In today’s media-saturated market, who has time to invest in watching and reading everything out there? Not us — and we assume that we devote more time to pop-culture consumption than most. But you don’t have to feel left out of your friends’ conversations about Harry Potter, Doctor Who, or even The Bold and the Beautiful. Luckily, there’s a way to catch up the television shows, movies, and other classics that everybody’s talking about — and it’s much more fun than reading the summaries on Wikipedia. We’ve put together some of our favorite video condensations of famous franchises to keep you up to date.
Harry Potter in 60 Seconds
Every year Virgin Radio Canada hosts a “Fake Film Fest” where listeners submit 60-second versions of their favorite films. Our favorite thing about this entry for the entire Harry Potter series? There are two different guys who play Dumbledore, just like in the real movies. Click here to vote for it if you liked it.
Everything You Needed to Know About the First 5 Seasons of Lost
In anticipation for the final season of Lost, ABC commissioned the media company Methodder to put together this eight-minute summary of the previous five seasons. Even for hardcore Lost fans — and especially for those who love to hate the complexity of the show’s plot — it’s worth watching the whole video just to hear the voiceover’s snarky narration.
The Death and Return of Superman
Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis grabbed a bunch of his famous friends and recreated a controversial DC Comics story line from the ’90s that killed off and brought back Superman. At 17 minutes, the video’s pretty meaty for a “condensed” version, but trust us, it’s well worth your time (and considering how long these stories run, it’s a lot easier than finding and reading the whole comic).
The Bold and the Beautiful in 6 Minutes
Over 23 years and 5,500 episodes of the world’s most popular soap opera are shortened into this fascinating video by Sky Italia‘s Beautiful LAB series. It might take more than a couple of views to figure out exactly what’s going on here, but it’s not Beautiful LAB’s fault — we just can’t keep track of all the marriages and divorces and deaths on this show, even when they’re explained to us!
Kill Bill Parts 1 and 2 in One Minute
Not only did the University of York Film Society manage to turn 247 minutes of film into 60 seconds, but they’ve done it in just one take across the length of a football field. Pretty impressive, if you ask us.
Complete Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 60 Seconds
In this entry from last year’s Virgin Radio Fake Film Fest, these budding filmmakers put together an admittedly Fellowship-heavy recap of all three Tolkien films. There’s some great casting in this one, especially their pick for Legolas, who we’re pretty sure is actually a girl.
Hamlet in One Minute
Who wants to sit through three hours of Elizabethan dialogue and confusing murder plots when you can watch this 60-second-long video by Famous Last Nerds that outlines the entirety of Hamlet? Cliffs Notes be damned, we want all of the books we read in high school done this way.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)
If that last clip wasn’t enough to satiate your Shakespeare fix, then check out the Reduced Shakespeare Company‘s 90-minute romp through all 37 of the bard’s plays. The above video is an excerpt from their bit on Titus Andronicus, which they’ve turned into a cooking show. You can find the rest on YouTube if you’re so inclined, or grab the whole DVD-quality movie at Amazon.
Every Doctor Who Story Ever
YouTube user BabelColour managed the impressive feat of taking 50 years of Doctor Who and paring it down to just nine-and-a-half minutes. Even crazier? This isn’t even all of it — there are still some missing episodes of the show that the BBC misplaced somewhere.