Category: Entertainment

PASS THE TIME: TV SHOWS AND VIDEO GAMES TO BINGE YOUR WAY THROUGH QUARANTINE

 By Matthew Sullivan and John Coffey

            We’re all stuck at home because of Covid-19, and it’s no fun. So we at the Commentary decided to recommend some binge-worthy TV shows and video games to help you get through these tough times. Two contributing writers, Matthew Sullivan and John Coffey, have banded together to bring you a list that we think you’ll love!

[KEY]
Recommendations by Matthew = highlighted in yellow
Recommendations by John = highlighted in green
Where to find them = [bracketed in RED at the end of synopsis]
                                                                   
TV SHOWS

For Horror Fans

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Director Mike Flanagan (Oujia: Origin of Evil) returns for a spooky spiritual successor to The Haunting of Hill House. While not as horror / jump-scare-centric as the previous entry, there is still a lot to sink your teeth into with this unsettling love story. [Netflix]

The Terror
(season 1)

This is based on true events in the 18th century. A crew of men are trapped in the arctic with a mysterious monster shadowing their every move that has roots in Inuit folklore. It has a great cast including Ciaran Hinds, Jared Harris, and Tobias Menzies. While the 2nd season isn’t quite as good, this is an anthology series so the 1st season stands well on its own. [Hulu, FX]

Penny Dreadful

Vampires; Van Helsing; witches; Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Frankenstein… this show has it all. Featuring a transformative performance from Eva Green and a great supporting cast, this is the ultimate horror show for the ultimate horror fan. The production value and art direction alone will keep you coming back until you’ve finished binging it all.
[Netflix, Showtime]


For Crime Drama Fans

Narcos

 

 

 

 

 

Pablo Escobar, the Cali Cartel, and the Sinaloa Cartel once controlled most of Central America with drug trafficking, intimidation, and violence. This series depicts the gut-wrenching, brutally violent efforts that law enforcement goes through in order to take these criminals down. Sometimes the good guys win, and sometimes we ask ourselves, “What was the point of it all?” [Netflix]

Mindhunter

This is based on true events. Follow agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they develop the first FBI-profiling technique to hunt down real-life “serial killers” (a term they coined). This show is David Fincher at his best, depicting chilling scenes with the likes of David Berkowitz, Wayne Williams, and Charlie Manson. [Netflix]

The Shield

Vic Mackey is a bad cop; the ultimate anti-hero. While the show could have gone the way of the “procedural,” it keeps things fresh in every episode with character-driven plots and topical themes. There are 7 lengthy seasons to binge here to help get you through quarantine. [Hulu, FX]

Mr. Mercedes

Based on the popular detective novel series by Steven King, this is a suspenseful cat-and-mouse thriller developed by David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Big Little Lies). Starring Brendan Gleason and a chilling performance by Harry Treadaway as “the Mercedes killer,” you will be on the edge of your seat from start to finish. [Peacock, Amazon Prime]

Dexter

Dexter has a secret.  By day he is a mild mannered blood spatter analyst and by night he is a killer that hunts other killers. The series is set for a comeback so be sure to prepare for it with the first 8 seasons. [Netflix, Showtime]


For True Crime Fans

The Keepers

Who killed Sister Cathy? Murders come in all shapes and sizes. This chilling documentary follows a group dedicated to solving this cold case. This is catnip for any true crime fan as revelations come to light and the case gets closer and closer to being solved. [Netflix]

Tiger King

You’ve heard all the sayings. You’ve seen all the memes. But if you haven’t actually seen Tiger King, now is your opportunity to fill this void in your life. Follow the rise and fall of Joe Exotic and his war on the infamous Carole Baskin. At the end hopefully you can decide for yourself: “Did Carole Baskin actually kill her husband?” [Netflix]


For Sci-Fi / Fantasy Fans

Raised by Wolves

Can two androids, named Mother and Father, successfully raise six children on a new planet to save the human race? This new series is, without a doubt, some of Ridley Scott’s best work (Alien, Blade Runner, The Martian). Rife with style, heart, passion, and existential themes, this is a must-see for any science fiction fan. [HBO Max]

DEVS

Silicon Valley; quantum computers; parallel universes; time travel; this is a show for fans of hard science fiction. Writer and director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) returns to the small screen this time with a mind-bending story that focuses on a big question: is free will just an illusion? [Hulu, FX]

Star Trek: Discovery

While this series makes some “purists” cringe because it focuses more on action-oriented pacing and CGI, this “J.J. Abrams-approach” to the Star Trek universe will probably appeal to a wider audience. Starring Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh, this is as good a time as any to introduce yourself to this classic series that has been around since 1965.
[CBS All Access]

Game of Thrones

Based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and FIre the show has a great mix of action, fantasy, and political intrigue.  Some critics bemoan the end of the series but you can always skip the last season and read the books instead. [HBO Max]


For Docudrama / Biopic Fans

Mrs. America

While a lot of us in school right now probably aren’t old enough to know who Phyllis Schlafly is, it is important to learn about this era in history along with Women’s Lib and the lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment Act. Cate Blanchette is captivating as the star of this show, featuring Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinam and Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug. [Hulu, FX]


For Drama / Dram-edy Fans

Six Feet Under

Even though this show has been off the air since 2006, it is still as poignant as ever. While one would think a show about a family-owned funeral home would be all about death, it is actually a show about life and how we can make the most out of it with what little time we have on earth. Peter Krause (911) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter) give incredible performances in this award-winning drama that will leave you deep in thought long after the credits roll. [HBO Max]

G.L.O.W.

Even though Netflix recently announced that this show was cancelled, “the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” are still a spectacle worth watching. From creators Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive (Nurse Jackie) comes a hilarious, emotional, and thematically-rich story based on the real life wrestling show of the same name. [Netflix]


For Comedy Fans

Rick and Morty

If you are a fan of animated comedy and have yet to see Rick and Morty, your life is not complete. Justin Roilland’s improvisational style and numerous pop culture references will appeal to fans of all things geek culture. There are currently four seasons of Rick and Morty adventures to binge for when you need a good laugh during these tough times.
[Adult Swim]

BoJack Horseman

In a world where anthropomorphic animals live alongside humans one washed up actor shows us the sacrifices that he made to gain and maintain celebrity status in “Hollywoo.” [Netflix]

The Office

I’ve watched this series so many times.  Sometimes I just want to see a certain episode and I end up watching all 9 seasons again.  Even the ones after Steve Carell left the show.  If you don’t like The Office then you’re wrong. [Netflix]

 



                                                            VIDEO GAMES

For the Casual Gamer

 

Animal Crossing

In a time when many people feel like they are losing control, who wouldn’t enjoy a game where you are in control of an entire island?  Interact with various animal inhabitants and decorate your house however you please.  The game’s seasons change in real time so there is always a reason to go back for new content even after putting the game away for weeks. [Nintendo Switch]

Stardew Valley

If island living isn’t your thing then how about running your own farm? Start with a simple patch of turnips and a couple hundred hours later you’ll have wine, truffle oil, and dinosaur mayo available for sale.
[multiple platforms]


For Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Gamers

The Elder Scrolls Online

Can’t hang out with your friends due to social distancing?  Hang out in ESO and adventure together in the land of Tamriel.  Perfect for everyone who enjoys the fantasy genre you can make your character specialize in a variety of skill sets from armored fighters to powerful mages.
[multiple platforms]

World of Warcraft

This one is the big boy on the block when it comes to MMO’s with 15 years of content to play through and the new Shadowlands expansion releasing at the end of October you’ll have enough content to keep you busy until the pandemic is over. [PC/Mac]

GTA Online

If fantasy or sci fi isn’t your thing jump into Los Santos.  As a cynical parody of Los Angeles people familiar with the area will be able to easily recognize famous landmarks as they are driving past them in stolen cars and leading high speed chases.  Join up with friends to complete heists or just cause random mayhem. [multiple platforms]



For First Person Shooter (FPS) Gamers

Destiny 2

This sci fi shooter has some of the best gunplay in the FPS genre.  Choose from 3 classes offering a wide array of abilities and arm yourself with any of the hundreds of unique weapons available.  You’ll jump around the solar system and engage in some of the best combat and sightseeing that modern day gaming has to offer. [multiple platforms]

Apex Legends

If you’re a little short on funds this is one of the best free to play games available right now.  Get together with 2 friends and blast your opponents away to be the last team standing.  Will you aggressively hunt down the other teams or stay hidden and hope to steal the victory at the last minute?  Either way you’ll be having a good time.
[multiple platforms]   

Rainbow Six: Siege

If you don’t have the twitch reflexes required for games like Call of Duty or you just want to try something different, then give this game a try.  R6S rewards tactical gameplay, planning, and teamwork.  There is a bit more of a learning curve to become competent with this game but it is so satisfying when you figure it out. [multiple platforms]


For Role-Playing Game (RPG) Gamers

The Witcher III

This is the 3rd installment of the Witcher series and, without a doubt, the best. Play as Geralt of Rivia, a morally neutral protagonist who has to choose when to use his wits or his sword. With the DLC, there is over 120 hours of exciting fantasy gameplay on par with the best the genre has to offer. [multiple platforms]

Persona 5 Royale

If you aren’t familiar with Atlus’s previous work then this game may strike you as odd.  You play as a Japanese high school student who has to solve a conspiracy with the help of his friends and the monsters that live inside his head.  The first release of this game offered over 70 hours of content and with the updated Royale version you’ll have over 100 hours of playtime available if you choose to participate in the optional side content. [multiple platforms]

Fallout 4

The latest release in the main series of Fallout titles Fallout 4 allows you to craft your own character and develop them in any way you choose.  With the addition of the settlement crafting system you can make your own post-apocalyptic Eden and prepare for 2021 with the survival skills you’ll get from enduring a nuclear wasteland. [multiple platforms]

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

If you prefer to adventure in the world of Tamriel solo then take up the mantle of the Dragonborn. It is up to you to save the world from the return of fire breathing monsters.  If you have already beaten this game in the 9 years since it’s release there is a never ending supply of new content and quests provided by free mods. [multiple platforms]


For Action-Adventure Gamers

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Even though developer Konami and creator Hideo Kojima had a falling out, at least the Metal Gear: Solid series went out on a high note. Play as “Snake” / “Big Boss” in a unique, tactical stealth shooter that has almost infinite replayability. Side note: this game also has a killer 80’s soundtrack. [multiple platforms]

Last of Us Part 1, Left Behind, and Part 2

[Matt] The Last of Us series is, arguably, the magnum opus for developer Naughty Dog (Uncharted series, Crash Bandicoot series). With Part II having been recently released, this game has broken boundaries and heightened the medium. Never before in a video game has the story, characters and acting been as important or as compelling as the gameplay itself. This is a must-play for any video gamer. [Playstation 4 exclusive]

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

If you’re expecting a Zelda game like Ocarina of TIme or Skyward Sword you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.  This addition to the series is the first to offer a completely open world.  Once you step out of the starting area you can go anywhere you choose even directly towards the final boss Gannon!  This unprecedented level of freedom lets you craft your own adventure that will be unique from every other person’s playthrough. [Nintendo Switch exclusive]

Red Dead Redemption 2

One of the few games set in the wild west RDR2 does a great job bringing the setting to life.  Following the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan the plot is so enjoyable you’ll stop playing the main quest and just run around appreciating the scenery because you don’t want it to end. [multiple platforms]


For Fans of “the Classics”

Vanquish

People often forget that SEGA knows how to make incredible action games with snappy mechanics. Vanquish often gets overlooked with the passage of time, but this fast-paced shooter still holds up. Check out this hidden gem from visionary creative director Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil series). [Playstation 4]

Baldur’s Gate 1+2

For those who love DnD the Baldur’s Gate series allows you to experience the world of Faerûn without having to roll dice or work with the schedules of half a dozen other people.  The third game in the series is now available for early access but if you can handle the ancient 90’s graphics be sure to start with the first two games in the series. [PC/Mac]

Elite: Dangerous

The latest in a series of games from 1984 this space sim allows you to take flight in a full scale recreation of the Milky Way.  After some quick training the game allows you to make your own path in the galaxy.  Whether you take part in trading, combat, exploration, or some combination of the three you’ll have hundreds of hours of gameplay available to you. [multiple platforms]


For Survival / Crafting Gamers

ARK: Survival Evolved

Wake up without a clue where you are and with a strange object embedded in your arm.  We’ve all been there.  At least anyone else who has played ARK can say that.  Explore several ENORMOUS worlds with varied ecosystems and biomes.  Tame wild dinosaurs to help you gather resources, build your base, and hopefully figure out the secrets of the mysterious floating obelisks. [multiple platforms]

Minecraft

The classic survival crafting game that is still going strong over a decade after release.  Once you figure out the basics you can do whatever you want.  Go exploring, build a full size replica of New York City, or create a miles long Rube Goldberg device.  Just don’t dig the blocks directly below you. Trust me. [multiple platforms]

Subnautica

After crash landing on an alien ocean world it’s up to you to build ever more advanced equipment and eventually find a way to leave the planet.  Along the way you’ll dive deep under the surface of the water and discover the answer to a millenia old mystery.  If you don’t feel like diving into the cold dark depths you can always return to the Carribean-like shallows and continue building your personal underwater home.
[multiple platforms]

 

 

Challenging the Old Ways of Music Royalties in the Digital Age: Good or Bad?

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The rise of the internet and the digital age have drastically changed many industries.

One of the best examples of this is the music industry, where almost every aspect of the business has had to adapt to new digital market trends. Recently, there was a case that was settled between the estate of Rick Nelson and Sony Music Entertainment. The claim arose from a challenge to how royalties are handled with regards to digital international distribution, resulting in a settlement that is being regarded as favorable to artists.

The question is: are these digital-era changes good for the music business? 

Continue reading “Challenging the Old Ways of Music Royalties in the Digital Age: Good or Bad?”

Epic is Trying to Take a Bite Out of Apple

By John Coffey

            Over the summer COVID 19 prevented many people from heading out on vacations.  For the video game industry having a literal captive audience saw new heights both in sales and finding new audiences, desperate for some entertainment with theaters, bars, restaurants, and amusement parks still closed.  Nintendo’s quarterly sales tripled over the same period last year[1] and Animal Crossing: New Horizons which released at the same time most states were implementing stay at home orders has sold over 22 million copies in the 6 months since it’s release, becoming the 2nd highest selling game on the three-year-old system.[2]  With a public willing to spend millions on electronic entertainment other tech companies have wanted to secure a larger portion of the pie for themselves. Continue reading “Epic is Trying to Take a Bite Out of Apple”

Top 5 Legal Movies You Should See Before You Graduate

By Daniel Inacio

In honor of the 92nd Annual Academy awards, I felt it pertinent to share some of the best Hollywood depictions of the legal world. And while studying law may not always be the most exciting way to occupy your time, watching it in films certainly is. Unfortunately, many law students have not seen any legal movies beyond Legally Blonde. I have included a list below of legal movies that take you to all over, from jury deliberation rooms and English Inns of Court, to military tribunals and toxic tort battles against big chemical companies.

Continue reading “Top 5 Legal Movies You Should See Before You Graduate”

The Sovereign Nation of Hip-Hop

By Jonathan A. Gonzalez

The late and great Notorious B.I.G. once rapped: “Remember ‘Rappin’ Duke’? Duh-ha, duh-ha/ You Never thought that hip would take it this far.”  Hip-hop that started in New York’s boroughs has evolved into one of the most influential cultures in the United States and around the world. Hip hop is no longer just a genre, it is a full-on global phenomenon; “Rap music has long been considered a form of resistance against authority. Boosted by the commercialization of the music industry, that message has proven its appeal to youth all around the world. Now, from Shanghai to Nairobi to São Paulo, hip-hop is evolving into a truly global art of communication.”[1]

Continue reading “The Sovereign Nation of Hip-Hop”

First Time in a DECADE

By Professor A.W. Campbell

It’s been over a decade since my horse and I did what we did today.

Three years ago, out of frustration, I quit polo. I could no longer hit the ball straight. That resulted from three mallet-arm issues. First, my right shoulder was anchored to a healed-but-overlapped broken collar bone. Second, only tendons connected that arm to my shoulder-blade; the nerves had been severed by a near-fatal fall. Third, I’d ripped two right-arm tendons out of my skeleton.

Continue reading “First Time in a DECADE”

INTRAMURAL SPORTS–LEAGUE EXPANSION

By Breanna Hayes

This trimester, CWSL saw the expansion of intramural sports thanks in part to 2L, Jonathan Gonzalez. In previous years, CWSL’s Student Bar Association has partnered with Thomas Jefferson School of Law to offer co-ed basketball and flag football leagues. New to the lineup this trimester is the co-ed intramural soccer league, consisting of 3 teams of majority Cal Western players. Under Jon’s direction, the SBA aims to further expand the program and offer basketball and soccer leagues in both the fall and spring trimesters. There is even rumor of a kickball league coming Spring 2020! If you don’t think sports are your thing, guaranteed you can dodge a ball better than you can dodge an Einesman cold call (but respect to Patches O’Houlihan all the same).

Continue reading “INTRAMURAL SPORTS–LEAGUE EXPANSION”

Fun after finals — Speakeasies around San Diego

By Jennifer Brown

When we think of the Prohibition Era, we think of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his book The Great Gatsby, of speakeasies, flappers, partying, etc. It was time where women really became independent as a whole by being reckless and defying the status quo. It was a fascinating time, one that would be exciting to go back and live during, even for a day. For those of you that are fascinated with the events and trends that took place, which gave the era its infamous name, The Roaring 20’s, there are ways to relive that time today, in the 21st Century.

Many speakeasies are still open today, even some of the original ones that were open during the 1920’s. Of course, all are totally legal now, but it is still exciting to dress up in your 1920’s best and go to the speakeasies that exist today. San Diego is home to a few speakeasies and hidden bars that can satisfy your curiosity as to what life was like at the time.

Continue reading “Fun after finals — Speakeasies around San Diego”

POLL: Which professor would survive a zombie apocalypse?

To be honest, The Commentary has almost run out of ways to reduce the stress around finals. This edition features a student-written column on exam hacks. In the past, we have posted advice from the experts on exam preparation. We have also debunked myths about the grading curve. Earlier this trimester, we even lightened the mood by sharing professors’ stories about their worst grade in law school.

The obvious next step? Pure escapism. This month, we polled the faculty on which colleague they’d rate the most likely to survive a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

Read their nominations below, and then vote for your pick!

Continue reading “POLL: Which professor would survive a zombie apocalypse?”

Law meets fiction: Batman oral arguments, student publishes novel

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

Students defend Arkham Asylum in Batman mock trial

Ching-Yun Li, second from left, and Claudia Salinas, second from right, defended Arkham Asylum at a mock trial at San Diego Comic Fest.

Claudia Salinas (1L) and Ching-Yun Li (3L) were selected from among law student applicants nationwide to participate in a Batman-themed mock trial at San Diego Comic Fest on March 9.

Joined by teammate Zachary Sterling from the University of Kentucky College of Law, Salinas and Li served as defense counsel for Arkham Asylum, the psychiatric hospital featured in the Batman comic books. Arkham Asylum was on trial for alleged civil rights violations against comic book supervillain Two-Face (former lawyer Harvey Dent).

Continue reading “Law meets fiction: Batman oral arguments, student publishes novel”