Autumn has officially fallen upon us. Students at Wellesley College are busy settling into campus life, adjusting to their course loads and deciding which clubs and organizations they want to join. Though the start of an academic year is exciting, it can also feel overwhelming at times. Television can be a good way to escape from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Fortunately, the fall 2017 television lineup looks promising, as several beloved shows are returning from hiatus. “American Horror Story,” “Stranger Things,” and “Jane the Virgin” are three of the many shows that students at Wellesley are most excited for this television season.
Those who are still having nightmares about the 2016 election should watch season seven of “American Horror Story” with extreme caution. The highly-anticipated season, titled, “Cult,” premiered on Sept. 5. It is a spin-off of last year’s presidential race. The first 10 minutes of the show take place on election evening, when something eerie and unexpected happens. The rest of the season follows the aftermath of the events that took place that evening.
Several “American Horror Story” veterans, including Jessica Lange, Evan Peters and Frances Conroy, are returning for the seventh season. The show is also welcoming new cast members, such as Leslie Grossman and Lena Dunham. Executive Producer Ryan Murphy teased that Twisty the Clown, a popular villain from the fourth season, will play a major role in the new seasons storyline.
Shreya Parjan ’21 is an avid fan of “American Horror Story.” Though she enjoyed the previous storylines, she is skeptical about the plot of season 7. “I find it a bit troubling because it seems like the show is translating the genuine issue of increased national polarization into ‘entertainment,” Parajan said. In spite of her reservations, Parjan still encourages her classmates to give season seven a watch. “It’s definitely a conversational piece,” Parjan continued.“I think Wellesley students may have interesting opinions about the commentary that the show is making and if it’s doing so effectively.”
Meanwhile, the first season of “Stranger Things” took the television world by storm after it was released by Netflix in July 2016. The science-fiction phenomenon is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana during the 1980s. The first season follows a pack of 12 year-old misfits after their friend Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) goes missing. After Will’s disappearance, a series of strange events ensue, beginning with the appearance of Eleven (Milly Bobby Brown), a practically mute little girl with psychokinetic abilities. Though the show answered several of the questions that it raised in the first season, such as what happened to Will Byers, the final episode ended with a nail-biting cliffhanger.
The cast’s stellar performance, the brilliant cinematography and the questions left unanswered from season one were clearly enough to leave fans of the show wanting more. Forty-two percent of the participants in a “Rotten Tomatoes” survey indicated that “Stranger Things” is the returning series they are most excited for this fall.
Cecilia Barreto ’20 is one of the many students at Wellesley College who is excited for Netflix to release season two of “Stranger Things” on October 27, 2017.
“I love the cast,” Barreto said. “Winona Ryder already has a lot of respect in the acting industry, which is why I trusted the show in the first place. But with kid actors, you never really know what to expect, professionally speaking, because they are just kids. But this show blew me away, and the child actors were amazing, which is part of the reason this show stands out.”
The last show that Wellesley is looking forward to is “Jane the Virgin,” a satirical romantic comedy that first aired in October. The show follows Jane Gloriana Villanueva, a hard-working and religious young woman who wants to remain a virgin until marriage. Things get complicated when a doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates Jane during a routine check-up. To make matters worse, Jane quickly learns that the father of her unborn child is a former teenage crush, who is now her (married) boss.
“Jane the Virgin” is a critically-acclaimed show that has earned numerous awards and nominations. The comedy managed to claim a spot on the critic’s top ten in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The show’s immense success and popularity was enough to persuade The CW to order a fourth season, which has an Oct. 13 release date.
Aditi Abahyakumar ‘21 has seen all 64 episodes in seasons one through three of “Jane the Virgin” and encourages other Wellesley College students to do the same and tune in for season four.
“I love how unpredictable the show is with all of its twists and turns,” she said. It’s a comedy, it’s a mystery, and it’s also a romance. I think students at Wellesley will especially appreciate the show because female empowerment has really been highlighted in the past three seasons.”
Other shows returning this television season include “Riverdale”, “Broad City”, and “The Big Bang Theory.” Treat yourself to a study break, and enjoy the writing, acting, and cinematography that these hit series have to offer.