I’ve done a post like this a couple of times over the past…uh…two decades I’ve been posting blog entries. (Falls over, cries.) It’s been fun to look back to see what I was watching in, say, 1998. And of course, with all the changes in the way we get TV over the past five years, what one person is watching may be completely different than what another person is. In fact, the television available to two people may be completely different.
One reason is: We don’t have cable. We haven’t had cable for six years now. When we moved into the rental house (while our current house was being remodeled), I said, “Can we try not having cable?” and my husband went along with it. We don’t watch live sports, which is one reason this was doable in the first place. We have, until a few months ago, gotten all of our TV shows via iTunes and Netflix. Now we have HBO Now too.
What we’ve been watching over the past couple of months, in no particular order:
- The Simpsons: Yes. Still. There have been enough funny moments to make it worth it. And it’s one of the few shows the entire family can watch together without rolling our eyes or one member walking out of the room.
- Steven Universe: The kids are CRAZY about this show and I really like it. It’s both weirdly charming and deeply subversive, with some really great songs along the way. (Garnet’s my favorite, OF COURSE.)
- Brooklyn 99: This show was incredibly hilarious the first season. Not as hilarious the second season, but
- Agent Carter: I can name 99 problems with this show, and we don’t care: we love, love, love Agent Carter and are so happy it’s coming back this year. Smart, kickass woman who’s all about her missions and not so much with making men love her? Love. Whenever we had several shows to choose from, if an episode of Agent Carter was available, it was always our first pick.
- Hannibal: I was a big fan of this the first two seasons, because it was strange and often beautiful — more than once I said, How did they film that? — and unconcerned with the minutiae of real police work. As show runner Bryan Fuller said, “It’s ‘reality-adjacent.'” However, this season…I don’t know, man. After episode two Darin said, “I shouldn’t have bought the whole season.” It’s just an unrelenting tone poem where everything people do is ridiculous and unbelievable and it’s tiresome. The cinematography is still amazing.
- Orphan Black: Dear showrunners: we care about the Tatiana Maslany clones. We don’t care about Castor. We don’t care about conspiracies. We want wackiness involving Alison and Felix. We had to wait two weeks to see the season finale and I didn’t even care. Not sure I’m in for next season, which appears to be more of the same. Free the Maslany!
- Game of Thrones: I tapped out on GOT season one, during Littlefinger’s archetypal sexposition speech. However, my daughter wanted to watch it, so Darin and I watched the whole last four seasons and then current Season Five with her. I still don’t like GOT — I like individual elements, like Tyrion Lannister (of course) and Jon Snow (of course) — but one thing watching the entire thing through from start to finish of S5 showed me: WOW does this show do structure. The end of Season 5 is the absolute end of “Act Two” in regular act structure: the bleakest moment, or how the thing would end if it were to end badly. (Or, if you’re in a tragedy, the end of Act Two is the best, most shining moment: which means, Boltons, you’re screwed.) TL;DR: Jon Snow is totally coming back, folks.
- Justified: That was a pretty good showending season, especially after the really not very good previous season. I’m going to miss this.
- True Detective: We got to this a year after everyone else (when it arrived on iTunes). I was underwhelmed even before we got to the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ending: pretentious, sexist, incoherent. Then we got to the ending and I’m like, whatevs. I have zero interest in Season Two. I’m pretty sure I like this Vanity Fair analysis of what’s going on in Season Two much more than I would like anything about the actual show.
- Scandal: I’ve been watching this via Netflix. The first three seasons were…uneven, to be kind. I liked the wackiness and the sheer unlikeliness of it, but then they introduced this godawful B13 plot. I started watching Season Four and thought, What in the hell is going on here? Everyone is acting terrible and awful, to a degree way beyond the first three seasons. One day Darin came home and I said, “I think I’m hate-watching this show.” So I’ve stopped, mid-Season Four. Sorry, folks.
- Agents of Shield: C’mon. Evil Agent Ward is hot! It’s been okay the second season. Again, one of the few shows on TV we can watch as a family. It’s crazy how few and far between they are these days.
- The Flash: Augh. AUGH. We all loved The Flash for the first couple of episodes. And then…they kept trying to make Barry/Iris happen, and frankly, it squicked all of us out, every single time. And then a couple of other things happened on the show, which made Darin say, “This is the same showrunner as Arrow, right?” We tapped out on Arrow during its first season, and for many of the same reasons we’re probably not in for Season Two.
(Actually, the “no particular order” thing turned out to be a total lie, because the further I got, the more I was like “I have got to come up with some shows I LIKE.”)
Some things Darin watches, but I haven’t:
- Silicon Valley: he likes it a lot.
- Adventure Time: Darin and the kids watch this. They all love it. (For reasons I won’t go into, I can’t stand this show, so I don’t watch it.)
- The Good Wife: he recaps this to me every week, in toto.
Show we loved the first season, watched one episode of the second season, and then never watched again:
- Sleepy Hollow: man, what happened there?