Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

1.) The Office (American Version)

Every few years, I’m drawn back to this show.  It never ceases to be funny–I recently rewatched the “Diversity Day” episode from the first season and, despite the fact that I’ve seen the episode at least four times, was rolling on the floor laughing.  This show is just so funny–the characters are enjoyable, maddening, and consistent.  Also, Jim and Pam will forever be my ultimate TV OTP.

tumblr_mi6urpefcp1qb9pa3o1_500

2.) Downton Abbey

Yes, the show was at it’s best in it’s first two seasons.  Yes, I’m one of the troopers who held out until the very end.  This show is everything I love about British period dramas–it addresses and explores historical social issues with a healthy dose of romance.  Plus, it’s just so pretty.  The sets, the costumes, everything is lavish and gorgeous.  One thing I also enjoy is that it fully develops almost every single character–using subtleties to show, not tell.  And then there’s Maggie Smith, who is one of the show’s gems. Continue reading

Shows (I think) you should be watching

When it comes to TV shows, I’m fairly particular.  People are always giving recommendations for what to watch next, but I often struggle with their choices.  You see, I really struggle committing to shows.  Being a busy student, I only have so much time to devote to staying on top of TV.  I really hesitate spending time on a show if I’m not going to fall head-over-heels in love with it.  In general, shows that are character driven usually bore me.  Sitcoms, medical shows, crime dramas… it feels like the same thing over and over again.  I get bored quickly.  I tend to favor shows that are more plot-based where episodes build into a larger story arc.

Because I’m a tough-sell, when I for a show, I fall HARD.  That being said, I don’t make recommendations lightly.  If you’re looking for something new to watch, here are some shows I’ve been obsessed with lately.

Arrow

When my brother first recommended this to me, I was like “Eh, no thanks.  Not my thing.”  I gave the first few episodes a chance, but quickly lost interest.  Although I love superhero movies, the characters didn’t feel like anything special and the plot wasn’t anything to write home about.  However, this summer, I kept hearing people talk about how AMAZING this show is.  “Season one is good,” my older brother explained, “but it’s definitely something you have to push through.  Season two, though… season two is absolutely phenomenal.”

So I gave Arrow another chance.  And my brother was right.  Season one is a little rough, but it picks up and season two… Season two is one of the best seasons of a show I’ve ever seen.  Every episode is solid and the finale is absolutely incredible.  The third season is currently on and, although it’s less gripping than its predecessor, it’s still one of my favorite shows on t.v.

The Paradise

During my sophomore year of college, my roommate and I stumbled upon a Masterpiece Classic show called Mr. Selfridge about an American entrepreneur who sets up a department store in London.  We were immediately sucked in (mainly because we liked Henri, the French window display designer).  As time went on, though, the show was disappointing.  Our favorite characters made choices we weren’t comfortable with.  The story got boring.

When I was in England, one of my British friends presented an alternate option.  The Paradise is also about a department store.  Lead by the charismatic Mr. Moray, the show plunges into the workings of the store and its employees.  The show’s heroine is Denise Lovett, a sharp small town girl with a natural knack for business.

The Paradise, unfortunately, only has two seasons.  But if you’re a fan of BBC dramas, you’ll like this show.  The characters are endearing and the story is downright charming.  (Also, I’d like to note that the trailer below makes it look more racy than it actually is.)

The Musketeers

I grew up watching adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ novel.  I’ve always loved The Three Musketeers.  Each adaptation aims at capturing the heart of the novel and, although each does so differently, there are portions of the plot remain the same.  D’Artagnan always goes to Paris to avenge his father.  He always joins up with trusty Musketeers Athos, Aramis, and Porthos.  They always strive to protect the King of France against the wiles of Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter. How the story goes depends on the adaptation.  The problem, though, is that none of them seem to succeed at telling the story right.  The 1993 version with Charlie Sheen is too campy.  The 2001 adaptation deviates from the core story too much.  The Mickey Mouse version is… well… it’s Mickey Mouse.  And the 2011 version with Logan Lerman is an absolute train wreck.

Then, last winter, the BBC came out with a television series based on the book that is ABSOLUTE GOLD.  It’s The Three Musketeers as I have always wanted it.  The acting is good, character development solid, and the story is exciting.  It’s got an excellent blend of political intrigue, romance, and swashbuckling action.  It’s an absolutely fantastic show and, for whatever reason, I’m the only one I know who watches it.

What are some of your favorite t.v. shows?  Are there any you think I’d like?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday Favorites 8

It’s the final day of my school week and after a two and a half hour lecture on media literacy, you could say I’m trying to cling to whatever bits of joy I can.  So, what better way to cheer me up than with another Friday Favorites?

This book:

https://birkhola.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/4cafe-outlander.jpg

Originally recommended to my mother by extended family, I recently picked up the novel Outlander by Diana Galbadon.  It tells the story of Claire Beauchamp, a nurse recently reunited with her husband in the aftermath of World War II.  While vacationing in Scotland, Claire touches a mysterious stone and finds herself transported back in time to the year 1743.  Alone amid the tribal clans of the Scottish Highlands, she finds herself torn between returning to her own time and the love she finds in her new life.

I’m not very far into the book yet, but so far I’m enjoying it!  After studying abroad in the UK, I tend to latch on to anything that brings me back.  The characters are interesting and engaging, and the story definitely appealing. I love the historical elements, especially Claire’s perspective and experience from WW II in contrast with the warlike Highlands and (impending) Jacobite rebellions.

My main issue with the book is the amount of steamy romance.  I enjoy a love story as much as any other girl, but the constant sex is more than mildly irritating.  I find myself skipping pages at a time to avoid all the passionate bits.

This kitten:

IMG_2478

My older brother keeps sending me pictures of the kittens at home, resulting in me squirming around on the floor because they’re too adorable for me to handle.  (Much to the confusion and amusement of my roommates.)

This show:

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130828000142/greenarrow/images/thumb/d/dd/Arrow_TV_Series_Season_2_Promo_Poster.jpg/500px-Arrow_TV_Series_Season_2_Promo_Poster.jpg

I started watching Arrow last Spring, having heard good things and seen bits and pieces about it on Tumblr.  However, with the semester ending, I only made it a couple episodes in until giving up.  Sometime this summer, though, I over heard some of my fellow camp staff gushing about how great it was.  My older brother, a comic book enthusiast, told me that it starts out slow and gets better as it goes along.  All parties insisted that season two was mind-blowingly-amazing.

I just finished the second, and most recent, season yesterday.  They were right.  Oh my goodness.  All my fandom “I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE THESE FEELS” urges are hard-core triggering.  It’s SUCH a fantastic show.

This song:

I first started listening to Bastille this summer, and this song has been in my head all week!

Have a great weekend!