Posts tagged ‘lazy saturday’

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.


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.

Orphan Black

“Welcome to the trip, man.” -Cosima Niehaus

My mom watched Orphan Black Season 1 in real time. She told me that I should watch it with her, but I wasn’t convinced that they could get through an entire season–let alone more than one–without totally screwing it up. Once Mom finished Season 1, and they had not yet screwed it up, I watched Season 1 with her. Then had to wait a torturously long period of time for Season 2 to premiere. I watched that on the edge of my seat, and then again went through the hiatus, but this time, I had to go through the full 42-week hiatus, as I wasn’t late to the party. Then, Season 3 premiered, and this season is crazier than ever.

One thing that I love about Orphan Black is the fandom, called Clone Club. They have organized some amazing things, such as a Clone Club Christmas Secret Santa, and a Clone Club Valentine’s exchange. They are also very committed to not spoiling each other on tumblr, and there is an elaborate system in place for tagging spoilers and episodes.

The basic, mostly spoiler-free premise, is this: Episode 1 of Season 1 begins with Sarah Manning watching a girl commit suicide by jumping in front of a train, except the girl who has killed herself looks exactly like Sarah, who we come to find out was an orphan. Sarah goes “down the rabbit hole” so to speak, and discovers that there are more women exactly like her. And they’re all in danger.

Sarah Manning, and the other women (Beth Childs, Allison Hendrix, Cosima Niehaus, Katja Obinger, Rachel Duncan, and several others we see on screen, or in photographs) are all played by Tatiana Maslany, who does a brilliant job of making each of the women distinct, both in voice and in body language and in the ways that the women move. It’s truly amazing to watch, because even though the women all have the same face, they all look very different, and somehow, none of them quite look like Maslany herself. We still haven’t figured out exactly how this is the case, but it is.

Each season of Orphan Black raises the stakes and increases the pressures of the world, and the seasons tackle hugely complex problems, such as the interplay between science and religion.

If you haven’t watched any of Orphan Black because you’re worried it’s going to be too scientific, I can promise you that the show isn’t too scientific, though they do go to great extents to ensure that the science is right, which I appreciate.

I am obsessed with Orphan Black, and I cannot recommend this show highly enough. At the moment, you can watch Seasons 1 and 2 of Orphan Black on Prime Instant Video, meaning that if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can watch for free. Episodes are also available to purchase on Amazon, and on iTunes, and Orphan Black is available on DVD at many major retailers. Season 3 of Orphan Black airs on Saturday nights at 9 PM on BBC America.