One more week of school left and summer is officially on! After five years of teaching, I feel like I should have the end-of-the-school-year routine down. But I don’t. As per usual, I’m a rainbow of emotions. Excited for summer. Drained. Nostalgic. Proud. Happy. Tired. I could-have-done-this-better regret and why-didn’t-I plan better for the summer.
Yet one thing remains. My procrastination. I could be grading, writing, but instead I come home from work and. . . I really don’t know where time goes. Maybe attempting to remember what I need to do while I wash clothes, wash dishes and tumble down a YouTube hole I didn’t think was possible. Also, I must complete my bedtime ritual–watching a show. Apparently, it’s bad for you, but during busy weeks, it’s the easiest activity before bed. Currently my May watches are completely random but personally compelling TV.
The Americans – A long time ago, I watched the first two seasons and then I started watching Game of Thrones (If you watch GOT, then you’ll understand why). This month I picked it up again because the first five seasons are free on Amazon and the show is in it’s final season. Russian spies living double lives in 1980s America. I think the main draw for me is will they get caught or not? They have an FBI who lives next door, two kids who might find out, and a trail of bodies and that could come back to haunt them. I feel like any show that has a “I must have a double life or else. . ” vibe hooks me with the automatic suspense built in (i.e Dexter, Diet of Santa Clarita, iZombie).
The 100 – It’s a CW show, which means there are always beautiful people to watch. I find this beautiful people show stands out because it’s set in a dystopian future and each season manages to address a situation/problem and have it solved in the season finale. Yes, there’s the finale cliff hangers, but they always solve the episode 1 problem.
Secondly, I love how the plot and characters have evolved over time. Season 1 begins with a group of rebellious, space teenagers landing on an abandoned hazardous earth and now. . . it’s interesting how the director/writers have expanded the story based on the cause and effects of other characters’ decisions. Also, the world building is great. I don’t have to worry about “Did they just make that character or setting up to move the story forward?” I guess if I thought hard enough there might be some plot holes, but I like the show for it’s entertaining story lines (sentient robots, a bunker cult, cannibalistic tribes) and frequent action sequences. Everyone has an excuse to pick a violent playground fight and the more the merrier.
The Handmaid’s Tale – Honestly, I don’t know why I watch this show during the school year. It takes a solid hour for my heart rate to fall back to a normal rate. Hence, falling asleep after midnight. There’s a lot of heavy stuff to process with women being subjected to fanatical torture and forced slavery as these handmaidens.
I thought season 2 would be a little less shocking and decided to watch it while I ate my dinner (on a weekend night). The first five minutes had my heart racing, so I had to pause it and watch something else. I eventually finished the episode and thought maybe episode 1 was purposely shocking. But the show continues to crank out WTF moments. In fact, at one point I had to look away because the camera wouldn’t cut away from a rather disturbing self-infliction scene.
Now in retrospect, Handmaids Tale is not relaxing, but it’s an interesting look of what a modern screwed-up American theocracy would look like. It raises many questions and I enjoy a show that suggests ideas and scenarios which could be a reminder of where we DON”T want to go. I’d compare it to Blade Runner or Hunger Games, but in the near future without the cool tech.