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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Diverse offerings, Netflix shows to binge

The season four poster of the Netflix series Stranger Things. The show has become a worldwide phenomenon and its fifth season is on the way. (Netflix)
The season four poster of the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” The show has become a worldwide phenomenon and its fifth season is on the way. (Netflix)

In the ever competitive streaming market, companies strive to offer diverse and unique products to draw people in. With these five shows, Netflix doesn’t disappoint with many original offerings that cover stories from a wide variety of people and backgrounds. 

“THE DRAGON PRINCE” 

“The Dragon Prince” follows the story of two human brothers, Prince Callum, voiced by Jack DeSena, and Crown Prince Ezran, voiced by Sasha Rojen; Rayla, a Moonshadow elf voiced by Paula Burrows; and the titular “Dragon Prince,” Prince Zym, as they try to bring peace to their war-torn world. 

This Netflix original show features a beautifully diverse high fantasy world, named Xadia, and was created by Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond. “The Dragon Prince” sort of felt like “Avatar: the Last Airbender” (another of Ehasz’s shows) meets “Lord of the Rings.” However, the one thing I think that sets this show apart from others is its commitment to highlighting diverse people. This show includes people of color, same-sex couples and people with disabilities.  

You can stream all five seasons of “The Dragon Prince” on Netflix. 

“COBRA KAI”

Cobra Kai is a continuation of the hit 1980’s “The Karate Kid” films. The show stars the original film’s main characters Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence reprised by their original actors Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, respectively. 

The show follows the trials and tribulations of Daniel and Johnny as they attempt to reclaim their old teachers’ legacies by training the next generation in the ways of karate.  

All five seasons are currently available on Netflix. A sixth and final season has been approved but still has no release date. 

“STRANGER THINGS”

A pop culture phenomenon that swept the nation, this epic tale has become a classic hit and is one of the most definitive television shows in the current generation. Set in the 1980s in a small town in Indiana, the story follows the adventures of a small group of teens and townsfolk that deal with secret government experiments and extra-dimensional terrors. “Stranger Things” sort of feels like what “E.T.” would be like if it was written by Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft.  

One of the most powerful things about this series is the phenomenal performance of the young cast. The main group of friends features an ensemble cast of unknown actors. Needless to say that they’re definitely known now. That, along with the plethora of nerdy 80s references, “Stranger Things” definitely earns its accolades. 

“KIPO AND THE AGE OF WONDERBEASTS”

This animated show is a delightful and colorful treat based on the web comic “Kipo” by Radford Sechrist and was produced by DreamWorks Animation. The show features stunning visuals and a riveting music score. One of the main standouts for “Kipo,” is its representation of gay characters and people of color. I always enjoy seeing when fantasy and fictional worlds represent the wonderful diverse nature of people and “Kipo” does this wonderfully.  

“Kipo” is set in a post-apocalyptic world where an unknown mutation has caused animals to become sentient and human-like. Called “mutes” by the humans, the animals proceeded to overthrow humanity and establish dominion over the Earth. The surviving humans must live underground in hidden communities called Burrows. 

The show itself follows the titular character Kipo, voiced by Karen Fukuhara, after her Burrow was destroyed by a “mute.” Kipo makes new friends and uncovers secrets she never imagined in this action packed adventure.  

“ARCANE” 

“Arcane” is a steampunk themed animated show based on the popular video game “League of Legends” by Riot Games. Set in the same universe as the game, the show follows the sisters Vi and Jinx. The show centers mainly around the conflicts and turmoil of the urban setting and its dark criminal underbelly. 

The show is visually appealing and its animation style blends well with the show’s source material. While “Arcane” pulls heavily from its video game counterpart, the show is able to stand on its own. Along with brilliant performances from the voice actors Hailee Steinfeld as Violet/Vi and Ella Purnell as Jinx/Powder, the show was a resounding success. 

The show has been renewed for a second season. Only time will tell if it will continue the success of season 1.

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