Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Binge-worthy Shows

During my healing/isolation period over the past few months the TV became my friend. Well, full disclosure, the TV has always been my friend. I love everything from a dark plot, to ethically-gray characters, to mindless teen drama.

During my normal life, I try to limit my screen time during the day. Otherwise, my house would be a mess and we would be eating out of cereal boxes. But as I healed from my surgery, not being able to exercise or talk, and being in isolation from radiation, I let myself be consumed by the television.

I didn't mean for my time to be spent this way. I had good intentions of making scrapbooks, cleaning out my closet, and scrubbing the house floor to ceiling. But each day I had little motivation to pry myself out of bed or off the couch; I called it a success if I took a shower or went for a walk. I gave myself lots of slack, considering the circumstances. I never once felt guilty that I was able to watch full seasons in a matter of days. I considered it a cultural cram session.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of hours of back-to-back show watching. Of your own cultural cram session. Here are the shows that I turned to.

1. House of cards
Some people save the best for last. Well, I couldn't resist the need to tell you about my hands-down favorite show. The best thing I've binge-watched. Ever. Now, I'm totally not a political person so don't let the setting scare you off. This is about deceit, scheming, and doing whatever it takes to get ahead. Maybe I love this show so much because I can't relate to any of the characters. And Kevin Spacey = amazing.

2. Game of Thrones

If you haven't heard of this incredible fantasy drama, then you have been living under a rock. Hands down the best show in television. It is based the book A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, which I have since started reading since the show began. I love so many characters, and love to hate the others. I've been watching the show since the beginning but re-watched it during this downtime. The show is already on season 4, so you better hurry and catch up!

3. Veep

Again, I'm not a political person but Julia Louis-Dreyfus is hysterical. The HBO comedy is set in the office of the Vice President and the writing is spot on. Seriously. Watch this.

2. Orphan Black

This is a BBC series following a girl who learns she is a part of a clone experiment. It has great writing and an intriguing plot. But what puts the cherry on the cake is that one actor plays all the parts! I guess that makes sense, since she is a clone. But it is totally believable and I completely forget I'm watching TV magic.

3. Friday Night Lights

This has all the components of a good TV drama. High school football. Teens who are doing things way too mature for their age. And intertwined love stories that give soap-operas a run for their money. This show brings me back to my high school days, to a small town who loved their football. The characters are fun to love and easy to look at! Wink wink. (It feels weird to say that about characters portrayed as high school students....but alas.)

4. Gossip Girl

Talking about intertwined love stories, if you want a mindless plot then Gossip Girl is a show for you. After years of trying to watch all the seasons, I finally made it through. This is a show that you can stop watching for months on end and pick right back up. No need to refresh, because it basically is the same thing over and over again. That being said, I love it and I don't know why. And, I wish I was Blair Waldrof.

5. 30 Rock

Friends have been raving about 30 Rock for years now, but I could never get into it. After reading Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, I had a new desire to finally sit down and see what the hubbub was all about. Amazingly, society is right. It is extremely funny, witty, and the characters had me laughing harder than I care to admit.

6. Orange Is the New Black
Netflix sure knows what it is doing. While I don't love this Netflix original as much as House of Cards, this is a really good show. At some times the show was comedic, at others times it was a bit more serious. But I really enjoy the story and characters and I can't wait until the second season is released. I can totally relate the main character Piper if, you know, I was a possible lesbian who was convicted of a felony. I would totally be her if I had to go to prison (a completely straight version, however).

Honorable mentions: Parks and Rec, The Americans, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Downton Abbey

What shows do you love? Are you obsessed with Francis Underwood like I am? Do you look forward to Sunday nights for the new GoT like I do? Do you love Netflix and the fact that you can watch episode after episode without interruption?

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