For the handful of you who read my articles faithfully might I say, “Thank you so kindly!” And, also, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me after reading last week’s article about “summer slumbering,” followed up by “binge-watching” issues today. Honestly, I do work, raise my children, am married, try to exercise now and again, and keep a fairly tidy and organized home.
However, I have found time in the past six months to devote to one of my favorite pastimes, binge-watching my shows. I don’t mean “Breaking Bad” kind of binge-watching. No, that was possibly a once-in-a-life type of viewing experience. Though I wasn’t impressed with the subject matter in “Breaking Bad”, and I also found the first episode to be dark and kind of boring, the second episode hooked me. I still remember the ending of “Breaking Bad” with pangs of yearning not felt since “MASH” ended or I watched Bob Newhart wake up with Suzanne Pleshette – – it was like saying goodbye to a really cool friend who was in and out of your life way too soon.
The type of binge-watching I’m referring to now is much more controlled, with lesser passions than “Breaking Bad”, but still genuinely titillating viewing. I prefer to catch my episodes the day after they appear, around 4 or 5 PM, too early for dinner (at this stage anyhow) but, late enough that a good bit of my work is done. Also, the kids are probably in the fort with their friends. Of course, they are not outside in a real fort, that would be weird. I mean the proverbial menace to every parent, Fortnite. Anyhow, they are otherwise preoccupied at that hour so we can listen to our profanity ridden, sexually-scandalous shows to take us away from the mundane for a while.
Although not quite as tantalizing or addictive as “Breaking Bad”, I am currently in the throes of zombie like attentiveness to a couple of series. The first is an HBO thriller/drama based off of the New York Times Bestseller, “Big Little Lies”, written by Liane Moriarty. The series, which bears the same name as the book, depicts the not-so-perfect lives of five women living in a beachy paradise. As with all good stories, there is infidelity, sex, betrayal, incredible self-centeredness and also….more sex. The first season found us hating a wife-beater and simultaneously being intrigued by the angry makeup sessions he had with his wife, one of the main characters. With plenty of twists and turns, the plot thickens to include a young mother who just happens to incredibly end up in the same town as the wife-beater, and he turns out to be the father of her child. But, wait, there’s more. The third friend is a narcissist know-it-all, the leader of the pack for sure, and the fourth lady is a demonic twit turned friend in the season thriller, with a no-good husband attached to her purse strings. Rounding out the pack of five is a health food nut who is also the current wife of narcissist know-it-all’s ex, and the one who eventually shoves the wife-beater down some stairs. Got it? It’s pretty confusing but, providing the glue for the well-written tales and stellar acting is a phenomenal soundtrack with everything from Janis Joplin to Van Morrison pounding out the melodies. A creepy side note, which has also become a popular meme, is how musically savvy the tastes are of the kiddos in this series. I have yet to meet a real five-year-old who can belt out “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now, Baby” But, in this series, the under 10 crowd is way cooler than I’ve ever been.
The other “must see” for me is “Below Deck”. This Bravo series captures the antics of a yacht crew as they cater to the needs of the rich and ridiculous. From fancy guests who are incapable of unpacking their own bags to those who request blow up dolls for their son’s birthday party, the antics are high on these rolling seas. I love the “what if” moments I have as I think back on my times on lesser seas, the Great Lakes, and ponder how happy I would have been if someone had dropped a pile of hundred dollar bills in my lap after just two days of putting up with the uber rich and spoiled on the water. What you can depend on from this show is beautiful scenery, usually filmed on location in the Mediterranean or Caribbean, and debauchery from the crew, especially when they get their coveted night off and away from the yacht. At the helm is always a somewhat serious captain not at all amused with the novice crew. The chief stewardess is generally a boss with wit and the underlings are helplessly incapable yet somehow seem cute and worthy of my obsessive curiosity into what they are doing.
What are you binge-watching at the moment? Feel free to comment below and provide suggestions for the rest of us fellow Netflix nerds. Sometimes, curling up on the couch watching people more twisted and messed up than anybody in your real life can be quite entertaining. And, before you know it, you’ve spent an entire 24-hours with them just dying to see what they will do next.
Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos and Below Deck and Big Little Lies Facebook pages.