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This Week’s Need To Know

It’s the first of September (or, it was, at the time of writing) meaning a couple of things; Starbucks has introduced its autumn staple, the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, those annoying ‘BACK2SCHOOL’ adverts that have been playing since July have finally ended because, well, everyone’s back at school, university begins in a couple of weeks (but lets not dwell on that), and, undeniably, winter is coming.

I have a mixture of feelings entering into the autumn months. There is, and probably always will be, an overwhelming bitterness associated with September; the arguments with parents over Clarks shoes versus Rockports (remember Rockports? Hilarious.) And the hours of persuasion (and promises to do the dishes for a month) needed before they finally agreed to let you have the Jane Norman shoulder bag instead of the sensible backpack with a special section just for your water bottle.

For kids between 4 and 16, September is definitely the worst month of the year, and I don’t think that feeling will ever leave me. Things have changed, of course, I now decide my selection of pens and stationary accessories (I also, unfortunately, buy them) and September, on the whole, isn’t too bad. In fact, the idea of seeing everyone from uni again, getting into a solid routine where the prospect of staying up ‘til 4am each morning becomes once again ludicrous, and spurring my brain back into action after a five month lull is quite pleasing. The most exciting thought for the months to come, however, is the snug nights spent curled on the sofa with a share bag of Doritos binge-watching shows. Gone are the days of weeklong benders; benders that also require gym-breaks and clean eating (what’s worse on a hangover?) because that summer body isn’t going to maintain itself. Winter is the time for indulgence, for doing minimal uni work, and for growing body hair. I love it. If, however, summer is your time, and the thought of it ending induces fits of hysteria and/or mourning, below is a list I have so thoughtfully compiled of the best television series to absorb yourself in until summer comes calling once more.

Mr Robot

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A hacker with social anxiety and a morphine addiction attempts to take down the world-dominating conglomerate Evil Corp. With David Fincher-esque shots, and an unnerving soundtrack, this series induces paranoia –hell, I don’t even think the narrator is reliable – you’ll soon find yourself attempting to hack into your partner’s computer in the early hours of the morning, and failing. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe that’s just me. Also, did I mention that Rami Malek plays the lead? Google him. You’ll thank me later.

Peaky Blinders

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This show proves that, once again, the BBC absolutely smashes TV dramas. Cillian Murphy plays Tommy Shelby, the head of the notorious Brummy gang the Peaky Blinders, and, despite the sometimes-questionable Birmingham accents, delivers a stellar performance. There’s a shot of the three main gang members, heads bowed, walking in their knee length pea coats and flat caps, away from or towards the camera, usually accompanied by an Arctic Monkey’s banger that is literally in every episode. And it is my favourite moment in every episode. It’s really, really great. If that isn’t enough to convince you to get stuck in; Tom Hardy guest stars in a couple of episodes playing his usual petrifying psychotic character, and is, of course, brilliant.

Stranger Things

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You know about this one already, don’t you? Of course you do. A Netflix original series follows a series of characters ranging from kids (big up Dustin!) to a stressed af Winona Ryder all desperately searching for their lost friend/brother/son Mike. But, as you guessed from the title, not everything is as it seems. The series creators, the Duffer Brothers, pay homage to 80’s pop culture in impeccable style; the mixture of Spielberg, Lucas, King and Carpenter is a real treat for the eyes and ears. The plot isn’t too shabby either. (Disclaimer: it will make you want to shave your head.)

Freaks and Geeks

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Have you ever wondered how and where James Franco, Jason Segal and Seth Rogan met and formed their beautiful, hilarious friendships? Look no further. This tv show captures perfectly the constant pressure we all felt trying to find our niche in high school; were you a freak or a geek? It’s hilarious (obviously) and, despite being set in a fictional suburb in Detroit over thirty years ago, it’s relatable. Plus, it has a young Seth Rogen in it – what more do you want?

There you have it; four series to keep you going for the upcoming months. Watch ‘em, love ‘em, become attached to fictional people, cry when its over, thank me later.

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