans have been spending our time binging throwback television series.
Have you ever spotted a show on Netflix that you always wanted to watch but it’s eight seasons long? Ahem Supernatural. Or maybe you only saw the first two seasons of The Office and desperately want to find out what you’re missing! Now is the time because we HAVE TIME NOW! Most people are going binge-crazy over the most popular series that they haven’t seen, bringing back all that nostalgia we may have missed.
Here’s a handy list (in no particular order) of what you can and should be streaming during COVID-19 quarantine.
For years Seinfeld, the show about nothing, defined pop culture television and is one of the most quoted comedies. Episodes like Jerry’s (Jerry Seinfeld) puffy white shirt (Season 5, Episode 2), the infamous NO SOUP FOR YOU nazi (Season 7, Episode 6), that time when George (Jason Alexander) slips down the stairs after getting fired from the Yankees (Season 8, Episode 22) defined the ridiculous antics that Seinfeld is well-known and loved for.
No matter how random an episode may seem, the writers always tied it together in the end. This makes Seinfeld an absolutely brilliant must-watch comedy series full of one-liners that you can impress all your friends with. You’ve got nine seasons and 180 episodes of absolute hilarity full of lovable, neurotic characters to catch up on! Oh yeah, let’s not discuss the finale until you get there.
Seinfeld is currently streaming on Hulu.
The X-Files (1993)
If you’re a sci-fi fan or just REALLY want a reason to believe in aliens, then check out Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) and skeptic Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) adventures with anything and everything paranormal. The X-Files is a ground-breaking series that tackled conspiracy theories and made us question our own reality. You’ll find yourself screaming, “WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT HIDING, WHERE IS SCULLY’S ALIEN BABY, AND IS THE SMOKING MAN GOING TO KILL THEM!?”
One of the most notable episodes of the entire series is Jose Chung’s From Outer Space (Season 3, Episode 20) where the overarching narrative of alien abduction is planted in our minds. You might watch this episode and think, “THIS IS SO META!” Well, that’s because it’s a perfectly written satire of the show itself. X-Files is a pop culture, mind-blowing phenom with over 200 television episodes, two movies, books and comics of Mulder and Scully’s investigations into aliens, monsters, and eerie events. It’s the longest-running sci-fi series in the history of television. Plus, you can’t live your life without knowing who the Flukeman is. Trust us, “The truth is out there.”
The X-Files is currently streaming on Hulu.
The Twilight Zone (1959)
The Twilight Zone was the first horror anthology series to reach general audiences. And let me tell you, it terrified A LOT of viewers even years later. It’s pure genius broke barriers, while inspiring every single horror or sci-fi series that proceeded. At the time, the stories and theories first introduced in The Twilight Zone were completely out-of-this world. I mean, like actually taking place in another dimension! This series tackles many genres and tropes including fantasy, horror, sci-fi, thriller, and psychological terror. Created by the legendary Rod Serling, it’s notorious for simply screwing with your mind as soon as you hear do di do do (the theme song).
What’s great about The Twilight Zone is that each episode serves a certain socio-political purpose or teaches viewers an important moral usually with a surprise ending. In fact, the series may have been the first to introduce “THE TWIST.” NO, not the dance, the story-telling trope. Was that monkey REALLY on the plane wing or was the passenger just losing his mind? I SWEAR THAT THING WAS REAL. Do yourself a favor and watch it to find out what I’m referring to. You know how influential something is when it gets its own Disney theme park ride – The Tower of Terror.
The Twilight Zone is streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
Before the CW took over live-action DC Comics television series, there was Batman: The Animated Series. NO, it’s not a cartoon – it’s the best adaptation ever of The Dark Knight and the entire world of Gotham to ever exist. Although it first aired on Fox Kids, BTAS was geared more towards long-time comic book fans as it has a neo-noir vibe and adult themes. It’s dark, violent, and pulled from pages and panels. BTAS has permeated pop culture for good and forever.
The series is based on Batman doing what he does best – investigating and solving crime in the seedy underbelly of Gotham. You know…rather than fighting with Superman then making up because of Martha-named moms. Creators Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski’s main goal was to bring all of Gotham and its misfits alive with gothic-style animation. And it worked beautifully so much so that it won multiple Emmy awards.
Not only was BTAS voiced by fabulous actors like Mark Hamill as Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman, but it introduced the beloved criminal Harley Quinn. This was the very first time a DC Comics character was born outside of comic books – and my gosh everyone LOVED her. If you’re looking for the most realistic version of The Bat (which holds true to the source material) then get on the BTAS train – you won’t be disappointed, but you might get hit on the head with Harley’s goofy hammer.
Batman: The Animated Series is currently streaming on DC Universe.
The Office (2005)
There is no better “office-drama” than…The Office. Nothing can come close to the awkwardness and sometimes cringe-worth comedy of Michael (Steve Carrell) and the entire staff at Dunder-Mifflin. It’s the first series to introduce a satirical documentary style of filming known as the talking heads.
First we have all the drama that’s going on in what should be a boring paper company filled with cubicles, then we have a cast of dynamic characters speaking directly into the camera like they’re on some sort of reality show. The Office was an entirely new concept that viewers fell in love with. Well, mostly we fell in love with Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) - and despised Toby.
The Office quickly became a smash-hit and made it’s way into almost every pop culture reference ever made. You’d be surprised at how many big-name comedians auditioned and weren’t cast. Either way, each chosen actor played an exaggerated character of a person you probably work with, making it relatable and funny. With nine seasons, you’ll have plenty of episodes to binge and many things to learn about the little paper company in Scranton, PA. Make sure you try some of Jim’s pranks once you get back into your own offices.
The Office is currently streaming on Netflix.
Dragon Ball (1984)
If you’re looking to get into amine or are already a solid anime fan, the Dragon Ball series is a great place to start. The Dragon Ball franchise is MASSIVE including animated series, films, collectibles, merchandise, and of course manga. There are at least 15 television series that spawned from the original DB. Created by the iconic Akira Toriyama, the DB empire is the ultimate anime binge starting in 1984 to current episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes. Yes, you counted that right – you have over 35 years of episodes to watch at your own disposal. If this doesn’t get you through quarantine I don’t know what will!
When we discuss pop culture on a global level, Dragon Ball Z is the most influential. It brought Japanese culture, style, and distinctive animation to the West side (I’m talking about America). An animated television series that took almost the entire WORLD by storm is a pretty huge deal. It gave us Westerners something new, while forging a path for every manga and anime series that followed. You literally can’t turn around without seeing something, anything related to Dragon Ball – even if it’s just a cup at Target.
Dragon Ball is currently streaming on Funimation and Hulu.
Put on your comfy pants, grab your favorite snacks, settle in to your favorite chair and start binging one of these nostalgic pop culture picks from a variety of genres. We will not be held responsible for all-nighters, dozing off while watching, or your legs falling asleep. However, we do suggest you stay hydrated and safe during your quarantine and stream binges!