Even though I have been a relentless bookworm since I first learned to read, I am also quite partial to the… visual arts, particularly TV shows (and movies, why not?), so for this tag, for which I am once again indebted to a fellow blogger (link HERE), I will step away from books and talk a bit about TV shows.
I would have to say, anything that grabs my attention with depth, thought-provoking themes or engaging storytelling and often compels me to watch more than one episode at a time – which is nowadays made easier thanks to Netflix & Co. unless we’re talking about some of my old-time favorites, like Babylon5 or Farscape or Firefly, whose DVDs hold pride of place on the dedicated shelves.
Streaming platforms gave me the opportunity of considerably broadening my horizons, so I enjoyed series like Vikings, Versailles or The Crown, which have spanned many different genres and stories.
On TV I tend to gravitate between SF and Crime/Thriller, with a few forays into horror, which also mirrors my usual reading tastes, but sometimes I encounter other shows that are out of my “comfort zone” but nonetheless encourage some binge watching, like the recent Inventing Anna, which tells the true story of a very successful swindler posing as a heiress and entrepreneur, or The Queen’s Gambit, about a prodigy chess player.
Thinking about it, I probably don’t have a favorite genre as far as TV shows are concerned: what truly matters is the story and the way it’s told and portrayed – if I can be drawn into it like it happens with books, then it’s a good one.
LEAST FAVORITE SHOW?
I’m going to bend the rules a little here, and rather speak of the shows I somewhat enjoy but don’t feel compelled to binge watch: one such example is The Handmaid’s Tale, inspired by Margaret Haywood’s famous novel, which I read several years ago. Dystopian tales end up being less… palatable (for want of a better word) when filmed: I can read the books, but somehow seeing these stories on a screen makes them harder to bear, so I tend to let some time elapse between viewings, probably to… better metabolize the darkness.
The same goes, to offer another example, for Snow Piercer: I was not overwhelmed by the original movie, and decided to watch the TV show only because I read some positive reviews, and it’s a good one, granted, but once again I can tolerate “screen grimness” only in small doses.
MOST REWATCHED SHOW/FAVORITE SHOW TO BINGE WATCH?
Having already mentioned some of my favorite shows, I have of course to add The Expanse to the list, as a very successful translation from the book series: these are the kind of shows that feel always fresh and engrossing even through repeated watchings.
A recent revisitation of the new Battlestar Galactica proved to work better than my first viewing, and of course I quite enjoyed retracing my steps through the various Star Trek incarnations once I subscribed to Netflix: oldies but goodies always work…
And last but not least, these days I am enjoying a walk down Memory Lane with Stargate SG-1 on Amazon: no matter how predictable and cheesy the stories might be, they offer what most modern SF shows lack, a bit of optimism – and these days we need that, badly.
DO YOU PREFER WATCHING THINGS WEEK-BY-WEEK OR BINGE-WATCHING?
Something in the middle: streaming TV made me impatient so that the wait for new episodes on a weekly basis has become harder, but on the other hand, I’m unable to watch more than 2 – 3 episodes of the same show at the same time, because I need variety and – let’s face it – sitting still in front of a screen for too long is NOT advisable… 🙂
FAVORITE TELEVISION CHARACTERS?
I would have to list practically the whole cast of The Expanse, with special attention to female figures like dragon lady Avasarala or Bobbie Draper, the determined Martian marine, or again Camina Drummer with her hard-nosed attitude, without forgetting Naomi Nagata whose strengths might be less apparent but can certainly stand on the same level as those of the other characters I mentioned.
FAVORITE TELEVISION SHIPS?
None that come to mind, but mostly because I’m not very romantically inclined – you know, grumpy old lady and all that… 😉
SHOWS YOU COULD NEVER GET INTO?
One of my more recent DNFs, as far as TV series go, is Another Life: the premise was an intriguing one, concerning the journey of an Earth crew to investigate the origins of a mysterious artifact that appeared on our planet, but the story felt too confusing and the characters did not inspire my sympathy, so I abandoned it after a few episodes.
SHOWS YOU FELL OUT OF LOVE WITH?
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: this one started with the proverbial bang, a show that was both well written and well portrayed, graced by funny characters and witty, sarcastic wordplay, but unfortunately it did not seem able to sustain this kind of excellence for long, and after the first two seasons I left it by the wayside.
CANCELLED TOO SOON?
Firefly and Stargate Universe are the two most notorious examples of this category, and now I might add The Expanse, which was not given the renewal necessary to cover the last three books of the series. Although for this one there is still some glimmer of hope…
GUILTY PLEASURE SHOW?
Anything to do with cooking: I love to spend time in the kitchen trying out new recipes to share with family and friends, so every time I see someone busy in a kitchen while zapping through channels, I stop and watch. And maybe learn something… 🙂
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WATCHING?
I’ve recently discovered an older, but still delightfully fresh, show from the mid-80s called The Golden Girls, focusing on a quartet of older ladies sharing a home: the dialogues make me laugh out loud several times in each episode, and I love the interactions between the four of them.
As I said I’m rewatching the whole Stargate SG-1 series, slowly moving through Snow Piercer and Supernatural (nice, but only in small doses) while consuming with some alacrity the older episodes of Chicago PD. As a rule, I try not to balance too many shows at the same time, because I still want to keep reading my books, of course! And last but not least, this past Friday the first episode of the second season of Picard aired, and it looks promising, so I’m again onboard for the journey…
Are you fond of your TV shows? If so, share your preferences: inquiring minds want to know 😉