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!
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.
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!
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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