Filling the Void: Geek TV in the Off-Season

It’s that time of year again – the winter holidays. School exams wrap up, work slows down a bit, schedules open up. Sure, there might be holiday gatherings to attend, but not every single night – and the nights when you’re at home, there’s nothing on TV except some Christmas TV special from only a few years ago. There’s finally time to watch TV, but nothing to watch! Well, if you’re like me, you’re using the time for new viewing. Here’s what my TV (with computer) and I have been up to:

Playing Catch-Up

I may have watched all of my normal viewing, but a few shows didn’t make the cut during the fall line-up, and I’m watching them now. These two will stay even after the winter hiatus:

Once Upon a Time: I’m seriously liking this show. The balance between the our world and the fairy tale world mirrors the balance of drama and dark magic in the writing. And I’ve always been a fan of Ginnifer Goodwin (I tell myself she stole my haircut, too).

Grimm: This show is always unfortunately compared to Once Upon a Time, which is a shame, because they’re apples and oranges. Whereas Once Upon a Time is more of the dark fantasy that’s become popular in recent years, Grimm feels a little more throwback – it’s reminiscent of both the cop shows of the 90s and the early episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, walking the line between comedy and horror (with the extra-gross procedural special effects of today). It might not be cutting-edge, but it’s fun. And let’s face it, after watching children get booted out of castle towers, sometimes we’re looking for something a little less, well, grim.

Christmas Specials

I, for one, would love to steal the UK tradition of a special episode that airs on or around Christmas. I know it’s less needed, because some of our TV shows run practically year-round, but it would at least be a nice lead-in for those that are on the summer-winter schedule. In the meantime, here are the British Christmas specials that will make my Boxing Day:

Doctor Who: This should be a surprise to absolutely no one. Granted, the Christmas specials thus far are typically only… okay, but I take more Who where I can get it. Moffat claims we’ll cry “for a good twenty minutes” this year. I’ll put up with that just as long as it’s not the same Girl in the Fireplace/Amelia Pond and her suitcase/Girl Who Waited sadness again. Because, yes, that’s heart-wrenching, but not after the third time.

Downton Abbey: You may have seen this show sweep the Emmys and wondered what it was. I am in love with this British transplant, which, like Sherlock, is brought over as a Masterpiece show on PBS. I refuse to call this a chick show, so I’ll say it might be for you if you like period dramas, the early twentieth century, Maggie Smith being hilarious, or British television. Don’t go looking for this Christmas special if you haven’t yet seen the second series, though, which starts on PBS in January.

Winter Beginnings

Technically these shows won’t fall over the holidays, but I’m looking forward to their premieres with glee.

Sherlock: The second series will air in the UK starting in January. Sadly, it won’t air on PBS until May, so if I start rowing now… oh, it would probably be May. Hmm. Well, I’ll think of something.

Alcatraz: Will this show be any good? Who knows, but I’m excited to give it a shot! With Jorge Garcia, Sam “they do move in herds” Neill and Sarah Jones, I can honestly say I’d be looking forward to it no matter what. It starts in mid-January.

What about you?

Are you watching something I should be excited about? Does your TV lineup look anything like mine? Leave a comment and tell me what you’re watching!

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