In general, I don't consider myself to be a huge TV watcher, but the last few months I have found a few shows that I enjoy (I blame my husband for working evenings). Because this is my party and because TV shows are stories, too, I wanted to dedicate a post to the shows I have been enjoying lately. Because both seasons have ended, spoilers may come into play so be forewarned.
Once Upon a Time: Season 1
I started watching this show on a whim -- I don't usually watch shows while they are ongoing. However, the premise for this one sucked me in. I immediately fell in love with the twisted fairy tales. I have always enjoyed fresh takes on classic stories, and I found it really fascinating to see how the show took classic tales and wove and connected them to each other. It was fun to find out some of the context behind some of the stories -- for example, the evil queen of Snow White doesn't just hate that Snow White is beautiful; she blames her for a tragic event earlier in her life. It was also interesting to see the modern counterparts to the fairy tales and the way they behaved in modern society. Apparently Red Riding Hood is a little bit rebellious and risque, while Snow White is benevolent, spending her time working as a teacher and volunteering at the hospital.
I think my favorite retelling of the stories was that of Beauty and the Beast. In the version presented in Once Upon a Time, the beast isn't someone changed by a fairy into an actual animal-like creature; instead, he is Rumpelstiltskin, twisted by his vast amounts of power and the loss of his family. I loved watching him soften towards Belle (although his behavior isn't usually exemplary). I also found the retelling of the Mad Hatter to be really interesting with a lot of depth to the character that I didn't expect. I am curious to see where those two stories in particular lead. I think my least favorite retelling was that of Red Riding Hood, in which it turns out that Red is actually a werewolf responsible for catastrophic mass killings in her village. That was a disturbing episode, although definitely an emotional one.
I'm curious to see the direction this show will take. At first I wondered how it could go on -- all we knew was that Emma was meant to save Storybrooke and I wondered if anything could happen after that. However, it seems that Rumpelstiltskin has some weird purpose and has released strange clouds of magic into Storybrooke, so I guess this fall we will see where the story leads next.
I've also been watching the show Felicity, which is a blast from the past. One of my good friends in high school was obsessed with this show and lent me season 1, which I watched, but I never watched any more of the seasons. I discovered it was on Netflix and really wanted to know what happens in the rest of the series, so I decided to rewatch Season 1 and then finish the series.
Granted, it isn't exactly "bookish" -- but they are in college and Felicity helps Ben with poetry homework all the time, so there's a bit of literary-ness in there.
I have really enjoyed the show so far -- in fact, I've been watching too much of it lately because I am usually not a big TV watcher. I love Felicity's character. At times she makes me cringe because she seems to disregard normal social rules and just forges ahead, but I do admire the way Felicity is upfront and follows her heart, even when it creates awkward situations for her.
I also love how this show sometimes has a sense of the ridiculous added in. It is definitely not a fantasy type of show, but sometimes there is a hint of magical realism thrown in that makes the show a bit more fun, such as when Felicity's psycho roommate casts Wicca spells on Felicity that seem to cause things in her life to be shaken up a bit.
Of course, one of the biggest parts of Season 1 is Ben vs. Noel. Anyone who watches it seems to have a firm opinion, and I tend to differ from the majority -- I am all about Noel. I love how he is slightly geeky and always sweet. I also feel like Ben makes a lot of dumb mistakes and doesn't always treat Felicity -- or the other girls he dates -- very well. I know that there is definitely information I don't know from the rest of the show, but I am rooting for Felicity and Noel to get together, although from the vast amounts of Ben-love that I see I doubt that they will. I actually think Noel is more physically attractive than Ben as well, so I am hoping Ben turns out to be a much better character in future seasons because at this point I don't really get his appeal. Granted, my husband has more of a Noel personality, so it is probably just my type.
At any rate, I have already watched five episodes into season 2, so I am definitely eating this show up -- one of the advantages of watching something more than ten years after it aired, I guess. With my husband leaving for Officer Basic Training, I will have more time alone in the evenings, so I might get through it faster than I would think.
Have any of you watched these shows? What are your thoughts?