Your back-to-school (well, not quite) August streaming guide

Design: Claire Wong, Photos from IMDb

Missing campus? While going virtual will remain the norm for students this fall, we’re bringing campus back to you in this month’s streaming guide. All of this month’s recommendations for films and TV shows feature USC’s campus. The majority of these claim to be filmed in other locations, like Harvard, Princeton and the fictitious Middleton University, so you’ll get to see all the places USC can be.


“The Social Network”

Mark Zuckerberg is receiving more media attention in recent days from his sunscreen faux pas and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning him in Congress, but this film is here to provide a look into his life as a college student while he created Facebook. Although Facebook is not the most popular social media network today, the drama that went into it is well worth viewing. Remember to take the plotline with a grain of salt as Zuckerberg was not involved in the project, even though those close to him helped create the book the film is based on. Other campuses are mixed in throughout the film to replicate Harvard University, but you should be able to recognize one of the lecture rooms in Taper Hall during the note passing scene. 

“How to Get Away with Murder”

Calling law students and thriller fans! Acclaimed lawyer Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and five of her brightest students become involved in a murder plot filled with twists and turns. The show wrapped up in May of this year, so you are all set to binge the entire 90-episode series. The Student Union and Bovard Auditorium, along with Mudd Hall and the Physical Education Building, can be spotted within the first few episodes and appear in later seasons as well.


“The Graduate”

Appropriately titled, this film follows the life of 21-year-old college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) as he tries to figure out what he wants to do with his life post-graduation. His plans, or lack thereof, are interrupted by a seductress about twice his age. Regardless of what year you’re in, the worries and uncertainty that come with the future are relatable for all students. Out of the list, this movie is probably the easiest to spot campus in. Hint: Look for Doheny Library! 

Amazon Prime Video

“Beautiful Boy”

This film follows the haunting story of a father and son’s tumultuous relationship, portrayed by Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet. Nic Sheff (Chalamet) is an accomplished student but his battle with addiction takes over his life and alters the course of his future. As you can tell, this movie is one you should emotionally brace yourself for. If Chalamet isn’t your cup of tea, Carrell’s performance will make you reconsider. His acting capabilities go beyond what most of us are used to seeing with his portrayal of Michael Scott on “The Office.” If you enjoy the movie, be sure to check out the pair of memoirs that inspired the film written by Nic and David Sheff, respectively. 

“Legally Blonde”

This is one of two films on this list that you’ll need to pay to view, but with a rental price of $3.99, I couldn’t resist including this classic. The movie follows the journey of Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) on her untraditional path to Harvard Law School. In the movie, Elle serves as president of Delta Nu at California University, inspired by USC’s chapter of the Alpha Nu sorority named Delta Gamma. Watch this movie if you’re in need of a pick me up or simply a fun breakup redemption story. Be on the lookout for Bovard Auditorium!

“Love & Basketball”

Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are life-long friends turned lovers with the same dream of playing basketball professionally. They both end up playing at USC prior to making it big. As their professional careers take them on different paths, their bond is tested. You’ll become invested and wonder throughout the film if both love and basketball can win. This film also has a $3.99 rental price, but it is well worth the cost. 


“Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement”

If you’re looking for a reason to go down memory lane, this is it. This film reminds me of my childhood, as do most of the things found on Disney+. Anne Hathaway is Princess Mia Thermopolis from the make-believe kingdom of Genovia. She is faced with the challenge of finding her prince charming within 30 days to secure her position as queen. She learns of this news immediately after her graduation from Princeton University, which just so happens to actually be Bovard Auditorium.