Heroes

 

 

A while back, I wrote a piece about my TV moms (read it here). I shared quite a bit in that post and I told the truth. Maybe too much truth, but the truth, just the same.

 

In that piece, I referenced a few characters from television shows and how much they meant to me. I cannot emphasize enough what those women gave me. Screwed-up kid that I was, I benefited from those women’s strength and values. Even thinking of them now brings me comfort. And that’s lovely. I think it’s fair to say those beautiful characters were my heroes. Still are.

 

I don’t often get to meet a real-to-me hero. (I guess most of us don’t experience that privilege.) I know some folks believe we shouldn’t meet our heroes. That a face-to-face meeting with someone we’ve looked up to can only lead to disappointment. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity if it presented itself. I mean – would you?

 

Anyhoo – last month I was minding my own lady-club business when I looked up and saw one of my very own heroes: Miss Michael Learned from TV’s The Waltons. Turns out we have a mutual friend. And that friend had quietly invited Miss Learned to lunch, knowing it would serve as a lovely surprise to me. It most definitely did.

 

I can’t speak to the experiences of others when it comes to meeting heroes. I can’t claim a shared disappointment or letdown, and I can’t relate to watching a hero fall. I can only tell you that when I met one of my heroes, Miss Michael Learned, my heart was full and my admiration swelled. She was even cooler than I ever imagined. Sometimes life is grand.

 

 

UnGood

 

 

After much prodding from various friends, Mister and I recently started watching UnREAL (Lifetime). Basically, it’s a scripted, behind-the-scenes of a reality show show. Make sense? We’re through 6 episodes of season 1 and, speaking for myself, I have definite opinions about this oddly entertaining program.

 

The leads are great. I love, love, love Constance Zimmer. She’s a top-notch actor and I’ve been a fan for years. If I know she’s acting in something, I am likely to watch just to see her work. For reals. And while actor Shiri Appleby is relatively new to me, she isn’t a rookie and the girl is good. So the 2 chick leads are awesome.

 

The subject matter? Well… Let me tell you I have never seen a single episode of The Bachelor. You couldn’t pay me, people. With the exception of food and house shows (and So You Think You Can Dance – not the kid version, thank-you-very-much), I’m not a fan of reality TV. Please don’t feel judged if you watch loads of reality television. It just isn’t my keg of beer, um-kay? Still – I get the gist of this show. And the way they portray the making of reality TV is great. (Spoiler alert: if you thought anything you’ve seen on reality TV was real, you’re in for quite an awakening, as it’s all controlled and guided and made up.) So far, the show appears to be well-written and well-executed. And it’s won a Peabody Award, for cry-eye. So they must be doing something right, right? And one last thing – it’s a good show. It really is.

 

But here’s the deal. After watching an episode of UnREAL, I feel UnGOOD. This show is so dark and sinister, I pretty much feel like I need a shower after watching it. And when Mister and I have watched 2 episodes back-to-back, I’ve had actual nightmares about the ugliness in the show. That’s just crazy.

 

So what I’ve been wondering is whether or not I should even be watching UnREAL. I mean, if I feel skeevy after taking in an episode, do I really want to subject myself to that? And why? And then I thought about other shows that leave me feeling UnGOOD. Like House of Cards. That’s a great show. Truly. And yet I can’t claim the characters are redeemable or good. And there have definitely been times when I’ve felt uneasy after watching certain episodes. So why watch at all?

 

As of now, I don’t have an answer. Not for myself, and certainly not for others. I will probably finish season 1 of UnREAL and then decide if I’m up to moving on to season 2. Honestly, I don’t know. I guess it depends on how quickly I recover from the viewing. I’m a sensitive cuss. I know it. And I’m the only one who can protect my too-thin skin. I guess I’m hoping the final 4 episodes of season 1 of UnREAL leave me feeling something more than dirty. Being entertained may not be enough, either. Fingers crossed.

“The Librarians”

 

 

Recently I saw an ad for a TNT show – “The Librarians.” The 2nd season just started and for some reason, I missed this show last year during its 1st season. I thought I’d give it a try, but didn’t really expect it to take. I mean, I thought there might be potential, but then again… You know what I’m saying?

 

Anyhoo – I’ve now watched the entire 1st season and I’m a smitten kitten for this one. It has elements of “Doctor Who,” Harry Potter and “Friday the 13th: The Series.” I don’t want to say it’s like any of those, it just reminds me of them all. And one more thing: It has heart. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t cried or anything while watching the show. But I have smiled and I’ve shaken my head in wonder when they’ve gotten key moments so very right. I can’t vouch for any of the math or science referenced in the episodes, but that’s not the point. The point is to be entertained. And I have been.

 

So I’m glad I gave this one a shot. And now I plan to start the 2nd season, which I’ll no doubt catch up on soon. It makes me happy to have a new show to follow, especially one with a sci-fi/fantasy slant. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Oh.

 

 

I’ve been a little blue the last couple of days, and I’ve been hard-pressed to understand why.

 

And then it hit me: I’m feeling a sense of loss over my TV stories and shows. The end of Mad Men is still feeling odd. And now The Late Show With David Letterman is no more. And I think that somewhere in my brain-hole I’m fully aware that I’ll be losing Jon Stewart from The Daily Show in a couple of months.

 

Judge as you will, but I love television. And if my attachments to shows and characters is unhealthy, so be it. TV has been my friend since it became my baby-sitter at an all-too-tender age. Would real human beings have been better? Maybe. Depends on the humans. As it was, I count myself lucky to have had the positive role models and comedic influences that glowed from the magic box in the living room. Had it not been for my TV friends and families, I would be a completely different person now. And I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t like me nearly as much.

 

I’ll get over my TV losses. We all will. They’re not nearly so painful as losing actual loved ones, right? Right? Someone – tell me I’m right.

Binge-Watching

 

 

 

I am new to binge-watching TV. Mister introduced me to this when the second season of “House of Cards” was released all at once. But that was my only experience with binge-watching.

 

Until last night. I had lunch with Betro and she told me about a BBC show, “Call the Midwife.” Mister was out at a dinner last night, so I thought I’d give the show a chance. By the time he walked through the door, I was finishing up episode 4 of the first season. I am like a catfish on the bayou – hooked.

 

I’ll likely tone down my watching going forward, and that’s okay. As “Call the Midwife” is a British show, there will probably be only a few seasons to get through. That’s okay, too. But I sure did enjoy mainlining those 4 episodes last night. Hats off to Betro for sharing.