It’s that time of year in between the NFL and Formula 1 seasons where I suddenly find myself with the time and attention span to watch other TV programmes! Here’s a peek at what’s taken my fancy lately.
Here pictured is my pleasant Sunday evening, with a quick and easy dinner, a glass of Kopparberg pear cider and the previous night’s The Voice on TV 🙂 I was intending to finish my Germany blog post but was still rather sleepy from my early start the previous day so decided to let myself off the hook and relax a bit instead. I have watched occasional episodes in previous series, but this year I’ve watched the whole thing so far and am really enjoying it. I’ve always liked the concept of the blind auditions but we’ll see if it holds my interest in the later stages. My favourite so far is Lucy O’Byrne, the Irish girl who sang an opera song. Her voice is superb and I’m looking forward to hearing more of it! I also love Will.i.am, he’s hilarious but I honestly think he’s very wise too – sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who gets his metaphors and wonder if I’m maybe just a bit mad 😉
We recently watched all four series of the US adaptation of The Killing, which follows two homicide cops in Seattle. I found it hit me quite hard at times, especially the first series, but it was so compelling, and I fell hook, line and sinker for every single false lead! I’m looking forward to watching the original Danish version too but need to wait until James gets home as I’d be far too jumpy watching it while home alone!
When I saw the trailers for this E4 drama coming up I decided to give it a go. I watched and enjoyed the first episode, and suggested James watch it to see if he liked it too, as we usually watch TV together. He eventually watched it and decided it wasn’t his thing (“too many teenagers” was his verdict – I promise this isn’t a spoiler, but I had described it to him as “it’s about some teenagers in a village, one of them gets killed…”!) Fast forward a month or two and I suddenly remembered its existence and sat down to watch “an episode”… and four episodes later realised I should really get some sleep! I’m still to watch the last three episodes (as I know I won’t be able to resist watching them all in one go) but would recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the final series of Skins, as I think it has a similar vibe – not as controversially dramatic as early Skins, but more emotionally charged and suspenseful like the closing chapter.
The Thick of It (via Netflix)
This is a brilliant satire about British politics. I had already seen the whole thing, but my NZ friends who came to stay recently hadn’t seen the last series, so we popped it on and of course accidentally watched the entire series. It’s so clever and funny, and Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker is fantastic. Note – definitely not one to watch if you don’t like swearing!
A niche one to finish up – I studied languages at university and spent a year abroad (in Germany and Spain). While in Germany I started watching the soap Alles Was Zaehlt, which is centred around a sports centre / spa in Essen, and the community around it. At the time I started watching (more than 7 years ago!! Wow!) the soap was only a year old and all the previous episodes were available online for free, and I took advantage and watched all the characters’ back stories. Nowadays you can watch the last 5 episodes for free, and the old ones are still available at a small-ish fee. I still watch it every day, and find it’s the perfect way to get a little bit of regular German practice. Things have gotten dramatic recently as in a matter of weeks they’ve killed off loads of the cast, so I think some big changes are on the way. But honestly I love it, sometimes it can be ridiculous, but overall it’s pretty realistic, far more so than any other soap I’ve seen, and I get really attached to the characters and cry my heart out when they die or break up or whatever.
And a couple that I’m looking forward to watching soon:
America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 – ANTM is a huge guilty pleasure for me and one of my best friends, with the onus being on the “pleasure” much more than the “guilty”! We get together to watch as many episodes as possible and cackle at the top of our lungs at the hilarious escapades, ridiculous statements, atrocious behaviour by the contestants, and equally atrocious decisions by the judges. At the same time though we get genuinely invested and are dismayed and outraged when our favourites get voted off, and I think I can safely speak for us both and say that we’ve developed way more of an interest in fashion than we ever would have without this show.
The Walking Dead Season 5 Part 2 – I love a good zombie film and really enjoy The Walking Dead. The zombie genre is my exception to the scary rule: I generally do not enjoy being scared, and will only watch scary films/TV, or even read scary books, if I feel they’re really high quality and therefore worth dealing with the frightening aspect. I don’t do unpleasant physical spectacles like the Saw franchise (after Saw itself, which was actually quite a clever thriller really), I hate moments that are purely there to make you jump, I can’t deal with scary children, and even if I feel ok during a film/TV show, sometimes it’ll get in my head so much afterwards that I’m a jumpy mess for weeks! But for some reason, I enjoy being scared by zombie films while I’m watching them, and they don’t get to me at all afterwards. It’s nice 🙂 Admittedly, The Walking Dead is more than just about zombies, and the really horrifying parts are always as a result of human actions, but I love that it gives a really close look at the human psyche and makes you imagine how you’d deal with the situations in their shoes, and really think about what’s right and wrong.
What are your current TV favourites? Any recommendations?