a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing

Summer TV

Summer has become, as I become older, a time primarily of endurance. My migraines are most often triggered by barometric extremity, and since fever and overheating are part of my typical migraine symptoms, heat and humidity can exacerbate the problem. So, I spend a lot of time in the summer inside, in the air conditioning, and because I get a lot of migraines anyway (especially when there are hurricanes in the gulf), often I spend the time watching TV and trying to move as little as possible.

So I watch a lot of TV. This summer, particularly, I've spent a lot of time catching up on TV that's been recommended to me, that I didn't get to when it first started. And I've finally gotten around to writing up some quick notes about it, so here goes:

Eureka - I love this series. It's a far cry from the supernatural drama I usually go for, and that's one of the things I like about it. It's cheery and interesting. All of the characters are some form of genius or another, and they all live in a town together - which makes them all act (in many ways) like average Joes. The one actual "normal guy", the sherriff, is tasked with finding out what whacko things the townsfolk have come up with this week. It's light, it's entertaining and it doesn't leave me emotionally drained. I am eagerly awaiting the new season. I'm watching reruns this very moment, in fact.

Wonderfalls - I remember that when this came out, I was still reeling from too many cancellations, and though I knew that Tim Minear was at work on it, I couldn't bear to watch it, get hooked and have it cancelled. Turns out my hunch was right, because it was cancelled after a mere 13 eps. Sad. It was a delightful, enjoyable show with some good character complexity happening. It's a real shame it got shut out.

Burn Notice - Entertaining and a bit snarky. Spy gets shut out of the world of spydom, and winds up in Miami (where his family lives). He tries desperately to find out why he got "burned", hilarity ensues. Whacky, trigger-happy exGF and ex FBI old buddy (played delightfully by Bruce Campbell) and the aforementioned family round out the mix, and make for some fun entanglements.

Torchwood - A spinoff of the new Doctor Who, geared for a more adult sex-oriented audience. Good, good stuff. Did I mention that I normally go for supernatural drama? Well, this qualifies, and it's a good one. Lots of lovely relationship angst, mystery, a good amount of funny, and mulit-inclusive sexuality. Completely cracktastic and sexy, it's a fandom wet dream come true. Seriously.

Doctor Who - After getting hooked on Torchwood, I had to check out the new Who. Now, keep in mind that the last time I watched Doctor Who, I was in my early teens. I don't remember anything about any of the story lines (don't even remember Daleks), but I do remember that I watched it mostly because it introduced me to ideas, history and vocabulary that I wasn't getting growing up in a small town in the heartland. The new Who is carrying on in that tradition - at least the history stuff. I'm a bit of a history fiend, but I'm learning some amazing and delightful historical stuff, like the Balloon Barrage, and the idea that vinegar was integral to Hannibal's crossing of the Alps. I think I may end up still not remembering in a few years the story lines, but I'm enjoying watching them. We're only just into the first series, so it may be that the stories become more compelling with time.

Saving Grace - I started watching this incredibly compelling supernatural drama when it re-ran during the winter (it's a summer series). It's the story of an Oklahoma City cop, Grace (played amazingly by Holly Hunter). Grace is a hard-drinking, aggressively sexual woman who, during a night of drinking and debauchery, runs into and kills a man. That's not really a spoiler, since the death is merely the catalyst for the rest of the story. Grace, an angrily lapsed Catholic, drunkenly prays to God for help with a life that's become completely out of her control. Enter Earl, the Last Chance Angel. Earl's job is to bring Grace back into God's fold. Hilarity, intense emotional issues and mystery ensues. It's really, really good - it doesn't offer a lot of pat answers to the questions it raises about religion, morality and life. I was really glad to see that it got a second season, and I'm really enjoying it.

Cities of the Underworld - I found this via the Troll's dad, who had watched an episode featuring forgotten NYC subway tunnels and was telling us about it. It's a fascinating look at the underground, often-forgotten areas around the world. Some nifty history and fun watching a crazy guy cram himself into tiny, underground spaces with great glee. Worthwhile non-fiction.

How to Look Good Naked - This show makes me cry every single episode. It's an incredible testament to how completely terrible American women are taught to feel about their bodies, and the damage that internalizing all that nastiness does. Good stuff, I'm glad it's back.

Joan of Arcadia - Sci Fi has just started re-running this. Joan is the daughter of the new police chief of Arcadia. Soon after they move there, God starts talking to Joan, taking the form of random people she meets, and telling her to do odd things. She wonders if she's going insane, of course. I've seen two episodes, and I'm quite enjoying it.

I've got Lost, Pushing Daisies, Weeds, Dexter and Blood Ties still to watch. Which is good, since we're just entering the height of hurricane season.
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