Watching: Guilty Pleasures

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guilty pleaures:

Room service. 

Bacon that's found its way into a puddle of maple syrup.

Travelling without children (and accepting the offer of a hot beverage without fear of accidental scalding). 

Reading a novel, in the middle of the afternoon. 

Sleeping in the sun.  

Newspapers and coffee, in bed.

Lolling by an open fire, while the fog rolls in.
Getting to the end of an episode, looking at each other across the sofa and agreeing, "Just one more." Again. 

For those in search of a quiet night of deliberate viewing, here are a few thoughts.

Mad Men centers on 1960s adman Don Draper, the Gatsby of his age. Resposible for the comeback of skinny ties and prominent cleavage. Brylcreem can't be far behind.  Absolutely brilliant.  (Pun intended.)

Somewhere between Philippa Gregory and Wolf Hall (with a detour past the stylists at Vanity Fair), lies The Tudors.  If you like your historical fiction intelligent, buff and waxed, this is for you.  Thrilling, from start to finish. 

Warning: be sure the children are truly asleep before tuning in, or you could be in for some interesting conversations.  The writers apparently had a coupling quota to meet. 

Downton Abbey.  Upstairs, downstairs on the eve of WWI.  Life is poised to change irrevocably, for a family and a nation.  Visually stunning, beautifully acted, compellinng storylines, perfect period drama - that's all I ask for, really. 

Blissfully un-styled and positively hilarious.  So real you can almost feel the grit of dried wheatbix on the kitchen bench.  If you are Outnumbered by your own pack of exhaustingly precocious imps, you are in excellent company.  One of the best casts (kids included) ever.

The Slap.  The water-cooler show of the moment, currently airing on ABC1 but soon to be on dvd, no doubt.  Raw. Excruciating.  Disturbing.  The characters aren't entirely likable.  Why can't I stop watching?  

(old television by noisecult)


  1. Excellent recommendation - I was soo sorry to get to the end of Downton Abbey! Roll on series 2. It was a guilty pleasure of whilst breast feeding during the day......x

  2. Before we left NY I picked up a few DVD sets of TV shows to help us survive French TV: currently loving Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (we're big Aaron Sorkin fans - "Just one more..." helped us get through all 7 seasons of the West Wing over just one chilly French winter!!!) Also chuckling away to Arrested Development :-)

  3. Katie, the West Wing is, without doubt, our all-time, hands-down favorite. Also, it would be remiss not to mention The Sopranos and Six Feet Under (which includes one of the best series finales EVER). Modern Family is another that has had us laughing. And In Treatment, with Gabriel Byrne and Diane Weiss (two actors I could watch forever) is riveting - but very dark and disturbing, so I only watched Season 1.

  4. I remembered this post when we recently finished watching the 2nd series of Downton Abbey - we loved it! We also received the dvd of The Slap for hadn't made it onto our radar whilst living in the USA so we had no expectations...and WOW! Totally agree with your comment on unlikeable characters, but loved it nevertheless - it was good to see some new Aussie stuff too, sorely missed on US TV, and even more so now as French TV is truly awful - thank goodness for iTunes :-)


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