Quarantine Reads and Sees


Ashna Satpathy, Staff Writer

Many of us have come across a certain light-hearted meme on Instagram and Facebook: “Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on your couch. You can do this.” But quarantine has proved that sitting on the couch all day is no easy task. How does one decide what movie or TV show to watch or which book to read, when most of us haven’t read a book for fun since middle school?

Before you turn on the Xbox or mindlessly scroll through TikTok, take a look at this Forum-curated list of things that you should be reading or watching during quarantine. To make these next couple of weeks at home fruitful, many of these films, TV shows, and books are based on true stories so that you are simultaneously learning and occupying time. The nonfiction picks are marked with an asterisk. Enjoy!


Marriage Story – this Oscar-nominated film directed by Noah Baumbach is, conveniently, available to stream on Netflix. 

*Ford V Ferrari – Also an Oscar nominee, this film tells the story of how the Ford car won the 24 Hours in Le Mans car race in 1966. 

*Hotel Mumbai – Based on the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, this film is extremely intense and heart wrenching. 

The Breakfast Club – Why not watch an old classic?

*The King’s Speech –  An eye-opening account of how King George VI’s overcame his speech impediment. Junior Marianne Mihas says, “I love all the scenes where he’s with his speech therapists, and he makes this big, important, literally regal man do all sorts of dumb exercises.”

*Catch Me If You Can – Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Frank Abagnale Jr., one of the most successful bank robbers of all time. 

*Argo – Beholding some of Ben Affleck’s finest work, Argo chronicles the rescuing of six American hostages stuck in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran, Iran. 

TV Shows:

The Man in The High Castle – An interpretation of what the world would look like had the Axis powers won World War II. 

Hunters – This star studded TV show follows a band of Nazi hunters in 1970’s New York City. 

*When They See Us – This miniseries is an examination of the wrongful incarceration of five young boys in New York City. Junior Betsy Levine says, “It’s very heavy but portrays the boys very well and it’s the kind of show that will stick with you after you’ve finished it.”

*McMillions – This show is a miniseries documentary on the McDonald Monopoly Scam. Junior Milana Jozwiak says, “I thought it was interesting how the investigation went down and it had many different elements. The show kept you watching and it was amazing to hear the story that kind of was silenced due to 9/11.”

Tiger King – Perhaps the most talked about show during this quarantine period thus far. Junior Eli Aronson says, “Tiger King is a bunch of terrible people doing terrible things, but so entertaining that I couldn’t stop watching. I knew it was bad when the most normal character is a drug lord.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – This historical drama follows a woman in the 1950’s making her way in the stand-up comedy world of New York City. 


An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: This book isn’t your cheesy love story; it takes the reader through the pains of injustice in the criminal justice system and what that can do to a young couple.

Cherry by Nico Stevenson – This semi-autobiographical novel follows a man through his service in Iraq and his subsequent opioid addiction.  

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai – Jumping between the mid 1980s and the contemporary world, The Great Believers examines the short and long term effects of the AIDS epidemic. 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – This thrilling murder mystery is a quick and captivating read. 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin: Although this novel definitely takes a more fantastical approach, with the storyline being centered around three children being told the day they will die by a mysterious fortune teller in New York City, it nonetheless does not fail to disappoint.