Netflix during a time of crisis

In the current state of the world, there are many things people cannot control. So with society needing a break from the bleak news and humdrum routine of day-to-day activities, people have turned to the smorgasbord of TV shows and movies that Netflix has to offer. From “The Good Place” to “Queer Eye” to “Lucifer,” the streaming service offers shows for a diverse range of audiences, providing, for many, the perfect escape from the global pandemic.

One show that has had huge success in recent weeks is the Netflix Original documentary mini-series “Tiger King.” The seven action-packed episodes center around the crazy life of the gun-owning, big cat-collecting, gay, Oklahoman zookeeper Joe Exotic. The drama-filled, true crime series took the world by storm, giving many a much-needed break from the “murder, mayhem and madness” present in the real world.

CHS sophomore Liza Platonov finished the show in a record 44.8 hours. However, she questions whether the show’s sudden spike in popularity has anything to with the general public’s concern for animal welfare.

“I’d like to think that the world cares about the protection of big cats and that’s why ‘Tiger King’ was such a success,” Platonov said. “But in reality, I think people just like the drama.”

For whatever reason, millions of viewers tuned in to watch the never-ending feud between an ambitious animal activist and an extravagant, self-absorbed zookeeper. Everyone can agree that the seemingly altered reality and weirdness of the show is an escape from the monotony of their own lives.

However, “Tiger King” is most definitely not the only strange and weirdly addicting show on Netflix at the moment. With many having newfound time on their hands, much of society has delved into the depths of what Netflix has to offer and come up with some weird and oddly fascinating finds. Ella Kuriyama, a CHS sophomore, has spent much of her quarantine time scrolling through the Netflix options and has stumbled upon a few hidden gems.

“I’ve discovered I really enjoy deep-sea documentaries, historical reenactments, and John Mulaney’s stand-up comedy specials,” Kuriyama said. She also explained her small, newfound obsession with the show “Santa Clarita Diet,” a show about a family living a comfortable life in Santa Clarita, California, until their daughter goes through an unexpected change.

“She [Drew Barrymore as Sheila Hammond] is a zombie and it totally makes sense,” Kuriyama said. “I was so invested in the character development of Mr. Ball Legs.”

With new applications like the “Netflix Party” Chrome extension, people can connect and chat while watching, sharing their investment in characters’ lives as they watch along. So amidst a global pandemic, maybe there is something that humanity can come together around: binge-watching trashy, dramatic Netflix shows, and then obsessing over them for hours on end.