Binge-Watching (aka Just When I Thought I Was Out They Pull Me Back In)

Just when I thought I was out. They pull me back in gif. Godfather. TV binge watching blog post

Has this ever happened to you? You innocently start a new show. Maybe someone made a suggestion and it sounded interesting, so you follow the thread to see where it takes you. Once you hit the point of no return, which depending on the show can be anywhere from episode 1 (LOST) to episode 4 or 5 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), there’s no going back. With each new episode you dig a deeper hole that you cannot crawl out of. After the end of each subsequent episode you think to yourself, “this will be the last one for tonight. After all, I have to work tomorrow.”

Next thing you know, you’re calling in sick to work because, in your heart, you do you feel a little under the weather, come to think of it. Perhaps you’ve hit a cliff hanger and you can’t possibly be expected to put your big girl/boy pants on and adult today. What if she leaves and never finds out he loves her? What if he’s really dead? What if the whole town really did explode in that fiery ball of destruction?

So you settle in for a sick day…come to find out there are 10 seasons of this show. It’s gonna take a lot more than one measly, little sick day to get you through all the plots your eyes are waiting to behold. But then…a light at the end of the tunnel. A stopping point. A gentle lull in the storyline. It’s not that the show has gotten boring, it just allows you to breathe for a moment. You push stop, go to the bathroom, throw some water on your face and remind yourself that you don’t live in Sunnydale and you aren’t facing an apocalypse. The world is ok and you aren’t President Jeb Bartlett or Jack Bauer. It’s perfectly alright for you to go ahead and live your life outside of the TV screen.

Maybe you grab a snack and think about something else for a minute, maybe you even make it all the way outside where the sun is still shining and the birds don’t even have Netflix.

Then it hits you, that familiar feeling of longing for more, more, more, next, next, next. You look back and forth between nature beckoning you to choose the light and the dark cave that has become your TV watching space. The characters call to you. The darkness calls to you. And just when you thought you were out…they pull you back in.

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Farewell world, God knows when we shall meet again. Perhaps there will be another lull in season 8.

Farewell Downton

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Last night we said goodbye to Downton Abbey after 6 seasons of shocks and awww’s. It has been a wild ride. And I can’t help feeling that we (the fans of Downton) will be hard pressed to find a replacement for this show! There is really nothing else like it out there. And while PBS promises new and exciting programming in our future, unless it’s a Downton Abbey spinoff, I just have my doubts since the bar has been set so high.

Downton Abbey finale PBS blog post
Photo from PBS.org

With that being said, I have some ideas for Downton Abbey spinoff concepts that I think PBS should really be considering. Here they are…

Finale spoilers ahead… 

Charlie and Elsie

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Photo from PBS.org

The madcap story of Carson and Mrs. Hughes after life at Downton Abbey. I’m thinking they finally open that bed and breakfast they were talking about and adventure ensues. Think of all the wayward stragglers that Carson would have to contend with. It has Emmy written all over it!

Lady Rose Takes America

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Photo from RadioTimes.com

Lily James is primed to take over the world right now after the successes of Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. So why not throw her a spinoff? She and Atticus go back to America where they are raising their daughter, Victoria Rachel Cora Aldridge. Rose being Rose, she would absolutely be in the thick of it over there, probably in New York City. And while there she would obviously hook up with Shirley Maclaine’s Martha Levison. Sure, they aren’t actually related by blood or even marriage, but everyone is family when it comes to Downton Abbey and I’d love to see the sparks fly when Rose and Martha interact.

Isobel and Violet

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Photo from LivingAnalog.com

No one deserves a spinoff more than Lady Grantham and her (begrudging at first) bestie, Violet Crawley. Sure, Isobel is primed to marry Lord Merton, but this duo would undoubtedly remain close. They have been through so much together and have come so far in this hilarious and tumultuous friendship. They deserve second life! Perhaps they start solving murders in England. Not sure what they would be doing, but I know that they should be doing it together and that it would be amazing!

The Manny

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The finale of Downton Abbey finally saw a happy Thomas Barrow…FINALLY!! Sure, he’s taken over as head butler for Carson, but I think he’s better suited as Master George’s manny. Imagine the absolute adorbs that would come from that pairing! Outings in the park, visits to the city and hopefully one day, Thomas would find romance with someone special pushing the limits of the time period.

Talbot and Branson

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Photo from thecultureconcept.com

Branson has long been my favorite character on Downton Abbey. And while Henry Talbot is no Matthew Crawley, I have come to like him and appreciate his friendship with Tom. The fact that they are now in business together makes this concept the easiest of all to accomplish. Mary would obviously make an occasional appearance to check on her husband and her, I’d venture to say, best friend. The automobile industry in the late 1920’s going into the 30’s would make for incredibly interesting story lines.

Downton Ghost Stories

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Photo from stereogum.com

Of course there’s the guilty pleasure spinoff that sees the return of the favored dead. Matthew Crawley and Lady Sybil return to haunt the halls of Downton Abbey. It would have to be funny because anything else would just be wrong. Sure, it’s the least plausible of the spinoff concepts, but you can’t fault me for trying!

What did you think of the Downton Abbey finale?

Platonic Friendlationships

Downton Abbey Season 6 Spoilers Ahead…

 

 

 

I confess. As I’ve watched Downton Abbey the last 2 seasons, I’ve come to wish that Branson and Mary would try and make a go of it. After all, they get along famously and make each other genuinely better people (especially in Mary’s case.) Plus little Sybbie and Master George are growing up together anyways. Why not just go ahead already?

Tom Branson and Mary Crawley Downton Abbey platonic friendlationship blog post
Photo from dailymail.co.uk

But, after Sunday’s episode, I have finally accepted that it isn’t meant to be. Mainly because Mary married another dude. So all my dreams of the perfect ship have drowned.

In the aftermath of disappointment, a new feeling and deeper understanding of Mary and Branson has taken shape. Theirs is the perfect example of a platonic friendlationship done splendidly right. Possibly the only one on TV that I have ever witnessed. (Arguments could be made for Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld or Phoebe and Joey from Friends.) See, what happens most of the time (and especially on soap operas) is that man meets woman, man loves woman, man loses woman, man finds new woman, man loves new woman. And the same is true on the women’s side as well. Anyone with television watching history knows that the best couples start out either on opposite ends of the spectrum (hating each other) or as the very best of friends (and not realizing they love each other.) Enter Mary Crawley and Tom Branson. Not only did they start out at opposite ends of the spectrum (he a chauffeur, she a rich aristocrat and them hating each other) but after the deaths of not one, but both of their spouses, they became the most unlikely pair of best friends. Hence the thought that they might end up together.

Instead, they remain dear and devoted friends. (In fact, Tom was the best man at both of Mary’s weddings. Chew on that one!) They are friends who love one another deeply, but who didn’t so much as look sideways at one another in a romantical way (despite my fervent prayers for it to happen.) Perhaps it was because he was married to her sister. It could be that the class lines just couldn’t be crossed. But I think it’s because sometimes, every once in a while, men and women can truly just be friends and nothing more.

I have to say, this has not been my experience. If I haven’t had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for a guy, a guy has had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for me. In fact, the best friend I have, who is of the male species, is my brother.

Platonic Friendlationships are very hard to come by. And harder to keep. Which is why Mary and Branson not getting together (and fulfilling my hopes and dreams) is a really, really good thing. I often desperately need to be reminded that men and women can be friends without the mushy stuff getting in the way. That it isn’t all about roses and rainbows and kisses in the rain. Sometimes it’s about honesty and kindness and a person you can rely on to always be there, even when it’s hard.

TOm Branson and Mary Crawley platonic friendlationship PBS blog post
Photo from gpb.org

(Deep breath and shoulder shrug) I wish it was as easy as having a team of writers craft the perfect scenario and just being directed to follow a script. If that were the case, then maybe I could have written it so that the men who’ve come into my life could have just been my friends. There would be no suspicion of ulterior motives. There would be no longing for something more. Just friendship at it’s finest. Honestly, I don’t even know what that would look like. Girl friends, I get. But boys? I’m 33 and I still can’t figure them out!

I will take a lesson from Tom Branson and Mary Crawley (I suppose I need to get used to calling her Mary Talbot now?) I will keep hope alive that men aren’t always trying to get into my pants. That maybe there’s a Branson out there who just wants to be in my life and see me happy, even if it isn’t with him. Perhaps especially if it isn’t with him. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Revelation

Monday is easily one of my favorite nights of television. Between Supergirl and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it’s a rich, lady-powered evening and if you aren’t watching either…well, you should be. But I had this horrifying discover about myself.

I was doing my Monday night thing, watching Supergirl, and I was tweeting along as I usually do…when I realized a great many tweets were devoted to who I ship Kara with.
Kara and Winn…should we call them #Winna or maybe #Kinn (both super lame by the way.)
Kara and James…a strong case could be made for #Karmes or #Jara.
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I tweeted about love triangles and potential love interests.
Don’t get me wrong, I also tweeted about girl power and everything else magical about Supergirl. But these tweets about Kara’s love life…these got me thinking.

Especially since the same was true of my thoughts and tweets about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s, Rebecca Bunch who is currently in a love triangle of her own. Will it be Greg, the adorable bar tender or her camp boyfriend, Josh Chan who wins Rebecca’s heart?
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I was doing to Kara and Rebecca what every well-meaning friend or relative had ever done to me. I asked the dreaded question and I didn’t even do it on purpose.
“Aren’t you gonna settle down, ladies? Aren’t you gonna choose one of those handsome men to make you happy and get married and have babies with?”

Imagine my shock…my horror to discover myself pulling the same baloney on Kara and Rebecca that’s always been pulled on me.
Let me tell you, it doesn’t sit well. And it’s causing me to take a hard look.
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I love shippers as much as the next nerd, but a heroine’s story is much more than who she falls in love with. Same goes for the men (because I spend plenty of time thinking about who the dudes will end up with too.) I’m going to work on how I view the character’s and their journey on their respective shows. If I care this much about their romantic lives…but spend no time on my own…well, I’m just gonna leave that one open.

A Well Built Ship

I was watching an episode of Gilmore Girls (ok I watched 7) and I’ll admit, I had a momentary lapse. It was an episode from season 7, near the end of the show and Lorelai was married to Christopher.
I sent a hasty tweet that said:
“Ok, I l-l-love Luke and Lorelai,
but I coulda been very happy
with her and Christopher too.”

He’s always been a charming man, albeit a bit of a flake. And while I truly think he loved Lorelai and Rory, he just wasn’t good at that whole being a steady, stable family man thing. He was a hurricane. Plain and simple. And so is Lorelai, so in essence (and according to my theory) they could never have successfully and happily belonged together. Fast forward to season 7 and he is finally attempting the seeming impossible. Going house shopping, wooing the good townspeople of Star’s Hollow, playing dad to Rory and Gigi, but it never feels quite right…this domesticated version of Charming Christopher. And Lorelai isn’t happy…we know she isn’t.

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In stark contrast, you have Luke Danes. Steadfast townie. If there is a man in Star’s Hollow who understands commitment, it is Luke. He owns his own diner (in the building his father owned.) He kept his father’s boat. He commits to help Jess, his sister’s son. He even committed hard core to that blue baseball cap that Lorelai gave him in season 1. He never leaves. Never abandons his post. He’s there at the diner every morning to get the Gilmore Girls their beloved cups of coffee till the very last episode.
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*Print from LetsAllMakeBelieve Etsy shop

Is there trouble in paradise when Luke and Lorelai finally get together? You bet. It’s a good ship. And good ships are built to withstand the harsh conditions.
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*Photo from Nautical Wheeler
Luke is thrown when he discovers that he has a daughter who he knew nothing about. Sure, that’s gonna shock a guy. Like I said, Luke’s problem isn’t commitment. But a case could be made for his shortcomings in the area of communication. Years of unrequited feelings…yeah, communicating wasn’t his strong suit.

Yes, Luke and Lorelai could have had a healthy, happy, ride-into-the-sunset ship. We all would have been very ok with that. But Luke lies about April and cuts Lorelai out of decisions and Lorelai sleeps with Christopher and then marries him. They both makes huge, hurtful mistakes.
In the end, they are a stronger ship for the mistakes they make, for the struggles they face.

Now as I’ve said before (click here) I’ve watched a lot of TV. I should go ahead and capitalize that because I truly means A LOT. And I think I’m gonna go on record and say that Luke and Lorelai’s relationship is one of the very best in television history.
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They start as friends. Great friends. They are there for one another as relationship after relationship falls apart. And they get things wrong sometimes. It’s one of the most realistic television relationships of all time.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the lesson here is “love conquers all.” It doesn’t always. Sometimes it can’t. But love reminds you of the good. Love forgives the wrongs and love fights like hell to survive no matter how much we try to kill it. (Just look at the divorce rate. And even the divorces of both Luke and Lorelai.)

I only hope that they are still experiencing those highs and lows together when the Gilmore Girls revival hits Netflix next year.
And I also hope that Rory finds or found someone who can live up to the father figure she had in Luke Danes.

The Shows Are Strong

Fall is here. And that means pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes and brand new seasons of television. Here’s what I’m watching (in no particular order!) Proceed with caution…there be spoilers ahead.

Gotham

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Dear Fox, way to turn this dud around.

Last season really dipped around the 5th or 6th episode. The best parts of the show were the rough and tumble portrayal of Alfred (played by Sean Pertwee), the crazed penguin (played by Robin Taylor) and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Fish Mooney (Jada can do no wrong!) I have a very soft spot in my heart for Ben McKenzie so I always liked him, but Barbara Kean (played by Erin Richards) was completely unbearable.

Gotham suffered from high expectations (much like season 1 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) When telling the story of a pre-Batman Gotham, you have to raise the bar pretty high. Enter season 2 and the Rise of the Villains plot line. Barbara Kean was imprisoned for killing her parents and in the season premier she and all the rest of the crazy-pants inmates of Arkham Asylum have been let loose to roam the city and spread their special brand of mayhem. Yes Please!

And that’s not even mentioning Cory Michael Smith’s, Edward Nygma, who has been turning out strong pre-Riddler performances since day 1. Now in season 2 he is getting a chance to spread his insane wings and begin the process of learning to fly! Double yes please!

Minority Report

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This show has a lot of potential. The movie Minority Report (let’s not forget that it came out 13 years ago…) sets the pilot of this show up in a post Precrime world. The precogs are no longer being used to predict crimes. But the youngest precog, Dash (played by the delightful Stark Sands) still gets visions and has been trying to use them, rather unsuccessfully, to save lives. Along comes Detective Lara Vega to give him direction. Definitely one to put on your watch list.

Once Upon a TIme

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Talk about coming in with a BANG!

After the events of season 4 and the savior going dark, it was truly promising to be an interesting turn of events and Sunday’s premier did not disappoint. What I loved most was that ABC decided to start slow with Emma’s decent into darkness. Lots of delicious set ups for the season ahead including harkening back to season 1’s memory wipe plot line. Very excited to see where this season is going to take us. If you’re behind on the show, catch up on Netflix. There’s always time to catch up!

The Walking Dead

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I just binge-watched season 5. And season 6 doesn’t start till Sunday, October 11th. If you aren’t caught up, there’s plenty of time and it’s worth the watch. I’m expecting great things from the new season!

Agents of SHIELD

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Yes! Yes! Yes!

The events of season 2 were so compelling and this new season (premiering tonight on ABC) promises not to disappoint. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been a dark horse at times, but the Marvel team knows the gem it has on it’s hands and when the going gets tough they bring in the big guns. Which brings us to the Inhumans and the birth of Quake! Pumped for this premiere!

Heroes Reborn

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It’s true. Heroes had a rocky last 2 seasons ending in it’s cancellation, but Heroes Reborn is here to fill the void left in our hearts after the end of Heroes. Last week’s 2 hour season premier was incredibly strong. New characters mixed with old favorites and a Brave New World is finally being realized. One to watch!

The Mindy Project

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Thank goodness for Hulu, who swooped in at the last minute to rescue The Mindy Project from cancellation hell. With Mindy and Danny expecting a baby, it was just too ripe for comedy to miss and Hulu knew what it was doing! The first 2 episodes were Mindy at her best, charming…neurotic and chock full of funny. With wonderful guest starrings from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kunal Nayyar in episode 1 alone, season 3 of Mindy is bound to bring joy to everyone still watching…and you should definitely still be watching!

Arrow

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Arrow’s premier doesn’t air till Wednesday, October 7th. But season 2 left off with Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak riding off towards the sunset and away from Starling City. Season 3’s promos show Oliver on the verge of proposal (I might be one of the few humans who don’t ship Ollicity) being called back into active duty as The Arrow. With a new costume and the DC team gearing up for the premier of Legends of Tomorrow in 2016, this season of Arrow promises lots of action and even more of all that we love about the show already!

The Flash

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I may love Arrow, but I LOVE The Flash! The Flash brings a levity to the world of superhero-ing. Season 1 was the strongest performance of last season (if you ask me) and I am eagerly anticipating the premier of season 2 on Tuesday, October 6th.

Doctor Who

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I have to admit. The 12th Doctor’s story lines haven’t exactly won me over yet. But this new season starts with an epic guitar solo and a return of a favorite villain, the Daleks. With the Doctor’s current companion, Clara, on her way out and the eager anticipation of the one and only River Song (played by Alex Kingston) I’m ready to finally let the Doctor win my heart. (Probably just in time to have to say goodbye. That’s how this works!)

Supergirl

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Out of all the new shows this season, I am most excited to see CBS’s Supergirl. There have been mixed reviews so far. With the Superhero meets Devil Wears Prada angle in play, it could easily go either way. But I find that angle to be interesting and I find Melissa Benoit charming. So I have high hopes.

The Big Bang Theory

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What a way to start the new season of The Big Bang Theory, This show can at times be a little tired as it plays on the age old story of nerds who can’t get the girls. But Leonard and Penny have just tied the knot but there’s trouble in paradise only hours after tying the knot and Amy has broken up with Sheldon. So the stories do seem promising and I’ve always found the show (especially Jim Parson’s Sheldon) rather hilarious! I’ve already tuned in to the first 2 eps and I can’t wait to see where they take Amy and Sheldon’s relationship!

What are you watching this season and what are you enjoying so far?? Let me know in the comments below or come connect with me on social media!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 17

Day 17 – Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie

Out of all the classic 50’s and 60’s TV shows, I think I Dream of Jeannie is probably my favorite one. Sure, it wasn’t exactly a tale of women’s liberation. But Barbara Eden as Jeannie was delightful and her never ending efforts to end up with Major Nelson made for very funny television. Plus she was pushing the fashion envelope at the time with her harem pants and crop top! Gotta love a genie with good fashion sense!

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I won’t be saying “Yes, Master” all day, but I will try to grant as many wishes as are within my power! Making people happy sounds like fun! (within reason… don’t get fresh!)

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Your wish is my command!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 15

Day 15: Kimmy Gibbler from Full House

A couple months ago, the news broke that Netflix and John Stamos were working on a Full House spin off, Fuller House. Not only will Candace Cameron Bure’s, DJ Tanner be coming back to the small screen,  but her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and of course, DJ’s best fried, the one and only Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barbara) will return as well. (Is anyone else as excited for this show as I am??)

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The key to Kimmy Gibbler hair is stacked scrunchies and volume. If you have curly hair, let it run free. If you have straighter hair, tease that sucker till it stands on it’s own. Then stack those scrunchies on top of your head and bam… you are officially rocking the Kimmy Gibbler.

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30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 14

Day 14: Gidget from Gidget

With summer fast approaching (summer officially begins on Sunday, June 21st), one can’t help but think of sunny beaches, surfer waves and summer swimwear. Gidget is the perfect avatar for the summer season. Her gee-golly gosh goodness will get you ready to do the Twist!

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To perfect your summer Gidget hair, you’ll need bangs, pigtails and white or pink ribbon. Then you’ll be ready for some fun in the sun!!!

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