Cultures Film & TV

What to Binge Over the Long Vac

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Term draws to a close, the haze of revision and exams fade and suddenly there is nothing but a glorious, long summer vacation stretching ahead of us. I don’t know about you, but after a hectic term, I plan on winding down and easing into the vac, at least in part, by catching up on all the TV and film I’ve missed.

First up on the list is A Quiet Place Part II. Cinemas have been sorely missed by many, including myself, during the pandemic and I can’t wait to be immersed in the cinematic experience once more with the follow up to the masterfully crafted, brilliantly acted, nail-biting horror, A Quiet Place. The sequel continues to follow the Abbott family as they are forced into the deadly wild. It will no doubt earn plenty of jumps and pitiful yelps from me, despite my efforts to retain composure. 

Next is the eagerly anticipated Black Widow. As a die-hard Marvel fan since I was a kid, this is a film I’ve been excited about for, quite literally, years. Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), the eponymous Black Widow, is a Russian spy turned Avenger. Having been a part of the MCU for over ten years now, she is finally getting a long overdue solo film, following her between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Pushed back twice due to the pandemic, Black Widow is set to be released on July 9th. You can guarantee I’ll be sitting with a bucket full of sweet-and-salted popcorn, near the back centre of the cinema, on opening night. 

For TV, I’ll be getting swept up in the societal scandals of Sanditon, a fishing village attempting to reinvent itself into a seaside resort. Adapted from Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel, the series follows the spirited Charlotte as she adapts to life in the coastal town and also boasts a black main character too, the feisty heiress Miss Lamb. Younger me delights in living my period drama dreams vicariously through her. With news of the show’s renewal for two more seasons following a passionate campaign by fans, this is the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon and get your period drama fix. 

As well as promising an explosive return to the big screen, the MCU has also branched out onto the small screen, with their next offering being Loki, an adventure series said to have the most bearing on the next phase of Marvel’s films. With a slightly shaky but nonetheless promising start, Loki Wednesdays (dubbed by yours truly) will be a fun bit of down time in the summer after prelims. 

I am notoriously bad at finishing the shows I start when the show in question is comprised of multiple seasons. However, after thoroughly enjoying Sky’s Oxford-set first season of A Discovery of Witches, in which a professor falls in love with a vampire and discovers her magical abilities, I solemnly vow to finish that second season which takes viewers back in time to the 1590s. Lastly and a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (code for last Christmas while at home), I finally sat down to watch the entirety of the Skywalker saga and its spin-off films. This leaves only The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch to check off my list. With a promising new wave of Star Wars shows in the works, much like the MCU’s new phase, I’ll be settling down to finally finish The Mandalorian and decipher what all that Baby Yoda fuss was about.

Hetta Johnson (she/her) is a contributing writer and Junior Editor for Cultures at The Oxford Blue. She is in her second year reading English Language and Literature at Worcester College and, when not wandering Oxford or with her nose in a book, can be found in the countryside of Northamptonshire.