On the beat

New binge-worthy television shows

Chloe Smith

More stories from Chloe Smith

Book Club
March 10, 2021

Graphic by Bethany Mennecke

Since the start of quarantine almost a year ago, there have been a lot of releases of popular shows among all of the streaming platforms. These new shows have sucked many people into their storylines and provided entertainment during those long days at home.

If you’re looking for suggestions on which new release to watch next, here are two shows recently released on Netflix to check out:

“The Queen’s Gambit” (2020)

Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, “The Queen’s Gambit” originally written in 1983, was turned into a Netflix show in 2020 by director Scott Frank.

The story follows a young woman named Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) as she grows up in an orphanage, where she discovers her love and skill for chess.

As Beth develops her skills as a chess player, she faces the struggles of being a woman during the 1960s in the world of chess competitions. Beth also faces the personal struggles associated with substance abuse.

According to The Guardian, “The Queen’s Gambit” attracted 62 million account views within its first month on Netflix. The show was nominated for two Golden Globes for best-limited series and best performance by an actress in a limited series.

A review of “The Queen’s Gambit” in The New Yorker states, “(the show) proceeds less like a dark psychological drama or a gritty underdog sporting tale and more like the origin story of a wizard or a superheroine.”

Kourtney Carrico, a third-year special education student, said “The Queen’s Gambit” was unlike anything she has watched before.

“I’m normally not very interested in shows about logic or shows about competitions, but this one surprised me,” Carrico said. “Beth’s character was so well written and complex that it kept me glued to the show. I never knew what she was going to do.”

“The Queen’s Gambit” is available to watch now on Netflix.

“Firefly Lane” (2021)

“Firefly Lane,” based on the book by Kristin Hannah, follows friends Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke) from the time they meet as teenagers into their forties. 

The show depicts the good and bad their friendship faced throughout the years which helped to form their unbreakable bond.

Released on Feb. 3, 2021, “Firefly Lane” currently rests at number 6 on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. list. 

According to a review in The Guardian, “‘Firefly Lane’ is underwhelming, leaning too heavily on the saccharine, asking too much of its capable leads, and whizzing too often through hazily connected timelines to land an emotional punch.”

Despite this review, Natalie Koppendryer, a first-year psychology student from Minnesota State University, Mankato, said she watched the whole show within a week.

“I was addicted after the first episode,” Koppendryer said. “It wasn’t the best show I’ve ever seen, but it was one that made me want to keep watching which is really what I look for in TV shows.”

“Firefly Lane” is available to watch now on Netflix.

Smith can be reached at [email protected].