A cure for cabin fever: hidden gems of television and film


Curling up with your snack and the remote can sometimes be the perfect cure for boredom on a snow day

Duncan Cooper, Staff

Let’s face it- it’s cold out right now. The roads are icy and miserable, plenty of businesses are closed, and sticking your head outside might lead to an immediate, frostbitten death. This is the weather for sitting home and doing as little as possible. Of course, “little as possible” meaning as much Netflix as we can handle.

Plenty of people now use the internet for various means of entertainment, ranging from television to music to video games and movies. If it exists, odds are it can be found on the internet somewhere. People use it to stay caught up with their favorite TV shows, or to play catch up. But every once in a while, we feel that desire to break away from the usual paths of TV we traverse and find something new… and then we return to the same things we already watch because we can’t think of anything to look for.

Have no fear! There’s plenty of great entertainment out there, shows and films that you may have never seen before! Made with care, here’s a great shortlist of some lesser-known items out there, as well as throwbacks to classic shows we may not have thought to look back upon.

Staff Reporter Duncan Cooper collected a list of hidden television and film gems that won't leave your remote out in the cold during snow days
Staff Reporter Duncan Cooper collected a list of hidden television and film gems that won’t leave your remote out in the cold during snow days


Akira– A film that made its way into the United States through college students buying VHS copies, the 1988 anime is an adaptation of a 2182-page manga epic that is considered one of the finest graphic novels ever created. Written and directed by the very man who created the manga, Katsuhiro Otomo, the film presents breakthrough animation and high-octane violence on a scale that took viewer’s breaths away. Considered to be the film that jumpstarted the success of anime here in the United States, Akira pulls no punches in its depictions of corruption and power.

Available formats: Youtube, Xbox Store, Netflix

Monsters– Known better for his 2014 film Godzilla, director Gareth Edwards’ first and only film before his Hollywood debut was a 2010 small-scale science fiction film known as Monsters. Made on a budget of less than $500,000, the film depicted a world in which alien spores had been brought back to Earth via a deep-space probe that had been searching the galaxy for alien life. Though not a particularly action-packed film, the acting and beauty with which the film was made –along with various styles belonging to Edwards, all of which can also be found in Godzilla- make the film one worth watching, and a very unique experience. With Edwards making the entirety of the film’s special effects himself and on his own computer, dangers of on-shoot locations (The film was shot in five different countries without permission, many of the supporting actors were locals persuaded into the film), the film presented Edwards’ dedication to the craft that brought him to the attention of Legendary Pictures.

Available formats: Netflix, Xbox Store

Trollhunter a Norwegian film that’s gained an unusual amount of notoriety here in the States, Trollhunter is a satire mockumentary film made in the form of a “found-footage” style movie. A group of college students follow a mysterious individual assigned by the Norwegian government to hunt down and kill trolls who venture from their territory in order to keep them secret, the film has a rather critical look at some of the biggest aspects of the country’s culture, though they may be lost on American viewers who don’t end up doing some after-movie research. Despite this possible barrier, excellent acting and surprisingly good special effects make the film a great watch.

Available formats: Youtube, Hulu, Xbox Store, Netflix


Young Justice– A short-lived Cartoon Network show that only lasted for two seasons, the series gained critical acclaim among reviewers for its maturity and well-done storyline. Differentiating from the majority of superhero shows, Young Justice focused on the sidekicks of various Justice League heroes in a group known as “The Team.” Despite continued acclaim and borderline reverence from fans, the show was cancelled due to not garnering ratings from the right demographic. Also, despite petitions and kickstarters dedicated to resurrecting the show for a third season, Warner Bros. declared they were not willing to revive the show via third-party funding.

Available formats: Youtube, Dailymotion, Xbox Store, Netflix

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic– One of the most popular, and easily the most unexpected successes of modern television, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic caught fire on the website 4Chan and has spread across nearly every spectrum of entertainment today, from movies to music to video games. Created by Lauren Faust, best known for her works on Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Faust jumpstarted an animated juggernaut that has lasted four seasons, continuously dominated animation ratings, and been one of the best-selling toy lines in recent years. With four seasons under its belt, a fifth season on its way, and a full-blown movie slated for 2017, pony appears to be gaining even more steam and ready to keep on rolling.

Available formats: Youtube, Netflix, Xbox Store, Dailymotion

Mystery Science Theater 3000– a low-budget comedy show that ran from 1989-1999, what started out as a local station show in Wisconsin grew into a Peabody award-winning creation that continues to draw in fans today thanks to its surplus of episodes easily available online. The plot was simple, merely a test “subject”, along with his two robot friends, riffing on some of the worst movies to ever walk the earth. Filled with pop-culture references and brilliant one-liners, Mystery Science Theater 3000 has had unusual longevity thanks to the show’s creators continuing on various formats, the most well-known being Rifftrax!

Available formats: Youtube, Hulu

Red vs Blue– Originally meant to be no more than six or eight episodes at max, Red vs Blue is considered the machinima show that brought the format to mainstream attention. The Rooster Teeth Productions original series now has over twelve seasons, spanning hundreds of episodes and a multitude of characters. Critically acclaimed, hysterically funny, Red vs Blue is a brilliantly memorable online show filled with episodes, PSA’s, and other forms of entertainment.

Available formats: Youtube, Xbox Store

The DC Comics Animated Universe– What could be considered the greatest achievement in animation and one of the greatest achievements to ever grace television, the universe known as the DCAU first began in 1992 by Bruce Timm with Batman: The Animated Series, establishing the universe with what is still considered a masterpiece of television. Followed by Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures as well as Batman Beyond, Static Shock, The Zeta Project, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, the DC Comics universe spans hundreds of episodes, over a decade of television, extra films and crossover movies that would take even the most dedicated fan serious time and effort to complete. Is it worth it? Seeing as the animation, maturity, storytelling, and voice acting carry a legacy that continues to be the standard for all superhero animation (and, quite possibly, all superhero entertainment material today), the DC Animated Universe is a massive accomplishment.

Available formats: Youtube, Xbox Store, Netflix

The Slendnervlogs– Slenderman first appeared in online consciousness in 2009, some of the more creative of the character’s fans utilized their own filmmaking prowess to create online television shows that have garnered considerable acclaim and popularity across a myriad of different shows and formats. Beginning first with the show, Marble Hornets, the show gained massive popularity for its overall quality, spawning multiple other shows, such as TribeTwelve, Darkharvest00, and EverymanHybrid. Though some began following the same path as Marble Hornets, the individual series’ found their own storylines and performed even crossovers. With smaller shows such as MLAnderson0, CaughtNotSleeping, Keratin Garden and WhisperedFaith, spanning hundreds of episode and even performing crossovers with the various series, the only drawback to the multitude of Slendervlogs is the complexity of the storylines. However, the paranoia, terror, and acting have made them hits. With a Marble Hornets movie on the way, Slenderman seems to be well on its way to stardom.

Available formats: Youtube

Space Dandy– Following in the footsteps of famed anime series Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy premiered in early 2014 on Adult Swim’s Toonami segment to positive critical reception and viewer popularity. Though not a particularly long-standing series (the entire series only lasted 26 episodes), the show was marvelously inventive and riotously funny, indulging in bizarre storylines that spanned everything from the entire universe turning into zombies to the universe ending and starting over billions of years later. To the very last episode, the show was dedicated to its outlandish humor, wacky characters, and original alien designs. If you’re looking for the cutting edge of weird and wonderfully funny, Space Dandy is the first place you should look.

Available formats: Youtube, Hulu, Netflix

        And that’s it! Plenty of weird, wonderful, original entertainment is held within this list, all of it waiting for it to be discovered (or rediscovered) by you. Get the popcorn ready, flex your remote-clicking thumb, and prep your body for some serious couch potato exercises. You’ve got a lot of watching to do.