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14 Must-Watch Shows on Netflix to Help You Survive Finals

Written by Marina Khonaisser

It’s that time again.

Finals are just around the corner—or currently melting your brain—and you’re scrambling around trying to read that textbook that has a solid layer of dust accumulating on its cover. Maybe you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown. We’ve all been there.

Well, I’m here to introduce a quick study break. They’re good for you, as long as you don’t fall into a Netflix marathon hole. (Again, we’ve all been there). These are the TV shows you should be watching when you’re taking a brain break:


For all of you Marvel superhero fanatics, Netflix has just released the first season of a its new, dark series Daredevil. The 2003 movie version starring Ben Affleck didn’t impress many, but this revamped, more in-depth (and definitely moodier) version looks promising.

Orange is the New Black

I have to give a warning that this show is highly addictive. I may or may not have finished the second season within three days. The cast of characters is highly original and will have you clicking the “continue watching” button non-stop. Can’t wait for Season 3, which drops on June 12.


Yep… the entire series of Friends is on Netflix. If you are not watching this yet, what are you really doing with your life? Close that textbook, start with the pilot, and you’ll be singing renditions of “Smelly Cat” in no time.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This Netflix original show is fairly recent and definitely hilarious. After being in a cult for over a decade, a woman is rescued by police and realizes that the world still exits. Kimmy will brighten up those unbearable exam days.

House of Cards

If you like politics (heck, even if you don’t like politics), you’ll love House of Cards. Through various mental, emotional and even physical tactics, the characters reveal the true nature of the self-interested and immoral.


The series wrapped up this year, but it will live forever in our hearts on Netflix. If finals are bringing you down, this show will lift you back up with its heartwarming messages and addictive vocals.

One Tree Hill

If you need a little throwback in your life, One Tree Hill will do the trick. Who doesn’t love a little distraction from their own drama by focusing on other people’s drama? It’s funny, relatable, and who knows, you might learn a life lesson or two.

Breaking Bad

Walter White might be just like you as you battle through the last weeks of the semester, thinking that there is no way life could get worse. An unlikely duo emerges on this highly addictive show, which chronicles the happenings (or mishaps) with crystal meth.

Grey’s Anatomy

Why study for your biology final when you can just watch Grey’s Anatomy and basically learn everything you’ll ever need to know? IF THIS ONLY WORKED!

Beyond Scared Straight

If you tested out Orange is the New Black and have two thumbs up, this show is next on your must-watch list. This real-life series showcases delinquent children and teenagers entering prisons to see what life would be like if they get locked up. It really will scare you straight… maybe just as much as studying.

Mr. D

Mr. D, the titular character, might be a little under qualified for the teaching position that he holds, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not going to fake his way through it. His portrayal of a teacher will have you doubled over laughing and wondering if your professors actually know what they’re doing (they probably do… probably).


Packed with action and adventure, each season of this TV show chronicles 24 hours following secret agent, Jack Bauer. It will have you at the edge of your seat in no time. But be careful with this one as it’ll be 24 hours later without an iota of studying.

1,000 Ways to Die

If you’re looking for something odd and unusual, this is the show for you. Reenactments of the strangest ways to die are documented in this eerie, yet fascinating series.

Sons of Anarchy

A California motorcycle club serves their town by protecting it in a way that they deem fit. The first season will have you hooked, even if you’ve never touched a motorcycle.

Image courtesy of Wiki Creative Commons.

Your turn. We all have favourites. What’s your go-to show for stress relief?

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.