Regular readers know my passions (besides Jack and books) include rescuing cats and crocheting, often combining these in projects such as the SPAY AND NEUTER AFGHAN. (Thanks for the generous support so many of you have shown!)
The calming repetitive muscle movement of crocheting begs for intellectual accompaniment. Alas, I’ve gone through the entire Lonesome Pine Regional Library System’s collection of recorded books, and the fastest way to fall asleep while crocheting is listen to music, so….. hello, Netflix.
Jack and I don’t own a TV, but if he’s busy with a fix-it project around the bookstore – and since our house was built in 1903, he often is – I wind up sitting in front of the computer screen, whipping out kitty butt coasters while binge watching some quality network programming.
Given that readers won’t always admit they even watch TV (bibliophile elitism is not a big social problem, though) it startled me when I put out a call on Facebook for some potential watching, and got 50+ responses.
Here are the winners of the “bibliophilic snobs recommend” thread, with a few snarky comments from me:
BEEN THERE, SEEN THAT
Cadfael, House of Cards (US and UK), Downton Abbey, Bletchley Circle, Call the Midwife, Vicar of Dibley, The IT Crowd – LOVED ’em all
Sherlock – hated it, watched just to see how they did the Doyle do-overs. Best part was Season 3 playing with itself over Reichenbach Falls. Dear Networks: Please note that decorative men are no substitute for substance.
Jericho and Revolution – post-apocalyptic shows, both cancelled mid-storyline. The well-written Jericho was saved by a fan campaign, while Revolution -heh, who knew 15-year-old boys were writing Hollywood scripts? To paraphrase Mark Twain, of 357 possible plot failings, Rev committed 350.
Orange is the new Black – by all accounts, Season 2 is better than 1. To which my usually gentle husband Jack responded, “That wouldn’t take much.” Oh well….
Wallander – Jack and I tried the Swedish version and gave up halfway through Episode 1. We hear the English version might be better.
Law and Order (original) – not so much watched as memorized. I’m a huge LnO fan.
Northern Exposure – Remember liking it live, may have to try it again as a binge watch
Borgias and Tudors – Historical characters that interesting did not need added sex and violence.
TED talks – I like TED talks, but find the bundles available on Netflix tend to lead with celebrities, segue into duds, then finish with really thought-provoking ideas. So I’ve started skipping to the last three of any bundle. :]
MAYBE, HECK YEAH, and HELL NO
Dexter – Lemme get this straight: you want the Quaker bookstore owners to watch a show about an assassin who only takes out people as need killing, and is really a nice guy despite a couple of problems? Yeah. Everybody has some of The Light inside them…. Pass, thanks.
Hell on Wheels – We might try this. We’d never heard of it and lotsa people recommended it.
Sons of Anarchy – Poor misunderstood lost boy motorcyclists? Sounds a bit like Peter Pan for grown-ups, but okay, we might try it.
Walking Dead – Just say no to Zombies–at least until someone makes them sparkle. Which will happen, mark my words.
Treme – Sounded interesting; gonna try it.
The White Queen – I liked Gregory’s book, and it’s clear that Elizabeth Woodville is her favorite historical character, so I’d like to see it, but Netflix doesn’t care.
LOST and Twin Peaks – Confusing worlds where nothing is as it seems? This is diversion? Sounds like an NPR broadcast.
Sex and the City – Insert penis joke here. NEXT!
The Following – A cult that worships a lit professor? Sign me up!
Hemlock Grove – Look, anything Netflix is pushing that hard just has to be garbage. Plus, I don’t like it when bad guys leap out of people’s stomachs. Gore makes my stitch tension too tight.
Game of Thrones – Ooooh, you say there’s a fantastic new fantasy world out there where women get the shit beat out of them and raped and can’t hold onto power? WOW! Gotta check that out; sounds like real escapism to me…..
Justified – A show that treats Appalachians like real people? PLEASE Netflix, get this for streaming!
Okay, we’ll go back to books next week and pretend this little interlude never happened. But now we know; readers watch, too. And it’s not all bad.
I’ve watched the BBC “As Time Goes By,” the whole series, SIX TIMES. Because really, without Judi Dench, what else is there that’s worth it?
If you’re still taking suggestions: Sleepy Hollow, Big Bang Theory, Bones (something for everyone)! Katherine Scoggins
Sleepy Hollow is a tv series?
You must approach it with a great sense of humor– it is fantastical in ways that sound ridiculous, but as storytelling, it works. Curses and time jumping, the Masons conspiring with the founding fathers to ward off the Apocalypse… crazy, but very likeable characters and a fun ride!
Orphan Black: if you like a bit of scfi along with some AMAZING acting!
Broadchurch: there’s an Americanized version coming soon, but you’d like the original.
Midsomer Murders, Endeavor, Foyles War: always good bets.
Grimm: better than it sounds, but watch from the beginning to keep from getting lost.
Sleepy Hollow: totally insane take on the American Revolution, but go with it!
Well, since I live in Norfolk in the UK, I probably won’t be suggesting television programmes to you… especially since some of the ones we have available are absolute rubbish at the moment. So many so-called reality shows… two of this weeks offerings for you to mull over (or pass over quickly with assorted sighs and rude words and amazement at the sheer stupidity of some people)…one programme about ‘yummy mummies’ who give their toddlers fake tans, piercings, nail varnish and in one instance the two little ‘darlings’ are aged four years and two years. Another programme about people who own so-called dangerous dogs and allow them to attack people and don’t give a damn, in fact are proud of their dogs. See, I can tell you are just dying to know which channel they’re on…
My main reason for visiting today is to say that our lovely postie, Victor, just delivered my latest Amazon parcel, and inside your book, bought because I can’t resist books set in book shops, fictional or otherwise, vicariously living out my dreams through the pages, and also it mentioned Big Stone Gap and to mind came one of my favourite American authors, Adriana Trigiani.
Apologies for having rambled… I too am a crocheter, but since the arthuritis (as one friend calls it) struck, I find knitting is easier, but that’s OK, it’s just as meditative and relaxing.
Hope the book has been selling well… it will get a mention on my own blog once I have read it, as will the other forty or so in the ‘waiting to be read’ pile! If only I could stop buying the pile might reduce do you think?
Thanks Nina – sorry it had to be via Amazon, but one understands. Been to Norfolk, loved it. :] I can knit, and occasionally toss off a dishcloth to keep in practice, but crocheting is my first fiber art love.
Lost, I’ve never seen. Twin Peaks, however, had a lovely, quirky sense of humour going for it. My only objection was that the ending was unsatisfactory, but that hardly mattered. As for Game of Thrones, I’d be willing to give it a try but Netflix doesn’t stream it. TED talks are available on YouTube (as are a lot of other things, including full movies / shows / episodes), although of course YouTube doesn’t handle buffering as well as Netflix does.
Oh, and I agree re: Grimm. I enjoy watching them ring changes on fairy tales, and there’s some decent writing. You could give that one a try.
“Ring changes.” I’m a handbell ringer. You? 🙂
Northern Exposure is a fantastic series! I highly recommend it. I saw a show here and there in the 90s, and have since borrowed the entire series from the library, enjoying watching it start to finish. The quirky characters are great. I agree with you re: Vicar of Dibley, Call the Midwife, and Downton Abbey.
As someone who hates zombies, vampires, werewolves, demons, etc….. I really like The Walking Dead. The emphasis is not so much the zombies — although from time to time they like to throw in gruesome dispatches for the younger generation — the focus really is on the survival of the group of characters and society as a whole. I find it very interesting and I close my eyes at the gruesome bits.