Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thank Goodness We're Living in the Golden Age of Television






I feel like I've been writing lately about things that really stink here in our current time in history. Politics, the news, Donald Trump, etc. etc, etc.

But you know what makes things a tiny bit better? What makes living in this day and age a treat? The fact that we're living in the Golden Age of Television, people!

We've got streaming, on demand viewing of whole series of television shows. The shows themselves have production values that easily rival movies and sometimes surpass them. We are getting great British tv on this side of the pond like never before! It's a great time to be alive!

This week on the podcast we chatted about some of the shows we've most enjoyed lately but I thought I'd touch on a couple more that you might like to check out, or might not, so here goes!





Better Call Saul

I'm a Better Call Saul evangelist. I know it's not as flashy or dramatic or violent as it's older brother Breaking Bad, but the quality of storytelling is just brilliant. I feel that this show is really a story told almost in the form of a novel, where there is a big overarching plot, but that it's told in very specific tightly written episodes. It explores the characters in depth and brings them to live so vividly. I honestly feel like the characters are real people and am strongly emotionally attached to them. As the show continues now after the completion of the second season, it's clear that it's a very nuanced telling of the story of the Prodigal Son from different aspects which only adds to the enjoyment of the show. Please watch it!





Daredevil

I know there are approximately 3.4 million superhero shows/movies out there and it really is ridiculous to ask you to care about another one, but Daredevil is really the most Catholic superhero out there who routinely struggles with big issues in a Catholic way. This show is violent and adult, but it also is well written and acted and is worth a watch even if you don't usually go in for the superhero show. The second season recently aired on Netflix and this is a satisfying show to binge watch.





Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I was a big fan of the first season of Kimmy, and although I felt that the second season dipped into morally relativistic territory unnecessarily, it was still pretty hilarious. It's a completely zany sense of humour surrounding a girl who lived the past 15 years in the bunker of a crazy cult leader who is now trying to make a new life for herself in New York. The story itself works great surprisingly, but it might not be everyone's brand of humour.




Cooked

I don't just watch hilariously frivolous comedies! This 4 part documentary series airing on Netflix by author Michael Pollan is beautifully done. It's visually stunning and really brings the importance of our food and what it means to humanity to light in a very watchable way but with none of the pretensions and condescension other food documentaries are rife with. Really recommend this one!



Home Fires

I also mentioned this BBC miniseries that also aired on Masterpiece this past fall on the podcast but I thought I should mention it again because I found it a really cozy British series very similar to Foyle's War. It tells the stories of the women of a small town during the beginning of the Second World War. The women of the community are members of the Women's Institute and make efforts towards the war in different ways, but also support each other in such a difficult time. By the third episode I really appreciated how it told the stories wholly from the women's perspectives. Their various marriages, how it felt to support a family alone while their husbands were gone, what it meant to have a son called up, dealing with the changes in their own community. The acting is great and there are only a couple hokey storylines - promise!



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8 comments:

  1. Loved Home Fires (ha- I keep wanting to say 'home fries'), and wish we had Netflix still if only to watch Cooked!

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  2. I just blogged about how much I love "Call the Midwife," which I binge-watched on Netflix during the days that I was visiting my youngest son in March (he is stationed in Germany). When he had charge of the remote during after-work hours, we watched his pick--"Daredevil."

    As the mother of all boys, I've had to watch a lot of superhero/action/adventure shows and movies, and I've learned to like them; but I've never seen one where the hero is a Catholic and struggles with the morality of his actions because of his Faith. Both my husband and I became big fans of the show!

    I think you're on to something here: we no longer have to mindlessly watch whatever the networks are offering; we can choose to watch the shows we love.

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    1. And I can't wait to get into "Home Fires"!

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  3. I love Daredevil!!! I'm so glad that you enjoy it, too. My only complaint is that I want a season 3, but it doesn't look like that will happen in the near future since Marvel has all these other Netflix shows to make (though the show focused on Punisher should be really interesting, I think). I love how fantasticly the Catholicism is portrayed.

    I tried to watch Kimmy Schmidt in the first season about a year ago, and parts of it I liked, but it was not exactly my brand of show, I guess. Love the concept, I think Kimmy is awesome, and I really, really wanted to love the show, but some of the sexual references and types of humor weren't doing it for me. It's all good though, like you pointed out, there are so many great shows out there for people to enjoy, and there's really something for everybody!

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  4. We just started better call Saul and my husband who is television ambivalent LOVES it!! Gonna check out the others. Great podcast, as always!

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  5. Why are the British so much better at TV??? We will have to check out Home Fries.

    I haven't listened to the podcast (yet? depending on how things go... writing a column due Monday/procrastinating while babies sleep/trying to keep my house from being a disaster...), so I don't know if you discussed Endeavour?? Please say yes. It is the BEST. I heart Joan Thursday forever. And in this past season, which in the US can only be watched illegally (don't worry, ITV, I will BUY it when it is available), Fred Thursday's line, "Free Love. Hmf. In my experience, that's the most expensive kind of love there is." (What kind of American show would have a good character say that, and the storyline bear it out? None. They are still too busy promoting that lifestyle.) Anyway, Endeavour forever. In the meantime, will check out Home Fires.

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  6. This post is so helpful because I constantly keep rotating my fav shows on Netflix but something new...I'll have to add Kimmy Schmidt to my list, that sounds hysterical!

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  7. I've tried Daredevil twice, and can't get into it. Which makes me mad, because I want to love it!
    And I totally agree with you on Kimmy- this second season just lost the...idk...sparkle that the first season had.
    Lastly, Cooked! So good!

    -Cari, because I'm not really sure whose account I'm logged in under.

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