What I’ve Been Watching

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post, but I haven’t really done anything interesting in the last week or so. It’s the doldrums of January and February, I guess. So what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been watching TV. Of course, it’s usually while I clean, fold laundry, write blog posts, organize and edit photos, etc. (I don’t want you to think I’m just lounging around). So why not write a blog post about what I’ve been watching.

First up, The Wonder Years. I remember watching this show when it originally aired, but it wasn’t a favorite. I’m not even sure why I decided to watch it all the way through, but I’m really glad I did. I know this is obvious to say, but it’s about growing up and leaving childhood behind but more importantly, about remembering. I am pretty much of age with Kevin Arnold and the whole gang, so when I first watched it, I was growing up with them. Now I’m a little bit older (not much!) and I feel the poignancy of remembering, the little stabs of nostalgia. This show legitimizes growing up in the suburbs. I think I often felt like my life couldn’t be very significant because I grew up in a fairly affluent suburb of a small city. The Wonder Years shows that my experience is still worthy of being shared. Plus, The Wonder Years is just really beautifully written. I shared this quote on facebook (and I never share quotes on facebook).

When you’re a little kid, you’re a little bit of everything: artist, scientist, athlete, scholar. Sometimes it seems like growing up is a process of giving those things up one by one. I guess we all had one thing that we regret giving up, one thing we really miss, that we gave up because we were too lazy, or because we couldn’t stick it out, or because we were afraid.

So definitely two thumbs up for The Wonder Years (although I personally think the first two seasons are the best). Bonus: seeing lots of young actors in guest roles, including Giovanni Ribisi, Rayanne and Sharon from My So-Called Life, Ross from Friends, and I’m sure there are more.

Next, The Vampire Diaries. Now before you write me off, let me just tell you that this show is awesome. I know, I know… vampires are so over. And do we really need another Edward and Bella? Do we even need one Edward and Bella? (no.) But The Vampire Diaries is way better than Twilight. I mean, way! First of all, the characters are much more complex and interesting. Elena (the girl) actually does things, like stand up for herself, make decisions, and come up with plans to get the bad guys. It doesn’t always turn out so well, but whatever, she’s 17, her parents died, and her boyfriend is a vampire. One thing that I really like about this show is that it actually presents a moral dilemma. I started out the show thinking, “Just get turned into a vampire already! Then you’re pretty, powerful, and immortal. Perfect!” But The Vampire Diaries actually presents a very compelling case for humanity. In fact, the question of humanity is one of the key themes. And yes, every single person that lives in Mystic Falls is exceptionally beautiful. (But that’s because they’re almost all vampires or werewolves or hybrids – what, hybrids? yep, hybrids.) I know that this is a guilty pleasure for some, but I refuse to feel guilt over liking this show. And the first two seasons are on Netflix. And if you start watching it, you can enjoy the weekly recaps over at one of my favorite new websites, Forever Young Adult.

A weekend ago, Showtime was free. It was great. You could watch anything, and I kept hearing about this show called Homeland, so I put on the first episode. Five episodes later at 3 in the morning, I went to bed. And then I was glad that it was Saturday, so I could watch more Homeland. And I meant to do some cleaning-laundry-folding-photo-editing, but I could not do anything except watch it. And every time the hour-long show ended, I couldn’t believe it was over already. Homeland is intense. And did you see how it just won the Golden Globe for best drama? Yeah, it totally deserved it. Plus, it stars Angela Chase (another My So-Called Life alum), Inigo Montoya, and Inara the companion. I highly recommend it to all my friends who watch R-rated movies.

I just started watching Felicity. It’s one of those shows that so many of my friends watched but I never did. It started my very first year of college when I didn’t have a TV. I’m only about half way through the first season, but I have to say that so far I have kind of mixed feelings. Here’s what I like about the show. First of all, a girl follows a boy she had a crush on in high school all the way across the country to NYU. That’s just awesome. And I love that Felicity is totally nervous and neurotic (about boys) because it reminds me so much of how I was at 18. The story of a girl gaining her independence appeals to me. I also like a college setting and a New York City setting. And it makes me kind of wish I could redo the whole college years. Here’s what I don’t like. It’s kind of slow, and I haven’t really grown attached to the characters yet. They all seem to be types so far, but I guess that makes sense considering they have only known each other for 3 months (based on where I’m at in the show). Maybe they will become more real as the show progresses. After a few episodes, a friend asked me if I was a Noel girl or a Ben girl. Honestly, neither Noel nor Ben are my type, and I think that’s one of the biggest problems I have with the show so far. I just don’t care enough about the characters yet. It still has potential, though, and I’ll keep watching it while I make dinner.

And of course I am watching the second season of Downton Abbey! I am actually watching it as it airs so I have to wait from week to week to see each episode. This is actually quite contrary to my character. I’m much more of a download-it-and-watch-it-all-in-one-sitting kind of girl. It’s hard to wait, but I kind of enjoy having something to look forward to each Sunday night for a while. So far I am loving the soapy drama of the second season, but the potential for death has me a little anxious. And I just want that Lavinia Swire to go away and for Anna to find someone other than Mr. Bates. (You’re too good for him, Anna!) I really don’t care what happens, though, as long as there’s extravagant costumes, beautiful scenery, and a happy ending.

So is there anything that I should be watching? More importantly, are you a Noel fan or a Ben fan? What about a Stefan fan or a Damon fan? And aren’t we all Matthew Crawley fans?

(p.s. I forgot to write about Breaking Bad. I thought about those lilies-of-the-valley for days after the finale.)



  1. Senja · January 19, 2012

    I love all the series!
    But I haven’t gotten into Breaking Bad at all..
    I have been a Noel girl 🙂

    • katie · January 19, 2012

      I can totally see you as a Noel girl. Based on what I know of Mikael, I can tell you go for the nice, good guys. 🙂

  2. kylie · January 19, 2012

    You don’t like Mr. Bates? What?!?

    I think if it were real life, and I was Felicity, I’d probably be a Noel fan, but for whatever reason I’m a Ben fan (he has better hair). 🙂

    And I’m both a Stefan and Damon fan (depends on the day).

    I guess I need to watch The Wonder Years. Haven’t seen it since I was a kid. I’m sure it’s much different from an adult perspective.

    • katie · January 19, 2012

      Deciding between Stefan and Damon is so hard! But you know I lean more toward Damon, despite the crazy eyebrows and bad hair. 😉

      And Mr. Bates! Don’t even get me started. At first he was ok, but now he is just insufferable! He’s always “sacrificing for the greater good” but really it’s just self-indulgence. It’s not fair to Anna.

  3. krisgal · January 21, 2012

    Ha ha! Mr Bates has never grown on me either. Too bad you don’t live over here friend, you could buy the entire box set of Downton Season 2

    And what until you see the Christmas special – where something very happy and magical happens at the end!!

    I never watched Felicity either when it originally came out on TV and have always felt like something was missing from my nineteen year old self.

  4. Sara · February 5, 2012

    I’m with Kylie – a little surprised you don’t like Mr. Bates! Now that I’ve read your reasoning’s, I can see where you’re coming from… But, still, it’s Mr. Bates! I like him (and I like saying his name out-loud with a British accent). And I adore Anna.

    It’s one of the few shows (only show?) I’m watching live, as well, and I really enjoy having something to look forward to on Sunday nights. I’ll be sad when this season is over.

    I’m in the processes of catching up to Parenthood (currently watching season 2). Once I’m caught up, I’m going to dive into Felicity. I’ve seen several episodes, but never seen the entire series in order. I’m excited!

    I LOVE Breaking Bad, but I still haven’t seen the last season. I’ve been waiting for Dick to watch it with me, but he never has time, so I’m contemplating starting it without him.

    I’m also slowly working my way through Friday Night Lights. I’m only in the 2nd season (stopped when school started up again, see above comment re: Dick), but I’m looking forward to getting back into it and finishing the series. Have you seen it?

    One last point in this ridiculously long comment – I think it’s awesome you’ve been watching Wonder Years! Seems kind of random to me, but totally great. Loved the quote -so poignant and real. I think I’ll copy you and start watching the series myself one of these days.

    • katie · February 6, 2012

      I know so many people that love Parenthood, but I haven’t ever seen it. I think I will add it to my list. I also loved Friday Night Lights for the first 3 seasons. I don’t know what happened in season 4, but I just wasn’t as passionate about it, and now I still haven’t even watched season 5. I’ve been meaning to forever, so that should go on the list, too. 🙂 I am so glad I don’t have to wait for anyone to watch a show. I tried that with Doctor Who and Game of Thrones (with my brother) but it didn’t work out well. We were both always cheating and watching episodes without each other. I just have such a hard time resisting.

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