I watch way too many series for my own good. I usually watch series while sewing, since they keep me company without being too much of a distraction from my handiwork. Since you can multitask watching series much more easily than by reading, I’ve noticed my time watching series now exceeds my time reading, which is quite a big shift for me!
I confess I sometimes watch stupid things, but my new addiction also made me discover great things. Since fall is back, and always makes me want to curl under a plaid with a cup of tea, I figured I could share some of them here…
- I like retro series (no surprises here); although I’m told it’s very popular in England, elsewhere, Call the midwife doesn’t seem as famous as Mad men or Downton abbey. The show tells the day-to-day stories of young midwives and nuns in Poplar, London’s poorest district at the beginning of the baby boom, in the early fifties. Costumes are not exactly as inspiring as they could be for this decade, but that’s not the point. It’s a bit too goody-goody for my taste and it often seems like delivering babies in the fifties only took five minutes, but I really learned a few things watching it (I also often cry a lot, but usually that’s just me)!
- Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries is almost burlesque in comparison: the honourable Phryne Fisher, lady detective, is the improbable child of Miss Marple and James bond. Filthy rich and superbly dressed, she travels across Australia fighting crimes and seducing beautiful men. What’s more to ask?
- I must admit I don’t sew this much while watching Penny dreadful. It’s too well-written, well-directed, and the actors are way too good (Eva Green rocks) to miss a second. I think it recycles old themes (about anything you could find in any gothic production, whatever its quality) with a new, fresh and very well-documented perspective. If you’re interested, Den of geeks wrote very complete articles about the cultural context of the series, as well as its literary references (there’s plenty more, but I’d rather not spoil you…)
- On the contrary, I don’t mind doing plenty other things when watching Nashville, because I’m not exactly fond of soaps. Yet, he show certainly has other assets: Connie Britton! Country music! Country music outfits! I’m a sucker for golden outfits, sequins, rhinestones, and santiags. My French sense of understated style has quite suffered from it: I hold the show responsible for the purchase of, not only a tambourine (I blame the talented Clare Bowen for this one), but also of rainbow snake boots and half a golden biker jacket (Mick Jagger is responsible for the other half).
- Another show that makes me buy funny clothes: Steven universe! I recommend it just as much as Penny dreadful, maybe even more. I know it’s for children, but the characters are so good I’ve grown very fond of them. I always find myself singing the show’s excellent songs (many are played on the ukulele) during the day, and ended up buying quite a lot of star-printed clothes and accessories since Steven and the crystal gems wear a lot of them, and I secretly want to be one of them, of course. If you’re not convinced, here is the opening song (it’s so, so good!).
- Let’s allow ourselves a little trip down memory lane: if your rainy Sunday afternoon blues makes you prone to binge-watching, I recommend the Borgias (the actors! the pictures! the costumes!), Scrubs (John Dorian, you’re my hero), Parks & Recreations (I can never find out whether this show is funny because it’s absurd, or because it’s so relevant. Probably both), or, less famous, Bunheads (I love Amy Sherman-Palladino, her cute small towns and fast-paced dialogues). No more Sunday afternoon blues for you.