Posts from the ‘Lazy Saturday’ Category

Super Lazy Saturday; Belated Lazy Saturday Post

My thinking for the blog for this academic year is that if holidays fall on normal posting days, those posts will be skipped. Except for snow days, if schools are closed, this blog will be, too.

However, even though it’s Labor Day weekend, I’ve seen some great TV shows this summer and wanted to share some opinions with you!

I’ve always been fascinated by the Tudor Dynasty, and have seen a lot of films about it, as well as having studied it in my Irish History class in college. My mom and I love all things British, so I knew a lot about the power struggles, and the subsequent creation of the Anglican Church (we’re Episcopalian), and was fascinated by all that went on during Henry VIII’s reign. I’ve written on this blog about how much I love the TV show Reign, which shows the Dynasty’s struggles from a different vantage point, that of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was the cousin of Queens Mary and Elizabeth of England, and who was subsequently put to death because of the threat she posed to Elizabeth’s reign. The opera Maria Stuarda is largely about that, and ends with Mary Queen of Scots walking to her execution, and is a fabulous piece of art that I highly recommend.

This summer, I watched The Tudors from start to finish for the first time. I’d seen some of it with my mom, but never in order, and I never paid a ton of attention to it. The Tudors was a ShowTime series that ran for four seasons, and it is remarkable. It’s so well researched, and the production values and costuming and scale are beautiful. A lot of it seems to have been filmed in Ireland, where open spaces and haunting architecture are more common than in England.

I was in awe of what they’d accomplished with the series, and how much time they covered without it ever feeling rushed. I watched most of the first season with my mom, and then she left me to watch it on my own, and I think I must have watched the last 3 seasons of the show in a week. And when it was over, after inhabiting that world for the all-encompassing week or two that I had, I had no idea what to do with myself.

A day or so later, we moved onto the Borgias, and I confess I am much less interested in this particular story than I am in that of the Tudors, there are interesting points in each of the three series where they touch upon and inform one another. And it’s always fun to watch a show and see an actor from one of the other shows. A unique little moment of, wait, what?

The Tudors is available (for me) On Demand from Cablevision, as well as on Amazon Prime TV and on Netflix. The Borgias is available on Netflix, and may also be on Prime but I can’t swear to that. Both shows are available for purchase on DVD and Digital Downloads. Maria Stuarda on DVD is available from The Met. Reign is available on the CW’s website for streaming, season 1 is available on Netflix, and season 2 is available for Digital Download.

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Mean Girls

Every time I rewatch Mean Girls, I fall in love with it again. For a very long time, my family worked Mean Girls quotes into every. single. conversation we had. It’s been a long time (for me) since I’ve seen it, but it’s a movie that maintains its wonderment each time I view it.

The dialogue is hilarious.

I also love that the parents are kooky and eccentric, and that they came from the fields of Africa to the middle of the country. It’s such a culture shock experience, and the set up is just wonderful. And the Africa references make me love it even more.

I love that Cady begins as an unapologetically intelligent, albeit very naive person. She is taking advanced calculus class, a class meant for seniors, and she is not a senior. She wears a bracelet that her mom made her, and is presentable, but not overly dressed up for school, and wearing very little makeup. When Halloween rolls around, she dresses up in an incredible costume while other girls show up wearing very little clothing and animal ears.

All this makes the transition even better.

Then, by the end of the movie, Cady has redeemed and re-humanized herself.

I love this movie.

Mean Girls is available to stream on Netflix.

Orange Is The New Black

Orange is the New Black is another show that I am super late to the party for. Last summer, Mom tried to make me watch OitNB on Netflix and it was actually the worst connection I have ever had. The syncing of the dialogue and the picture was all off, and the picture was lagging so significantly I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Mom had watched it before that with minimal problems, but I opted not to watch it because it was driving me crazy.

Back in February, we spent my sister’s birthday at the largest mall in our area. I was in a very bad way that day and spent most of the day sitting in rest areas playing Panda Pop. But I hobbled into an FYE store, and bought, among other things, season 1 of OitNB on DVD. Since that day, Mom and I have watched those DVDs more than once, and recently, I received OitNB Season 2 on DVD from Amazon, and so we watched those while we were waiting for Season 3 to come out on Netflix. Since it came out last week, we are undecided if we will watch on Mom’s new Fire TV stick or online on our own, or what. But this show just keeps getting better and better. It looks like it’s a lot of fun to shoot, and I think that is reflected in the quality of the show.

You can buy Orange is the New Black on DVD from Amazon, or stream it on Netflix!

I Fall In Love With Shows That End Too Soon, and Other Confessions.

It’s easier for me to re-watch shows I’ve seen many times before than it is for me to watch a new show. I’m terrible at watching a show straight through, though I used to have a far better attention span and wonder where it went. I fall in love with shows that end too soon, and spend an inordinate amount of time re-watching those shows in mourning, and wondering what would have happened had they not been cancelled?

Make it or Break it was cancelled after 3 seasons. Body of Proof after 3. Breaking Pointe after 2. Bunheads after 1.

Then there are shows that I love that I am so far behind on that I have to remind myself they still exist. I absolutely adore Reign, but I have missed almost this entire season. I love The Royals, the first season of which has ended (Season 2 starts in the fall). Orphan Black is the one show that I keep up with religiously because it’s a fandom that I am very active in. I used to be all about Rizzoli & Isles, but loving that show hurt my heart a lot, and so I have all but stopped watching it (I still see a lot on tumblr, in terms of gifs and summaries and commentaries, so I still know what’s going on, which has not given me incentive to watch it again).

It takes a lot for me to invest in a show that may or may not be good, and that may or may not be allowed to live up to its full potential. Re-watching old shows are a sure thing. Even if you know that they aren’t good or that they are problematic, you know the body of work as a whole, which is enough to get you through the (hopefully occasionally) wonky episode or 2. Because fiction is such a real world to me, I don’t want to love it unless it’s going to be great.

So, what shows have you had high hopes for and been disappointed by? What shows defied your expectations, either positively or negatively?

Body Of Proof

In last week’s Lazy Saturday post, I wrote about procedurals that I loved, and somehow–likely due to the fact that I still haven’t forgiven the network for canceling it and so I block it out so as not to feel the hurt–I completely neglected to mention Body Of Proof.

My grandfather and I independently started watching Body Of Proof, and when we saw them a few years back, he started raving about this show he’d seen, and that we should watch it because we would like it. Way ahead of you, Grandpa 😉

One of the things that appealed to me about Body Of Proof is that it is a procedural show, but the science is more important than the catching or trying of the “bad guy.” The medical science involved is fascinating, and each character has a clear story arc, which is a ball that can easily be dropped. The overarching storyline and the overarching drama of the show really captivated me, and I felt like if they were given a few more seasons, they would have done something really incredible with the backstories and different redemptions of the characters.

The episodes of Body of Proof were mostly standalone, though it’s best to watch all of the episodes in order so that you understand why the characters react the way that they do. I can think of one multi-episode arc off the top of my head, and it was incredible, and it is a story that has been playing out in the news now, 3 years after that episode arc aired.

Body of Proof aired its last in 2013, but it starred Dana Delaney and Jeri Ryan as a brilliant surgeon turned Medical Examiner and as the Director, respectively. My confession here is that I have no idea where you could watch it, because I bought the 3 seasons off of iTunes when I was watching it for the first time, but I’d imagine that between Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, you could find episodes for free.

Procedurals and Satires

Maybe it’s because I grew up watching British Mysteries, or maybe it’s because prior to being a writer, I was a hardcore science geek, or maybe it falls under the same category as diagnosing other people over the course of a conversation, but I love procedurals. Sometimes I even guess what’s going to happen. Actually, I am chronically terrible about figuring things out as they unravel instead of enjoying the show. I can watch police procedurals and medical procedurals over and over and not get sick of the formula for a procedural show, or get sick of the shows themselves.

I love House, M.D., The X-Files (which I suppose at its heart is a procedural), Law & Orders Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit, NCIS, Bones, Rizzoli & Isles… I like watching shows that do science, and I like watching shows use psychology to find out what makes people do the things they do.

I also love satires and spoofs.

I started watching NTSF:SD:SUV:: in the fall when I was watching Voyager. It’s a shorts series that aired on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, and it’s a satire of the police procedural drama, which sounded like something that I would love. And I do. It’s so ridiculous sometimes, but one of the things that I love most about this show is the content warnings that go before each episode. I am in season 2 currently, and the warning for the episode I am watching said that this episode was an adaptation or a reenactment of The Importance of Being Earnest. Love.

Because the episodes are short, you could marathon an entire season in much less time than you could watch part of a season of an hour-long show, meaning that if you are home sick, you could easily finish a whole season and start on another.

I have bought episodes on both iTunes and Amazon, and to my knowledge NTSF:SD:SUV:: isn’t on Netflix, but House, Law & Order, and Bones are. I am not sure about Rizzoli & Isles or NCIS.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Towards the end of last summer, or maybe the beginning of fall, I began a complete Voyager re-watch. Voyager got me through a lot of tough times, and throughout the years, I have gone back and re-watched specific episodes and specific story arcs, as I have also done with The Next Generation, and the movies, and also Deep Space Nine to a lesser extent. I was into Season 2 or 3 of Voyager when I went back to nannying, and so my marathoning slowed considerably. It was nice, though, because I was able to really look forward to my Voyager time. In December, I adopted my dog, Zoey Makana, and if I watched an episode a week for the first few weeks of her being home, it was a lot. Then, things settled down, and I resumed a schedule that allowed for more than one episode each week.

I dreaded the end of the Complete Voyager Re-Watch, and felt a bit adrift when I’d finished the series. I have re-watched some episodes since then, but now that I’ve so recently seen the series in its entirety, it hasn’t been the same.

A month or so ago, I decided to randomly begin a complete re-watch of The Next Generation, which is even longer than Voyager, and also has several feature films. This marathon is proceeding even slower than the Voyager marathon: I’ll watch an episode or two, and then not watch any for a few weeks, then repeat. It’s always funny to me to go back into a show’s history and re-watch the pilot or the early few episodes, because oftentimes, a lot is changed from season 1 to season 2, and sometimes there are elements in the end of the series that are almost unrecognizable from their initial appearances in season 1. I’d entirely forgotten that Geordi LaForge began as a redshirt helmsman. Worf was also a redshirt for a while. I would have gone down swearing that they were both always yellow had I not begun this re-watch! (As a major Trek fan, this is a huge problem… Almost blasphemy to admit that you have forgotten elements of the early franchise!)

Star Trek: The Next Generation is a huge part of the limited memories I have of my early childhood. Mom and I would watch it, and I have memories of eating happy meals (or just the french fries and Dr. Pepper with the occasional bite of chicken nugget) in front of the TV in the guest room with my Deanna Troi action figure. Sadly, the combadge wouldn’t attach to my dance leotard (it wasn’t a pin or a magnet), and so I wasn’t able to wear it to ballet, an upset I weirdly remember to this day.

With that, I’m going to go drink some, “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” and “Make it so!” with the marathoning! Have a great Lazy Saturday!