TV Shows To Binge Watch

Looking for a new TV show to get into? Well, in no particular order, here’s some of my favorite shows to binge watch.

Orange Is The New Black

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Who hasn’t heard of this show? It’s about a woman named Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) who is serving a year in a women’s prison for a crime she committed 10 years previously. The show is raunchy – don’t let the kids anywhere near it – but it is also touching and heartbreaking. The actresses are amazing. Once you start watching you won’t want to stop. There are currently two seasons available on Netflix. The third will premiere in 2015.

Top Of The Lake

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This is actually a miniseries. It stars Elizabeth Moss as a detective in New Zealand who takes on the case of a 12 year old pregnant girl named Tui who has tried to kill herself. She finds herself embroiled in the secrets of her small hometown as the investigation proceeds.

The show is written and directed by Jane Campion – she of The Piano fame – and Holly Hunter has role here, too. While I found Holly Hunter’s part to be largely incidental to the plot, over all the show is compelling. It’s available on Netflix.

As a side note, Elizabeth Moss could be Gillian Anderson’s sister. Get on that, Hollywood.

Covert Affairs

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Piper Perabo plays Annie Walker, a newly minted covert CIA agent. She’s gifted with languages and thinks on her feet. The show is currently in its fifth season and it keeps getting better and better. My only problems with the show are that Annie wears THE MOST impractical shoes for spy work and insists on wearing RED when she’s tailing someone. YEESH, Annie. Otherwise it’s well plotted and there’s lots of eye candy. It’s available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Doctor Who

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My husband makes fun of me for watching this show because I despise time travel episodes of Star Trek and yet this show is nothing but time travel. Basic premise: The Doctor is the last of the Time Lords traveling the universe in his TARDIS. That stands for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space.” It looks like a police call box and it’s bigger on the inside.

He travels with a companion – a human woman who shares his adventures and often acts as a grounding influence. His companion changes several times over the course of the show. Also, The Doctor can regenerate and when he does he looks different. Hence the constantly changing actors.

I started with The Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, and have watched everything since. Nine is my favorite; Ten a close second. I never really warmed to Eleven. I’m liking Twelve a lot. The show is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Outlander

Outlander

This show is based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon and the show takes its name from the title of the first book. The story follows Claire Randall, an English combat nurse from 1945, who travels backward in time via the stones at an ancient stone circle in Scotland. She lands in 1743.

Her time in the past leads her to marry a young Scottish laird named Jamie and then to fall deeply in love with him – despite being married in 1945. The books follow their story both in the past and the present.

I admit, I didn’t want to like this show. There are currently 8 very long books published which I quit reading somewhere around book 6 because they were getting ridiculous. I was unconvinced that making this show was a good idea. Also, I was unconvinced by some of the casting based on what I knew to be in the books. However, the first book is the best and so far they are holding closely to the plot of the book. The actress who plays Claire and the actor who plays Jamie have great chemistry. The costumes and sets are amazing and it’s just a very well done and captivating show. It airs on Starz.

The Legend of Korra

Korra

This is a sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you’ve never seen Avatar you should go forth and binge on that, too.

The Legend of Korra is set some 70 years after the events of Avatar and follows the new Avatar, Korra. There are four seasons of this show and each one has a plot arc that stretches the length of the season. It is easily some of the most engaging and best plotted TV around and it’s a show the whole family will enjoy. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is animated – it’s worth your time.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is available on Amazon Prime. Season 1 of Korra is also available via Amazon Prime; seasons 2-4 are available to purchase for streaming. Season 4 is also available for free on the Nickelodeon website.

Beware the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie directed by M. Night Shlamalamadingdong. It’s terrible. REALLY, REALLY AWFUL. You don’t want to watch it. Stick to the animated series.

Veronica Mars

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If you missed this show when it was on TV (like I did), don’t miss it now. Kristen Bell plays Veronica Mars – the daughter of the (former) town sheriff turned private investigator. In her spare time, she works cases with her Dad. Oh, and did I mention her best friend was murdered and she’s determined to catch the killer?

The show has a bit of a Buffy, The Vampire Slayer feel to it while being a totally different show from Buffy. It lasted 3 seasons and ended before anyone was really ready to see it go. So, they made a movie (“Veronica Mars”). There’s also been one novella published, written by show writer/director Rob Thomas, with a second due out next year.

The show, the movie, the book – they are ALL good. The show is available on Amazon Prime. The movie is available to purchase for streaming. You can get the book in various formats via Amazon.

What shows do you like to binge watch? Got any good suggestions for me?

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Spit Take

Remember this post?

This morning’s installment came from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in which Daisy informed Mickey that she “loves playing pretend doctor!!”

Do you think she and Donald indulge in a little BDSM back at the nest?

This Is Not Your Parents Looney Tunes

We’re TV addicts in this house and my kids watch a fair amount of TV. Liam likes to watch kiddie shows when he gets up in the morning and on days that he doesn’t have pre-school I generally let him watch about an hour and a half of programming. I will also let him watch one movie per day. Yes, it sounds like a lot but it doesn’t keep him from being so smart he scares me and it doesn’t seem to make him hyperactive so I don’t really have a problem with it. We try to watch Playhouse Disney, PBS Kids, or Noggin so we make an attempt for his TV watching to be educational.

Of course this means that I get tortured by children’s TV programming every. single. day. If you name the show, I have probably seen at least one episode of it. Except Yo Gabba Gabba. That shit scares me.

I’ve noticed lately that either the people that come up with kids TV are just oblivious or they are intentionally slipping in stuff to makes the parents go “oh hell, they did not just say that did they?”

A few examples:

  • Handy Manny. Manny Garcia and his nine tools live in the town of Sheetrock Hills and they help out the townspeople great and small with their handyman type problems. Included in the cast of characters is Kelly, the owner of the local hardware store. If you watch the show enough you will see that Kelly always has *just* what Manny needs. The most esoteric part for your project? Yep, Kelly’s got it. And they shove it in your face, too! “Kelly, you always have what we need!” Yeah, she’s always got what Manny needs. In her pants.
  • Special Agent Oso (Creepy): A turquoise and yellow panda bear (the fuck?) who in James Bond fashion helps little kids out with their problems. Well, James Bond minus the booze and broads. They even go so far as to parody Bond titles and sing Shirley Bassey-esque themes. This morning I was treated to an episode entitled “My Cousin’s Special Salad.” Ok, that’s not even subtle anymore! The dialogue even got as a far as “I better toss this salad fast!” and “Hey! You’re tossing the salad!” and “You used salad forks to toss the salad!” (um, ow?) I mean, that’s just blatant.
  • Max and Ruby: Two bunny rabbits who seem to live back in the Little House age, have no parental supervision to speak of, and Ruby is a total busybody that Max has to find a way to circumvent every time. For each episode Max says one word over and over while the oblivious Ruby keeps not understanding his meaning. In one episode she tells Max “No, Max, no one gets in Grandma’s special box.” EXCUSE ME?!
  • Franklin: This one is about a turtle named Franklin and all his forest friends – none of whom have real names, they just go by Bear, Possum, etc. There is a girl character by the name of Beaver (I know!) and she is aptly named because she is a total See You Next Tuesday. But, come on! You had to have a character named BEAVER?!

I can’t figure out if they’re trying to be like Looney Tunes which are funny to kids and even funnier to adults but honestly? They are totally missing the mark if that’s what they’re going for. Looney Tunes had style, it was double entendre of the highest order. This stuff? Pains me. It really does.

So, I usually spend the morning trying not to do a spit take with my coffee while the TV is on.