Friday, June 9, 2017

What I'm Watching: 6 Small-Screen Obsessions

Cast of the OC posing under an umbrella at sunset

I haven't gotten as much reading done this year as I did in 2016 (have you been following my monthly recaps?) & I blame a lot of it on TV. I don't keep up on many current shows - & in fact, since we moved, we haven't even plugged in our TV - but I do have a tendency to binge-watch mindless TV shows during the day & to keep them on while I blog at night. 

While I'd like to be doing more reading, I'm not going to be too hard on myself about it, either. TV is art, too, right? Or, um, something? 

Ahem. Here's what's been showing on my iPad lately - until the new season of Orange is the New Black came out, at least. How 'bout you?

The O.C.

It's about time, I know - but when this show first aired in 2002, I was still too loyal to the final season of Dawson's Creek to give the hip new replacement show a try. Now, I think I've proven my loyalty... & I'm loving this early-aughts, new-era vintage show. I already knew a lot of the general cultural references; it's a lot of fun to get to know the characters behind them. And Adam Brody as geeky-hot Seth Cohen  is way more swoon-worthy than I'd ever realized. Pacey who?

The Handmaid's Tale

Are you watching this Hulu original? You need to be watching this. I never read the book & so, truth be told, I thought it was, like, some Jane Austen-style stuff. I had no idea it was dystopian! It centers around Offred, formerly June, who is one of the few remaining childbearing women in Gilead, formerly the U.S., which has been overtaken by religious zealots. As a handmaiden, Offred's sole responsibility is to bear children for Fred, the man to whom she is assigned; they have sex once a month while she lies between his wife's legs. Yeah, it's effed up.

Mommy Dead and Dearest

I'm not usually one for documentaries, but when I heard about this HBO special, I knew I had to watch it. I've long been fascinated by the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, the seemingly loving mother who, for years, claimed that her daughter Gypsy Rose suffered from a number of significant medical ailments. After Dee Dee's brutal murder at the hands of Gypsy's online boyfriend, psychologists came to believe that Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen by Proxy, actually making her daughter ill in order to garner sympathy & attention. Gypsy, now perfectly healthy, is serving 10 years in jail.

Big Little Lies

I couldn't get into the book, but after watching the seven-episode HBO miniseries, I may have to try again because damn, this show was amazing. So dark, so twisted, so much going on. It tells the interwoven stories of a handful of women in a particular town, all of whom have children of the same age in school together, & it follows them through friendships, abuse, parenting, adultery, divorce, & more. I don't want to give too much away, but as a viewer who typically likes neither Nicole Kidman nor Shailene Woodley, I'll say this: They've made believers outta me. The acting is straight-up phenomenal on all counts.

The Bachelorette

Much to my chagrin, I'm a longtime lover/hater of the Bachelor/ette franchise, & so of course I'm watching Rachel Lindsey's much-anticipated season as both the first Black Bachelorette and the oldest Bachelorette. She's so freaking normal, & as usual, half these guys are bananas - yet, here I am, tuning in week after week. The fact that both the Whaboom guy & the self-proclaimed "Tickle Monster" made it past the first rose ceremony doesn't say much for Rachel's judgment (see also: Kevin Durant), but I'm hopeful. And so far, I'm solidly on Team Dean.

Charmed

I didn't tune in to this magical WB fave when it originally ran, but a couple months ago, I started watching it during the workday & boy, is it ever campy. It's a little too campy, frankly, but I'm still really enjoying making my way through all eight freaking seasons. So many bad outfits, so much cheesy dialogue, so many corny special effects! There are also some great & unexpected cameos: Eric Dane (of Grey's "McSteamy" fame), Kerr Smith (Jack from Dawson's Creek), & even 98°'s own Nick Lachey.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

As a longtime fan of the original Criminal Minds, I was thrilled to see this spinoff, led by Gary Sinise, get a second season. It follows the FBI's International Rescue Team, tasked with looking into the murders & disappearances of Americans traveling abroad. While it doesn't have quite the same charm & panache (yet?) as the original, it's a worthy complement, & I especially love when the two series' story-lines cross over. Unfortunately, it got canceled just as I got caught up. Figures.

What should be next on my list? Tell me what you're watching! 


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