My continued unemployment of the summer and summertimes sadness has led to a lot of boredom, loneliness, and spare time. And with access to television and streaming services, I have finessed my way into entertainment.
House of Cards
Last Spring Break, I binged all four seasons of House of Cards. It took me a bit to get into the humor, language, and rhythm, but once I did, it was quite a hoot. Like any show, it does have its dry spells, but definitely picks itself back up. The great thing about this show is each episode is roughly an hour long, so it's a time passer for sure. Season 5 recently came out and I watched it right when I got to Miami for the summer. This show has no shortage of problematic characters and is quite blunt...or should I say frank? Available to stream on Netflix and On Demand with some cable providers. 8/10
The Walking Dead
Last summer, I watched two episodes, but really couldn't get into this show for some reason- this happens often, for me. I had finished my second show already this summer and considered to give it another shot. And then I was hooked! I grew obsessed with Glenn, Daryl, Carol, and Michonne. The gore is not for the faint of heart, and it pretty constant and unexpected, so if you are prone to feeling uneasy, I would take time with the bingeing. I did get used to the gore, but bingeing in such a short time frame with such frequency will haunt you- I had a dream I was trying to kill this walker, and no matter what I used, it wasn't sharp enough; no one died in my dream and it was more funny and frustrating, but I've heard of sadder dreams! Warning for major gore and violence with both walkers (aka zombies) and humans...you have been warned. There are moments when you think you have seen it all, and you really haven't. Which is great in terms of fresh material, but some parts really took me a few moments to really digest -and some scenes I'll really never forget or look at the characters the same way. The first 6 seasons are on Netflix. Depending on your watching pace, you may wait for Season 7 to arrive to Netflix or back On Demand, or you can pay/scour the internet for those episodes. 9/10
I watched this show last summer when I was an RA and it was a great ride. I am not the biggest Seth Rogan fan, but I am impressed that this is not catered to the stoner crowd in any war, but really bringing an obscure comic series to the television screen. And Ruth Negga is such a doll and a dream!! Something about Joe Gilgun is very intriguing. This is a show where I couldn't care less about the main character but the supporting roles are characters I could root for, all day. Season 1 was a prelude/exposition -not included in the comics- and Season 2 is when the real adventure begins. This show does contain violence -both as humor and as tragic- and is probably a bit sacrilegious and blasphemous. If you're someone who grew up in the church but has drifted away, this could be a perfect fit. Or even if you are religious but are entertained by ungodly media/art, this is for you, too. There is no clear indicator of God (in the context of the story) or God believers to be all good or all evil. This show is a BIT crude in every regard, so be prepared to be surprised and uncomfortable. Season 2 of Preacher premieres tonight on AMC 10/9c. 7.8/10
I really did think I would be into a ABC Family/Freeform show, but because of its gayness, I figured I'd give it a shot. I really really despise the protagonist, Callie and the character of Brandon; these characters are immature, reckless, annoying teenagers. One of the moms, Lena Adams Foster, is really great and probably my favorite character. This show tends to be more of a teen drama than a family drama, but I am actually more concerned with the overall family dynamics and the lives of the adults - because most of the teenagers are really just horrid. Though this is a drama, there is plenty of comedy, and trivial matters. It does switch out two actors which is one of my pet peeves, but not unbearable of a change; especially considering one of the actors is a perpetrator of sexual assault and harassment, I was kind of relieved that they replaced him! This was a decent show for my escapism for my last weeks in NYC. This show was a pleasant surprise, and the next season premieres this July. Find the past 4 seasons on Netflix or through Freeform/On Demand. 6.8/10
I have tried to watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette in the past and it wasn't my cup of tea. I am very selective with my reality tv because I am not one for the drama of scripted reality. (White people live for the drama. I do not.) But this is the first time we have a Black Bachelorette! And with the statistics of black women rarely finding love, not getting online messages compared to other ethnicities/races, and being royally mistreated and screwed over in romance and the workplace, I was here for supporting Rachel Lindsay! Supposedly the cast of men is also one of the most diverse, which is definitely a different dynamic. Of course, some of these antics are scripted or reacted, but I am having the best time laughing at these white boys and the bucket of foolish men. It is very extra, but I'm genuinely curious who Rachel will pick because I believe she deserves the best. They don't edit out racial politics which is also refreshing, because white audiences -conservative and liberal alike- can hear some new #facts. 7.5/10
Jamie Foxx has been hiding somewhere and I totally forgot that he's an award-winning actor with the moves and the pipes for a true triple threat! Who knows why he's hosting a game show -also Executive Producer $$- but he's really a breath of fresh air. He does make more comments than necessary when black contestants cannot correctly guess the titles of songs by black artists, which leads to white contestants and audiences laugh as well...but that's really my only qualm. This show is basically how well do you know mainstream hits from the '70s to now, but it's cute that music is universal and everyone seems to be having a good time when a jam comes on -even me! I like figuring songs out without using Shazam and I love guessing artists/songs so this is a good way to pass the time. Definitely a little too easy to get a million dollars, so I'm hoping they throw in more twists/obscure genres. This show airs on FOX Thursday 8/7c. 7/10
Tiny House Hunters
I half hate-watch, half curious-watch. The whole concepts of (wealthy) people downsizing to such small houses in quote absurd and ludicrous to me, and 100% of the episodes I've watched the house hunters are white - go figure. I usually fast forward the parts about the house hunters' lives and really just watch to see the houses. The show is really quite slow and boring - I wish the house hunters were, at least, cool/interesting folx. But hey, here's your mindless escapism to binge On Demand or live marathon on HGTV. 4/10
Million Dollar Listing New York
I used to watch Million Dollar Listing and Millionaire Matchmaker when I was like 13 because I really had nothing else to do, but wanted to feel like an adult. Having done a brief stint of a semester in NYC, it is funny to watch this show where people may 5x as much to live in Manhattan over Brooklyn, but it doesn't matter because they have money! The personalities of the agents are really something else, and I missed this show. Airs on Bravo Thursday 9/8c. 6/10
I am Jazz
I wish we had more shows with transgender actors/characters, but for now, I'm settling for a reality show around a teenager. As a trans person with a very different relationship with my family and different transition timeline, it is interesting to compare and contrast trans struggles. Season 3 premieres on Bravo Jun. 27 10/9c (pilot is currently available On Demand. 6/10
One of my favorite aspects of any show/film/play/story, is when the "protagonist" is not a perfect person or clear cut good or evil. And when the lines of good and evil are blurred -which I personally believe it's all about perspective and circumstance- we get three dimensional characters and stories. House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Preacher (and perhaps The Fosters?) have shady moral compasses and "good characters" that manage to fall off the wagon and do the unthinkable. These ratings are really based on whether I am truly eager to watch and stay watching or whether it was really just to pass the time. But hey, we all need a show for a different fulfillment.