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Sep 24 2017
by Nancy Canevari

10 Movies and TV Shows English Majors Should Watch

By Nancy Canevari - Sep 24 2017

As an English major, you spend most of your day reading and writing papers, which means that resting your mind is extremely important. A great way to do this is by watching movies and TV shows, especially ones that align with your interests. Here are some movies and TV shows that are perfect for English majors.

1. Pride and Prejudice 

Universal Productions, StudioCanal & Working Title Films

A beautifully executed adaptation of Jane Austen’s book, "Pride and Prejudice" tells the story of the Bennets, a family with five daughters who are worried about what will happen to the family fortune after Mr. Bennet dies. As Mrs. Bennet tries to orchestrate marriages for her daughters, Elizabeth, the second-oldest daughter, struggles with the expectations in place for her, all while dealing with a complicated relationship with the grumpy and prideful Mr. Darcy.

2. Stuck In Love 

Informant Media & MICA Entertainment

Perfectly cheesy, "Stuck In Love" follows a recently-divorced man attempting to reconnect with his two children. Both he and his daughter are writers, and the movie follows their work on their respective novels and does a good job of showing the struggle that comes with the writing process. In addition to being relatable for English majors, it’s also a very relatable family drama.

3. Little Women

Columbia Pictures Corporation

Following the trend of my love of period dramas, "Little Women" follows the four March sisters growing up in Massachusetts during the Civil War. Jo, the second oldest daughter, is an aspiring writer and we follow her journey as she begins her manuscript and travels away from home to further her writing, all while struggling with family issues and the expectations placed on her by society.

4. Gilmore Girls

Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, Warner Bros. Television

A timeless classic, "Gilmore Girls" tells the story of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a mother and daughter duo tackling everyday life. Rory is an English major and through her we see struggles with college, journalism and literature. Her story is inspiring to all future writers and is also deeply relatable. It’s also guaranteed to bring you laughs when you need it most.

5. The Big Sick

FilmNation Entertainment & Apatow Productions

This is a recent movie, but it does an excellent job of encapsulating the struggles faced by aspiring artists. The movie is largely autobiographical and tells the story of Kumail Nanjiani’s early relationship with his wife, including her time in the hospital because of chronic illness. It captures the challenges that come with working in comedy and other art forms, and the film will inspire all aspiring writers.

6. Community

Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment

"Community" follows a group of people attending community college together, who form a study group to help prepare for their Spanish exams. It shows the realities of college, from classes to the bonds between college friends in a way that’s guaranteed to make you laugh. It’s perfect for all college students, but the clever writing and storytelling makes it especially great for English majors.

7. Black Sails

Platinum Dunes

Set in the Bahamas in 1715, "Black Sails" follows several pirate crews as they battle each other for control over the city of Nassau and the ocean and the British soldiers who are sent to control the pirate uprising in their colony. In addition to being this particular English major’s favorite TV show, it's also an incredible literary show, with multiple (acknowledged on-screen) parallels to literature and mythology. A core theme of the show is storytelling and how whoever tells a story has power over what comes from it. With beautiful writing to top all of this off, it's perfect for students studying literature and writing.

8. Moonrise Kingdom

American Empirical Pictures, Indian Paintbrush &Scott Rudin Productions

Set on a tiny island off the coast of Maine, "Moonrise Kingdom" tells the story of two 14 year olds who run away together and their town’s subsequent panicked uproar. All of Wes Anderson’s movies are prime examples of visual storytelling, with powerful plot lines told in simple ways, but this movie gains extra points for its characterization and beautiful cinematography.

9. His Girl Friday

Columbia Pictures

This movie follows a divorced couple who used to work at the same newspaper as they team up on one final story. I was raised on old movies, and this one is a special favorite of mine because it shows the best of classic black and white films. It's also a unique look into the world of journalism and shows exactly what writing can do.

10. Dead Poets Society

Touchstone Pictures & Silver Screen Partners IV

It's a classic for a reason. "Dead Poets Society" takes place at an all-boys boarding school in New England and follows an eccentric English professor who attempts to get through to a group of privileged boys in a non-traditional teaching style. It's heartbreaking and wonderful and it's perfect for everyone who loves literature.

The next time you're taking a break after finishing a paper (or if we're being realistic, procrastinating writing one) give one of these movies or shows a watch. You'll find yourself entertained and you likely will be reminded of what good stories look like. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Nancy Canevari - Smith College

Nancy is a junior editor for Fresh U. She is a sophomore at Smith College and plans on double majoring in secondary education and English, with a concentration in creative writing. She's originally from New Jersey, a place she views with one part love and one part exasperated disgust. She loves dogs and young adult high fantasy novels a bit too much and spends most of her time drinking tea and yelling about politics. Follow her on Instagram @fearlesslynancelot for some solidly mediocre content.

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