I love T.V. As an honors student with a lot of arduous academic endeavors in my life, all of the time, T.V. serves as a wonderful escape. Unlike Youtube, which can suck hours out of my life and entertain me tolerably well , T.V. is more meaty, it’s like a real relationship…Youtube is a fling. If it’s good T.V., I invest myself in it, I care about the lives, stories, etc.
Enough with the un-particulars and my elementary philosophy on television… blah blah blah… the real meat – What I am watching… Right. Now:
American Horror Story, on FX: Oh my lovely bones, I am in lust with this carnal display of horror brought once again to suburbia. This show holds nothing back – it’s raw, sexy, intellectual, noiry, visceral, over-the-top, dark, current… etc. The constant flux the plot provides with new, “old” stories/murders that happened in the house keep me watching. If you are not familiar with the show, the story takes place at an old “haunted house” in L.A. The house is typical for a horror house, there’s lots of wood, antiques, nooks, crannies, basements, creepy bath tubs, dead people… etc. Most everyone who has lived in the house has been murdered there, and have never been able to leave. Really raunchy deaths too, burning, dissection, shovel head smashing, drowning, sodomy with an iron poker… etc. When the characters die in the house, they can’t seem leave or pass to the next realm. The new and current family that is brought in consists of a husband, who is a house practicing psychiatrist, his wife, and teenage daughter. Almost every episode exposes another pre-cursing murder that happened in the house. I love the play with time, some of the murders date back to the 1920s. With this wide range of decades present in the plot, there is so much room for the show to play with, and the ability to present an element of novelty. The show kind of reminds me of a combination of Beetlejuice, Lost, Night of the Living Dead, and Hollywood Noir. The second episode even used the score from Hitchcock’s film Vertigo, a personal favorite. Not a show for the faint of heart, or sensitive, but such a thrill – I am interested to see where it goes and how long they can keep up the horror.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I know it’s passé, but I am obsessed. I used to think Veronica Mars was my favorite “bad ass chick saves her town” show, but Veronica has nothing on Buffy. A little campy, and cliche, but it somehow works in this very dimensional teen-girl-power show. I appreciate the juxtaposition between the two elements of life in the show. There is Sunnydale, the typical L.A. white bread town, with blonde cheerleaders and tan polo players, but then there is this literal underbelly of Hell – as Sunnydale is located directly above a Hell mouth. The mix of sunshine and noir is so brilliantly poetic, I pee. I also like that there is a constant threat to the town, there will never be a time of stasis, there will always be a demon, vampire lord, or praying mantis teacher to threaten the peace in Sunnydale. As I have yet to finish the series, and I know it runs for over 7 seasons, I can see why there is so much lasting power. There is so much relationship building at work, so much investment in character development, that I can see so much room for metamorphosis, as every show takes on a new tone and color the previous episode was lacking. One of my favorite parts of the show is how there is always tension within relationships, there are always secrets, obstacles, paranormal reasons why people in the show cannot live in harmony. The friendships, loyalty, and devotion, are values in the show that provide a moral and a reason to keep watching Buffffffaaaayyyyy.
The Wonder Years: A show I watched syndicated on Nickelodeon as a kid, Netflix has been so gracious as to provide it on instant play! Re-watching The Wonders Years as an adult with a new set of perspectives, I now realize how much love went into the show, how much unrefined human experience. The struggle of every American kid – growing up, fitting into school and society, understanding parents, is so thoughtfully presented through the lives of Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper. The presentation of young love in the show is so sweet and honest, yet so awkward and unprepared, I die. With a good balance of political and social issues from the 60s woven in with the superfluous struggles with adolescent emotion, The Wonder Years is a show for everyone and I am so happy to have rediscovered it.