By Rachel Lyons / Staff Writer

It’s the final stretch for finishing the semester, and with more free time on the horizon and holiday travels upcoming, here are some fresh alternatives to re-watching Friends or The Office for the 10th time this year. 

Historical Drama: “Call the Midwife”

Meet 1960’s Poplar, East End, London – a hopping low-income community that relies on The Nonnatus House’s Lay Nurse’s and Religious Sisters, and Local GP (General Practice) Doctor Patrick Turner for Medical and Midwifery care. One cannot forget the marvelous Sister Monica Joan, retired nurse and midwife brings up the rear with her Fragmented memory and endless wisdom, in the form of quoting others. Sessions 1 through 8 are available on Netflix, with the 2019 Christmas special on Christmas Day at 8 p.m. PBS, and season nine to follow in 2020. Rated TV-14

Classic TV Show: “The Andy Griffith Show”

Before we had “The Office,” we had “The Andy Griffith Show.” Most of the show’s eight-year run was in black and white. Opie, Andy, and Aunt Bee never fail to bring a smile to a long face, and the iconic whistling intro to the show adds an overall homely feeling to the program. Seasons 1 through 8 are available on Netflix. Rated TV-G

Relax and Unwind: “BBC Earth”

“BBC Earth” is the all-encompassing name for a docu-series such as “Planet Earth.” “BBC Earth” covers not only Earth in its entirety but also strange natural events and several species on their own. Most “BBC Earth” programs feature a soothing narration that lends itself well to relaxation and regulation. “BBC Earth” is also highly educational, as the programs are intended to teach about the animals that live on our planet that may soon live here no more. Many “BBC Earth” programs are available on Netflix, most are rated TV-PG.

Inspirational Sports Show: “All or Nothing: Manchester City”

“All or Nothing” shows the nitty-gritty of soccer’s English Premier League. This show chronicles parts of Pep Guardiola’s second year with Manchester City and the challenges faced off the pitch. The program also showcases some of the stories of those who keep the team running every day, such as kit manager Brandon Ashton, who has been with the team since the age of 16. Season 1 of “All or Nothing” is available on Amazon Instant Video. Rating 16+

A Portrayal of Societal Issues: “When They See Us”

This heart wrenching limited series from Director/Creator Ava DuVernay tells the story of five young boys in 1989 that are forced into the confession of an attack and rape they did not commit. DuVernay not only shows pre-trial and trial for the boys but their journey in the American prison system, specifically in New York. “When They See Us” is available on Netflix as a limited series. Rated TV-MA

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