April showers bring…binging on amazing TV for hours? If you’re like me, that’s probably a yes, always. This April, we say goodbye to some iconic films and shows, but welcome some super cool pieces that are diverse/inclusive/beautifully crafted.
It’s April, so say goodbye to:
1. The X-Files
All nine seasons of my favorite sci-fi drama will be cleared out of Netflix by April 1st. Dana Scully was an incredibly multidimensional, feminist badass cop who graced our screens for ten seasons. She was an archetype of a “strong woman” that shows so usually lack, but the creators managed to evade any cliched ideas of strength.
She is religious and loves science, is sarcastic and cooperative, intelligent and fun. Her colleague and friend, Fox Mulder, provides an interesting counterpart to the character, as a dynamic duo that fights crime. The typical idea of an overemotional woman and a logical man is turned upside down here; while Mulder believes in conspiracy theories and aliens, Scully always turns to rational and logical explanations. She’s a rare gem of a female role model in TV, and I’m sad to see this groundbreaking show leave.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer + Spin-off Angel
The Scooby Gang will be leaving Netflix in the early days of April, and I am very, very sad. The Slayer was an amazing female TV icon, and her supernatural adventures battling vampires and the likes kept us all glued to our seats. The Slayer also helped redefine what a feminist icon really is. In the 90s, shows like Xena: The Warrior Princess were considered feminist, but they depicted “strong women” as masculine, impolite, and devoid of empathy.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” toppled that idea, giving Buffy more nuance as a typical teenage girl who also kicked ass. While the show stopped airing in 2003, Netflix had once been a great way to get our daily dose of bad-ass chick. Alas, that is to be no more.
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This iconic film of the 1980s made us crack up, sing/dance, and marvel at Ferris’s ingenious tricks to miss a day of school. His breaking the fourth wall, his elaborate cover-ups, the dancing sequences, his chemistry with Sloane…Ferris Bueller was hard- if not impossible- not to love. While it doesn’t rank too high on our diversity index (literally every character is white) or feminist meter, it still holds a special place in some of our hearts because of the sheer nostalgia.
With classic actors like Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, and Charlie Sheen, this teen comedy was always a great movie to pop in for a quick laugh.
4. House, M.D.
Here’s a show that I’m not super sad to see go. While “House, M.D.” is entertaining for its complex medical mysteries, it’s also a pretty sexist show. The title character, a straight white male, is incredible chauvinistic and treats his female colleagues with a typical patriarchal superiority. All of them seem to be his subordinates.
He insults and degrades a lot of them, even if they are in higher positions. If there are reruns on late at night, maybe I’ll fall asleep on the couch blearily watching them, but I’m kinda glad that Netflix tossed it out to make room for something new.
5. The Princess Bride
I’m not too sorry to see this 1987 flick go either. As hard as some might try to argue, the title character, Buttercup, has one main achievement in this film: being a bride, goody goody. She pines after men, makes sacrifices for them, and watches them fight her battles for her. An over told princess tale, this film can salsa out the door for all I care. Netflix viewers can use some new female character on their screens.
Next month, say hello to…
Sarah Michelle Gellar of “Buffy” is back in this 2003 film about our favority groovy gang. You probably remember this live-action remake of the popular Scooby-Doo series fondly, as I do. While the lack of diversity is a real shame, I do appreciate the multidimensionality of the female characters in the movie. The gang disbands and reunites in the early portion of this film, and Velma works for NASA and Daphne is learning martial arts for self-defense purposes (since she was kidnapped before).
While (spoiler alert) Daphne is kidnapped again, she has fighting scenes too. There are sexist undertones surrounding Velma’s character (her intelligence is mocked as nerdiness), but I’m still excited to watch the film and reminisce on our childhoods.
2. Rodney King
This is one show I am SO excited to watch. Directed by Spike Lee, this one-man show will tell the tale of the infamous beating of Rodney King, and more on the man himself. After videos emerged of King being beaten up by LAPD in 1991, people were outraged when the officers involved were acquitted on all charges. King survived and was partly responsible for helping end the mass rioting going on, but he lived the remainder of his life plagued by run-ins with the law and addiction problems.
The show will premiere on the 25th anniversary of the acquittals in Simi Valley. Let’s make one thing clear: this is a stage show that Netflix is broadcasting. Other than that, we don’t have many other details, but I’m excited as hell for a smart portrayal of a black man who changed the face of racial politics.
3. Dear White People
Watch the trailer for this show now, seriously. Netflix will bring it to us this month and I. AM. SO. PUMPED. The film has been described as a satiric take on racial politics in America, and follows black college students navigating, exploring, amplifying, and exposing the intricacies of racism.
When a white guy in the trailer says that his race faces the most discrimination these days, the surge of disbelief I feel is only intensified by the fact that people literally think that nowadays. The premise of this show is an exposé that smartly celebrates and critiques racial politics, and gives voice to many issues that black Americans face every day. This one will be a must-watch!
4. Chewing Gum, Season 2
The first season of this show had critics raving, and this April Tracey is back to light up our screens once again. The show follows Tracey, a young black woman who’s a sheltered, religious virgin, as she attempts to reinvent herself and learn as much about the world around her as she can.
It’s funny, it’s clever, and I am so ready for more.
5. A Plastic Ocean
Whether or not documentaries are your thing, this is a must-watch for anyone who identifies as part of humankind. Journalist Craig Leeson travels with divers to spots around the world, exposing the deadly, devastating effect of plastic pollution and human waste on our beloved oceans. While I know it’s not your usual binge-worthy tv show, this flick is relevant, real, and so very sad.
Make sure to keep checking back, Netflix adds and takes down different shows and movies on a weekly basis, and you never know what’s coming or going next!