Tag Archive: television

Doing Laundry with The Walking Dead

My Sunday nights used to be all about folding laundry while watching The Amazing Race. I fantasized about racing around the globe and winning a million dollars, as I paired socks and folded underwear.  I was so caught up in my fantasy that I missed out on a lot of good TV and found myself bingeing on Breaking Bad to stay current and feel a part of things when Juan and I were invited to attend a finale party.  My fantasy racing around the world made me late to the party at Downton Abbey and almost caused me to miss out on another popular TV series, The Walking Dead.

I never thought I would enjoy a show about a zombie apocalypse, and I scoffed at the idea of such lowbrow TV. How could a fan of Downton Abbey find anything remotely interesting about a television series about survivors of a zombie apocalypse? The series is set in the southern USA after a zombie epidemic wipes out most of the population, leaving only the undead and those fit enough to outsmart and outlast the brain eating walkers. Even though The Walking Dead’s premise did not appeal to me initially, I heard so much buzz about the show I decided to give it a try.

Before we left on our trip to Italy Juan loaded up his IPad with movies and the first season of The Walking Dead.  Since I can sleep almost anywhere, I caught up on much needed rest on our flight to Rome. Occasionally I would wake up and glance over at Juan with his eyes wide open, fixated on his iPad.  By the time we landed in Rome I was feeling only a little tired but Juan was both fatigued and pumped up on adrenaline from watching the first few episodes of The Walking Dead.

On our first day in Rome we toured the Eternal City and at night when jet lag kept me awake, I watched The Walking Dead.  Exhausted from the flight, Juan was finally able to sleep while I caught up with him on the AMC series. From then on, we watched episode after episode while we waited for trains, at night in our hotel room and on the long flight home.  When we returned from our trip we were hooked on the series and quickly watched the entire 3 seasons on iTunes or Netflix.  By the time the fourth season premiered last month, Juan and I were among the many fans waiting to see how Rick and his Zombie apocalypse survivors were faring.  We have not been disappointed.

The fourth season has had a lot of plot development.  As is typical for the show, the creators have not been afraid to write off characters who have had major roles throughout the show.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.  I don’t want to be a spoiler for this who haven’t hooked into the show yet.

Juan and I have to careful talking about the show and spoiling it for our 15 year-old son Nico.  Even though Nico has never been a fan of horror or scary films, he was intrigued by the premise of The Walking Dead.  I told him the show was more about survival and the dynamics of a group trying to make it through an apocalypse. A fan of The Hunger Games,  Nico enjoys reading and watching science fiction stories, and playing strategy games. Nico decided to give the series a try and after the first episode was hooked. Now, in addition to his talk about superpowers, he has begun discussing how he would survive a Zombie apocalypse.  This week I was doing some shopping and I found this:

An appropriate Christmas gift for a teenage fan of board games and zombies?

An appropriate Christmas gift for a teenage fan of board games and zombies?

Needless to say, I bought it as a Christmas gift. Am I creating a monster?  I hope not. Once Nico catches up watching previous seasons, maybe he and I will be able to watch the series together.  Right now, for me, watching The Walking Dead on Sunday nights sure makes folding laundry a lot more exciting.

 

Do you watch The Walking Dead?

 

Binging on Breaking Bad: How I Lost Two Weeks of My Life to a Television Series

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I am an addict. I am addicted to the AMC series, Breaking Bad. My husband Juan is the person responsible for hooking me up.  He is a huge fan of the show and repeatedly tried to get me to watch.  I vowed not to get sucked into another television series.  Besides I already had a few of my own must-see TV shows. I resisted Juan’s efforts but then, with mounting peer pressure from friends who were hosting a Breaking Bad finale party , I succumbed.

Two weeks ago we were at a party when the talk soon turned to our friends’ addiction to Breaking Bad. Our friend announced she was hosting a party for the finale and invited us. I was happy to be included in her plans, but I realized that I could not feel completely a part of things unless I started watching the show. If you can’t beat them, join them. I decided to give the show a chance so I started at the beginning, Season 1, Episode 1.  Netflix had all 4 seasons available. I began binge watching and soon I was hooked.

I started watching 2-3 episodes a night, getting my fix on Netflix until 1:00 in the morning.  When my alarm woke me 6:00 a.m. I cursed myself for staying up so late, only to repeat the pattern the next night. But I couldn’t help it. As the  day of the final episode and my friends finale party approached I began to panic. I was not even through Season 4. How was I going to get caught up in time for the finale party?

I began getting a fix at my lunch hour, watching on my iPhone while I caught the wifi from a nearby Starbucks. I watched the show while Juan drove us to visit family in Orange County, cursing when the dreaded words “Buffering” appeared instead of the video. I cooked dinner while Netflix streamed the show on the TV, but had to give up on that when my 9 year-old kept coming into the kitchen. With two nights to go before the finale, I realized I was never going to make it through the 12 episodes of Season 5.

On Sunday morning I woke up tired from watching an episode the night before. It was still early enough I didn’t need to get ready for church yet. I rolled over and grabbed the iPad to watch the last two episodes of Season 4. The adreneline rush from the show was both exhausting and exhilarating. I needed to keep watching.

I decided to skip church. I could hear the sound of my 15 year-old making breakfast. She surprised Juan and I by bringing us breakfast in bed. Perfect! I could watch more episodes from my bed.  At 10:00, tired from a morning of unsupervised videogames, my 9 year-old son came into my room and asked to go play next door. I said sure, barely checking to see if he changed out of his pajamas. He managed to put on shorts and a t-shirt, but no shoes.  Oh well, it’s still practically summer here. As I turned back to the show, he asked me what was for breakfast. Breakfast? How could he need breakfast now?  Didn’t he realize that Walt and Jessie had just plotted to get rid of Gus?  I suggested he find some yogurt and fruit, hoping the yogurt hadn’t had not reached its “use by” date, and the plums I bought had not turned into prunes.  As I settled into the start of Season 5  I caught Juan looking at me with a smirk on his face. He asked me if I was vying for Mother of the Year. I glared at him and turned back to the TV.

Despite my best efforts, I soon realized I was not going to be able to watch all of Season 5 before the finale.   Juan devised a plan for me and selected a ,  few episodes for me to watch, to get me current for the finale. I was anxious and didn’t like his suggestions. We bickered and I told him to let me watch the show my way! Resigned that I would not get to all Season 5‘s episodes  I decided to read the summaries on Wikipedia so at least I could know what was going on for the final episode.

We arrived at the party a little before the Finale. There was a lot of food and drink and good discussion speculating about what was going to happen. The host wore his Pollos Hermanos t-shirt and one guest wore a black hat, like Walt’s.  I told Juan we should have bought some yellow jumpsuits to wear to the party.

As the finale played and the episode came to its climatic ending, we all cheered. We all hung out long enough to watch the wrap up show and share our own thoughts and feelings. It felt like a support group as we all felt sad that the show was over.  We all wondered aloud what we were going to watch on Sunday nights. For some of us, it was encouraging to realize that a new season of  The Walking Dead premieres in two weeks. For me, I was anxious to get home to play the unwatched episodes of Breaking Bad which I had saved on my DVR.  Even though I know how the show ends and the series is over, I still wanted my fix.

 

 

Late to the Party at Downton Abbey

In case you’ve been under a rock, like I have been,  you may have missed watching the highly acclaimed BBC series Downton Abbey.  I was probably watching my favorite reality show,  The Amazing Race on Sunday evenings while the rest of America and the UK were watching the first two seasons of Downton Abbey. Better late than never, I have finally caught on.  I heard about this series from several people, and read about it on a couple of blogs, including this one, so I decided to tune in and see what I have been missing. The problem was, I had to find out where I could watch the series. And by “watch” I mean, where I could watch the show, and how I could watch the show.

Where I could watch the show presented its own problem since Juan and I have been pushed out of watching TV in the family room. The television has been taken over by the  Nico and Diego and the X-Box. When the boys aren’t playing their games on the family TV, Olivia is either doing homework on the computer in the family room, or she has set the DVR to record multiple episodes of Criminal Minds, SNL, or Tattoo Nightmares.  I have decided it’s easier to watch TV shows on my computer rather than vie for TV time in the family room.

Actually, watching my favorite television shows on my computer is pretty efficient. I blew through the entire series of Game of Thrones in about 10 days, engrossed in the drama until the early morning hours. Now, I’m anxiously wating for Season 3 in March. But, that’s a whole other post.

Once I realized that I would have to watch Downton Abbey on my computer, I had to figure out how to watch it since Season One was no longer airing on PBS.  I found out that Season One was being streamed on Netflix. Perfect!  I just set up the show to stream on my computer. After streaming and watching the first episode of Downtown Abbey on Netflix, I was totally hooked.  I stayed up until 1:30 on a weeknight just so I could see what was going to happen with Hot Sister, Way Hot Sister, and The Other Sister. There are only seven one-hour episodes in Season One, so I watched the entire season in just two nights and a lunch hour.

Season Two presented a problem for me.  It was not available to stream on Netflix. Amazon had it for sale but I didn’t want to spend the money on the DVDs. I decided to upgrade my Netflix membership so that I could rent DVDs.  Christmas was extended for me when I opened the mailbox on January 2nd and saw that little red envelope containing three full hours of escape TV. As soon as I was able, (which basically meant after Diego went to bed), I put on my pajamas, borrowed Diego’s personal DVD player and a set of headphones, and went to my bedroom to begin watching Season Two. I was not disappointed, except when it was 2:00 a.m. and I realized that I finished watching the last episode on the DVD. I  would have to wait to receive the next three episodes in the mail.  I finally went to sleep, happy to be reunited with The Crawleys and all the drama going on downstairs with the house staff, but I was upset that I cheaped out and didn’t upgrade my Netflix membership so that I could rent more than one DVD at a time. Wah!

So, now I’m in a dilemma. Season Three starts tonight. TONIGHT! I still haven’t finished watching Episodes Four  through Seven of Season Two. My next DVD containing Episodes Four through Six should arrive on Monday. By my calculations I should be able to finish watching Season Two by Saturday. This means I can override the DVR’s scheduled recordings of Criminal Minds and Tattoo Nightmares, and set the DVR to record Episode One of Season Three, then watch it before Episode Two airs next Sunday. Are you still with me?

I don’t want any Downton Abbey spoilers, so I am putting myself in a media blackout. I realize this is completely a First World Problem, but, at least I’m not fixated on watching that other popular Showtime cable series.

Come to think of it, I am a whole season behind in Homeland. I guess I’ll have to catch up on that series when Netflix starts streaming it.

 

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Will you be watching tonight?

My Modern Familia

Modern Family

Image via Wikipedia

One of my favorite shows on television is Modern Family.  I enjoy the fact that the family on TV is not your traditional family, just like mine.  We are  a modern family too…a modern blended family….yours, mine, his, hers, and ours.  My family seems to have a lot of similarities with Phil, Claire and the rest of the familia Dunfee. My husband Juan could be Phil’s twin when it comes to his love for the IPad, and Claire and I seem to have the control freak connection going on. Not to mention the way the teen and tween sisters relate to each other and our own girls, Olivia and Erica’s love/hate relationship. Our kids seem to appreciate the similarity because we all usually  enjoy watching the show together, except for Wednesday night’s episode.

For those of you who don’t watch the show, or haven’t yet sat down to watch your DVR version, here is your SPOILER alert.

Wednesday night’s episode involved the three kids surprising Phil and Claire with breakfast in bed in celebration of their parents’ wedding anniversary.  Phil and Claire are also celebrating their wedding anniversary in bed, but they were not sleeping, if you know what I mean. The sight of Phil and Claire frantically grabbing at the sheets and the kids dropping the breakfast tray as they shrieked in horror at the sight of their parents, had Juan and I laughing out loud.

Juan and I thought the episode was hilarious. Erica, on the other hand was, well, mortified. She just sat there, shrinking into her chair, trying to make herself invisible.  When we realized that the awkward noises in the room were coming from Erica, who was squirming in embarrassment, Juan couldn’t resist. He made all kinds of remarks, which made Erica more uncomfortable, then he tried to reassure her with this exchange:

J:   Don’t worry, this could never happen in our house because Diana and I never have sex.

Me:   Nope. Never.

Erica:   Thank God.

J:   And I haven’t had sex with your mother in over 10 years.  Don’t worry, we only did it twice. (Chuckle)

Erica:    DAD!!!!

Me:   HeeeeHeeeHeeee!

Erica left the room in embarrassment. Now, we are not prudes and sex is not taboo in our house, but to a nearly 13 year-old girl, the last thing she cares to talk about with her older than old parents is SEX! The next day when Nico and Erica came home from school, Nico, who hadn’t seen the episode, was talking about the show. He said episode was the talk of the 7th grade. Nico asked to see the episode which has been lovingly preserved on our DVR. Erica ran from the room. Juan and I stopped what we were doing, sat down to watch, and begin to torment Nico. Bwahaahaa!

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