10 Shows I’ve Binged On

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me in real life that I watch a lot of TV. It’s how I decompress from a crazy day and what I usually have on in the background when I knit at home. Now that we’re in the age of streaming everything, I tend to only watch shows once they have mutliple seasons avaialble via one of the big streaming services. I just can’t be bothered to remember to DVR and then watch something that’s currently on (though that’s not an issue now, since we only have basic cable).

In no particular order, the last 10 shows I’ve binged on, some you may already know but a few others will probably be new to you, unless you and I hit the Netflix algorithms the exact same way:

  1. Allie McBeal: You know those shows you were aware of when they were first one but were too young to see? I’ll fully admit I started watching this to see what all of the late-90s fuss was about. See Allie date, with at least one court case being worked but her way-too-close, morally ambiguous law firm. Excellent reminders of pop culture things you only sort of remember if you’re in your early 30s.
  2. Lark Rise to Candleford: If there’s a BBC-produced period show out there, I’ve probably seen it. This one went off the air a few years ago and I didn’t even hear about it until it came up in my recommendations. Laura leaves the country for the prestigious job as the primary assistant to the town’s postmistress in the late 1800s (I think). Ignore the anachronisms and you’ll be fine. If you saw Downtown, you’ll recognize Bates and a few others.
  3. Archer: Okay, the show is really raunchy and inappropriate, but it’s also hilarious. Archer is a spy whose really quite horrible at his job but always manages to make it out of his missions alive, thanks to his sometimes-girlfriend, Lana, and not thanks to his misfit coworkers. Did I mention it’s a cartoon and he works for his mother?
  4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Netflix kept recommending this to me but I saw it was a musical comedy and ignored the recommendation. Then it was put on in our ski cabin and I fell in love. The main character needs a change in scenery/work/life and follows her camp boyfriend to his hometown (Sunny West Covina, California!). Lots of random singing/dancing in a variety of styles. Is very silly but they don’t tend to take jokes too far.
  5. Dance Academy: I found this when I was at home sick one day and felt like watching something about dance but had watched Center Stage too recently. Tara is a farmer’s daughter lacking in ballet technique but whose emotions – which tend towards fairy tales – show when she dances. Lots of stereotypes in her friends/classmates but they’re endearing. Teenage drama ensues often.
  6. Lovesick: I liked it’s old name, Scrotal Recall, but I think Netflix got hate mail over it, so it changed titles between seasons one and two. Dillon finds out he has an STD and has to tell each of his former partners. Being the sweet guy he is, he does this in person, rather than via the NHS-provided postcards. You find yourself wondering just who “Abigail” is after her name flashes on the screen.
  7. West Wing: Okay, so you probably heard about this before, but it’s always good to re-watch. When I get aggravated at our current political climate, I go back and re-watch seasons 1 to 4 to be comforted by Jud Bartlett. You’ll get a great taste for the show in the very first episode. Unlike many shows, it’s great from the first scene. (Features Rob Lowe in a very swoon-worthy performance.)
  8. Offspring: Okay, so I’ve got two British shows and this is my second Australian one. Main character is an OB/GYN with a crazy family and demanding job. She attempts to date but everything gets in her way. Not much medicine, as she really is the focus of the show, not the nuts and bolts of her job. Equally opportunity eye candy.
  9. Burn Notice: Great for those who always stop when they see A-Team re-runs when scrolling through channels at a relatives house. (I’m probably the only one who does that, I now realize. Lots of explosions but also great characters, beautiful scenery, and a different Big Bad most weeks, with occasional long arcs.) Michael is a “burned” spy – meaning they basically fired him and ruined his life. At least he’s still got a few friends (tiny woman who is into explosives, Bruce Campbell being himself) and his mom/brother around to help him out. Narrated by Michael, with lots of tradecraft explanations. Don’t worry, Phe’s horrible accent goes away by the end of episode 1.
  10. Better Off Ted: Okay, it’s only a single season and got cancelled years ago, but I think it’s still worthy of a binge. Ted is a marketing manager for a company who, well, is really bad at scientific research and could well be evil. His boss is played by a very serious Portia de Rossi. You’ll really start to pull for the scientists, Phil and Lem, who just want to do the right thing.

Three Things Thursday (11/10/16)

I spent a good amount of time looking at various other blogs last night and came across Ms. Emily’s Home for Full Grown Nerd who does a feature each week called Three Things Thursday.

The concept is really easy: Write about three things that are currently making your life awesome. She doesn’t even have a requirement that they be big things. I think I’m going to do a Three Things post at least once a month. If you also join in, make sure you post a comment with a link to your post from the one Ms. Emily posts each week. You even get to use this awesome badge.


Okay, enough about all that. Onto my three things for this week…

  • Blogging Again: I’m really enjoying blogging on a regular basis. Although I know I don’t have thousands of readers, it’s nice to know at least  few other knitters are out there, interested in what I’m working on. And that others are interesting in seeing what’s up with Lizzie. And others want to see about my travels. I’m also enjoying connecting with other people through their own blogs. Even though daily blogging probably isn’t for me other than my feeble attempt each November, I really want to have it become part of my regular routine.
  • Good Girls Revolt: This is an Amazon original series about women working to gain a more important role in a late 1960s news magazine. It’s a great blend of cultural and historical study combined with just enough drama (but not too much) to keep your attention. Real life people (fictionalized, of course) even make appearances (Eleanor Holmes Norton from her ACLU days, Nora Ephron, etc).
  • Fall Being Here: I know I’m repeating myself from an earlier post, but I’m happy that fall is finally here. The air is crisp and cool. The leaves have mostly changed. It’s dark not long after I get home from work. I love it because it means the holidays are soon , though I’m certainly enjoying the lack of super cold.

Filling the Hours

There’s only so many hours in the day and not quite enough to do all of those things I want to do. (We’ll ignore my to do list. That just sort of sits without anything done until a hard deadline – like taxes being due April 15th.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky enough to have a good two to three hours free most evenings after Squirms has gone to bed. Most nights, Matt and I hang out together (we watch TV, he plays on his phone, I write letter or knit or play on my phone) but sometimes, like tonight, he’s off in his office, playing video games so I’m left to my own devices. And, yet, what am I doing? Watching tons of episodes of Scrubs and attempting to write up a few blog posts to catch folks up on what’s been going on in my life.

What would i do if I had unlimited time? And, somehow, could focus enough to do them?

  • Write that memoir I have made zero progress on.
  • Learn to write calligraphy or in a cool hand-written font.
  • Make a cross stitch sampler of all of the Dr. Who’s.
  • Sew myself some awesome skirts. (Requires actually learning how to sew, for real.)
  • Watch through all of the seasons of Friends, X-Files, Sex in the City
  • Catch up on Squirm’s scrapbook (do have photos from Jan – March printed but have yet to make the pages)
  • Write here, you know, more than once every two months
  • Make a sweater for myself I actually like
  • Take some programming classes online
  • Write letters to the rest of the people on my list (which is down to 8 from the 90+ I had in January)
  • Make some sort of a collage
  • Write to Squirms daily about what she’s done that day and things I want her to know about me
  • Make a few books by hand, especially journals
  • Make a bunch of dishcloths

Call me Rory, er, Lorelai – or am I Paris?

One day at robotics my Junior year, one of the Freshman suddenly stated, “You are such a Rory.” I quickly changed topics, not at all sure if being a Rory was a good thing or a bad thing because I had no idea what he was referencing. I asked my mom, and she smiled and explained that this was a good thing. Rory was a character on a show she was watching called Gilmore Girls, Rory being the daughter on the show who is determined, intelligent, and cute. He was complimenting me, not insulting me, as I feared.

The show, for the two women my age who haven’t seen it, is about Lorelei – a thirty-something who had a daughter at 16 – and the daughter, also Lorelei (who goes by Rory) and their lives in the small town Connecticut of Stars Hollow. The supporting case includes Lorelei’s wealthy, traditional parents and a whole ton of crazy townspeople. The first season starts with Rory getting into fancy private school Chilton and Lorelei having to make an agreement to have weekly Friday night dinners in order to get her parents to pay for the tuition. Insert lots of public-school-kid-turned-private-school-kid drama, dating adventures, small town festivals, and lots and lots of cultural references delivered as part of the extremely fast-paced dialog.

Back to my getting called Rory and trying to figure out if this was okay. The next time the show was on, I watched it with my mom, thinking it was one of those shows my mom watched but that I’d hate because it was too corny or too romantic or too silly.

Ten minutes in, I was in love. From then on, I always put aside the time the show was on. When Matt and I got our first DVR, it was the first show I set to record. When the show first appeared on DVD, I shelled out almost fifty dollars to get a copy – and, thankfully, managed to get the other seasons during Black Friday sales for less than twenty. They were loaned out to friends who loaned them to other friends before returning them. My copies of the first few seasons are covered with scratches and some aren’t even viewable anymore.

You could imagine the level of excitement when I heard I’d no longer have to rely on those damaged DVDs and Netflix would be streaming the entire series. I held out for an entire 24 hours before turning it on and, despite the fact I can only really watch it when Matt’s not around – he’s sat through it a good three times previously – I’m already almost done with the first season.

It’s funny what you notice when it’s been a couple years since you last watched a show. The show started about ten years ago and, despite being very modern at the time, seems outdated with the clothing and cultural references. Everyone has pagers, few have cell phones and the ones who do, use those brick-type Nokias that came programmed with Snake.

And, while I may have reminded that Freshman of Rory when I was in high school – I am Rory’s age, almost exactly – but, I’ve come to realize, maybe I am more of a Lorelei or, if I’m honest, a Paris. Rory is intelligent and cute, sure, but she’s also timid and only very rarely does anything wrong (she does sleep with a married man and helps to steal an expensive sailboat). I don’t actively try to cause trouble and go around rules like Lorelei, though I do tend to be no more serious than absolutely possible, making jokes at many of the wrong times. And I don’t know when to stop talking. But, like I said, I may also be a Paris. Paris is the enemy turned friend of Rory’s that she meets at Chilton and winds up becoming Yale room mates with. She’s intense and sees order and success as more important that the feelings of others. She has little tact and tells it like it is. Things I’m constantly fighting to overcome, particularly at work. And she has my lack of fashion sense and turns to crafts to calm her world. Though, most accurately, I’m all of them. I tell it like it is except when I know I’ll really hurt someone’s feelings. I like to think I’m smart and mostly do the right thing. I make jokes when things are getting too serious.

Enough analysis. I’m going back to watch another episode or two. The next episode features Emily getting a tour of Stars Hollow and I love the look on her face when Rory convinces her to switch out her heels for sneakers.