Being a mom to a rambunctious 1 year old means keeping my eyes trained on him at all times lest that I look away for one second and he hurts himself from all the climbing, running around and whatever new motor skill he’s discovered (which by the way, happens a lot now). My downtime is normally when he’s asleep and this doesn’t allow for relaxing activities that take a long time (e.g. massages, mani/pedis, trips abroad..hehe). And the most viable form of relaxation I can manage to sneak in on my “mommy breaks” is to watch downloaded episodes of my favorite T.V. shows on my trusty tablet.
Admittedly, this is not the healthiest use of my frequently brief respites but, hey, I already get enough exercise from chasing after my son and books just aren’t my thing at the moment so, cut me some slack here. So, anyway, here’s a rundown of all the shows I am currently hooked on (for your consideration) 🙂
- Criminal Minds- According to Wikipedia, “Criminal Minds is set primarily at the FBI’S Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) based in Quantico, Virginia. Criminal Minds differs from many procedural dramas by focusing on profiling the criminal, called the unsub or ‘unknown subject’ rather than the actual crime itself. The focal point of the series follows a talented group of FBI profilers who set about catching various criminals though behavioral profiling”. If you’re a fan of police procedurals and the psychological thriller genre, which I am, then you’re bound to love Criminal Minds. At the risk of sounding scary weird, I have always been fascinated with the behavioral/psychological facet of crime. I am piqued by the perpetrators’ motives, especially the origin of their perversions. Criminal Minds explores the dark abyss of a killer’s mind in order to predict and thwart his next move. I love how the characters can tell what the killer will do next just by analyzing the pattern of his criminal behavior as well as when they unearth the tragic backstory that triggered his descent into crime.If you want the kind of rush that you get from edge-of-your-seat action and mind blowing twists, then Criminal Minds is a definite must-see.2. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU)- As mentioned earlier, I am a big police procedural show buff. I like the mystery and the suspense of the whole crime-solving and ensuing legal process, even if it’s a fictionalized and, probably embellished version of the real thing. Law and Order: SVU is another show that gives me my police procedural fix. Wikipedia describes the show as “an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the original Law and Order, episodes are often ‘ripped from the headlines’ or loosely based on legal crimes that have received media attention.” The show is a spin-off of the successful Law and Order franchise and focuses on the exploits of the Special Victims Unit of the fictional version of the 16th Precinct of the New York Police Department as they try to solve New York’s most heinous sexually based crimes. I’m still on Season 1 so it’s probably too early to tell but so far, Law and Order: SVU seems to be less action and more drama. At any rate, the complicated criminal justice system and the emotional toll it often takes on the victims, as well as the cops, still make for a gripping watch.
- 3. 30 Rock– Hands down my favorite series of all time. Crafted by the genius that is Tina Fey, 30 Rock is a comedic masterpiece. According to its Wikipedia profile,the series, “loosely based on Fey’s experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live, takes place behind the scenes as of a fictional live sketch comedy show depicted as airing on NBC. The series’ name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the Comcast Building, where the NBC studios are located.” The show, essentially, centers on Liz Lemon, the head writer/executive producer (I’m actually not sure) of the fictional show, TGS. Each episode sees Liz deal with the antics of her motley crew of friends and co-workers all while trying to keep her T.V. show and her personal life together. The dialogue is quick and witty and the actors are just superb. It’s so much fun watching Liz fumble and blunder through the zaniest situations and in the end live to fumble and blunder another day. The show is silly but relatable and just downright hilarious. So if ever you just want a good laugh or to feel better about how embarrassing and frustrating life can get, give this series a shot.
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt- 30 Rock actually wrapped in 2013 but I am glad Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (the same producing team behind 30 Rock) created this sitcom to fill the void 3o Rock left. According to its Wikipedia profile, “The series follows 29 year old Kimmy Schmidt as she adjusts to life in New York City after her rescue from a doomsday cult in Indiana where she and three other women were held by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne for 15 years. Determined to be seen as something other than a victim and armed only with a positive attitude, Kimmy decides to restart her life by moving to New York City where she quickly befriends her street-wise landlady, Lillian Kaushtupper, find a roommate in struggling actor Titus Andromedon and gains a job as nanny for the melancholy and out-of-touch Jacqueline Voorhees.”. The show centers on Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who’s spent the last 15 years of her life in an under ground bunker. Upon her rescue, she decides to reclaim everything she was deprived of with the vibrancy and effervescence of a child seeing the world for the 1st time. In the process, she meets and become friends with people who seem just as out-of-touch as she is and together they attempt to survive a much bigger bunker, New York City. Now, the plot is quite bleak ( I mean, kidnapped and kept in a bunker for 15 years,people!) but the writers masterfully explore it with the kind of irreverent humor that does not appear distasteful inasmuch as the scenario is a very truthful one (e.g. Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard). Essentially, it’s a hilarious and poignant tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of darkness and the perfect reminder that, as the show’s opening song goes, we are all “strong as hell.”4. Veep- I took a chance on this show and I don’t regret it at all because it is flat out funny. In fact, I was watching it alone once and I could not stifle a belly laugh. It’s that good. Here’s an except from its Google profile:
” …’Veep’ follows the new VP as she puts out political fires, juggles her public schedule and private life and does everything within her limited powers to improve her dysfunctional relationship with the Chief Executive. Meyer’s trusted–and some not-so-trusted- aides include Chief of Staff Amy, spokesperson Mike, secretary Sue and right-hand man, Gary.”
Selina Meyer is the 2nd most powerful person in the United States and she constantly feels that way: second. She is relegated to jobs she detests and often embroiled in embarrassing situations, mostly of her own doing. The show takes a satirical look at the convolutions of politics and the people who will do anything to be at the top. I’m not well-versed in the political landscape so some references go way over my head but from what I understand so far, politicians are fundamentally, just buffoons. And I am thoroughly entertained. So if you’re tired of raging over how inept and egotistical politicians are, watch VEEP and laugh at them instead.
There you have it. My top 4 shows at the moment. And if you happen to catch me cringing or laughing by myself while staring fixedly on my tablet’s screen, please know better than to strike up a conversation. Mama’s on her downtime, so please…just walk away. hehe..:-)