3 binge-worthy shows to watch this holiday season
3 binge-worthy shows to watch this holiday season
3 binge-worthy shows to watch this holiday season
by Ada Pelonia04 December 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the proverbial lyric goes, and what better way to spend the holiday season than to sprawl over the chilled sheets of your bed (thanks, cold weather), whip out your snacks of choice, and steel yourself for the rollercoaster of emotions that these binge-worthy shows would stir up.

  1. First Love 初恋 (2022)

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Who remembers Utada Hikaru’s hit song “First Love,” which swept the public’s hearts and even blasted on repeat in their MP3 players if not constantly played on the radio? Director Yuri Kanchiku certainly does, since Utada’s song inspired her Netflix series “First Love 初恋.”

The story follows Yae and Harumichi’s tight relationship as young adults, at least not until it gets severed when she has an accident that prompts him to part ways with her. Fifteen years later, they meet again, and the past digs its way back into their lives.

With nine episodes, “First Love 初恋” would evoke a sense of nostalgia, oscillating from the scenic ‘90s and early ’00s of Hokkaido to the hustle and bustle of present-time Tokyo. But more than that, the series encapsulates the warmth of young love, particularly the unforgettable firsts.

For a perfect closure, director Yuri solidified the series’ soundtrack with Utada’s “Hatsukoi” (which translates to first love in English), embodying the iconic adage that first love never dies. The nippy breeze of Christmas is on par with the fiery romance that Yae and Harumichi’s story elicits.

  1. Maid (2021)

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Inspired by Stephanie Land’s “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive” memoir, Netflix’s “Maid” follows a single mother who works at a cleaning service while tending to her young daughter’s needs. Handling everything by herself, she keeps their lives afloat without drowning from societal pressures, dwindling financial resources, and stress from her dysfunctional family.

Despite the somber premise, “Maid” is a success story in its own right for reminding the viewers that small wins serve as stepping stones to keep moving forward—and Alex portrays the sentiment while securing these wins throughout the series.

If you’re one for tearjerker shows that take a step back from the jolly Christmas spirit (just for the sake of it), then “Maid” fits the criteria of making you cry and helping you navigate the intricacies of single parenthood, autonomy, and government support system.

  1. The Midnight Club (2022)

Photo courtesy of IMDb

The stories we share tell more about ourselves than the story itselfa staple nudge of realization throughout “The Midnight Club” series by horror director Mike Flanagan.

Centered around a group of terminally ill teenagers living at Brightliffe Hospice, “The Midnight Club” is a clique that gathers in the hospice’s library every night to share their respective fictional stories and make sense of their future amid shrouding visions of hope and dreary claws of a seemingly imminent end.

Despite “The Midnight Club’s” focus on death, the series does not skirt around the topic and instead pinpoints the show’s central point: we are the stories we share, and one day we will exist as stories to the next generation, pulling a domino effect until the stories take shape and breathe on their own.

As the new year draws near, piles of resolutions have been jotted down in notes or constantly swirling on the outskirts of one’s mind. And while there’s nothing wrong with creating promises to mark the beginning of the year, “The Midnight Club” reminds us to pause and look at our mortality against the backdrop of the cosmic timescale as we share stories with empathy, respect, and care.

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