Reviews

TV SHOWS TAG

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.

FAVORITE 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.

FAVORITE GENRE?

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 😉

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21 thoughts on “TV SHOWS TAG

  1. I love TV but with work and reading I don’t seem to have a lot of time to watch it. I tend to gravitate toward the familiar, binge watching shows I’ve seen over and over again, but reluctant to try anything new. I need to break out of that, I know I’m missing a lot! And I absolutely hated Snowpiercer, I got through two episodes and called it quits😝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t watch a lot of TV these days, but one show I keep wanting to rewatch is Wakakozake, a Japanese show I found on crunchyroll. It’s such a simple show, a young female office worker who loves to spend her free time eating and drinking in local restaurants. There isn’t much plot to it, though they occasionally try to fit one it. It’s almost an advertisement for the local food establishments in Japan. But I absolutely love it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw only a few scattered episodes of SG-Atlantis, and while it looked interesting, I could not get around the (usual) substandard dubbing: should Amazon Prime include Atlantis in its viewing offer, I will certainly give it a try with – finally! – the original language

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Italian.
          And – sadly – the whole Stargate franchise has suffered greatly by substandard translation and dubbing: there was a list of the translation horrors perpetrated on SG-1 somewhere, and I still shudder remembering some of them…

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve significantly cut down on my consumption of TV series to make room for more movies but I did find it fascinating how dystopian tales require more “digestion” time for you! Do you find the visual medium to make the stories way more realistic and frightening than what your mind creates when reading these kinds of stories? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that the visual component does indeed make descriptions more immediate: when one reads, there is a sort of… detachment (for want of a better word), and what we conjure in our minds remains sort of nebulous, while watching any given situation on a screen gives it an immediacy that can be harder to bear.

      Like

  4. I have a watching overload lately, so don’t watch TV at all, instead watching my husband play Jedi:Fallen Order 😉 But I did love The Queen’s Gambit!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t tend to sit down on a regular basis to watch TV so I’m more often inclined to binge watch something when I’m enjoying it – which of course distracts me from whatever happens to be my current read. I loved Pawn’s Gambit and haven’t seen Inventing Anna so given how much our tastes cross I’ll have to look that one up. I also love cookery programmes – and OMG The Golden Girls – so funny!
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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