We cut the cord and went cable free ten years ago, when we first moved into this house. Money was tight and not signing up for cable or satellite TV after we moved was one way to save a few bucks. Originally we fully intended to get cable TV again at some point, but as the months rolled into years, and small children became part of our household, we no longer saw the need.
That’s not to say that we didn’t watch TV, it’s just that we watched it on DVD. Of course buying seasons of your favourite television show can also be expensive. Luckily my in-laws have a DVD collection that would rival many a local video rental store, so we would borrow DVDs off of them. Occasionally we watched movies but mostly it was TV shows. We would pick a show, watch the entire season over the course of a few weeks, and proceed to get antsy waiting to trade it in for the next season.
And then we found Netflix. And while I have always maintained that Netflix is the best thing ever when it comes it kids programming, it also rocks for watching grown-up TV shows. Hubby and I have developed into serious TV series binge-watchers. Apparently that’s the term for it, and apparently it’s the new norm.
Netflix took our “just-one-more-episode-and-then-I-swear-it’s-bedtime” TV addiction and kicked it up a notch. No more waiting to hunt down or borrow the next season. No more swapping DVDs. Just non-stop TV goodness, streaming, on-demand. Each night once the kids are in bed, I meet hubby downstairs on the couch and we cue up our latest show. I curl up in the corner of the couch with the netbook on my lap and do mindless web tasks while deciphering the machinations of the Borgia family, or watching Walter White’s downward spiral, or waiting for Emma Swan to break a curse.
We usually enjoy watching either something historical, or something with at least at hint of sci-fi or fantasy to it. So watching Breaking Bad was a real deviation from the norm for us. I couldn’t help but notice the chatter on Facebook, and we had many friends recommend the show to us over the years, but I always thought “Meh, a show about drug dealers? Why the heck would I watch that?” Then one night we were wandering around Netflix trying to agree on what our next TV series would be and we decided to give Breaking Bad a chance.
I was instantly hooked. Breaking Bad was so, so, very good. That show was a piece of art. It pulled you down, yanked you up, tossed you through the wringer and out the other side. I’d be hard pressed to name another show that drew me in and consumed me so completely. Needless to say we weren’t exactly watching just one episode a night. Breaking Bad was responsible for many, many, a late bedtime for my husband and I.
One of my other favourite shows that we watched this past year was Borgia (To be clear I’m taking about Borgia: Faith and Fear and not Showcase’s The Borgias — this version is far superior guys!) Borgia follows the rise of the Borgia family during the time of Michelangelo and Machiavelli. As Pope Alexander VI, Rodrigo Borgia rules the Vatican and the papal states during the Renaissance. The series is full of intrigue, betrayal and political maneuvering. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the third and final season of this historical drama, which I’ve heard is set to release on Netflix in the Fall.
Right now we’ve been working our way through Once Upon a Time. I love folk tales and fairytales; collecting non-fiction books on comparative folklore is actually a bit of a hobby of mine. So a TV show that takes fairytale characters and sets them down in a small town in the United States is definitely on the can’t miss list for me. I will admit, as a direct follow up to Breaking Bad, this series seems ridiculously light, almost air-headed. At times the show can be a bit too soap-opera-ish for my tastes; the character romances and entanglements being the main meat of the plot, with only a light veneer of fairytale storyline over top, but overall I’m enjoying it. We just finished Season 1 and I’m eager to see what twists Season 2 will bring.
I suspect it won’t take us long to work our way through Season 2 of Once Upon a Time. What’s up next? I’ve heard good things about Orange is the New Black. A modern prison setting wouldn’t normally entice me, but after getting sucked into Breaking Bad I’m a little more open to the idea of a modern day drama. Or maybe Sherlock, a reboot of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories in which the eccentric genius prowls the streets of modern-day London? What would you recommend? What do you have cued up on your Must Watch list?