30 Movie and TV Suggestions for Very Specific Feelings
by Lena Potts
Because I may be a robot, I frequently watch something I know will elicit a specific emotion. Example, you ask? Say you have a bad day wherein everyone is an idiot- just go watch something that makes you feel like they will all meet their karmic end and the world will be fair to you. If that method sounds like a great way to cope with your life, here’s a list of movie and TV suggestions that align with very specific feels you may need to feel. You may think I’m crazy now, but one fine day you’re going to wake up feeling some type of way, and thank Yeezus (me), that I gave you such fine suggestions. Organized by broad category of desired emotional response, and complete with terrible graphics!
1 . When you want to see sickkkkk fight scenes that will make you want to destroy people without being concerned with the logic of a plot: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
2 . When you want to feel pumped up in a fighting people, chanting, and grunting way: 300 (2006)
3 . When you want to feel like a spy or other vague government agent with a lot of connections and power who absolutely wrecks people: Any chapter of the Bourne Series (yes, I’m including the most recent one).
4 . When you want to feel like that, but in a cheesier, easier way: Taken (2008)
5 . When you want to feel like that, but with more emotion behind it, and also remember when Russell Crowe wasn’t embarrassing himself singing: Gladiator (2000)
6 . When you want to feel like that but for a really long time: 24 (2001–2010, 2014) I’d recommend seasons 4–6 if you wanna go for top quality, but all of it is Jack Bauer ripping other humans to shreds.
7 . When you want to watch strong values and strong men make things better for a small town so much you’re willing to ignore hugely problematic things: Sons of Anarchy (2008–2014)
8 . When you want to feel the nostalgia of childhood/ a classic coming of age tale, but also see cool stuff: Super 8 (2011)
9 . When you want to realize that a movie you once loved is very different as an adult, and is now just about a teen having extraordinary amounts of swag: The Karate Kid (1984).
10 . When you want to watch something for children that is still very satisfying as an adult: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2005)
11 . When you want to get caught up in teen drama that makes you feel better about your own life: Dawson’s Creek (1998–2003)
12 . When you want to remember that your youth was better than everyone else’s: Boy Meets World (1993–2000)
13 . When you want to watch beautiful people fall in love in a way that no one ever actually has, but you still hope you can: all the young parts of The Notebook (2004)
14 . When you need a reminder that true, passionate love exists, and you don’t care that it’s often tragic: Atonement (2007)
15 . When you need that same reminder, but can’t handle tragedy at the moment: the first half of Atonement (2007)
16 . When you want to feel like Southern Charm is very real and could extend to your life, regardless of reality: Sweet Home Alabama (2001)
17 . When you’re in need of such intense moodiness it takes you out of your real life, would like to be really shocked, are interested in watching Peggy from Mad Men be badass in a completely different way, and would like to experience some very solid mystery writing: Top of the Lake (2013) Honorable Mention in the mood area: True Detective (2014-)
18 . When you want to go on a grand adventure: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (for better, less annoying adventure, skip most of the Frodo/Sam parts). Bonus- if you want to know that you’re not at all the most whiny and obnoxious thing in the world, watch only the parts of LOTR wherein Gollum/Smeagol is freaking the f*ck out.
19 . When you want something to make you feel like home, no matter who or where you are: Friday Night Lights (the series 2006–2011). The movie is just OK.
20 . When you want to be reminded how awesome magic could be: Any Harry Potter film, but especially Order of the Phoenix for sheer number of cool-looking spells and magic things.
21 . When you just want to be surprised by the newness, coolness, and greatness of a film in the age of superhero domination, and don’t mind violence that feels a little too real: Snowpiercer (2013)
22 . When you want to watch something that was cool as a kid and you can’t tell if you should be embarrassed about it now, but then realize that you shouldn’t be because it’s still awesome: Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) (just the first one, stop there)
23 . When you want to watch a great movie and go “ohhhhhhhhhh” a lot: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
24 . When you want to say “wow, that movie had everything working against it- sequel, bad source material, marketed to teens- but instead it was just really really good”: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2014)
25 . When you’re shooting for a balance of heavy, powerful, but very accessible: American History X (1998)
26 . When you want to get some feels out, perhaps via tears, but don’t want anything too dramatic, long-lasting, or tragic: Any part of seasons 2–4, 6 of Parenthood (2010–2015)
27 . When you’re after some solid sports inspiration, strong emotional pay-off, and a truly great soundtrack: Remember the Titans (2000)
28 . When you want to feel a lot of angst and also like you’re better than everyone else: American Beauty (1999)
29 . When you want to be uncomfortably sexually attracted to a serial killer and watch what might be a feminist case for gender reparations: The Fall (2013-)
30 . When you want to be concerned about your love for Bruce Willis, confirm your love for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and wonder how such a good movie was so forgotten: Looper (2012)