I come home from work every day, put on Downton Abbey and drink wine in my pyjamas. It’s just my way of shaking off the stress of the day and relaxing before bed. While I’m a sucker for the period-drama genre, I love most of what is on Netflix. When I decided I wanted to be in media I watched The Devil Wears Prada about ten times. TV shows and movies tend to give us insight (whether it’s accurate or not) into the lives and careers of others. Here are a few TV shows to spark your career motivation:
Follow the lives of extremely cashed-up corporate lawyers who always seem to defend the moral high ground, in one way or another. While the premise of the show is based on one huge criminal act of fraud committed by the two main male characters, it does teach you a bit about the law and the kinds of cases you might experience at the top tiers of a career in the field. Sure, there are exaggerated moments of unparalleled wit and slightly farfetched sleight of hand, but it’s damn addictive.
Faculty: Political Science
While at times exaggerated for effect, Parks & Rec is probably the most brutally honest representation of what it’s like to work in small-town politics. The townsfolk are represented by a comically angry mob of individuals demanding things from the Parks Department that at times seem impossible, ridiculous or just outright insane. For the most part the show is light-hearted, hilarious and very sincere.
Faculty: Law / Political Science
This is where politics takes a dark turn for the worst. The show follows a political shark, Frank Underwood, hell-bent on the highest offices of power in the US government, and determined to cross any lines necessary to obtain it. It’s occasionally violent, and regularly an unnerving reflection of the current political system. If you like your drama dark and your dialogue loaded, check it out.
Faculty: Law / Criminology
This show skims the surface of a life working as a detective in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. While it’s light-hearted, funny and wittily executed, it’s definitely not a reflection of what this kind of police work is really like. If you want funny one-liners, easy arrests and low levels of drama – this show is for you.
Oh boy. Get your box of tissues ready, because this show has more drama than any I’ve ever seen. While it does give you some great insight into the working life of hospital facility interns and their exhaustive daily hurtles, it focuses just as much (if not more) on their personal lives and difficult upbringings. If you like the idea of listening to the inner monologue of an intellectual group of doctors pining over one another while fighting for the top spot in an operating theatre, give it a go.
Nashville is one of the few shows around that gives a decent insight into the industry behind the music business. It’s not all bright lights, fame and fortune. The show follows the lives of musicians in Nashville, all at different stages of their music careers. It delves deep into the setbacks of the struggling artist, while emphasising that once you’re at the top of the charts, not all that glitters is gold. With some fantastic music and an excellent cast, it’s definitely one to watch if you’re interested in the business.
Faculty: PR and advertising
I couldn’t bring myself to watch this entire show. Set in the 60s, Mad Men follows the lives and families of a group of thinkers and employees in a high-pressure Madison Avenue advertising firm. The show produces some great insights into the advertising strategies that are true to the time and uncovers the cut-throat world of consumerism. However, being true to the time era, the show is riddled with overt sexism and the obstacles faced by ambitious up-and-coming women in the business. It’s a sobering view of the industry, back in the day.
So there you go, if you didn’t have a show to binge watch over the break, you sure do now. While some of these are pretty convincing insights into the career world, make sure you do a little more research than this 😉