I don’t watch a lot of TV. That doesn’t mean I don’t like watching TV. I’m actually a big fan; I can watch a Fixer Upper marathon with the best of them. But a few years ago, somewhere around the arrival of the third child, I realized that I needed to become more intentional with my limited time and energy. (Sidenote: The book Essentialism helped me embrace the idea that less is more, and I highly recommended it if you’re feeling pulled in a million different directions.)
If I’m going to invest in a television series, it has to suck me in right away. Toss in some complex characters and I’m hooked. Typically, I only watch one show at a time, and it’s usually a television series everyone else started watching a long time ago. (What did we do before Netflix?) But recently, I’ve found myself in a rare and interesting place: I’m currently very sucked in—and quite possibly addicted—to not one show, but three.
The first is Scandal. The bad guys are likable, and the good guys are bad guys, so it messes with my mind. All of that corruption adds a nice edge to my sunny and optimistic outlook on life. And I’m okay with that. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first—lots of fast-talking and I couldn’t keep up. Which is ironic because I never had trouble understanding the chatty banter between the Gilmore Girls. Scandal is most definitely not the Gilmore Girls; it’s moody, intense, and quite violent. It took about one whole minute to cross over to the dark side, and I have two words to explain why: Olivia Pope. If a hit man is coming after me, I want her on my side is all I’m saying.
Still, I need some humor to balance out all of the cold-blooded killing. Enter: Grace and Frankie. I’m in love with this Netflix Original series and its all-star cast. I’m particularly crazy about Grace, played by Jane Fonda. I’m fascinated by Grace’s evolution over the course of the first two seasons and how you can see her heart underneath her stuck-up-yet-gorgeous (and sometimes drunk) façade. In one episode, Frankie, played by the amazing Lily Tomlin, asks Grace, “Are you okay?” and she replies, “I’ve learned to have a flexible definition of okay.” I filed that line away for later use; I can totally relate. My husband’s favorite is Grace’s sarcastic and snarky daughter, Brianna. She’s laugh out loud funny. Buzz Feed agrees.
Finally, This is Us. Please pass the tissue, because this show has all the feelings. I’m inclined to say it’s the new Parenthood, but This is Us is in a league of its own. If you’ve seen your friends being all dramatic about it on Facebook and want to find out why This is Us is so special, you need to watch from the beginning. The writers have brilliantly blended a complicated family’s past and present, and it says so much about who we all are as humans, the history that shapes us, and the forces that drive us apart and bring us back together again.
The only complaint I have about all of these show is that I’m completely caught up. Waiting for new episodes is a special kind of torture. It is essential that I find out what happens next.
What are you watching and loving lately?