It’s Saturday night and my husband is scrolling through the Netflix and Amazon Prime options looking for something to watch. (The Good Place didn’t stick.) He’s been scrolling for about 10 minutes now and I fully expect him to go another 20. Do you know someone who does the endless scroll? Or is it you?

When I’m watching by myself I go directly to the show I’m in the middle of (currently Bunheads for something light and Stranger Things season one for something less light). If I’m not in the middle of a show, I’m usually about to start a new one from the seemingly endless list of shows I don’t have time to watch. So I almost never scroll and browse. Back in the days of regular TV, I was never a channel flipper, either. Not even during commercials. I hated the thought that I might get distracted, linger too long on another channel, and not get back to my show in time. Channel flipping caused too much anxiety. Frankly, so does scrolling.

Sometimes, mid-scroll, CW asks me to pick something but then comes up with a reason why he’s not in the mood to watch it. Sometimes the Rotten Tomatoes score is too low. He’s impossible to watch TV with. We do watch the Great British Bake-Off together and Game of Thrones, but that’s about it. This is one of my life’s greatest tribulations: not having a show to watch with my husband.

He just paused for a while hovering over a movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman. Things are dire. Send whiskey.

Gilmore Girls & Guys

I am super hip and with it and have my finger on the pulse of the pop-culture world, so I heard about the Gilmore Guys podcast approximately two years after the rest of the world. Have you heard of it? (Probably.) Are you into it? GET INTO IT. IT IS GREAT.

(If you’re not familiar, it’s a fun podcast that discusses Gilmore Girls episode by episode, and there’s so much more than that. It’s its own fantastic Thing. Kevin and Demi, the hosts, just seem to be super sweet and thoughtful and funny and smart. They’re generally fun and pleasant to listen to.)

Even though I had recently re-watched the series during my maternity leave, I decided it was worth another re-watch so I could follow along with each episode of the podcast. As of last week, I just finished Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and the accompanying Gilmore Guys discussions, which concluded my massive watch-and-listen. I’d watched and re-watched the original 7 seasons several times, but this was only my second time watching the revival. The podcast episodes are significantly longer than the TV episodes — sometimes insanely so, like the 722 episode that was released in two parts totaling over 6 hours. I know what you’re thinking, but they’re mostly awesome and worth it. But what this means is that over the last several months, I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours either watching or thinking about Gilmore Girls.

Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:

Emily Gilmore is the fucking shit. She is the best (and sometimes also the worst, but in the best way) and I’ve been saying this for years and will keep saying it: Kelly Bishop IS IMPECCABLE. Her story was by far the best in the revival, and that scene at the whaling museum alone is worth the trouble of watching the whole series. But wait, maybe the scene at night with the glass of wine and the ocean is the best in the revival? Hard to say; they’re both amazing. The Clamshack? (“I guess The Vagina House was taken.”) And let me not forget the amazing fanfare with which she left the D.A.R. “BULLSHIT!” Boils down to one thing: Bishop is Queen.

I need to be IRL BFFs with Aisha Muharrar and Sarah Heyward, my two all-time favorite podcast guests. They are the best and I know we would hit it off and could discuss TV and writing and just, like, hang out in our pajamas and stuff. Maybe Aisha could introduce me to Leslie Knope Amy Poehler? I am even willing to forgive the fact that Sarah Heyward writes for Girls. (Sorry, Girls fans; I respect it but it is super not for me.)

Jason Mantzoukas. Who knew? I assumed he was a d-bag because he is on The League, which is a d-bag show if I ever saw one. (Sorry not sorry, League fans.) Also he plays a d-bag on Parks. Turns out he is also sensitive and smart and …stuff. He is an amazing an hilarious guest on the podcast and is super vulgar and inappropriate and I LOVE HIM. I feel like no one else understands my extreme hatred of Logan Huntzburger and the Life and Death Brigade the way Jason does. Jason, call me.

Logan Huntzburger and the Life and Death Brigade: STILL FUCKING AWFUL. These are not good people. These are bad people. I mean, I could list some reasons for this claim (the rich white guy money and privilege and smugness and the firmly classist and paternalistic belief that their own antics are the most amusing and charming thing they could bestow on the hapless bystander victims in their vicinity — the tango club Robert buys?! The old lady filing clerk at the Stars Hollow Gazette whom they probably pay to stand there with a flashlight in her face intoning “in omnia paratus“?! The AWFULNESS.) but how about just this:

Or this:

The Rory storyline in the revival was a bummer. What had she been doing for the past 8 years? Why was she so terrible at her job and networking and talking to people and finding a story? At least we got to enjoy Alex Kingston as Naomi Shropshire, which was a fun element. As to why Rory was cheating on her boyfriend with Logan, who was cheating on his fiancée with Rory? Logan is awful and the people around him sink to his level.

Lorelai and Luke — it was so sweet to see their wedding finally (and to hear Sam Phillips’ “Reflecting Light” as the soundtrack!), though some of that storyline was a bit of a bummer, too. Had they really not talked about kids!? Enh. Fine.

Well! You’d think I’d have more refined thoughts than that to share, but this is NaBloPoMo and I owe the internet a daily post, so there’s no time to refine. Take what you get and don’t get upset!

In my TV life, I’m moving on to Bunheads next, which I watched when it originally aired, but haven’t seen since. I know I’m going to enjoy the rewatch, but even moreso because I’ll be able to listen to Kevin and Demi’s Bunhead Bros!


TV Talk

TV Shows I’m Currently Watching and Enjoying

Nashville. Look, I know it’s gotten ridiculously soapy this season. But you know what? It’s always been soapy and that’s one of the things I’ve always loved about it. I am not loving this storyline with Will and Layla, but I am sort of enjoying the trainwreck-style feeling I have about where it’s going. Also, they need to give Scarlett something more interesting to do this season. But yeah. I love me some Nashville and I will keep watching it no matter how soapy it gets.

How to Get Away With Murder. I don’t know about y’all but I have been into this from the very first episode. Loving it. I love murder mysteries and courtroom dramas and law school stuff (in another life I would have gone to law school), so this is right up my alley. The main guy, played by that kid who was on Harry Potter? I don’t love him. His earnestness bugs me. But I love the show. Viola Davis is great — but there’s this sort of awkward desperation she plays in certain scenes (when she’s begging someone to do/not do something, usually) that I find oddly disturbing. At any rate, I’m thoroughly enjoying this show.

Gilmore Girls. I am doing a big Gilmore Girls re-watch along with everyone else, thanks to Netflix. Take me back to Stars Hollow and get me a cup of coffee at Luke’s, please. I will never really like ANY of Rory’s boyfriends, so I don’t want to argue about which one of them was best (none — none best), but I will happily explain to anyone at length why I dislike each of them. Logan is the worst, for example. The only tolerable iteration of any of them is late-series Jess who comes along in his Dinosaur Jr. shirt while Rory is dating Logan and tries to get her to snap out of it. But still, I wouldn’t want her to get involved with him again anyway, so that doesn’t even count.

TV Shows I’m Currently Watching but Wish I Weren’t

Scandal. Oh y’all. I was really sucked into Scandal when I first started marathoning it on Netflix last year. This year, though? Enh. I can’t quite get into it. For one thing, I hate Jake (creeper) and the President (lying, adulterous, judge-smothering Republican) (just kidding, I don’t hate him for being a Republican) (much), so I don’t really care about that little love triangle. Like Rory, I just think Olivia should be herself and/or find a guy who is actually good enough for her. Anyway. I keep watching it because I feel like I made some kind of commitment to the show or something, with all those hours I spent marathoning it, and also because I want to be able to continue to discuss it with my Scandal-watching friends. So, we’ll see. I’ll probably stick it out at least through this season.

TV Shows I am Trying Out but Don’t Yet Know How I Feel About

Selfie. It’s cute and funny, at least two episodes in, it is. I feel like this could be an amusing 90-minute romantic comedy and I’d totally get behind it. An entire series, though? I’m not sure.

A to Z. Someone wanted to rip off How I Met Your Mother, I think. I like the mom from HIMYM, who plays the female lead and I like the male lead, who was on Mad Men (as the wacky creative guy, right? I should IMDB this but I’m in a hurry). I’ve seen two episodes so far and it’s pleasantly diverting. We’ll see.

Forever. I have seen 3-4 episodes of this so far and I feel like it could ALMOST be a super-interesting, addictive, supernatural mystery show, but it’s not quite hitting all the right buttons. I do love the sexy Welshman who plays the lead. The lady cop has, like, zero charisma, though. She needs to go.

TV Shows I am Not Currently Watching but Wish I Were

Doctor Who. I am basically just waiting for the current season to be available on Netflix so I can marathon it. I’ve never watched this show week to week (season-long marathons only), so I can be patient. But I’m so curious to see the new Doctor in action!

Parks and Recreation. When does this come back already? I am both eager and wary — the flash forward they did at the end of last season seemed like it could be a bit dodgy.

Game of Thrones. Again, how long do we have to wait on this one? I love this show. Maybe CW and I should do a marathon re-watch of seasons 1-4 over the holidays. Hmm.

Your turn: Are there any new shows (preferably on Hulu/Netflix) I should check out? What are your current faves?

A Lovely Evening of Gadgets, Thai Food, and Television

Bonjour, mes ami(e)s! I’m in an excellent mood tonight! Thanks to my friends’ helpful advice and recommendations I went out today and found a great little netbook at a great price and I am happily typing away on it right now! It’s very cute and does everything I need. (One of these, blue, 10″ screen, no the keyboard doesn’t bother me.) It’s also saving my ass while I wait for my MacBook to be repaired.  I’ve got a to-do list a mile long and now, thankfully, I can actually do it.

In non-gadget-related news, the school semester is nearly over.  I know I say this every semester, but it feels like it barely just began.  I have no idea how it could be almost Thanksgiving! How will I get everything done before Christmas? At the same time, these 16-week semesters still manage to feel unbearably long. I’m used to the 10-week terms in the quarter system we used back in Zembla.  Every now and then, once we’re into week 11 of the semester (and beyond), I find myself darkly muttering about how if we were in Zembla on the quarter system I would already be well shut of the students and never have to see their faces again.  Oh well! The grass is always browner on both sides of the fence, as I always say, so there’s no point in comparing.

And now I’m afraid I must bring this post to a close.  I have a belly full of tofu curry and the newest episode of Project Runway is awaiting my attention.  It’s a miracle I haven’t had the outcome spoiled for me via either Twitter or Facebook yet, so I need to watch it before that happens.

[SIDEBAR:  Seriously, people on the internet just LOVE to broadcast the plots of television shows — I have this one friend on Facebook who updates his status continuously throughout every episode of House. Why, Why, Robbie, WHY? Ahem. Sorry. As you can see, this sort of thing upsets me.  I am the person who even refuses to read movie reviews before seeing the movie, so afraid am I that I will learn what happens before I get a chance to watch it unfold.]

And so onward I must go! Onward, to television! Good evening.

So Many Things I Would Like to Do Right Now but I Am Wrung-Out Tired.

There’s no doubt that the semester is in full swing by now, y’all.  I’m not sure how long I was on campus today — ten hours? Eleven hours? Something like that.  By the time I got home, I decided that if I had been obligated not only to teach three classes but also to attend a fucking bone dry job candidate lecture and then go to the gym (where my workout buddy Golightly and I have lately been doing an extra-long, super-sized, gruelingly sweat-soaked workout), then I was fully entitled to a stiff drink.  Believe me, I attended to that with a quickness.  Mmmm, quickness.  Tastes like bourbon.

In other news, television is a-fixin’ to come back, including (but not limited to!) the long-awaited return of Lost, the regular-network premiere of the new season of Friday Night Lights, and (OMG YOU GUYS!) the return of Battlestar Galactica! I KNOW! IT IS TOO MUCH TO HANDLE RIGHT NOW.

I fully expect to have a lot to say about all of this, especially why you should be watching FNL.  Seriously, you should be. Best show on television.  I’m also thinking about writing some brief liner notes for that CD I made, including the embarrassing truths about why I love some of those songs, profuse apologies for the crappy songs I couldn’t stop myself from including, etc. All of this business will appear on the recently neglected media blog, so stay tuned.

These Thoughts Brought to You by Six Hours of Tony Kushner

I am a little out of it at the moment because I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening watching all six hours of Angels in America and then re-watching certain scenes to index them for use tomorrow. I am feeling quite deeply embedded in the world of gay men with AIDS in 1980s New York (not to mention their psychedelic-spiritual visions). It’s kind of a weird place to be.

Other than that, my day has been pretty miserable due to my having slept funny the night of the election and given myself a painful crick in my back.  Too much excitement? Too much dangerous blue punch? Who can say. All I know now is that sitting or lying still are both perfectly comfortable things to do, yet moving in any way at all is annoyingly painful.

Man, sometimes I wish I could just be a mind in a jar and not have to have a physical body.  The body is just so frustrating sometimes, what with all the Sisyphean maintenance and the potential for it to fail you.  If I could get someone to come along and carefully unscrew my lid and funnel in some good quality whiskey every now and then, I think jar life would be just fine. Hey, Science, can you get on that for me?

Please Don't Make Me?

I find myself in possession of approximately 110 student essays, each awaiting my painstaking care and attention.  What a lovely situation to be in on this Monday afternoon!

While I would very much like to go bury my head under a duvet and dream happily of a life in which I do not have to read freshman composition essays, it seems that instead I must actually begin grading.  Oh, woe!  Wail!  Rend!  Weep!  Gnash!

The only consolation I have is that there will be three glorious hours of Heroes to watch tonight, and I will be able to enjoy every minute of it, guilt free, if only I do my due diligence with the grading.  I’m ready to get started on that any minute now.