Summer Not-So-Doldrums

As each year passes as a “cordcutter,” I find myself watching fewer and fewer TV shows.  It’s not intentional, but some shows – like Game of Thrones and Mad Men – just seem too heavy to start up again, so I keep putting them off.  Others, like the US version of The Office, have simply reached their end.  I definitely don’t give as many new shows a shot as I used to, and for the past few years the shows I have – Alcatraz, The Secret Circle, Vegas – have all been cancelled, so I’m beginning to think I should wait for a renewal slip before I get attached.  And thus the number continues to dwindle.

Currently, my summer list of shows upon which to catch up is quite short, and I think you’ll notice something of a uniformity in tone:

The Killing - I know I’m a few years behind on this one (I only just finished the first season).  I initially read about the Danish version of the series a few years back in a copy of the UK magazine Hello!  I was so excited to have come across something that seemed right up my alley, but when I brought it up to my mom on the phone, she informed me there was already an American remake.  Deflated, I didn’t give it much thought til recently (and yes, I’m trying out the US version for now, blasphemy, I know).  The first season also totally gave me an early X-Files vibe – maybe the strawberry blonde, maybe the Vancouver filming location.

Copper - I was totally sucked into this show last year and I’m eagerly anticipating the premiere next week, even though hardly any character is exactly likable.  I also really like Tom Weston-Jones, and I say that as someone who actually saw World Without End.

Orphan Black - I’ve heard great things about this series, but I haven’t seen any of it yet.

Ripper Street or Whitechapel - I’ve been meaning to watch Whitechapel for years, and haven’t yet; now I’m told Ripper Street is good as well.  Should I favor one over the other?  Ignore them both?  I’m open to input.

Are we noticing a problem yet?  I’ve been cutting TV out of my schedule because it feels too dark and depressing, but I’m replacing it with more that is dark and depressing.  I try to add a little levity by watching old episodes of QI (Quite Interesting) and 8 Out of 10 Cats and anything with Sarah Millican because I love her, but it would be nice to find something fun and fictional.  I eagerly accept any suggestions!  Movies count, too; bonus if something is on Netflix Instant or Hulu.

How can you read this? There’s no pictures!

For someone who primarily writes about movies and TV, you might be surprised to find that if I had to choose a defining hobby it would be my love for reading.  I’m pretty much always in the middle of a book or three, and I go through them like candy.  As such, I often limit my selection to what I can find at secondhand stores, lest I read myself out of house and home, but today I’m looking for specific recommendations to hunt down.

Nowadays I primarily read mysteries, but I’m well-versed in what I like and don’t like there (but if you have a favorite I want to know about it).  However, I’d like to get back into reading some sf (one of my all-time favorite authors is Julian May) or maybe even try some fantasy (a relatively untouched genre, for me).  I’ll take nonfiction, too – I’m currently reading 1491 in-between mysteries, and loving it.

So, do you have any recommendations for me?   Again, if it could be not-quite-so-dark, all the better.  Summer is a time to lighten up, after all!


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