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Yvonne Orji

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 6:43 p.m.

Binge watch your break away with HBO Go

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Bridie O’Connell.

The holidays came early for students who are hoping to binge watch winter break away.

HBO Go became available to students last month and can be accessed off campus by logging in with a GW NetID and password. Check out our guide to the best TV shows and movies to watch on HBO Go for every situation you may encounter over break.

Mind- altering thriller: “Westworld”
Fans of dystopian science fiction shows will love HBO’s newest thriller, “Westworld.” “Westworld” mixes the past and the future in a way that is sure to mess with your mind. The combination of robots and the old west might seem confusing or cheesy, but “”Westworld” is a highly intricate show that will keep your mind occupied as you constantly try to figure out what is real and what is part of the park. In addition to the riveting science fiction aspect of the show, it is also full of action and romance.

A good cry: “The Danish Girl”
Inspired by a true story, “The Danish Girl” follows Einar Wegener who discovers that he identifies with a fictional persona, Lili, who he dresses up as to model for his wife’s painting. The film showcases the complicated relationship between Einar and his wife Gerda as they adjust to Einar’s transition to womanhood with delicate grace. The film is a true tearjerker, and the moving performances by Eddie Redmayne, as Einar, and Alicia Vikander, who won an Academy Award for her role as Gerda, will give you high standards as you size up the past year’s films for your Academy Award predictions.

Holiday movie to watch with family: “Miracle on 34th Street”
“Miracle on 34th Street,” which was added to HBO Go last month, is a classic Christmas movie that is perfect to watch with family. Based on a true story, “Miracle on 34th Street” tells the story of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. This movie is perfect to turn on as every generation of your family gathers in the living room because the old-fashioned department store setting will send your grandparents on a trip down memory lane and the heartwarming holiday plot will please every age. Though it has many dramatic twists and turns, a happy ending ensures you’ll walk away with some extra holiday spirit.

Binge-worthy television: “Insecure”
Check out Yvonne Orji in the hit show, “Insecure,” to see a GW alumna who has made it to the big screen. “Insecure” is a comedic and relatable story of a woman trying to find her place in the world. With only one season out on HBO, now is the perfect time to binge before another season comes out next year. While this show follows a creative and funny plot, it also has been praised because it pushes back on stereotypes of black women. The 30-minute episodes fly by, making this the perfect show to binge on during winter break.

A trip back to the District: “Veep”
If you are spending winter break wishing you were back in D.C., “Veep” will make you feel right at your second home. The satirical show follows a female politician, who serves first as vice president then president of the U.S., as she attempts to make a lasting mark on the world while avoiding the political games and drama that the District is known for. Season six comes out this spring, so winter break is the perfect time to catch up while getting some comedic relief to forget about real-life political drama.

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A fan meets Yvonne Orji, the one of the stars of HBO's Insecure, at a screening hosted by the Black Student Union. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

A fan meets Yvonne Orji, the one of the stars of HBO’s Insecure, at a screening hosted by the Black Student Union. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Updated: Nov. 15, 2016 at 2:37 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Giuliana Centofanti.

The Black Student Union hosted a star of HBO’s series “Insecure” and alumna Yvonne Orji Monday night. About 150 students gathered in the Marvin Center for a screening of the show and a question and answer session with Orji.

Orji, a Nigerian-American actress, comedian and writer, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in public health at GW before deciding to pursue comedy instead of going to medical school.

“Insecure,” which premiered in October, has been praised for highlighting black women’s experiences. Orji plays Molly, a high-powered lawyer and the best friend of creator Issa Rae’s character.

Orji covered a variety of topics including stereotypes, education and playing vulnerable characters during Monday night’s event. Here are some of the night’s highlights:

1. Stereotypes

Orji said “Insecure” moves past stereotypes to offer a more realistic portrayal of black women.

“It’s introducing me to a new type of black, I think that’s one thing the show’s very honest about, everybody’s experience is not the same, everybody has a different relation to what it means to be black and there’s no wrong or right answer,” Orji said.

Orji also answered questions about code-switching, citing it as a tool black people use to climb to the top. Orji’s character is able to adapt from being a “hood rat” to working in a mostly white law firm through code-switching and having a “double consciousness,” she said.

“White people are just able to be white wherever because they’re the majority, but black people, in order to get ahead, to make other people feel safer in their own environments, it’s that thing you have to do in order to survive,” Orji said.

“Insecure” doesn’t have “to try to be the catch-all,” because black women play different types of characters on other TV shows, Orji said.

“The freedom now to have a show that allows us just to be regular. We’re not superheroes, we’re not Olivia Pope-ing it, we’re imperfect, and that’s freeing to see on TV,” she said.

2. Education

In response to a question about whether actresses should go to college to have a back-up plan, Orji said her education in sociology and public health has helped her as an actress.

“Nothing’s ever wasted because you need everything,” Orji said.

Orji took a marketing class in college that she said helped her to be aggressive and persuasive in Hollywood.

“I do know friends who all their degrees are acting, that’s not a bad thing, however, I personally would like to do that marketing, do that other thing because you need so much more,” Orji said. “Talent takes you only but so far. It takes savvy.”

3. Insecurity

The show’s title, “Insecure,” is a statement in and of itself: In the past, TV shows have portrayed black women as strong characters, even though that’s not always realistic, Orji said.

Orji said she’s learned to deal with being black in a majority white environment, which has forced her to deal with some of her own insecurities.

“For me it was a thing of ‘I have to be around different people in life, so let me learn now how they think, how I can function around them, how I can still be myself and teach them a couple things,’” Orji said. “I think you just have to realize that everyone’s different and in our differences what is that thing that makes us the most similar?”

Orji also had some dating advice for an audience member who asked if black women set their standards too high.

“I don’t know what ‘too high’ means,” Orji said.

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