Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tube Obsessions

For some reason I always seem to be a little behind the eight ball when it comes to discovering fantastic television. Everybody around me, and usually my husband as well, will be on the train while I am out in the station parking lot. Eventually I start to see posts about (fill in the blank with said brilliant TV show) on Facebook and Twitter, then I ask Jürg if he watches the show, in which he usually replies "yes", then I ask if I will like it, in which he usually replies "possibly." Helpful.

I like to compartmentalize as many things in my life as possible. Order and routine, it's what makes my world go round. So when it comes to TV I choose to be very focused about what I will watch at any given time. When I love a show, I really love a show, and I get very invested in the story and characters. I can't spread myself too thin, these people need my full attention.

Since I always appreciate a good recommendation, I am here to share with you some of my recent and current TV obsessions.

I am not sure how I missed the Friday Night Lights train completely, but I didn't even hear about it until after the series finale when everyone and their mother was posting Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose. on their Facebook profiles. After a few more months I finally decided to watch it (perhaps on a Friday, I can't remember) with Jürg to see what it was all about. One episode and I was hooked. Within days I was doing anything I could to fit in an episode or two. I would scream at the television as if I was watching a live football game (and as if I actually cared about football for that matter) and I would find myself saying things like "Man, I wonder how they are gonna do next Friday against (fill in the blank with whatever team they were set to play)." I would become enraged when Coach Taylor was served any sort of injustice, prompting Jürg to remind me on several occasions "Blair, it's a TV show, there needs to be some drama."

This is going to sound incredibly far fetched and cheesy, but I stand behind it: Watching Friday Night Lights actually made me a better person. I'm not joking, this is how deeply the show touched me. I remember before I started the finale episode, I had tears streaming down my face and crying "I'm just not ready to day goodbye." I always knew it was fiction, but the people of Dillion, TX were real to me. That speaks volumes of the acting which took place on the show. If you have ever felt passionately about something, if you have ever been a parent, if you have ever been a teacher or coach, basically if you have ever lived FNL will touch you in some way.

I scoured YouTube for this speech, and this is the only video I could find. Please forgive the quality and the subtitles, but it's just a tiny example of how powerful the show can be.

Over Christmas break I tried to get my parents into the show and I am sad to say they haven't jumped on the bandwagon. According to them they just can't understand why people care so much about football.  I am confused how they can get behind shows where high school science teachers cook crystal meth, where Chicago mayors incriminate their own daughters and abuse their wives, and totally formulaic crime dramas where you can call the ending at the start of every program, and not behind a football team, but c'est la vie.

So basically over Christmas I learned that my parents have no soul. They are soul-less. I feel sad for them.

Speaking of Crystal Meth, despite my snarky comment above, Breaking Bad is actually an incredible show. I finally finished it this past weekend, and while I am eager to see where the show goes after this season, I am glad to have a break. See, Breaking Bad is no feel go program by any means, on the contrary it's very stressful. There were a few times when I had to grab a pillow and scream into it to calm myself down. It's also pretty violent, and I am just not one for fighting, can't we all just get along?  However, despite the high blood pressure inducing storyline, this is again a tremendous display of acting. The work of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul is, dare I say it, genius. Their complex relationship makes the show worth it.

This show affected me to the point where it would invade my dreams. The most memorable dream being the one where I was cooking Crystal Meth with the Duggar Family. What?!?!

I came across this video on, and it made me laugh. If you haven't seen the show it probably won't resonate with you, but I appreciated the levity.

Well we are 34 days away from the much anticipated fifth season of Mad Men (another brilliant AMC program).  I began watching during the third season and found myself so enthralled at the going's on at Sterling-Cooper that I started watching the first three seasons simultaneously, which admittedly was a bit confusing at times but totally worth it.

I love so many things about Mad Men: The fabulous late 1960's early 1970's costumes and decor. Don Draper's charisma in the conference room. Everything Christina Hendricks says and does...the list goes on.  It's a flawless ensemble and I am so intrigued to see where Season 5 picks up.  I wouldn't classify Mad Men as stressful, but it is addictive. Plus it gives you an excuse to make an Old Fashioned and other mid-century era cocktails on a Sunday night, because that's just how they did things back then.

Bring it, March 25th, I am so ready for you.

My current (as of Sunday evening) TV obsession is the deliciously British Downton Abbey.  I am only three episodes in (ssshhh! no spoilers please!) so I suppose I cannot claim fanatic status yet, but anything with Maggie... I'm sorry Dame Maggie... Smith in it will grab my attention for at least one episode.

If you have ever seen the film Gosford Park (if you haven't add it to your Netflix queue right quick!) it's basically the same premise on the small screen. I love the exploration of the waitstaff vs the nobility. I love the costumes, the English countryside and the torrid love affairs that happen behind closed doors. With only seven episodes in a season I imagine I will be caught up in no time.

In honor of the Dame, I present you this video:


Do you have any recent or current TV obsessions?


  1. I am answering for your father..who is the KING of TV obsessions....so glad you boarded the Downton Train- so very worthwhile...as for the football show...we never could get "down" with it...we definitely are "mad" about "Mad Men"...so our tastes in TV are somewhat akin...just enjoy excellent acting and stories-hard to imagine you find that on "The Bachelor"!!! Love you- your TV-watching mama!

  2. So good to "catch up" with your entertaining blog, Blair. Never fails to make me smile to hear your comments on life in Chicago--and life in general!