5 Movies and TV Shows That Have Gotten Me Through the Peace Corps

Today is the first in a series of five daily 5’s.  For each of the next five days, I will publish a list of 5 less-than-serious things that I been a part of my Peace Corps experience.


As I have mentioned before, TV and movies have been a large part of my PC free time. This might not be how you envision volunteers in the Peace Corps spending their free time, and before coming to Thailand I would have agreed with you. However, I think the escape of TV, books, movies, and the internet is a very real (and necessary) part of most volunteers’ modern experience. This list is done partly to share things that I like and partly to document my time here.

Here are five TV shows or movies that really helped get me through:

1.  Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises

The blatant foreshadowing, the Wagnerian soundtrack, Christian Bale’s ridiculous voice change once he puts on the costume – – it all adds up to awesome. Plus each film is at least 2 and a half hours long, which can definitely help to shorten long, rain-soaked afternoons.

Check out Christian Bale’s Bat-Voice….(I kid, but he really is the best Batman yet.)

2.   Classic Disney Animated Films

This sounds funny, except for the fact that I take these films seriously. There is a severe amount of homesick nostalgia buried in every second of these movies. For our entire Nepal trip I hummed the “Beauty and the Beast” theme while huffing up and down the Himalayas. I was an active participant in the classic ‘Which Disney princess would you marry?’ battle on at least 3 separate occasions (The Correct answer? You should marry Belle, but take the proverbial one-night-stand/swim with Ariel.)

Choose for yourself. There can be only One.

3.   Louie

I didn’t immediately buy into this darkish comedy sketch show by comedian Louis CK. But after about 2 episodes, it was apparent that this show is much deeper than it appears on the surface. I really respect the way that Louis portrays the joys and perils of single fatherhood with unpolished honesty.

 If you don’t mind incredibly foul language, this is one of the funniest scenes in all of television. Otherwise, don’t click.

4.   Deadwood

It took me about two seasons’ worth of episodes to realize that there’s not a lot of action happening in this series about the goldrush frontier of the mid-19th century.  It’s a character show, and that is why I like it. There’s something special about a story where everyone is so twisted that you end up rooting for the local pimp/mob boss.

5.   The Newsroom

By far the best show that I’ve seen in a long time. The Sorkin style dialogue is so fast that I only catch half of it. But that’s okay. I like a show that makes me feel dumb; after watching Honey Boo Boo, I feel like a genius.  Also, Morgan and I love watching together because we get to watch our celebrity crushes. Unfortunately (or very fortunately) we have designs on the same person.

I’m not easily sold on serious, fast-paced TV dramas. Morgan made me watch this, the opening to the first episode of the first season. I was immediately hooked.

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